Raimo, feeling the serendipitous environment of Silicon Valley

Wohouuu! After checking out from the hotel and leaving from work, I went to see the lecture of Ted Zoller in Stanford. The lecture was actually quite identical to the earlier lecture in mentioned in January, because the basic idea about identifying opportunities, going for them and exploring serendipitous environments is nothing new.
Apparently repeating this mantra makes Stanford people believe in entrepreneurship more than Finnish students do, for example. As far as I know as a graduated Aalto University student, merely nothing about the entrepreneurship was actually discussed in Computer Science classes. After the lecture of Ted Zoller, I talked about all the earlier lectures with Ilkka. We later some others also came to the conclusion that most of the message about entrepreneurship seems to be the same old story. People just seem to think they need an ignition to actually start being independent startup founders. Later on Wednesdaywe had a meetup with other people at Palo Alto (which is exactly two hours away from San Francisco via caltrain) and others who had the courage to visit countryside. After that I managed to move to my new apartment at exactly 1 AM.
The first days in my new apartment were quite busy. I tried to get familiar with the surrounding area as soon as possible. The two and a half weeks in the hotel had made me think I should do some sports, so I decided to push things forward. From Google Maps I found a swimming pool where I planned to visit on a weekly basis, despite the fact that it was quite small and not really anything like Mäkelänrinne Swimming Centre near my Finnish apartment. Additionally, I found the nearest gym and a beach, where I actually went swimming on Sunday morning. I also planned to start jogging around the beach area, which looks like this:

On Saturday I decided to join Zendesk Mafia’s ramen excursion. Ramen was really good food, so we ended up eating it both for the brunch and dinner. The place were we originally headed to was opened so late that we had to find something to do at 2PM, and therefore had some food before going to the actual ramen place calledSanta Ramen. In the evening everyone felt extremely full. Here is a photo of the actual food:

On Sunday, for the first ever, everybody from the second Startuplife batch were present in a brunch at San Francisco. Ottos chose us quite a popular brunch placeStacks. We discussed about everybody’s day-to-day life and so on. After the brunch we visited Alamo Square and hang outside as the weather was quite nice. After sunset we gathered together to watch the Super Bowl. Not quite surprisingly, the bar where we were was completely empty, as San Francisco 49ers didn’t make it to the final. Here’s a picture of us in Alamo Square:

During the next few days I started writing a blog post at work and looking for some more meetups to visit. I found the  on Wednesday. It was a meetup about using JavaScript and HTML5 technologies for Game Development. As I had been developing a small cargame with JavaScript and HTML5, I was definitely interested to visit there. I would say it was the best meetup so far, because of two reasons. People were interested on the subject and the event was generally well-organized, even though there was no beer. Both of the speakers were able to make audience active and state their opinions aloud, which is always a good sign. I’m about to make the same thing happen, as the group organizer asked to give a presentation on my cargame in a few months.
The first speech in #5 GamesJS Meetup was about TV as a development platform. According to Allen Ellison, the same kind of challenges than in mobile development apply to TV also. Small amount of memory, limited computing power and unrealistic emulators of the actual hardware are the things which have to be addressed. Henri Binsztok (in the picture below) talked about the Opa language and how well it works for game development. It basically provides a compact language, which is used to define both the server and client side of a web application. The server side uses ocaml to create native server applications and client side is compiled into JavaScript. Sounded quite cool, as I mentioned in mytweet, which was a response to a comment of my original tweet about my first UserVoice Developer Blog post. Hooray!

On Thursday, February 9th, was my birthday. So I decided to take people to The Sycamore, which to my surprise, was a really cool place despite the fact I chose it randomly from Google Maps. They had a shady terrace, which was awesome as the weather was really nice in the evening. I will definitely pay a visit to The Sycamore again at some point. Celebrating myself wasn’t enough so I decided to celebrate also the Chinese new year on Saturday in the Chinese New Year Parade. The parade was a bit of a disappointment to our group, because we expected a bit more music and lights. There were many dragons, though!

Waking up for another brunch on Sunday was surprisingly easy, as I had two four-hour nights during the last three days. Mikito took us to eat sushi in japantown. The sushi was much better than what I had bought in a take-away place in my neighborhood, so this was definitely worth it. After eating the sushi and discussing the most important issues in life, we headed to one of the two most important sights in San Francisco: The Redwoord Forests. We saw many huge trees and some of them had a diameter of almost 13 feet (4 meters). Here’s a picture of Jussi taking a picture of four gentlemen interested in nature (like us):

So, what next? Coping with the challenges of upgrading software libraries at work, meeting people in various places and preparing your mind for the serendipity of lucky coincidences. Here, preparing your mind is way to improve yourself at identifying opportunities for success. I would say this is the core idea the students at Stanford entrepreneurship classes absorb. It’s true as long as you don’t take it too seriously.
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