General Electric is aiming to expand its reach into Silicon Valley as it realizes the area’s prominent role in computer software and how it can greatly expand the company’s productivity.
CEO of GE and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen took to the stage in a recent San Francisco event at Dogpatch Studio to discuss future trends in the tech industry. The half-day conference was moderated by former Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson.
While the theme of the event was called “Industrial Internet,” the conference dealt with GE’s craving to establish themselves in Silicon Valley and explore the many ways in which the very best of software engineers can help its company in terms of productivity, efficiency and ways to reduce its costs.
In the past few months, GE has made vast strides in developing their new Global Software headquarters in San Ramon, with plans to double the number of software engineers in the next year.
The talk also examined the national conglomerate’s yearning to engage the Silicon Valley startup community. One way it explained to do so is to hire expert engineers to work on the key issues that currently plague the company’s system. The other obstacle for the company is to have these same engineers and startups to help GE understand what it “doesn’t know” in the industry.
A team of GE employees at the San Ramon office have already started engaging local startups to help them in their process of understanding new trends in the market today. In fact, they could learn from other conglomerate companies like themselves, including IBM, which is pointing some of its recent success to regular meetings with VCs in an effort to brainstorm ideas on the type of technologies it could see in the near future.
Still, GE is far from where it needs to be to engage the Silicon Valley innovation engine and understanding the various nuances holding the company back. But it is taking the right steps in luring some of Silicon Valley’s best startups and software engineers, especially with more community talks — like this one – to help expand their name in the area.