Blinkx's Suranga Chandratillake loves Silicon Valley

British-born Suranga Chandratillake is the chief executive of video search engine Blinkx, based in San Francisco.

Why did you choose San Francisco?
Our technology was built in Cambridge, England, but Silicon Valley is a unique environment, with its mix of advertising agencies, media, technology and people who live and breathe the internet.

Media environment
San Francisco is not as big as New York or London, but it's full of people who are consumed by the internet. Audiences are migrating to online media, whether for the written word or for video and TV content, but the online medium still attracts only a fraction of advertising budgets. Silicon Valley is full of passionate, engaged people who represent all sides of this equation - publishers, advertisers and a diverse population of extremely wired, web-oriented consumers and businesses.

How proactive are media agencies?
They're fairly proactive about new media, but online video is still new territory, and many are focused on gathering information about prospective publishers and evaluating the medium as a whole.

How far advanced is digital?
It varies greatly depending on the size of the agency but, big and small, newer and more established, they all have something to learn and want to know how to serve clients better.

Culture and social scene
Smaller, more manageable and with pretty great weather all year round. San Francisco has its advantages. It has a strong counter-culture history and its associations with everything from the 1960s civil rights movements to gay culture all give it a well-rounded feel. I believe most people would feel at home in San Francisco. What are the main differences? It really is the focus on the internet. San Francisco is the centre of the wired world from an innovation and mind-share perspective.

One thing the UK can learn from San Francisco?
To be more exhilarated about the new and to be more open to opportunity.

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