When somebody asks "So what's The Valley like? Learned anything good?" I always respond with "Yeah, the weather was awesome!"
This disappoints people. They expect something ... profound ... something about startups, or products, or building companies. Anything but the weather.
But I really think the weather is a significant competitive advantage Silicon Valley's got beyond others. Good weather for thinking is why Silicon Valley is the startup hub of the world. Not London. Not Berlin. Not Ljubljana. Not New York. Silicon Valley.
I'm in Ljubljana right now.It's early afternoon. 31°C outside. 33°C in the coldest room of the apartment. Around me - two large screens, a PC and a laptop. A fan is trying to blow my face off with warm air.
My mind reels in horror trying to think. It feels like I've smoked a gram of marijuana. Thoguhts aren't making sense. Sequence of events is meaningless. The passage of time barely detectable.
Here I am, sitting suspended in time with a keyboard and a word editor. I have rewritten the beginning of this post three times. After scrapping a whole post. Nothing I write makes any sense.
Now imagine I was an engineer working on a core part of your startup's architecture.
Or a marketer trying to write compelling copy to get new users.
Or a CEO trying to come up with a strategy.
Hell, an investor trying to decide if you're any good.
Imagine all those people acting stoned 16 hours out of every day. For two to three months. Every single year. The fact this heat makes most of them flee the city doesn't help either. Ljubljana looks like a deserted town right now. Everyone is either hiding or off to the seaside.
Everywhere in the world things grind to a halt in the summer - it's just too hot to think. Suddenly you have to multiply your plans by Tau rather than just Pi. Silicon Valley doesn't suffer from this problem. Mornings greet you with a nice 15°C and it gets up to about 26°C every day.
My room never goes under 25°C in the summer. Not even at night.
Here's how it works 👇
And get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️