The view of Startup Land as day turns to night. One of those lights is a billion dollar startup waiting to happen.
When it comes to turning a startup into a multi-billion dollar company, entrepreneurs know that success often requires great timing as well as some good, old fashioned luck.
Unfortunately, luck doesn’t grow on trees or else it would be for sale on every street corner here in Startup Land. However, it turns out that getting the right office space might just be the next best thing.
That right, certain office spaces in Silicon Valley appear to be more lucky that others in terms of housing successful startups. The best example of this is 165 University Avenue or “The Lucky Office” as it’s referred to by valley insiders. This downtown Palo Alto office building has served as the first office for technology giants such as Google, Paypal, Danger, and Logitech when they were first starting up.
Regardless of whether or not you believe that this office has anything to do with the success of its tenants, many startups vie to lease space here hoping that the building’s luck will rub off on them next.
One of the great things about living in Silicon Valley is how easy it is to get out of it when you want to. The Pacific coastline is 32 miles due West and is a popular day trip for Valley dwellers looking for a bit of time with the ocean. There are dozens of beautiful beaches between San Francisco and Santa Cruz all with unique features and shores.
However, don’t get your hopes up for a sunny warm day at the beach. The Pacific is way too cold to swim without a wetsuit and it’s not uncommon to experience fog, wind, and pounding surf. You’ll need a warm coat to appreciate the magic.
Just west of Stanford University is an open space preserve in the foothills called The Dish Area, more commonly referred to as “The Dish” by locals. The preserve’s name is derived from the 150 foot diameter radio telescope built there in 1966 by Stanford Research Institute (SRI) for the U.S. Air Force. Originally built to study the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the radio telescope is still in use for various government operations such as satellite calibrations, spacecraft command and radio astronomy measurements.
Also home to local wildlife and various Stanford University research and conversation facilities, this unusual spot is visited by over 500,000 people each year that come to walk or run the picturesque “Dish Loop” – a 3.3 mile trail that winds through the preserve.
For me, The Dish area is special because it symbolizes where the science and technology of Silicon Valley meet the natural world. As you walk up and down the hills of the loop, taking in the sweeping views of the Bay Area (on clear days San Francisco is visible), the giant satellite dishes and antenna arrays might serve as the backdrop for a roaming mountain lion, a red tail hawk hunting ground squirrels, or fog clouds rolling in from the coast.