We’ve heard the analogy before, but it seems to pop up more frequently on the eve of TechCrunch 50 than at other times of the year. Silicon Valley is a lot like a Hollywood. It matters “who you know” in the world’s film industry hub and it matters who you know in the world’s tech industry hub.
If you write a script, it sure helps if you know who to send it to and it helps a lot more if you have an introduction to that person. Same in the Valley. If you have a business plan and are looking for funding or sales or partners, it helps if you know who to talk to and the way you get to talk to the person you need to is through having the right connections. For Australians who are members of ANZA TechNet, this is relatively easy — the ANZA network helps you navigate the business landscape in Silicon Valley to find, and ultimately connect you with the right people who can help you move your plan forward.
But what if you’re not a member of ANZA TechNet? Well, your chances of getting to the right people in the Valley are going to be more complicated. You might make some mistakes by approaching the wrong person or approaching the right person — at the wrong time. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has some commentary around this in his article “Let’s Not Let Silicon Valley Become Just Like Hollywood”. In his position, he obviously gets a lot of unsolicited requests for advice and help. Although he’s a busy guy, especially right now, he shares his view on the similarities between Hollywood and the Valley, and the differences. Unlike Hollywood, there is still a willingness of most people in Silicon Valley to help you. But once you know who to ask, you need to know how to ask. (Read more)