Monday, July 25, 2011

The Midwest and the Valley

It was a leap from Midwest to West. After two fun filled years at Michigan, it’s now time to experience what they call as the valley of startups aka Silicon Valley.

I joined Tesla Motors which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, very next to Stanford University. California is a huge state, but Silicon Valley spans from I guess San Jose to San Francisco and it is altogether different than The Auto State: Michigan!

They have their own standings. Where the Big 3 rule (GM, Ford, Chrysler) in Michigan, they are nonexistent here in the valley. Here it’s all about Google, Apple and Facebook. In Michigan every person has to have a Ford (F150 is favorite amongst teens! :P..mereko abhi tak nahi samjha kyu?!) whereas here.. every person has to have a i-gadget. Here you will see all Hondas and
Toyotas unlike GMs and Fords in Michigan. Some people say that here there are more young and educated people that don’t blindly go for American models.. but cmon.. Sikkim la bakarwadi milnara dukan kasa milel! :P. Big 3 has a dominance on their home ground. They have created living for millions of people for over more than half a century! (and also ‘politically’ made sure that no public transport will ever bud in Michigan).

I saw apartments in California! Seriously! This is worth mentioning. Two long years after I saw apartments having parking below, tube lights in the parking, small children playing with their tri-cycles, grandparents sitting on benches and couples going for a post dinner walk. You know what I am saying. Nothing else in US can get more close to India. There is this road called El Camino Real, can be portrayed analogous to Karve road in Pune or ‘main road’ in any other city. This El Camino has shops on both sides. Right from groceries, restaurants, salons…. To Gadgil Jewelers!!! Awraaa! Chitale bandhu ch yayche rahilet.. rather te pan astil kuthetari!

Bike! Valley is very green, eco friendly. People use public transport, people bike to work. There are bike lanes on majority of the roads. Companies have monetary incentives for people who will not drive their car to work. This is not the story in Michigan. Firstly, the distances up there are huge.. you just cannot bike from your home to your work place. People drive for nearly half hour daily to reach their office in Michigan.. One cannot imagine anyone “wasting” so much time here! Secondly, you cannot bike when its below 0F!!

Michigan is more laid back. No startup culture. Whereas here its all about a budding idea and fast paced efforts for its implementation. I am amazed seeing the enthusiasm people here have. Everyone is bubbling with ideas, willing to help, willing to sponsor, willing to guide. People are young and so are the companies. The enthusiasm for innovation is spectacular which I doubt could be experienced in the Midwest. And hence there is not a person who will, after listening to your idea, say.. “40 saal se kaam kar raha hu.. nahi ho sakta ye! Time waste mat kar!”

California is a different ball game, and I am all excited to play this neatly! :)


  1. santa clara is the center of silicon valley.. not Palo Alto.. atleast the wikipedia page says so..

  2. loved the sikkim-bakarwadi sentence...kamaal...good going.

  3. @danny: may be the santa clara county.. its huge.. spans till palo alto after which the san mateo county starts

  4. heheheh El Camino real Rd........Looks intresting ha !!!!!

  5. its meaning is "the royal road" ..sometime it used to run from SF to Mexico