If you are visiting Silicon Valley with your tech company and it’s your first time, here are a few tips from me.

  1. Front load meetings but leave room at the end for follow ups
  2. Google ‘angelist’ plus your category to find investors in your area. e.g. https://angel.co/sports/investors
  3. Go to Meetup.com and find events in your field and go to them.
  4. Try and get 3 15 min video calls before you go with locals and see if they can intro you to 3 others.
  5. Practice a very short, too the point elevator pitch. Goal is to make people say ‘wow’ and ask a follow up question. Assume they know a lot about tech, so don’t go over basics.
  6. Use this method to ask for intros; https://mrfocus.co/how-to-get-me-to-introduce-you-to-people-5688a666d110
  7. Ask for feedback, not investment. Focus on how you are growing a big company. Wait for them to offer.
  8. Follow up relentlessly and quickly. That day. Be thankful and appreciative.
  9. Consider putting up a job ad and speaking to people who might be your USA country manager. You will learn a lot.
  10. Be clear if you are (1) definitely interested in the US market and (2) if you would move to the US to do this, plus (3) when you want to do this.
  11. Contact your competitors and ask to share notes, most of them will happily do it.
  12. Read Geoff’s post https://geoffmcqueen.com/2015/04/08/a-few-sf-tips-for-new-arrivals/
  13. Check out http://www.sfaussies.com/ and http://www.aussiesfbay.com/australian-events
  14. Read; https://medium.com/@romainserman/silicon-valley-etiquette-6934cf6f8f73
  15. Go to Linkedin and find people you know who are in SF and connect with them.
  16. If you add someone on Linkedin always add a note. I get 30 per week and without a note, I probably won’t recognise you.
  17. Say SF not San Fran
  18. Definitely get a Sim card. I use AT&T and find it the best.
  19. Go down the valley (out of SF city). Mountain View and Palo Alto both have good companies, events and it’s very different from the city.
  20. Go to Walgreens and buy a clipper card. Getting down the valley on Caltrain isn’t fast but you can work and it’s clean. Use Lyft to get around. Hiring a car seems cheap but insurance is normally the killer.
  21. Walgreens and CVS both sell almost everything, and it’s worth looking into Melatonin to help you sleep after jet lag.
  22. Good coffee: Red Door, Coffee Culture, Blue Bottle
  23. A lot of big tech companies have free lunch. Arrange meetings around that time and you might get a freebie.
  24. The Ford Share Bikes are really good. Get the app. Sign up. I’ve only had one safety issue on the road. Be careful though.
  25. The homeless, drug and poverty situation in SF is confronting. Be prepared for it.
  26. SF is cold in summer. Bring and wear layers ever day.
  27. All new buildings have an open spaces. They are free to use and some have desks or great views. http://sf-planning.org/privately-owned-public-open-space-and-public-art-popos https://data.sfgov.org/Culture-and-Recreation/Park-and-Open-Space-Map/4udc-s3pr/data
  28. Get a BART to 24th Mission St and find some amazing food. You won’t regret it.
  29. A great day out is to rent or borrow a bike and ride to Tiburon over the bridge.
  30. Do some exercise. Go to Golden Gate park and head to the big oval. There will be a game of football (soccer) or ultimate frisbee. Join in. Meetup will also have lots of pickup game groups. Great way to make friends and build networks. Just be careful not to smash your lip open before a week of media roadshow (Sorry Erica).
  31. Many apps like Lyft, GrubbHub, etc have freebies if you intro people. Harvest this.
  32. Fav bars: Buddah Bar in China Town. Looks small and not nice but the staff have Liars Dice they lend you. (Thanks MCB)
  33. Driving: The 101 is faster, but the 280 is nicer, lanes are wider but some people drive crazy fast, assume people don’t use turn signals, do not honk or give the bird (people be crazy), driving in the city is awful and it can take you 30 mins to cross Market St with one ways, etc, traffic is bad from 7.30 to 9.30am and from 3.30 to 6pm at night.
  34. Go up to Tahoe for the snow if you can, check out the ski bus.
  35. Kite surfing is a great networking sport.

Please add some more of yours in the comments and if I really like them and totally agree, I’ll add them to my list and claim them as my own.

May 24, 2022

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