Your Self-Built Version of The Valley

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Dave McClure is an entrepreneur and angel investor based in the San Francisco Bay Area, who founded the business accelerator 500 Startups, serving as CEO until his resignation in 2017.

Imagine yourself living in a small town, then imagine your parents and everyone you know in and out of this town going only to this particular tailor on the other side of the town your whole life. Even knowing that there is a tailor shop that just opened in the next street, you will find yourself reluctant to go try it and this is particularly the case where you prefer binding your success only to Silicon Valley rather than any emerging markets.

Emerging markets are not really attractive to investors nor for entrepreneurs, as for investors it’s more of lack of competition and therefore a lack of urgency to invest in it, and so investors prefer to wait until the companies succeed. You will also find people who wants to start global which is not really recommended, a lot of them to head out to markets like Silicon Valley, London or Berlin in order to find investors with reasonable terms and where they think they can find the needed support to start big and be acknowledged as a great business with a great deals with large corporates that benefits them and help them scale.

Even though it is quite hard for entrepreneurs to get started in emerging markets, it also difficult to do so in markets like Silicon Valley due to many reasons. But the issue we want to discuss is that most investors and founders believe they are not good enough for Silicon Valley. They imagine going to the Valley means they will be great and will achieve success which is an utter delusion.

Silicon Valley is comprised of people who came from other places, it is you whether you are an investor or an entrepreneur. You don’t have to be surrounded by people throwing money at you or be surrounded by other founders and entrepreneurs in order for you to succeed. As being in the Valley is helpful it is not exclusively the only place for you to start a great business. And even if it is admittedly a great place to start, it doesn’t mean that succeeding in your own country’s market is not as great. It doesn’t matter where you start because challenges are everywhere and the important thing is what you have accomplished not where you started.

Silicon Valley, for most investors and entrepreneurs, is not a place, rather it is a state of mind where they think all companies and startups in the Valley succeeds. And as crazy as it seems more than %80 of startups fail in Silicon Valley, yet we go fully knowing the odds and jump of that cliff hoping we might hit success. Insane, I know right?

Add to that the fact that a lot of the ecosystem in Silicon Valley are predicated to the fact that thousands of companies are created every year and at least a few of them are going to be successful. It is that collective insanity that produces these results where if you look close enough you will realize that the problem is not the lack of ability or the lack of capital nor the lack of opportunity. The biggest challenge is the lack of confidence in your head!

You think you are not good enough for Silicon Valley where in fact you are better than those there. Here you have to build a market in harsher conditions than it is in the Valley; however, it is still easier due to low expenses, more customers and more opportunities than there is there in the Valley. So get up and work because you are better than Silicon Valley!

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