Visiting the Silicon Valley for a french worker, working in a normal french company, submitted to the standard european economic crisis can be sometimes a destabilizing experiment. Once you remember that in the US, everything is bigger than everywhere else (4 lines highway minimum, enormous cars, gigantic malls, …), you think you are now an integrated tourist. But the Silicon Valley is not the US, it stays a special land, shaped by the presence of biggest software companies. Demonstration.
Advertising on the highway : ‘you will be able to migrate your app from your personal to your professional cloud in a second’. Another one : ‘Hypervision, virtualization, we have your suitable solution’. Is this advert supposed to be read by the average US citizen ? Probably not. Maybe because the average citizen in the silicon valley is a brilliant software developer who deals everyday with problems related to cloud.
Marketing campaign of a small car wash company, around the corner : ‘Here, we accept competitors coupon’. Being ready to endorse gift of competitors to get you as a customer. Challenging and smart.
Visit in offices of a software company : funny posters in every corner, meeting rooms with creative names screen displaying twitter time lines related to the company and products, lounge with an open bar for coffee-juice-yogourth-fruit-eggs (discussion showed that in bigger companies, the breakfast-lunch-dinner are not only free but cooked by chiefs, and massages and pool table are available). When was the last time your corporate communication made you laugh ? When was the last time your company made clear decision related to smart social media usage ? When was the last time that your company offered you a freshly squeezed orange juice ? Imagine that those workers can answer any time in the year : this morning !
The amazing question that came to my french-basic-educated mind after concatenating all those details was : what is going on here ? Why creating so much attractiveness for potential customers, for employees ?
From different conversations, I got the same answer : people are ‘driven’, meaning they take initiative, they are not shy, they are creative. And one of the consequence, is that companies want to keep their employees, each employee being considered as a star. Well, that is the secret, you need to be driven. This special quality is certainly not a genetic one, and should definitely come from the cultural environment. The positive loop : people are driven because they feel desired. I did not stay enough time to discover the counterpart of such working usages, there might definitely be some I can easily imagine – dedication to work, availability …. But lets capture and never forget the best of this environment – after all, this is how humanity grows up, keeping the best of its experiences, and trying not to reproduce the worse !
From this experience, I can only recommend ‘driven’ workers in Europe to think twice before endorsing the idea that they own something to their company just because they are lucky enough to have a job. We are the key workforce, and as such, we certainly deserve the best !