After a couple of flights from Madrid –always seated at the window–, we reached the streets of Redwood City (California), where everyone seemed to head to the same place: The Fox Theater. It had changed its usual billboard to make way for a great event: The Startup Grind Global Conference, 2019.
Jet lagged, we woke up early, ready to share our energy with other 8.000 entrepreneurs and innovative minds who had come from all over the world ready to share the biggest startup experience of the year.
The tech event was divided into several spaces connected by the streets of the city. The main stage within the theater was accompanied by presentations of top speakers every half an hour such as Michael Seibel (Y Combinator), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) or Joe Gebbia (Airbnb).
Crossing the boulevard, you walked to the movie theaters where more than 7 rooms introduced you to 20-minute debates on current technology topics with titles like Learning from Failure, How to Build Trust in the Age of Fake News, The Merits of Discipline over Vision or Sleep, Play, Thrive: Insider Secrets to Fight Burnout Culture. Outside, and dodging the rain there were 2 tents for the startup exhibition and a general one with activities in which the sponsors were present.
The rush to get a minute of an investor’s time meant that many of the startup members did not even have time to eat. This was a sample of the acceleration and stress of the day-to-day life of the entrepreneurs in the Valley, which gave us a powerful reason to explain the importance of being able to stop, reflect, breathe and decelerate to boost a startup and achieve the respective objectives.
Life is full of antagonists who test us and teach us to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Batman had the Joker, Alicia found her inner strength when she faced The Red Queen and even Tom’s life would be boring without Jerry. Nowadays, the counterpoint of acceleration needs to face a deceleration experience to empower yourself. Stress needs to find peace and breathe out of the office. Investors should stop focusing on numbers and re-educate themselves to believe in the potential of the entrepreneur as a human through effective Human Due Diligence.
The key to seizing events such as the Global Startup Grind Conference is to remove the fear of connecting with likely minds, leaving your comfort zone and learning from other cultures, listening to their experiences and sharing time with as many people as possible, as you often find in friendships.
So, I encourage you to get out of your shell and not be afraid to tell your idea, your vision or your dreams because the more we dream, the more energy we will put in and the higher we will get!