The Valley : How Silicon Valley Became A Startup Paradise

This is the video I took on May 2010, when I traveled around United States.

I visited as many startups as I can in Silicon Valley, and interviewed people who work there.

I’m very inspired by the people there, and the atmosphere of the startup industry. Thanks to all the people who gladly allowed my interview.

And I hope all of you enjoy this film.

Staring:

  • Jia Shen (Co-founder, RockYou)
  • Mickey Kim (Google. Now he changed his position to Head of Google TV Partnership Asia Pacific.)
  • Robin Sloan (Media Partnerships, Twitter)
  • John Yamasaki (Director of Community and Partnerships, Seesmic)

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Day 23-28 – New York City, the Cocktail of Culture

Itinerary

June 2 – Wall Street, Ground Zero, Time Square
June 3 – Amy’s Bread, Circle Line Boat Tour (Statue of Liberty), New York Yankees baseball game, Natural History Museum, Central Park, Apple Store fifth ave, Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock)
June 4 – Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art(MOMA),??Korean Town
June 5 – China Town, SOHO,??Musical “Wicked”
June 6 – Brooklyn Tabernacle Church,??Dumbo,??Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Smalls jazz club
June 7 – Washington Square, NYU, Guggenheim Museum,??Williamsburg, Carnegie Hall, Japan Town
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New York City. The center of the world, the melting pot, the city never sleeps.
It was the city that I’ve always been wanted to visit most. And I made it there!
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6 days were too short to watch and feel every details of New York City. There are too many things to experience in the city. I should definitely go there at least once more.
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The most impressive thing I felt in New York was that the city is full of cultural diversity. There was America, there was Asia, Europe, Africa, every culture of every countries in the world were literally melting together inside the city. I think that’s the reason New York could be the mecca of fashion, art, and culture.
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While I was in New York, I was always listening the 2 songs below.
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I recommend you to listen to one of the songs while you’re reading this post. Specially the long-loved theme song of New York, “New York, New York”. Here is the lyric.
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Start spreading the news, I???m leaving today
I want to be a part of it New York, New York
These vagabond shoes are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it New York, New York
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I wanna wake up in a city that doesn???t sleep
And find I???m king of the hill, top of the heap
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These little town blues are melting away
I???ll make a brand new start of it in old New York
If I can make it there, I???ll make it anywhere
It???s up to you??New York, New York
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When I was listening to this song on the “Top of the Rock”, which is the observatory in Rockefeller Center, Watching the indescribable night view of New York, I just felt like the lyrics of the song. Like I’m on the top of the world, like I could make it anywhere. That was a life-changing experience.

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The second best moment I had in New York was watching a performance in a jazz club in Manhattan called “Smalls”. It was a very small venue and the tickets only cost 20 bucks, but the performance was just world best’s. The guitarist and the pianist was from Russia, the drummer was a woman from Japan, the vocalist was from New York and the bassist was from other state in US. You can see the diversity there. They didn’t have any list of songs to play, they just chose them impromptu. They were so great, I loved the music, place, atmosphere, everything.
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Thirdly, Broadway musicals. I watched “Wicked”, and it was just gorgeous. I expected much because of the fame of Broadway musical, but it had got over my expectation. Stage was amazingly fabulous, actresses and actors were funny and incredible, music is so romantic, and the story was interesting and great.
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Fourthly, Time Square. the house I stayed in New York was very near to Time Square, so I could have several chances to visit there in day and night time. I can’t forget the moment I got there on the first night in New York. Shining neon signs, big crowd, it was literally the city never sleeps. I could feel that I was indeed in New York City.
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Fifthly, Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. it was a church in Brooklyn and they have got several Grammy awards with the gospel singing. I went there with my??cousins, and it was so great service. They performed some music concert, and the signing by a choir of 200 or more people was just mind-boggling. I could feel very much of grace of God. Their voice was so powerful, and I could feel tight bond with the christian people there.
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Last but not least, If you go to New York, you should go and try something at Amy’s Bread. It was a bakery near my place and I found it on Yelp. I tried a banana muffin and it was awesome. The real banana was inside. In New York, you can stumble upon many great places.
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Other things I experienced were all very nice too, but these things above are the 6 best things I enjoyed in New York. And I still have so many thing I want to do if I go to New York again.
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The New York I felt, was a big cocktail glass of culture.
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See more pictures??here.
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Day 19-22 – Chicago, the Gotham City

Itinerary

May 28 – Night view of Chicago, Chicago style hotdog
May 29 – Chicago style deep dish pizza, Chicago Cubs baseball game, Millennium Park, John Hancock Observatory
May 30 – Attending a church, Wendella Architecture Boat Tour at Chicago River
May 31 (Memorial Day) – Shopping at an outlet
June 1 – Willis(Sears) Tower Skydeck, Navy Pier
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The first impression of the city of Chicago to me was “Wow, this city just look like the Gotham City in Batman movies!”. And turns out, it was true!! They filmed the whole “the Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins” movie in Chicago and I didn’t know that before. After I figured it out, I fell in love with this city even more.
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Chicago had very unique attractions. One of them was the buildings. There was a big fire called Chicago Great Fire in 1871, so the whole city burnt out at that time. So Chicago decided to build every building according to it’s master plan. So now they have so many beautiful skyscrapers. Almost every buildings in Chicago was really amazing.
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Second great thing was food. Chicago deep dish pizza was just as good as it’s fame. I tried Uno’s and Giordano’s, and I prefered Giordano’s. It had more cheese inside. Once you order the pizza they say it’ll take 35 minutes to cook, and it took exactly 35 minutes. We(me and my friend) check the time because we were so hungry.
Chicao style hotdog was so great too. They don’t use catchup, only mustard and onions. You should try them both if you have chance to go to Chicago.
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Third, Chicago Cubs. I bought the ticket for a Cubs game in Wrigley Field in advance and went there with my friend Sam. Wrigley Field is home of Chicago Cubs and it is one of the oldest baseball stadium in States. It looked old and small but it was really attractive. Everyone who were watching the game seemed to be just enjoying a family picnic. I loved the atmosphere. They even made seats on the rooftop of building around the stadium. It was kind of a big game, Cubs vs. Cardinals, and we enjoyed it really much.
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And there was Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a NHL hockey team, and when I was in Chicago, they made it to the final round. So everyone went almost crazy. On many buildings they wrote “Let’s Go Hawks!” or “Go Hawks!” with lights and windows, and when I walk through the city at night, many people were screaming by the joy. They even kept shouting “Go Hawks!” to a stranger like me.
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And I just found out that they won the final game!! I should’ve be in Chicago at that moment!! It must have been an unforgettable moment.
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Chicago was the city of romance, passion, and artificial beauty. I had not known much about this city before I went there, but I really miss it now. I should watch the Dark Knight movie again every time I miss Chicago.
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See more pictures here.
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Day 16-18 : Moving On

I spend 3 days to move from one city to another. I drove for 7 hours from Irvine to Sacramento, took train from Sacramento to San Francisco Airport, the plane delayed for 4 and half hours, I flew to New York JFK airport, and then flew to Chicago Midway airport again. The whole journey took 3 days. I bought cheap tickets so I was supposed to take the connecting flights. But I learned a lesson that time is worth than money. I should've bought the direct tickets even if it was a little more expensive.

But I think it was really a good idea to drive through California road no. 5. It was a different road with no. 1 which I took when I drove to LA, and it had different attractions. It was almost like driving through a desert.

I was running out of gas on the way, and the gas station appeared right before it all runs out. God helps me a lot on this journey. indeed.
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Excuse

I'm writing this after I got back from the travel. I planned to write my travel logs everyday, but I couldn't. My excuse is I was busy and tired more than I thought before. I apologize this to everyone. Anyway I'm writing the remaining logs from now on. Please stay tuned!

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Day 15 – City of Angels

On Tuesday we went to Los Angeles. the first place we got in the morning was Getty Center. It was really nice place. There were many great paintings and statues, but for me the building itself was more impressive. They built it so beautifully, and it was on a hilltop, so the view and nature around it was so amazing. It's very nice place to go as a picnic with family.

In the afternoon we went to the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall in the LA downtown. But since we are not there to watch the concert, there were not many things to see inside. But the exterior was really gorgeous. And we could look around places near the city hall of LA.

After that, we went to Santa Monica 3rd street Promenade. That place was famous by the street artists. It was very exotic scene that young artists were performing on the street. Although there were not many artists because it was weekday evening, but I had great experience.

And at night, we went to Griffith Observatory. The night view from there was absolutely amazing. We couldn't watch stars there, but lights in LA city was as beautiful as them.

LA doesn't have many landscapes I think, but it has a few great places and they are all worth visiting. And most of all, the fine weather of southern California is the best thing to enjoy in LA.

See more pictures??here.
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Day 13, 14 – Irvine

Day 13, May 23rd was Sunday. My pastor took me to a American church named New Song Church. The service was very young and powerful. That speaker of that day was a pastor named Chris Seay, He wrote a book called "The Gospel According to Lost". Yes, the epic TV show Lost. Since I am a huge fan of Lost and his speech was so great, I bought the book. I haven't seen the last episode of Lost yet though. So much looking forward to it.

In the afternoon, we went to the Irvine Lake. It was an artificial lake, and everything was so beautiful there. Very exotic. It seems to be very nice place to live. And then we looked around the UC Irvine.

On Monday morning, We went to Laguna Beach. The houses and trees, beach, everything was so wonderful. And we had a brunch at the famous place called Las Brisas. The food was great too.

on Monday afternoon we went to another beach and had time to talk and watch the view. The beach was very calm and I enjoyed the moment so much.

Irvine was very clean and organized city according to my impression. I felt I could be more healthy mentally and physically if I live in that town.

See more picture??here.

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