I have a confession. I have an addiction. I think I’m in love the San Francisco startup scene. As the saying goes, “The first step is admitting you have a problem.” I wouldn’t call it a problem, but I didn’t realise it until my friend Stephen pointed it out to me.
I’m down in Sydney, Australia at the moment checking out the scene down here. I’ve been hanging out with an old friend from NYC. Stephen was like me and did the move the to San Fransisco before moving to Sydney, to be closer to his wife’s family in Oz.
Stephen is a bit of an entrepreneur at heart, and last Friday he wanted to introduce me to some of his friends in the startup scene after work. We had been out for a couple of drinks and didn’t get home till the early morning hours.
Luckily, Stephen’s family were staying the weekend at his wife parents place, so we wouldn’t disturb them in the middle of the night. Unlucky for us, Stephen had left his keys at the office.
We needed a locksmith to let us in so I ended up calling up these guys.
So there we were, in the middle of Sydney, sitting on Stephen’s front doorstep in the dark of the night as we wait for a locksmith to let us in.
Business was obviously on our minds, and we got talking with the vigour similar to the young go-getters I had met in San Francisco.
Talking to Stephen, I realised Sydney is very different to San Fransisco, but they also have a lot of similarities.
Sydney is mainly made up of corporate companies. There are a few exceptions such as Atlasssian, but it is very much the corporate lifestyle. As I had experienced, it is common to head to the pub and get a couple of drinks with workmates on a Friday night.
On the other hand, San Francisco has a more casual work lifestyle. However, if you are in a startup you are working long hours 6 days a week.
One thing I noticed is that the weather is pretty much the same as San Francisco. If you want to enjoy the sunshine, Darling Harbour is fantastic to chill and get some great food in the heart of the city. If the hustle-and-bustle is too much for you, there are always Sydney’s great beaches.
Stephen tells me that the Meetup scene in Sydney is strong and that there are heaps of workshops going on. I’m pretty keen to check out some of them over the weekend.
This when Stephen starts laughing. He points out that I’m very different from a couple of years ago. San Francisco is starting to change me – I would never have considered even starting a business let alone check out a workshop.
That’s when I realised I am addicted to San Francisco and it’s startup scene.