Work trip. Enough said, right? No huge sightseeing or walking around, boating…. instead, running around the city (literally) from meeting to meeting, staying up late and getting up early.
The largest cybersecurity industry conference in San Francisco. I have never been but heard it is madness and it was a bit of that. Over 400 companies in 2 large conference buildings in Moscone center in the center of SF. Hotels packed…. people with badges everywhere. Everyone running around all day long – either to a partner meeting, VC meeting, client meeting, scoping out competitors, learning…. evenings full of dinners and parties…up at early am to catch the EST calls…I also attended a venture capital conference to get to know some of the start-ups – a bit like speed dating in 15 mins increments..
My own experience & insight:
- can’t operate on 4 hours of sleep for too long
- introvert in and out, 14 hours of people, noise and talking is absolutely exhausting
- so glad I dropped all heels, flats, flats, flats for running
- 2.5 days of meeting people, seeing and experiencing makes up for weeks of web research and calls
- great food all around, especial Anchor Oyster Bar (2x in 3 days)
- SF is expensive… beyond expectations… starters in $14-18, main courses in $30+, hotel rooms in $400-600/night – who lives here?
- lots of homeless everywhere… this was very very visible, definitely part of the city – assume due to attractive welfare policies.
- Ubers do not work well here, go for taxis – 80% of my Uber rides got cancelled by the driver
- Ah for the seafood – fantastic!
I am not much of a feminist but you’d have to be blind not to notice the disproportion of women everywhere – literally 90/10. Especially at the venture capital conference, me and my 3 colleagues (women) stuck out due to our colorful outfits in the entire hotel. And most of the times, I was the only woman in the room. Didn’t bother me, just noticeable.
Definitely reminded myself why I miss Prague or a walkable city. Walking to work, stopping by a bakery shop for fresh croissant, sitting at the bench for lunch, hopping on a tram – makes every city so much more livable and attractive. I felt so much more connected to others, standing at the intersection, walking with coffee cups, standing in lunch lines – reminded me of those spur-of-the moment coffee meet ups after work in Prague…. where you don’t have to check your calendar weeks ahead. Miss that!
BTW, try flying a plane full of hackers or security geeks… noone is connected or online b/c who wants to get hacked?