Although there is no correct answer on how to go forward in Silicon Valley, and it totally depends on the situation where you are, here are some tips especially for those sent on a mission from large company.
1. Way of Thinking to Achieve Goal in Silicon Valley- 3 steps
Step 1. Goal Setting
Make it crystal-clear in advance on “Why Silicon Valley?”, “Why Startups?”, “What do you really want to achieve in Silicon Valley?”
For instance, just “information gathering around the startups” can be done more or less even if you’re not in Silicon valley today. Without clear answers for these fundamental questions, you will end up just being in Silicon Valley without any specific achievements.
Thus, setting specific goals is critically important and belows are examples of goal setting. - Investing in the next big startup - Investing in companies that you might have future synergies - Finding companies that might have solutions for your own business etc.
When thinking of the goal, also consider the value you can offer to your counter party. Without this viewpoint you would be paid no attention from startups.
Step 2. Plans for To-be
Once you define a clear goal, then set up a concrete short-term and mid/long-term targets to achieve the goal. Preferably, mid/long-term goal comes first, then short-term goal follows it.
This step is critically important for the phase afterwards to get people around involved.
Step 3. Sharing the Goal
Share the goal along with specific targets with key persons in your organization. At least a decision maker of your department should be on board with you so that you can get coverage when the time comes.
This step is critically important when you get things done in Silicon Valley while cooperating with “big company culture”, which has little/no shared view and has strong tendency to focus on risk rather than potential opportunity.
The way to get people from HQ on board varies depending on your situation/culture, but below are random ideas. - Rack up small successes - Keep your presence in the organization - Get them to pay a visit to inspire themselves - Ease the internal rule for more flexibility
Major adversities come from 1. a sense of suspicion or risk-averse culture in the organization and 2. the distance from HQ not also in a physical sense but also a psychological sense.
You should not blindly just focus on the communication with HQ (, which is one of the typical failures for people from big corporate), but consciously positioning yourself in your organization so that they can understand the positive si