Can You Hear the Buzz?

on 04 | 05 | 2011

Posted by: Dirk Cleveland

Spring is here, the Giants are getting ready to take the field at AT&T Park and the buzz around the Bay Area start-up community is as loud as I’ve heard it in my three years here on the west coast. Where else would anyone involved in the technology industry rather be than right here, right now?

The buzz is being created by the goings-on of e-commerce, greentech, cleantech, the cloud, big data, gaming, social, rich media, curated content and portable devices. Deal flow for venture firms is picking-up and angel investors are establishing a presence causing entrepreneurs to rethink the traditional approach of obtaining funding. Liquidity events for start-ups are starting to become as commonplace as Groupon daily deals, whether it be via acquisition or filing an S-1 to IPO. We find ourselves in a race for talent with most companies; regardless of size, all in agreement that hiring is the number one priority for their business. Compensation for the best and brightest employees is rising by the quarter. Heck, leaders of the tech community are even hosting President Obama for dinner!

Of course my view is shortsighted; I acknowledge that I have not seen multiple Silicon Valley economic cycles in-person. On any given day, one typically does not have to look too hard to find news detailing the omnipresent signs of a looming tech bubble and how the activities of today resemble those of a decade ago — here is today’s example. However, in my role as an executive recruiter who regularly meets with clients and candidates in the Valley-based startup arena,  I am given insight into the pulse of many of the area’s companies and leaders within them. Most, if not all, are cautious but remain quite optimistic.

Speculative daily headlines aside, I feel fortunate to be part of the Bay Area start-up community during this time and so should you. Whatever part you play in the ecosystem, you have helped in one way or another get us here by creating the environment before us. Look around, listen, soak it in and enjoy it for a moment. After all isn’t this what we have all been working so hard to get to?

Okay.. Now let’s get back to it. There’s more work to be done!