One of Silicon Valley's strengths are its subcultures.
As a marketer I've forgotten that over the past year and recently have drawn a lot of strength from our diverse ethnic and lifestyle makeup here.
It's easy to overlook, but if you're interested in getting the world to use more software, which is what I'm interested in, then you'll need to understand people who are different than yourselves.
There are only a few places in the world that I've found where you can really dig into as many cultures and subcultures as exist in Silicon Valley.
Tonight I had dinner with an Iranian friend and her family. What a treat. Her mom just got home from a four-month trip to Iran so had lots of stories to tell. I learned a few Farsi words and got caught up on Iranian politics and culture. Watched a video of an Iranian wedding and ate tons of Iranian candy.
What you realize when you get outside of your own comfortable world is that the real world is different from yours. They talk different. They dance different. They eat different. They have different cultural practices.
But, then, you start noticing the similarities. They were drinking CocaCola. They smile and laugh the same. They dance much the same (especially the geeks, you can always pick them out in any culture).
What do I get out of this intercultural exchange? A new way of looking at the world and a new group of friends who can teach me how to swear in Farsi (they said that's my next lesson). Speaking of which, you can certainly learn a lot of a new language like Farsi right here on the Internet.
What does my company get out of this cultural interchange? Well, one of the guys I talked with tonight works at Apple. Who knows where that will lead?
Anyway, just another reason I love living here. Hope you're having a great weekend, no matter what subculture you're living in right now.