This year I had the privilege of attending Luftgekuhlt 5 in Los Angeles. The timing worked out well, as it was on the weekend before I was meant to be in the US for a business trip. Perfect Californian sunshine and a brand new lumber yard welcomed everyone to this sold out event, with classic air-cooled Porsche’s lined up between rows of freshly cut timber. The lumber yard in itself made my Bunnings trips pale in comparison, and the sheer number (100+) and variety of cars was almost overwhelming. Walking away at the end, I left exhausted and with a renewed obsession with air-cooled green Porsches. It’s amazing how energised this very niche community is.
I’m in the land of the Start Up. The sky seems a little bluer and there is a cloud based business on every corner. Viral cloud engagement analytics seems to be whats buzzing here. Who is funding all these businesses? It can’t be entrepreneurs mortgaging their houses like in Australia, I thought it was impossible to get a loan in the US? I guess the Angel and VC markets really are all here.
The story of Hills Bros Coffee is a pretty good SF anecdote ironically. Wikipedia notes that the brand started as a great family company passed down the generations, surviving World War II and merging with another coffee company. Then the family sold out to the Swiss Nestle, who sold it to the US based Sara Lee, who then sold into the Italian Massimo Zannetti (aka Segafredo) mega-coffee group.
Regardless, this $1.2b 120,000 tonne completely vertically integrated Italian company has vacated this prime piece of real estate – but Mozilla is moving their 125 CA-based employees into the 15,000ft building. Their gross profit was $43 million and is based on freely available software. New World Order?