Yay, I made it! My long-planned US trip is finally a reality. After a parched ten hour Virgin Atlantic flight it was great to see family friend Judy waiting outside San Francisco airport in her green Lexus, ready to whisk me off to sunny Los Altos.
And yes, the sun does shine here. After six weeks of cloud/rain in England, that in itself is quite a shock.
There’s even a swimming pool, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t used yet; been busy with interviews and the like.
Day one, yesterday, paid a visit to the Socialtext offices in downtown Palo Alto. Had a lovely chat with founder, Ross Mayfield who was wearing shorts! Yes! Shorts! In September! Whatever next?! Watch this space for write-up.
Then on to San Francisco for a nice glass of Napa Valley white (it’s a tough life) and cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery with Lorna Li from Salesforce. We went to the Wine Merchant at One Ferry Building. It’s great there – lots of organic stuff, a bit like London’s Borough Market.
Both Ross and Lorna were beaming with optimism despite the general economic outlook, so good to see us UK Panglosses are not alone (and, possibly, not even Panglosses).
Today, it’s lunch with Chanel Realegeno, an entrepreneurship student at California State University, who’s kindly driving down all the way from Chico to give me her take on leadership 2.0.
Then, this afternoon, I’ve got my hard-earned ticket to the Googleplex – and an interview with Director of Products (Enterprise Division), Matthew Glotzbach, at 3.30. Chrome, mash-ups, global domination…where do I start?! What am I even doing writing this?! Should be researching, goddammit!
Monday morning I’m having a cuppa with Craig Newmark – a leader 2.0 exemplified. He’ll be talking customer satisfaction, personal values…and why he decided to hand over his Craigslist baby to someone else.
Monday afternoon it’s goodbye sunny California and hello sunny New York (you can see I’m suffering, but I checked the five day forecasts and they all look ridiculously yellow). Yes, I’ll be heading back east for the Web 2.0 Expo. Meeting Tim O’Reilly, Jeremy Maritz, Lee White and the fabulously-named Shwen Gwee, among others.
This is all great research for the book. I’m really looking forward to hearing what these people think of the future of business leadership, and the impact of Web 2.0. Promise to report back here as soon as I get the chance.