The First Two Days
On the 1st of June I embarked on a long drive to San Francisco. With only 2 stop rests in between I arrived at 8am. I'm staying at the Blackbox Mansion (startup mansion) and I really didn't go in depth about this in my last post but to illustrate things a little, let's cover BlackBox. BlackBox was founded by several individuals: Max Marmer, Aleksandra Markova, Bjoern Lasse Herrmann and Fadi Bishara. Together they've launched The Startup Genome Project which you might have heard of over Read Write Web , Fast Company or The Next Web. Max Marmer is one of the few who reluctantly got denied for the Peter Thiel 20 under 20 program because he was 3 months over age. There's a great article about him by Steve Blank here. Together BlackBox has regular events and meets ups like Co-founder dinners. It's amazing to be here in the presence of brilliant and talented individuals.
Being here for two days, I've so far...
- Attended a talk by David Lee at SV Angel. Everyone at the talk was invited to send him an email so there you go, it's what I'm here for.
- Networked with over a dozen individuals including the founder of Vox.io, a browser based phone system and DD2Night an answer to "drink responsibly".
- Received tons of feedback on the mobile app I'm working on with suggestions on monetization strategy, UI and general ideas and improvements.
- Met 4 members from the Peter Thiel Fellowship who are my room mates. Tremendously brilliant kids trying to solve huge problems like mining energy from asteroids using nuclear energy.
- Attended 3 networking events.
Overall, I've had more start-up and entrepreneur activity in two days than I have had in 9 months in San Diego. While it took me a while to discover the tech scene in SD, out here, it's blatant and in your face. The catch phrase here is "what are you working on" or "what are you looking for". It's almost surreal to me and I feel like a kid at Disney!
What I've learned...
- Everyone's really working on something.
- If you're building a product, have a story. Often I'd pitch what I'm working on and people's response is not what I'd hope for. However, after telling the story, people welcome the idea more and see use in it.
- It's not always about finding a problem and solving it but creating a product that people can gain value from in their life.
- Pitch fast. Elevator pitch really is the shit.
- Startup trends: real time, online to offline. Those are the two I can remember because it's relevant to what I'm working on.
I think that's it for the first two days. Does that sentence even make sense? Anyway, it's 3am, I've gotta get up early and get some work done. If you're down here or have any event I should definitely hit up, let me know.