The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Lives in Silicon Valley—A Report from The MIT Sloan Tech Trek

Opinion

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a nice loft on Bryant Street in the Mission in San Francisco, Hipmunk’s biggest challenges are building relationships with clients and Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA. This space is definitely not done yet.

Then followed a visit to a company that I had been eagerly waiting to meet with—Ticketfly. Eagerly, because my company, KyaZoonga, is India’s first and largest entertainment and sports ticketing company. Ticketfly is the latest entrant in the crowded space of event ticketing here in the US. It is founded by two entrepreneurs who had earlier started Ticketweb, which was acquired by Ticketmaster. They are back to doing what they know best, creating a company in the event ticketing space.

But Silicon Valley is not all about success stories. We got our dose of reality, when we met with an ex-entrepreneur who unsuccessfully tried to run a technology driven startup. Biz Dev could not create a market for the technology, and hence it had to fold. The lesson was that it’s not always about the technology, but also about a market for that technology. It is very easy for us entrepreneurs to get trapped into thinking about the coolness factor of technology, and overlook the fact that there might not be a demand for that technology. Only one company has figured a way to tell the market what it needs—Apple!

It was also while we were on this trip that news broke about Goldman Sachs investing in Facebook. One couldn’t help but feel that the valley is once again in a bubble—a bubble driven by Google and Facebook, along with Zynga, Kayak, and the like. Tech company valuations are at a high, and while it doesn’t feel like 1999 all over, the valley could definitely be in a bubble again. But if I were to start another company, and this time in the United States, I would do it in the valley. I have lived here for seven years and hence, maybe I am biased. But those were the best seven years of my life.

The valley oozes entrepreneurship. The ecosystem respects entrepreneurs. Everyone who lives in the valley dreams of starting his company someday. Some eventually do, and some eventually work for them, but the spirit of entrepreneurship lives here.

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Akash Bhatia is a first-year MBA student at MIT's Sloan School of Management and founder of KyaZoonga, India's largest entertainment and sports ticketing company. Follow @

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