Silicon Valley’s New Board Room
To stay ahead of the game in the fast paced worled of B2B requires a good network and a strong team. But how do you get either? Striking a deal with a prospective client, partner company or employee over a round of golf has been commonplace in the business world for a long time. However, in California they are doing it differently, picking the lush swells of the Pacific Ocean as their al fresco boardroom.
Entrepreneur Robert Lambert has established the 'Silicon Beach Surfers Club'. Initially just a handful of friends, the club has grown rapidly into a 450-strong network of surf fanatics/entrepreneurs from some of Silicon Valley’s most notable companies; Omaze, Crowdfunder and Dreamworks to name a few.
Its success can be largely attributed to the club’s focus on surfing above business and the strict application process which weeds out those who don’t surf and are only interested in networking. Lambert runs the club from a surf shack on Manhattan Beach, accepting around a third of the 10 membership applications he receives a week.
As some of the savviest minds in the West, members have been integrating cutting-edge technology into their surfing since the club was born. One Silicon Beach surfer recently attached prototype sensors to boards that measure speed power and difficulty of waves, allowing other members to analyse their performance over a beer once they’re out their wetsuit and dry.
As well as these obvious networking opportunities, perks of membership include weekly photography sessions, underwater photography events, custom board-shaping deals, member BBQ’s, international surf trips and access to the club house/shack.
When you think about it, surfing is actually an excellent way to facilitate collaboration, particularly in creative sectors. Being in the water is the ultimate form of meditation and relaxation, ridding that horrible self-consciousness at the start of an interview or first date and allowing innovative ideas to surface.
Will it catch on here? Maybe, helped along with some global warming and the growing popularity of the South West as a credible surfing destination. But, knowing the Enlish weather, we might just all end up down the pub instead, with a pint of lager and a bag of chips…..