We are back from our trip in San Francisco since one week now. I think it's time for some conclusions.
What have we done there?
Of course we were not in San Francisco only for business. We really love the Golden Gate Bridge, incredible Lombard Street, victorian houses, cable cars, etc.
Besides that, our trip was really a geeky trip. For some of our people, the main event of the Webmission was the Google I/O (not for 1MD because the event was already sold out when we decided to go to San Francisco). Anyway, we had the chance to showcase WooRank at SF New Tech, the local BetaGroup. We think that it was well perceived by the Californian audience and that's great because it was our main purpose. Moreover, it was nice to meet and to benefit the support of Rudy Demotte, Chief Minister of Wallonia (the french-speaking part of Belgium).
Except from Google I/O and SF New Tech, we made a lot of startups' visits, including Kyte, Google, Seesmic, Twitter and CBS Interactive. Definitely, our favourite visits were Facebook and Adobe.
At Facebook, we had the possibility to talk with Danny Conway (Partner Manager), Guy Cross (Partner Manager) and Pete Bratach (Tech Writer managing the developers wiki). We even met Mark Zuckerberg in the office and took a picture with him!
At Adobe, we had the chance to be accommodated by the « chiefs » of Flash: Thibault Imbert (Flash Player Product Manager) and Richard Galvan (Flash Professional Product Manager). It was great to talk and complain (in a constructive way) about Flash with them during more than two hours. And as we are part of the Adobe Agency Program and consequently, under NDA, we had the chance to be informed about future versions of Flash (10.2 and 11). Unfortunately (for you), we cannot talk about it!
What have we learned there?
A lot but if three things should be retained:
- They are very open! It was very easy to get meetings with those people and to talk with them about very specific things. We even went to the restaurant with Happy Cog President from San Francisco (not Jeffrey Zeldman but Greg Storey)! Unthinkable in Belgium!
- Your first idea is not necessarily the good one. Try in one way, in another, refine and you'll finally find your business. Especially, don't be afraid to make mistakes!
- You cannot mislead people there. They want quality! Here in Belgium, some people benefit from the customer ignorance to sell them wobbly things. You cannot do that in San Francisco...
Definitely, we must say: Webmission accomplished!
(photo by yplouf)