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This week I had the absolute honour to speak with Chris Hadfield - a man who needs little introduction (but I will anyway). Chris is a man of many accolades, namely, the first Canadian to ever walk in space, and who famously sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station, racking up over 4000 hours in space and 36 million youtube hits. More than just a mere Astronaut and Commander of the ISS, Chris is also a musician, writer, leadership coach, and had a previous life as a downhill ski racer, test pilot, fighter pilot and Director of Operations for NASA at Star City in Russia.

I’m stereotyping here, but many engineers (especially young, inexperienced ones working at startups) see management as unnecessary overhead. They don’t see the value in having an engineering leader, and may or may-not respect non-technical contributions to the team. This tends to change once they work with a great leader, or have worked through a couple of poorly-managed failures.

I moved to Queensland from our Sydney office some 5 years ago and back then the startup eco-system was almost non-existent. In order to connect the community somewhat, I started chapters of Silicon Beach on the Gold Coast & Brisbane at the end of 2011, which has a combined community of around 2,700 members.

After reading that headline, you're probably thinking, "I'm tired of hearing all of the noise about Silicon Valley and what they've done with the tech industry." I’m sure if you hear about the next thing they’re innovating, you’re going to lose it... But, before you do that, let’s take a minute to ask what everyone is already thinking: “What’s the big deal about Silicon Valley anyway?”