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This blog was originally published in Spanish on the Sinergia Latinoamerica website.
Sinergia Latino America continues to expand its network beyond the annual forum in Cancun. This month, 16 members participated in a trip to Silicon Valley in the United States, to see first hand the most innovative technology companies, create partnerships with educational institutions and share experiences with entrepreneurs. And, for activity team building, we spent the weekend in Napa Valley.
At Facebook, Vivek Punjabi, Team Lead, Global Marketing Solutions, answered all our questions as he guided us around the campus of Menlo Park, located at No. 1 Hacker Way, where 7,000 employees in 45 office buildings work. We learned about the work culture of the company that aims to connect people and that Facebook is much more than a social network.
The visit to Google began with a presentation by Rafael Muñoz, Head of Professional Services, who gave us a talk about the power of collaboration, a cornerstone to improve productivity in the company. This workflow is reflected in its open spaces, play areas and even spots for napping. “Googliness” is also a basic requirement for their employees.. This term encompasses the ability to do the right thing, always strive for excellence, maintain focus on goals, be proactive, friendly, honest, humble … At Google, errors are welcome, not condemned or hidden. And if a mistake was turned into an emergency, an alarm is activated and all areas are put to work to fix it. The key is open dialogue and shared information. Because ultimately, Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.
We also met entrepreneurs. David Blumberg, founder and managing partner of Blumberg Capital shared the perspective of being in venture capital. In addition to showing us their portfolio, he explained what characteristics their investment professionals look at when investing. In his office we were learned about and met team members from Nutanix, a cloud company that is now coming to market with an approximate valuation of USD 2B, and IntSights, a platform focused on cybersecurity.
To get a complete picture, we visited Singularity University and Stanford, two institutions that provide an intellectual framework to the ecosystem of Silicon Valley. In the first, Peter Wicher gave us a talk about exponential thinking, supported with concrete examples. Then in their laboratories, we saw various technological developments, including telepresence robots and 3D printers. Stanford Professor Paul Kurlat revised Latin American history from the perspective of economic cycles, which made it clear that our region lost ground against the US in terms of GDP per capita.
In closing, we traveled to Napa Valley, where we visited Palmaz, a unique winery because of the technology used in its production process. There we participated in a wine tasting before going to the private club The Napa Valley Reserve, where the afternoon passed between glasses and reflections.