SVEXPERIENCE


Day 3 in SV!
Written by Toby Carr
Posted Sat, 16 Dec: Today was a hugely informative and perspective-filled day. We visited three very different companies that have extremely varying backgrounds and stories. Ranging from not for profit, and startup centred, to for profit but innovative to for profit but an alternative Silicon Valley company style.

First off we visited Khan Academy, which was a great experience for us all, being able to learn a bit about what they're trying to achieve through their work, and a bit of interactive work of where we think Khan Academy could improve. We collectively all agreed that KA is proven to deliver better results across all schooling fields and that it simply needs to be adopted by new users to grow. We discussed a variety of different adoption problems, including the outdated "threatened" view from some teachers. We saw the exciting times ahead for KA, and I'm sure we all look forward to it being more heavily integrated in our education system.

Next up we visited none other than Google! Google's Silicon Valley campus is more than 190,000 square metres, it's shear size was stunning to all of us - of how a Technology start up can scale so fast and so large. Being able to visit the company (group of companies!) which brings many of us our educational tools and many leisure tools was amazing to see behind the scenes. Learning about and seeing their culture at work really demonstrated to us of how dynamic and innovative a workplace in 2016 can be - and the impact it has on employee performance, directly impacting company performance. Hearing a little bit about their employee expectations and what makes a good Googler was intriguing to most of us - I think many people would love to work for such a valuable company! I found Google quite insightful on how a startup can scale big yet make all employees feel valued and that they can bring something to their company.

Lastly today we visited a slightly younger company which was interesting to learn about and just hear what makes them different. Inflection was up next - a very information filled and journey based company. CEO and Co-founder Matthew shared a bit with us about the personal journey choosing to start a company or at least choose an alternative path to simply finding a job. Also at Inflection we talked a lot to Russell who manages a lot of their leadership development, giving us a bit of insight into what makes their leadership different and succeed. His advice for us students was unparalleled and extremely beneficial. It was awesome to see a company which wasn't just following the typical "new idea, getting funded" mindset and they are innovating that process too.

So that was Day Three, excited for what else the trip throws at us!

Toby