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San Francisco

People are zombies

Everybody’s on their iPhone, all the time. I find it kind of troubling. We’re soooo headed at The Matrix. And when it happens, 5-10 years from now, it won’t be all violent skynet-style-war-with-the-machines-kind-of-thing. When Steve Jobs comes up with the iThing that plugs via USB directly into your brain – people will just line up to get that $499 piece of crap.

People on their iPhones

Bubble

This place is a bubble. And I don’t mean “startups are being funded too easily” bubble. Which is also true. I mean that people are just so into everything internet, that any kind of stupid idea flies. Which is pretty dangerous because the rest of the world just don’ work dat way ™.

I mean, homeless people ask you for help with Twitter API here…

Dress

I mean I knew about the (fake) Mark Twain quote and everything, and still I came dressed as if this is Israel. Please remember: San Francisco is cold. So get your warm (a.k.a. in Israel “winter”) clothes, even in the summer.

On the other (better) hand: South Bay is warm.

Getting around

The San Francisco bus/tram system is really useful. You should get yourself a “clipper” which is a rechargeable card to save the trouble of trying to find change and all. Clippers are sold at Walgreens. I don’t know why. I guess it’s because they’re everywhere. But then again so are Starbucks. I guess Starbucks said “fuck off”.
Get yourself a monthly one for $62 which is the best deal for anywhere from 2 weeks and up.

Getting down to the South Bay (Palo Alto, Mountain View and the such) is trickier. You can take the Caltrain but then you’re most likely need a cab too. I really recommend signing up for Zipcar. They have cars everywhere and is the best-value option for when you need a car for a few hours. If you have an Israeli driver’s license you’ll need to produce some papers from the Ministry of Transport. I am in the process of doing it, will update…

Use a coupon for some free hours too.

Getaround sadly don’t work with Israeli licenses at this point.

Update (July 22nd): Getting to meetings specifically in Palo Alto is doable with a Caltrain as the station is within 10 minutes walking of most locations on University Ave (this is where your meeting is going to be). Pro tip: schedule for half-past as Southbound trains get to Palo Alto at :03 past every hour between 10am and 4pm which gives you a good 30 minutes to walk there, then if you manage to end your meeting in 50 minutes you have 20 minutes to walk back to the train back that leaves at :41 past every hour (tip by @rutipo).

Hitting the meetups

Finding geeks/founders/investors/hackers in a social environment is super easy. Check out Meetup.com and Startup Digest for a ton of events. After a week you’ll start recognizing faces…

Working space

The city is full of coworking spaces. I am working out of Next Space which is great – nice people, great location and good facilities. Lots of activities (kind of like The Junction back home :)). I didn’t do any extensive research but some people I talked to did and they settled on Next Space so I guess it’s fine. Reasonably priced too, at $285/month.

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