Sharing my experience with those who are interested. Appreciate you attention, comments, and sharing with others.


Notes from the Valley #1 - Friction Losses

A lot of entrepreneurs in Russia are currently weighing up Silicon Valley. The question they are all trying to answer is whether Silicon Valley remains a kind of paradise for doing business, especially innovative, IT-based business. Having spent some significant time in the very heart of the Valley I believe I can help those guys get closer to the answers they're looking for.

I'll try to keep my notes brief but meaningful, and to devote each one to a single aspect or feature of Silicon Valley, and thus illustrate the main differences between Russia and the world's hi-tech capital.  

I first arrived in San Francisco more than 4 years ago. My very first impression of being here was that all kinds of problems had somehow shrunk, becoming less noticeable and less important. Every need I had in both my business and private life was somehow satisfied with much less effort than was required in my home country.

That's normal when you visit any country as a tourist, say Germany, Finland or whatever. This is, I reckon, because tourists have a very short list of needs, and therefore they hardly run into any significant troubles. But what's unexpectedly and happily different in the Valley is that four years on this feeling has not faded, even though the admiration I felt when I first arrived here has vanished.

I spent some time trying to find the right term to describe this effect. The expression that I believe fits well is 'Friction Loss'. 'Friction losses' are much lower in the US than in Russia. You almost feel it physically, day after day, when you just go to your office, or shopping, or the bank, or any other institution. You just need less effort to achieve your goal, whatever it is. As if the friction force is less on this side of the planet. 

Imagine you want to slide downhill. You may use an asphalt path or an iced one. Of course you'll reach the goal in both cases, but you'll get there much faster if you have less friction. 

I had a number of conversations with people who visited or live in Silicon Valley. When I suggested to them that ‘friction losses’ are less in the US than in Russia, they all nodded in agreement. And this friction-free feeling is magnificent.

This post has been created for Rusbase, and initially published at

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