Sunday, June 12, 2011

Most Common Question of a Silicon Valley Tour

The most frequent asked question we (Hospitality & Tourism) get when people pass through Silicon Valley (south of San Francisco) region is: “Will we be able to go inside Google, Apple, Facebook, Cisco, HP, or any other of the companies?” 

I get asked this question all of the time and have even had San Francisco tour companies relay this question to me from their prospective clients because I live in this area.  
Adobe Systems Headquarters, downtown San Jose, CA  Photo by DW
     Now think about this question carefully. These are profit based businesses.  Security is already very high. Why is it that someone might think they may go inside a Google building if they are not a prospective client, a regular client, employee, or qualified vendor doing business?  And, knowing there is not even that much technology manufacturing in this valley anymore, what do they want to see?  Many of these buildings have acres of cubicle farms (employee work areas) for employees and computer servers behind the walls of these famous signs. And, the new trend is that many buildings only house computer equipment with employees working virtually from home around the world.

It is not like visiting a brewery to see how beer is made or garment manufacturers where you see clothes being assembled. Plus, the chance is very minimal to meet up with a famous CEO you may have read about. The best places for sightings of these well known investors, executives, and business people are popular restaurants, hotels, and bar hangouts – or even on the streets of San Francisco.

Don't get me wrong, this south bay area does have great museums, historic areas, and universities which are all included on tours – as well as many other famous attractions, theme parks, and such in the area people may see (please see my blog archives).  We may arrange events, conferences, and team building exercises for interested corporate groups. 
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Tech Museum in San Jose, CA  Phote by DW
San Francisco tour companies have available Silicon Valley designed tours to sell much like I once designed several years ago.  However, these designed tours consist of only driving by the famous campuses. (I may even dust off my old tour notes and take you for the correct price.) And, I recommend taking these – as the distance between companies is quite far and is easy to get lost if you are not familiar with the area.  There are photo opportunities behind the signs and in front of buildings. Does this sound the proverbial Hollywood tour of movie stars homes? Do you go inside the stars homes and have tea with them? I did not.

Why is it that people ask this question, if they may go inside the famous technology companies?  What are expectations?  I welcome thoughts, comments of this. Why?  Please share with me.

Sharing my insights (and common question) in Silicon Valley ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Geek Silicon Valley: The Inside Guide to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San Francisco 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you with your interest!