University of Oxford Silicon Valley Trek

Guest post by Karl Loo, MBA Candidate 2014, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Silicon Valley Trek for Saïd's Business students

As a New Zealander, it was a proud moment to lead my classmates from Oxford University to visit Xero – a leading Kiwi business – in San Francisco.

This year, our trek list included the likes of Google, Facebook, Square, IDEO, Y-combinator and Xero. Although Xero is a new arrival to the Silicon Valley scene, I have been watching Xero and its phenomenal growth in New Zealand. Now the company is one of the largest companies in New Zealand and is on track to dominate the accounting software segment globally – and it was great to see them in their new offices in the homeland of IT innovation.

Xero was one of the stops on the Silicon Valley Trek

From an MBA student perspective, hearing from the executive leadership team was thought provoking. Highlights included learning about the agile product development methods as well as the unique challenges of marketing a traditionally unglamorous sector, accounting. The class was impressed that a provider of accounting solutions could have a focus on beautiful design, as well as the sheer pace of growth of the company – “everything doubles each year” was a phrase that struck us.

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