Friday June 12th 2015

Our final day in San Francisco was once more very sunny and moreover packed with a lot of interesting keynotes.


Dave Dueblin, Senior Product Manager at Pandora, one of the largest music streaming services, gave us some insights about the Music Industry Disruption. The majority of our class mates experienced the journey from audio formats to new streaming

In this industry people expected video would kill radio – which is not the case as we all know. 2014 was the first year, that digital sales passed the physical ones.

Regarding to Dave, disruption drivers for startups are their ability to work around existing laws or even take advantage of them, the ability to pivot (changing directions), constant monitoring of consumers and industries as well as understanding macro trends.

And always keep in mind: “the overnight success of airbnb took 1000 days”.

The Speed of Change: “we always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in ten years. Don’t let yourself be lulled into action” Bill Gates

Let us point out that Pandora is apparently still on profit against Spotify.







At Mozilla HQ Christopher Arnold, Strategic Development Principal told us about it’s history. The project that became Firefox started as an experimental branch of the Mozilla Suite. After it had been sufficiently developed, binaries for public testing appeared in September 2002 under the name Phoenix. The name Mozilla was revived as the 1998 open sourcing spinoff organization from Netscape and on February 9, 2004 the project was renamed Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox exists to watch out for all the treads in the web and it aims to put technologies that do not even yet exist into the future.

Christopher summarized it’s introduction to the company by mentioning the web page and closed with the quote “Mozillians are strange people. It’s a group of hackers that host drinking parties talking about net neutrality.”


Our hosts at Square Inc. were Alok Menghrajani, Software Engineer, Adrienne Wong, International Strategy & Operations and Megan Long, Recruiting Coordinator.













MAKING COMMERCE EASY  Square is a financial and merchant services aggregator offering mobile payment systems.

Famous for its iPad POS stand, Magstrip (magnetic band) reader and Credit Card Chip  reader they moreover present a variety of helpful service features for small and medium commerces which comprise Register, Inventory, Financial, Customer Engagement, Scheduling, Analytics and many more.

They are actif in 180 countries for their paiment solutions, while their Credit Cards paiement solutions are rolled out in USA, Canada and Japan so far.


Square has millions of sellers, processed 30 billions USD in 2014 and is the 13th largest retailer in its field.

imageWe were amused to learn about Hacker One, the Bug Bounty Program which is a platform to identify bugs. Amazing that also very young people discover a lot of security issues. Square received over 250 useful reports and paid out 125’000 USD within the last 12 months. Alok formerly worked for Facebook explained about the different cultures. FB is crazy about experimenting while Square spends more time on thinking however speed for rollout can be maintained.



Normally a lunch break was planned but due to a fire emergency nearby an unexpected incident occured, a tremendous traffic jam and no UBER in front UBER HQ. Convince yourself by watching this video: Firefighters Lunch Break


Daniel Tyoschitz, Strategy Coach at 650Labs supports incubators globally to help them understand and respond to disruptive innovation in all facets of their business.










His presentation was very lifely by indicating that his clients are being fundamentally reshaped by digitization, technology and business model innovation. New and unanticipated entrants are coming into markets and are affecting industries horizontally throughout the world. “Silicon valley doesn’t innovate, it practises incrementalism”. But it certainly knows how to create trillions of dollars in shareholder value off other’s core ID.

To be successful in Silicon Valley, companies have to aline Technology with a COLT-approach (Culture, Organization, Leadership and Talent).

And it is important to answer yourself the following questions:

Reformation helps


At the end of day we are coming back to “Deep, Fast, Smart” which is expanded knowledge and actionable insights from the blockchain.

Fabio Federici, CEO and cofounder of Coinalytics – a startup seeded by The Hive  (we had a keynote at The Hive too) just signed a termsheet over 1.5 million USD – gave us an overview about his product “Jarvis” that’s currently connected to around 5 200 nodes and observing over 2 500 transactions.

He took us on a journey through his recent experiences and further plans “Mission Startup – a story about Life, Silicon Valley and Disruption”.



Bitcoin? Blockchain?

And does somebody care about all that?



Referring to Fabio, companies that actually use this technologies are e.g. Nasdaq, UBS, Goldman Sachs, IBM for tasks like remittance, asset exchanges, micro billing and IoT. And this is just the beginning.


It all started in November 2013 when Fabio was attending a Startup Weekend     in Berlin where he participated at a 48 hours Hackathon. At this time the idea      of Coinalytics occured.

In April 2014 among 500 startups a 14 weeks accelerator program with                 US $ 200’000 FFF Round   (FFF is also a term for friends, family and fools         when future entrepreneur borrow money to try to get their first investments)

In June 2015  The Hive became the lead investor with a US $ 1.1 M seed round



After an inspiring and insightful week we are asking ourselves: 

What is Silicon Valley? An idea? A dream? A place? A way of thinking? To finally answer this questions, it would have been necessary spending more time in this environment.

In a nutshell our experiences can be summarized as follows:

– Changing your mindset from “yes and…” to “yes but…”
– Meeting users needs
– Sharing a vision
– Redefining work (how & when we work is changing)
– The promise of big data (humans & machines needed to make sense of it all)
– Do, try and if you fail, just try again

We definitely have to enforce to change our mindset in Switzerland, enabling to ad speed to excellent ideas and knowhow.

We are all inspired and go back to Switzerland with a different perception and best memories of an interesting study trip.

Nadine and Christina