This day, I realized why it was called Golden Gate Bridge. The view was fantastic. It was glorious. Majestic golden colors accompanied by the myriad of fluffy clouds pierced by sunsetting light. It was wonderful, melodramatic, and in a way serene.
San Francisco was the 2nd leg of our International Business trip. Seattle was the first (I will write more about this on a separate post). We stayed in the city where it’s closer to where most VC / Angels are located. It’s fortunate that we’re able to experience quite a few good dry days so we were able to explore the city with much freedom on foot.
We visited Pivotal Labs on our first day. It was huge. I can say that the whole place was built by developer for developers. Being a developer myself (quite obsolete in this area — but my strengths are into algorithms than web), I felt that heart smile to go and take a seat in one of the chairs and just code here. The place is just conducive for amazingness.
We met David Goudreau, VP of Pivotal Lab’s Western Region. In his talk, he evangelized their way of doing software. In a lot of respects, I agree with that being agile and immersive creates a fast (if not the fastest) velocity of team output. I liked his analogy of this with learning a foreign language. You can speed up the process of learning a new language by being fully immersed in it (ex. you want to learn french, you go to France). Of course, you can learn it too by other means, but normally it would take longer and it won’t persist. Meaning, it’s easier to lose the language.
Next stop was Blk 71. There was a good lineup of distinguished speakers who spoke about their personal journeys as entrepreneurs. There was Elias Bizannes (Founder, Startup Bus); Patrick Llewellyn (CEO, 99designs); Ash Fontana (Managing Director, Zetta Capital); Mick Johnson (Serial Entrepreneur; Co-Founder of various startup companies; and most notably held a senior position at Facebook as Director of Product Management)They gave good tips to increase our success rate in this startup-VC life. There was a panel discussion on the ecosystems of the world which I really liked. The speakers were Joseph Ziegler (EIR, muru-D); Michael Agustin (co-founder GameSalad); and oh shoot I forgot the name of the other guy (will update when I have the info).
However, the most challenging for me was the pitch. I don’t know why, but sometimes I enjoy public speaking, but there are times (and they are many) that I hate it. Now, I’ve accepted the fact that it’s part of any startup life — the ability to communicate well both in public and private space.
This was day 1.
Day 2 began pretty early with another set of talks at the hotel. We visited the following amazing offices:
Day 3: Free Day
We did some bike tour around San Francisco bay area! It was fun, tiring, and enjoyable despite a little rain and cold.
and then some…
and what’s more meaningful (surprising as well) was the friendship / bond created and deepened through this trip. I saw a glimpse of how startup works here. I like it.