See Ya

Months ago we started talking about this trip.  Expectations were set.  Plans were made.  Excitement was all around.  So was it worth it?  Was it everything I thought it would be?  Will I be back?

Yes, but not even close to reasons I expected.

I went to event after event after event and while they were usually fun they didn’t really provide the value I was hoping to get.  I met a ton of people but the conversations were superficial at best and a waste of time if it was some wannabe investor.  You see what I discovered standing in line for the bathroom at the bar, at a “Welcome to SF” party and literally on the sidewalk in front of the house, is that the magic is not the hyped up events that attract the SF Douchebags (yes, there are some outside of Scottsdale) it is the random meetings and conversations when you least expect them.  There are smart people here and a lot of them, but they have already figured out those events aren’t the places to they claim to be.

Then there is the city itself.  I have lived outside the city in my early 20s but spent many nights and weekends here so I knew what to expect from that point of view, but the public transportation for those living in the city was great.  I wish more cities had this kind of network.  However, it was cold!  I can’t stand the weather up here.  I could never live up here.  I love my 115 degree summers in Phoenix and after this trip I craved the heat and sun of home.

Now to what actually disappointed me.  It seems that the scene up here is pretty different that I expected.  Yes they have cool tech, smart people and put in the work to get things done.  By the goals seem misaligned with what I would want.  Everyone wants to get funded (I can live with that), but then they seem to immediately think of how they can get acquired.  I can appreciate making a quick buck and being the next big acquisition, but steering your company with that as the main goal seems destine to failure.  And the VC’s and investors only perpetuate this attitude looking to recoup their money and profit as quickly impossible, even if it means neutering what could be a game changing company.

I leave having made some great contacts that I hope will continue into friendships and excited to continue the conversations even if over Skype.  I will be back and look forward to meeting more intelligent people, even if it means spending more time in the line for the bathroom.


  1. Brian says:

    Reading this made me realize how little I’ve talked about my similar experiences with SF events and tech culture. Many events are filled with lame people and the fund&flip attitude is an issue plaguing the Silicon Valley culture. I’m impressed to read that you discovered all this on such a short visit. There are awesome things about SF, but people who think about cities linearly (“X is better than Y, Y is better than Z”) are missing the fact that there are great things about any city, as well as annoying things.

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