Giants and Startups

12 Apr

Our Giants view

Day 1 of our MBA trek to Silicon Valley:

Started the morning with a visit to Y Combinator, where we were meeting Partner and Oxford alum Harjeet Taggar. I knew Y Combinator pretty well already as I had made it to the final stage previously with Affect Labs, but never quite made the final selection. I found it pretty interesting to get to quiz Harj a bit more about the programme, and I was particularly interested to hear his answer when I asked him about the slight anti-MBA feeling from the Hacker News-type audience. I think we’ll have a few YC applications coming in from Said Business School next year!

Next on to Path in San Francisco, which we learnt was partially based on research by Robin Dunbar – an anthropologist at Oxford University who came up with “Dunbar’s number“, which suggests that we can maintain a maximum of 150 relationships at one time. It was a pretty interesting discussion, but unfortunately we had to cut the meeting early to head off to the next company.

Current TV has got some swanky offices down next to the Giants stadium. One of our current classmates previously worked there so it was interesting for him to see how much the place had changed. The Current team were keen to meet us and wanted to discuss how we could possibly work together on some key strategic issues they would like to address. Hopefully there’s a way we can work together soon.

Last for my group was biotech giant Genentech. Very impressive campus. You can tell they make money. Biotech is my home industry so it was pretty cool for me to see how it could be in the #1 biotech (even if it’s not independent any more). Definitely the sort of company I would like to work for if my startup didn’t go anywhere.

Other students on the trek visited other companies today including Google, Paypal, Marvell and Coulomb.

Tonight we went to watch a San Francisco Giants game at the AT&T Stadium. We had pretty awesome seats with a great view. For a lot of us, myself included, it was the first ever baseball game. Unfortunately the Giants lost. In fact when I left with 1 inning left they hadn’t scored any runs, but they managed a homerun in the last inning so at least it wasn’t a whitewash. Still, it was a great experience to be part of that great all-American game! We did have a message up on the board, but most of us missed it!

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