LaunchScale: A Snapshot of The Startup Scene in San Francisco

According to Angel List, there are over 11000 startups in San Francisco. That is as much as the startups in Oceania, Africa, and South America combined. In one city. So, what a better way to experience the vibe than attend one of the many startup events there?

2 days at LaunchScale were absolutely worth it if you wanted to get a feel for what is going on in San Francisco. For meeting thought leaders, getting inspiration and a taste of the most sought-after startup scene in the world.

Cities survive, companies don’t. I want to build a company that lasts 100 or 1000 years. However, if you do it like most companies in America now, that’s gonna be impossible.” Tony Hsieh, Zappos, when asked about his motivation to take risk and implement holocracy.

Imagine 4000 extraordinary investors, founders, and wannabe-entrepreneurs get together in San Francisco for 2 days.

Having not expected much and being for the first time in the Bay Area, it gave me the opportunity to massively immerse into the startup/growth/hacker culture in California.

The 36h packed with high-quality speakers and achievers was a unique fast-learning experience for everyone who is looking to scale an existing business. Whether it is about marketing, company culture, or tools, there was something to learn for everyone. I could bet that everybody left the conference with at least one learning point that translates into better business, happier customers, or more revenue.

The speakers threw questions that made you re-think your current business model, phrases that made you re-evaluate the way your company works, and thoughts that provoked your current customer acquisition model. If you think you knew your clients, the speakers showed you a new way of getting to know them even better. If you think you had your growth strategy figured out, they provoked you to think bigger – in Google terms: 10x.

One of the most memorable presentations was held by Kyle Hill about corporate culture at HomeHero. Here is an extract of his important reminders:

  • Challenge yourself to do the hardest thing in the company
  • Hold up to your standards
  • Show appreciation for the people in your company
  • Treat every problem as an opportunity
  • Never settle for a good enough user experience
  • Transparency by default (with reference to Buffer)

Note here: most of these values are easier to implement when you’ve a young company. If you find yourself in a company that is several decades old, it will be more difficult to implement the above.

No doubt Jason Calacanis and his team have done a tremendous job in creating a must-visit event for everyone who is interested in growth hacking and getting a feel of the American startup culture/way of thinking.

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