Last night, I was meeting with a friend who really understands both worlds of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. We had quite a time celebrating the similarities between the two towns and as much as one likes to pretend the other is the ugly step child, they live and thrive off the same game and rules.
In light of the conversation, I’ve compiled a few major similarities that are pretty apparent on just how similar LA and SF truly are:
1) Storytelling is the key to success. If you can’t pitch your next movie idea in 10 seconds, in a way that gets the listener excited, then it won’t see the light of day. Same thing for tech startups. If you can’t pitch your startup so your grandmother would understand, you won’t raise any money and likely, your idea won’t get off the ground.
2) Everyone dreams “BIG” in both LA and SV. For example, people fly from all over the world to “make it” in Silicon Valley AND Hollywood. Some of the most common phrases in Silicon Valley are: “My company’s going to change the world” or “I’m going to be the next Zuckerberg”. In Hollywood, for aspiring actors or writers you will hear “I have the most amazing movie idea that’s never been done before” to “I’m going to be the next Brad Pitt”. And in both towns you most definitely hear, “I have the biggest idea that nobody’s ever done before…. but I can’t tell you.” The last quote is a red flag for an ametauer, or someone who’s fresh of the boat from the midwest or a foreign country. But definitely someone who’s dreaming big about their idea.
3) Youth is the holy grail for both towns. Yes, ageism exists in both places. The prime years are in the 20s for tech funding and for getting parts for tv/movies. If you haven’t had 1 success or major part by your 30’s, the road to funding or getting the next part is much more difficult.
4) There’s a big disparity between the ultra rich and the struggling stars or bootstrapping startups.
5) Hollywood is just as difficult to break into as Silicon Valley. Outsiders are not welcome.
6) There are private parties and events going on all the time in both places. If you’re lucky enough to get invited.
7) Cars are still a vanity product in Silicon Valley and in LA. Although the brands drastically differ. SV flaunts the Tesla’s while LA drivers go for the Maserati’s and Mercedes Benz’s.
Those are the largest similarities between the two cities. If you’re someone who flies between the two places frequently, you will understand that underneath it all, they’re actually very similar. Hollywood and Silicon Valley are very powerful places, changing and influencing the entire world, globally impacting and defining the products people buy, the way people live and the destiny of mankind. 🙂