Don’t try to be silicon valley. Instead, take risks and trust one another

Do you ever wonder why Silicon Valley is so awesome? I always wondered. Then, I moved here and found out why.

It’s not because of Stanford or all the VC’s like everyone thinks. Silicon valley once started out as nothing – It didn’t just one day pop up and be this incredible place for a startup. It started in the same place you are. Yeah, they have nice weather, you can surf and board in the same day, and it’s absolutely beautiful, but again, this is not what made the Valley the place to be for startups.

The reason Silicon Valley is successful is because the people here are more open to trying things and doing shit. They’re not afraid to take risks and lose their shirt. And they understand that high risk breeds high reward.

Everyone is on board with the vision and moving in the same direction. It’s not a top down ecosystem – It’s all-encompassing. Everyone is included and everyone has the same opportunity.

There is a sense of connectedness like I’ve never seen – I actually saw this in Boulder as well.

The other thing is that for the most part everyone trusts one another. You can meet with someone for coffee and within 30 days that person has written you a check to invest in your startup.

Think about this for a second. In other parts of the country, people want to strip you down naked, pull every record and file you and your company have, meet your kids, and then, they still come back asking for more – this shit kills an early stage startup.

Any community can build what Silicon Valley has built. The key though, is taking risks and trusting one another. People can say what they want, but Silicon Valley is built on the foundation of risk and trust.

Epically failing on purpose

Are you afraid to epically fail? Not me, I epic fail on purpose. We need more people willing to take risks and epic fail on purpose. Well, epic fails that don’t totally wipe us out, but that make us bolder and more confident in our abilities. Epic fails that teach us lessons about what works and what doesn’t.

Epic failure is something I enjoy very much. Why? Because, each time I fall down and scrape up my knees I learn something very valuable that I wouldn’t have learned before. I learn how far I can go, how high I can jump, and how much money it’s going to cost!

When I fail, it moves me away from what doesn’t work and closer to what does. I like the sound of that – moving closer to what works. We all want to know and understand the things that work, right? But, how can you learn the things that work until we’ve tried and epically failed at the things that don’t work.

Think experiments. We may try hundreds, if not thousands of experiments until we find a solution. The same is true with projects, ideas, startups, dating, and the million other things we try to figure out in life. But, we have to be willing to epically fail at these things.

Parents don’t always teach us this, schools screw it up, and so do your bosses. Don’t listen to these safe boring people, they are going nowhere. You need to epically fail at things, it’s part of the learning experience. You can do it, epic fail. Just don’t wipe yourself out!



This is a guest post by Tamaryn Tobian, founder of Spectacle Creative Media in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can follow her tweets on Twitter. If you want to guest post on my blog, please, check out the guidelines here.

 In the last nine months or so, I’ve learned more things and experienced more life changes than I had pimples during puberty.  That’s what following your gut and jumping into risk with both feet does. Why so many life changes?  I started my own business – a creative communications company.

In truth, it seemed like a crazy idea. In this economy? Especially when I started to count how many other little creative agencies and studios there are in my city. There’s a lot of them. But, I did it anyway.

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Entrepreneurship kicks ass! Am I right? You know what I personally love about it? Lots of things really, but here are a few: the risk, the reward, the adventure, the potential, the crashes, the bruises, and the fact that you have to be pretty much insane to be one.

I’ve had my fair share of entrepreneurial ventures over the years and some went great, while others left me in the dust picking crap out of my teeth. You know what though, now looking back, some of the best ones were the ones that left me in the dust picking crap out of my teeth.

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A couple of years ago we were out for our Christmas dinner and we ordered oysters, clams, scallops, mussels, and I can’t even remember what else. All I can really remember after too many glasses of wine is that we had an awesome time. You know those really expensive restaurants that there is no way you can order a hamburger and a fry? This was one of those restaurants. Instead they have these really difficult menus to order from. Especially if you have never been to a fancy restaurant before.

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You will never fulfill your destiny doing something you despise. Passion for what you do is truly at the core of your success and fulfillment.

Once yo find your passion it can help you in several ways. Here are a few things to think about.

1. Passion will fuel you and give you energy when others around you grow tired.

2. Passion will help you come up with answers when others cease to have creative ideas.

3. Passion will strengthen your will when others drop out.

4. Passion will give you courage to take a risk when others crave security.

5. Passion will allow you to play while others work everyday.

Always take a moment to ask yourself. Do I love what I am doing or am I just doing it just because.