Today was an early rise. We had to be a Dropbox, via bus, by 8am. This meant an early rise of 6.30 to get all the morning's business done.
It was definitely a hustle type of day. Not only did we visit a huge number of places, we got into others by just rocking up, gained a bunch of free swag and also had discussions on focus.
Once we arrived, Tammy welcomed us in. She's an Aussie expat, as most of our hosts have been, and hooked us up with shirts (#swag) before taking us to their employee cafe.
Tammy and Brian took us through their daily work, the tech Dropbox is built on and everything else we asked.
They then took us up to their rooftop garden, which was awesome.
Following Dropbox, we had some free time and walked around the area. We came across Docker, which some of the crew got into and had a tour.
I made my way around to GitHub along with a few others and after a short chat, we got in! After a coffee from the employee cafe, we were taken up to the swag room where they gave us a free shirt and stickers. This community spirit is just the greatest thing.
We were then shipped off to Xero on the other side of town. Sid spoke to us about developer relations, experience and product management. It was great to see the SF office of a Kiwi startup, making waves in the industry.
Following that, we headed over to Atlassian via lunch. We found an awesome food truck lot and had an amazing philly cheese steak.
Atlassian was great. Again, fantastic to see an Aussie startup making waves across the world.
Kelvin took us around the office for a tour and spoke to us about some of the key values of Atlassian and some great stories. I was really surprised to hear some of the perks the employees get, however having heard of the disloyalty within SV, as in demand engineers move around, it does make sense to keep people on by any means necessary.
Josh then spoke to us about some important facets of the company as well as more of their values and key differentiators. Atlassian does truly sound one of a kind and it is really humbling thinking about where they started and the fact they've come from Australia. WE NEED MORE OF THIS!
Finally for the day, we headed to WeWork Transbay for another panel. The WeWork offices are truly next level. I'm keen to checkout the Aussie ones just launched in Pyrmont and Martin Place in Sydney.
Mick Liubinskas from muru-D gave us some fantastic pointers and differing points of view. I loved these so much I've listed these below:
- There is 100x more money in SV, but 1,000x more companies wanting it.
- Stop adding more features. Pick a subset of customers and focus on what they need.
- You can be the product before building it. Using spreadsheets and people may seem clunky, but you avoid spending money before knowing if you've solved a problem customer's will pay for.
- Know your customer's pain points and what they want. Engineer a smaller focus.
- When it comes to features, just take them out. Do you really need it? Engineer one product, not many.
- Use a simple Google or Facebook ad with no landing page to find out if people will be interested. Just change the copy to change the response.
We also heard from Chris Raethke and Brent Shepherd, who shared their personal startup experiences and stories. It was really good to listen to.
Hugh Minson also joined us for dinner and took us through his story, which was also great to hear about.
Tomorrow, we are off to VMWare, ServiceRocket and... FACEBOOK! Keen!