I encountered a strange new world...
It was a success.
This was always more of a market research exercise for us than a customer acquisition drive or partner sourcing exercise. I have to admit I was a little sceptical about the value we would get from being part of the mission. We were planning to go to CTIA Wireless anyway, why did I need the help of the British Consulate?
Josianne Gros-Louis, Vice Consul for Communications, and her team put me straight. Thanks to the various events they put together, I met everyone I needed to meet and learnt loads about the market.
Mike also gave me a real taste for the bay-area entrepreneurial approach. Do it, don't mess around, if you're going to launch, launch big. A company in stealth mode is not interesting, it has nothing to say. Try not, do or do not, there is no try.
Actually that last one was Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, but you get the idea.
The approach is infectious. I left San Francisco pumped full of entrepreneurial vigour, with a head overflowing with ideas and the knowledge that the market was ready for us.
I call that a successful trip.