Part 11 – Silicon Valley | Pioneering Spirit & Innovation

By Yasemin Yazan

In my last articles I had addressed several technical developments in the context of the industrial revolution in order you to better understand and classify the interrelations of digitalization. So far, the hard facts were in the foreground. Before I continue the article series with other key topics like the soft facts, I would like to share something very special with you today: Not only did I have the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley myself to gain new impressions, but thanks to an organized journey, initiated by Prof. Dr. Jörg Knoblauch, CEO Tempus, Dr. Stefan Frädrich and Alexander Müller, CEOs and Owners GEDANKENtanken, and Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy from 2017 to 2018, I also had the opportunity to meet experts from Silicon Valley to ask them relevant questions and thus to look behind the scenes. Impressed by these insights, I went back to the Silicon Valley a few weeks later to broaden and deepen my impressions.


With this article I want to share all of it – you will get brand-new impressions and background information directly from the Silicon Valley:


  1. Silicon Valley – The Birthplace of the World’s first High-Tech Region
  2. Silicon Valley – Some Stations & Experts of my Journeys
  3. Silicon Valley – Relevance to the question of “How to Dominate your Market”
  4. Silicon Valley – Details, Outcomes, Impressions & Further Tips


  1. Silicon Valley – The Birthplace of the World’s first High-Tech Region

Located in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, Silicon Valley is known as the Birthplace of the World’s first High-Tech Region. Here are numerous start-ups and globally operating technology companies based. The best-known companies include Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, eBay, TESLA, Adobe, Hewlett Packard and Dell. Around Stanford University in Palo Alto are also numerous institutions dealing with advanced technologies.


The economic development of Silicon Valley began in 1951 with the establishment of the research and industrial area adjacent to Stanford University, called Stanford Industrial Park. Graduates of universities and former employees of companies increasingly started start-ups in this region, where new ideas and products were developed and distributed. With the spread of computer technologies, high-tech companies have settled here at the same time. All in all, the area has developed into one of the world’s most well-known IT- and High-Tech Regions of the world.


Today, the Silicon Valley stands for Innovation, Technological Advancement and Digital Transformation as well as an extraordinary Pioneering Spirit.


  1. Silicon Valley – Some Stations & Experts of my Journeys

During my first journey, together with a group of around 60 entrepreneurs, we had the opportunity to see selected stations and meet experts, who have shared their experiences with us. During my second journey I had the opportunity to meet some experts again to deapen my first impressions and to visit some more stations like the TESLA Factory.

Here are some examples to illustrate the multi-faceted journeys with diverse inspirations from various fields:


  • DocuSign, San Francisco

DocuSign provides electronic signature technology and digital transaction management services for facilitating electronic exchanges of contracts and signed documents. It is industry leader in e-signatures.

  • Zendrive, San Francisco

Zendrive leverages mobile sensor data to provide actionable insights that improve safety for passengers and drivers worldwide.

  • Gregory La Blanc, Faculty Director, Berkeley Fintech Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Gregory gives insights into New Business Models and Digital Transformation

  • Matthias Hohensee, Correspondent Wirtschaftswoche in the Silicon Valley

Matthias shares his personal views as a journalist on developments in Silicon Valley

  • Christian Byza, Senior Product Manager LinkedIn, Mountain View

LinkedIn is a social media platform mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs. Christian gives an ovierview into the LinkedIn vision, mission and culture.

  • Eric S. Yuan, Founder & CEO Zoom, San Jose

Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Eric and his colleagues give insights into the success story of their company and illustrate their corporate culture.

  • Plug & Play, Sunnyvale

Plug and Play Tech Center is a network startup accelerator and corporate innovation platform. In addition to the visit, we had the opportunity to attend a pitch event.

  • Mario Herger, CEO Enterprise Garage Consultancy, San Francisco Bay Area

Mario is Author and Silicon Valley Expert on autonomous driving. With his speech “The last driver license holder” he gives deep insights into the importance of disruption and developments in the automotive sector.

  • Valley Christian School with President Dr. Clifford Daugherty, San Jose

Gaining insights into modern programs and projects at one of the most famous private schools in Silicon Valley, that is a quest institute school. Children at this school work with top executives from companies like Google and Facebook.

  • Aprajita Jain, Brand Marketing Evangelist Google, Mountain View

With her presentation “Seven Principles for Innovation” Aprajita gives insights into the key factors of Google’s success and corporate culture.

  • Stephen J. Eglash, Ph.D., Executive Director, Strategic Research Initiatives, Computer Science, Stanford University

Steve gives insights into Data Science and Machine Learning to understand the connections of technological progresses and shows winning strategies for the future.

  • Cathedral of Faith with Pastor Ken Forman, San Jose

Ken pastors the Cathedral of Faith, a multicultural, multigeneral, 12,000+ member church with 11 multi-sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Philippines and online.

  • TESLA Factory, Fremont

The TESLA Factory is an automobile manufacturing plant and the principal production facility of Tesla, Inc. Its co-founder, CEO, and product architect is Elon Musk, who seems to be one of the greatest visionaries of our time.


  1. Silicon Valley – Relevance to the question of “How to Dominate your Market”

Let me just summerize some of the main outcomes of my Silicon Valley Journeys:

  • First of all you can feel there is a different mindset and culture in the Silicon Valley, that enables pioneering spirit.
  • With a pronounced self-evidence experiences and contact data are exchanged – helping each other and exchanging seems to be the daily motto.
  • Maintaining interpersonal relationships is in the foreground – in the sense of network expansion and enterprise coexistence.
  • Experts and institutions with a scientific background can assess developments in the market ahead based on their expertise and insider knowledge. This enables the planning and development of future-oriented projects.
  • How big the gap between the “normal” population and the high technology in the Sillicon Valley is, becomes clear, when experts tell from the everyday life: For example, corporate buses are abandoning logos because there has been a recent public outcry that is boycotting the technological advances of the Silicon Valley by attacking the buses.


Finally, it should be emphasized that it is not just pure digitalization or technical progress that leads to extraordinary results in the Silicon Valley. Rather, it is an outstanding mindset that leads to a combination of pioneering spirit and innovation.


  1. Silicon Valley – Details, Outcomes, Impressions & Further Tips

As already mentioned in several publications the technical progress can not be stopped – only delayed. Therefore, the question is not how you prevent it, but what you need to do to identify the opportunities and transfer the findings to your own business in the sense of growth.

But technical progress is just one aspect to focus on. Another aspect that is often overlooked outside of Silicon Valley is the mindset. For that reason, in my next articles, I will shed more light on this side of the coin.



This article gives you some initial insights into digitalization, innovation and pioneering spirit. For those of you who want to deepen this to better understand the context and transfer the insights, I have prepared a page that contains all details, outcomes, impressions & further tips related to my silicon valley trips.


Remember: Digital transformation takes time – so do not waste time!

Click here to find out more about “How to Dominate your Market – The way to market leadership”:



© Image designed by Athanasios Nasopoulos