I recently had a chance to take some time out in January. Apart from snowboarding in Whistler, I did a tour of technology in America. This comes highly recommended if you have the time and money. My itinerary:
1. New York – I plugged into Ultralight startup event in Microsoft New York
2. Seattle – only passed through: looking forward to a longer stay later
3. San Francisco – MoMo at Adobe on Healthcare. Lots of startup action happening in the city, as well as an ever growing tech hub in the city (friend at salesforce.com says it is now much harder to get talent due to the reinvigorated love of San Fran). I love this place: enough outside activities, REI store with fake mountains, brilliant intellectual conversations, infectious tech.
4. Silicon Valley – I hired a car in San Francisco and based myself in Mountain View at Hampton Inn (Hilton Brand :-)). Brilliant jogging nearby (Steven’s Creek, run past NASA, Microsoft, etc). Trips included Computer History Museum (wow – need at least 3 hours), Intel Museum, Google café visit, the mall :-). Going by car meant that I could see all the sites of the tech giants: linkedin, Microsoft, nokia, apple, etc. Unfortunately only had 3 days, so did not make it down to Cupertino, Oracle, etc.
5. Houston – chose this because I have a friend living here. Looking back though I should have gone up to Austin, which is meant to be better for tech startup.
Along the way, I also had sessions with right management, as I was lucky enough to have my previous employer pay for a recruiting outplacement agency, so I decided to use that to understand the employment scene everywhere I went.