San Francisco Day 1: it’s Different Here

11:00 am —Mark and I land in SF, hailed an Uber and hit up our AirBnB in the middle of San Francisco

11:30 am — Our AirBnB hosts are a tag-team combo of San Francisco stereotypes. One is a rose-coloured-glasses wearing (literally) flower child, and the other is a techie.

11:40 am — We hail our first UberPool, and in the car with us are 2 startup people. One tells us how his former roomate built an on-demand ambulance app during the Egyptian Revolution to prevent shot protesters from bleeding out on the street. Woah.

12:00 pm — Launch Festival!

Look at all the startups!!!

Over the next few hours a few things happened that really highlighted to me why this place is really special.

  1. UberPool

We used UberPool (carpooling with strangers in Uber) yesterday at least 4 times, and in the car with us each time have been startup founders, potential customers, and even 2 investors.

Its hard enough to get an investor to pay attention to your 30 second pitch, and we were able to have a fascinating conversation with them for 20 minutes.

2. Roads are really steep

Its uncomfortable when you hear your Uber driver’s break clunking (yes that’s a technical term) on this decline.

Its steeper than it looks.

3. People help you, for no reason.

I reached out to an amazing startup founder I’ve been following on Twitter for a while, to see if I could pick his brain for a bit about my startup, moving to SF, and some of the challenges we’re facing.

He invited me to his house, gave me beer, and proceeded to give me a ton of great advice and perspective. Including:

Your 30-second pitch has to be simple but powerful. Yours isn’t.

Harsh — but that’s extremely helpful feedback for me. He was extremely generous with his time, and even made a few introductions for me.

Conclusion

San Francisco is serendipity on steroids. It feels like everywhere you go there’s someone interesting to talk to, and people are just plain helpful. Its only day 1 for us and this trip has already been worth it.

One last thing… re: coffee

They take it seriously here. Crazy seriously. Check out this setup…

He pours the hot water in a swirly motion to ensure all the flavour is captured

Stay tuned for the next update!

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