No, unfortunately I wasn’t the one visiting Silicon Valley but the privilege went to Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, the former CEO Plasa.com and currently the Managing Partner for Nusantara Ventures. She visited Silicon Valley to meet some of the most influential people in the tech industry, and she’s kind enough to share her story with us (so we don’t need to go to Silicon Valley ourselves).
warning : photos attached can cause severe envy-ness!
So Shinta, what’s the story you can share with us?
I was invited to the Facebook office, after Javier Olivan head of International Growth of FB attended and spoke at IDBYTE 2011. Javier is quite impressed with the Indonesian mobile landscape and invited me to meet up with his team. So I decided to visit them in Palo Alto last July 28, at their Headquarter. I had the chance to share insights about Indonesia (mobile) market to Javier’s team as well as a great meeting with Sheryl Sandberg. I was thrilled and excited to meet Sheryl, to speak with her about Indonesia and learn more about her initiatives on the Women in tech. A great visit and fun tour around their office.
I notice that you went to meet Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and Katie Stanton, Twitter VP of International Growth. What was that about and how did it went?
I visited Twitter office on the first day of my SF trip on the 27th of July. Unfortunately, I didnt get a chance to meet with Katie, since she was on vacation but she asked me to meet up with Jana Messerschmidht, Senior Director, Business Development, and her team from mobile and Localization. We had a great discussion on Indonesia’s mobile landscape and how Twitter has launched the Indonesian translated version.
How do you think Facebook and Twitter sees indonesia, strategically speaking? Any plans from them you can share?
Facebook is always concern from the users side, they want to grow users and they realized that for Indonesia, it is mobile that drive the growth in this country. On the other hand, Twitter is also excited with the Indonesian mobile market definitely and plans to do more Indonesia specific initiatives.
How is the startup and entrepreneurial scene in SF compared to Jakarta? Anything we can learn from SF? The notorious geek-party perhaps?
I was also invited by Sarah Lacy to the Techcrunch First Mobile Crunchup Conference and Techcrunch 6th Annual Summer Outing at Palo Alto. Thanks to you Rama, for hooking me up with Sarah….appreciate it. The conference was mobile specific, so they had speaker from Foursquare, Bump, Instagram, Android etc. Seems that Foursquare is still one of US favorite LBS. Other than Foursquare, there were a number of mobile companies. Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instragram announced that the Android version will absolutely happen for Instagram. The event took place in AOL building, an amazing and vast space devoted for start ups. I had a great chat with Sarah Lacy as well, who is on her last trimester of her pregnancy and yet she looked so energetic talking about her upcoming business trips. Thank you Sarah, for inviting me to such a cool event.
Afterward, I went to the Techcrunch 6th Annual Summer Party which was hosted by August Capital. This was the scene for the Valley’s tech meet up, and here I met a number of VCs and lots of startups and even people from Google, Facebook and other more established Tech companies. I met a number upcoming cool companies that like Wishpond, isocket, Grace note (well this company has been around for a while) etc. The party is more like a networking session but I could feel the air was different with a blanket of excitements from various startups able to mingle with the more established companies and a pool of eager VCs.
Some articles said Indonesia could be the next silicon valley. After you visit the real SF, how do you see this statement?
I say Indonesia has the potentials, except for Indonesia startups, they have to work harder on the business model. The valley’s startups are mostly banking on the advertising model, which they likely to survive on that. But I always believe that we Indonesian can become the next silicon valley as long as we start to put ourself to become producers rather than just mere users. And to any startups in Indonesia, just be really passionate in building your company and don’t just think of having a short term vision of selling the company. It is crucial to have long term goal to make the company happens should be envisioned.
Any other stories besides Twitter and Facebook that you would like to share?
Other stories, I met up with Craig Newmark of Craiglist. He was our judge at the Bubu Awards V.07….and we are glad to have him the board of judges this year. I also went to visit Linkedin office and met up with Torrey Lincoln, Director of Western Region Marketing Solutions. He mentioned that Indonesia and Asia pacific region has become a very important market, that Linkedin has opened a Singapore office to date. Arvind Rajan is now heading that office as Managing Director and VP for Asia Pacific and Japan. He was previously the VP of International based in the US.
Then I met up with your friend Dian of Flipboard. She is such a cool girl….I told her to go home after a year or so, so that she can contribute to the country
Thanks Shinta for sharing the awesome story about your visit to Silicon Valley, hope you all enjoyed it