My recent visit to Silicon Valley and San Francisco brought interesting results. I was totally captured by the fact – after listening to numerous insights from people that have spent there some considerable time – that the single most important thing to drive the Silicon Valley to ever new feats in terms of groundbreaking technologies and –increasingly –services is the creative culture that has been cultivated there ever since the late sixties. It brought me back to French anthropologist and market guru Clotaire Rapaille , who wrote some years ago and excellent book on cultural codes. While I was working in Allianz, I had the chance to work with him and his fresh account on how our subconscious mind ultimately make the decisions we then rationalize, gave me really new lenses to understand any collective behaviour.

Rapaille insists that American culture, in its essence, is a culture of adolescence. This is why all kinds of behaviour we relate to those years are acceptable and individual decisions are always supported. Nowhere is this more visible than in Silicon Valley. Everybody is entitled to have his/her own dream and go for it . But in addition to that, they have also created a culture of sharing which really brings the whole thing to another level.

This sharing culture, supported by freedom to fully express yourself, is what has ultimately Silicon Valley so unique. And it is exactly the kind of sphere we need to nourish here in Finland, where envy and excessive control often suffocates the fruits of human creativity.

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