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2013-01-08

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain

2013-01-11
2013-01-03

I have been in CA for less than 48 hours, and this adventure has started out phenomenally. My flight departed BWI at 10:50am EST and after a quick detour to Milwakuee, we arrived at SFO circa 3pm PST. I packed four bags for the trip - my ultimate disc bag, my new timbuk2 heavy duty backpack, a duffel bag full of (primarily frisbee) clothes, and a suitcase, aka the office, full of Waveborn materials. After baggage claim, I headed over to rent my car for the first leg of the trip. I got a great deal on the car for $11/day, but have to pay a $250 fee for dropping it off at a different location (LAX on friday 1/18). I did manage to sweet talk the desk lady into upgrading me for free to a 2012 toyota camry.

Once the rental car was taken care of, and I spent 15 minutes unpacking some of my bags to comfortbaly move into this car for the next weeks, I hopped on the highway and headed north to go to Jess's house. As I was driving up the coast, I noticed the beautiful sunset to my left, so I decided to pull off and hang out on the beach for a bit. This would be a great opportunity to get the first of many evening beach workouts in. I grabbed my disc bag and headed down the sand cliff. Before I even started playing Laws-el-toss (throwing the disc as high as possible to myself), I made friends with Simon and Francisco, and we played catch for about an hour. It was a GREAT introduction to CA and nice to make some new friends to play ultimate with. Francisco already had a fanny pack with him, so I knew he was cool. We talked a little bit of business about having him be a sales rep to get Waveborn shades in his hometown in Puerto Rico. After our session, I hooked the guys up with a couple Waveborn fanny packs, exchanged numbers, and headed off for Jess's place.

San Francisco is a new town for me, and I have enjoyed the architecture and different color buildings. There is a certain level of hippiness abound. Jess lives with three other friends, and they don't own a TV. I wanted to watch the national championship game, but there wasn't a nearby sports bar either. We went out to a nice spot near her place for a steak dinner and a delicious lagunitas IPA. After dinner, we did some food shopping at 7 11 and a local healthy food store, followed by some more exploration of the beach - the pacific ocean is only 2 blocks from her house! Before bed, Jess helped me put together Waveborn "pouches" full of goodies to share with folks I meet along the trip.

Tuesday marked my first full day in SF, and there was a lot of work to get done. My new friends Simon and Francisco called me at 8:30am to go play frisbee together on the beach, but unfortunately I had to stay in and get some serious work done. I spent several hours catching up on a number of projects in my inbox and working with our manufacturers in Italy to get some more cost estimates for new styles. I also had a few good phone meetings, including one with Chris from Spikeball to talk about ways I can support their company during this trip and get them into some of the stores that Waveborn is trying to get into in LA and SD. There are also a lot of opportunities for Spikeball to sponsor various ultimate frisbee activities.

I finished as much laptop work as I could before departing for my event at the Founders Club downtown. I got connected with the group through LinkedIn and the Georgetown Alumni Angels group. It was my first "demo day" that I attended, and I learned a lot about this type of event by listening to biotech startups pitch to a room full of angels and VCs. The majority of the crowd was significantly older and wearing suits (in contrast to my dressiest outfit I packed, kahkis and a button down with a pair of TOMS). I befriended the other young guy there, who was a Georgetown '11 grad named Mike McCormick. We share many mutual friends and hit it off immediately. Mike works for a company called LiquidSpace, which is perfect for PunchRock's coworking platform to track room reservations. I look forward to setting up the team on this new platform today. After the presentations, we briefly talked with Andrew Romans, the organizer of the event. We discussed his new book, and I told him a little bit about my first book which is about to be published, Becoming So Good They Can't Ignore You.

After the event, I wandered around the area, which was right next to AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play baseball. I walked along the dock and got to see all of the nearby boats and check out the water area where I see fans trying to catch home run balls on TV. Another part of the city that I have enjoyed is driving to/from the event, which covered most of the city. San Francisco is a 7mi x 7mi grid, much like DC, but with A LOT more hills. Several of the roads/intersections reminded me of sweet chase scenes from movies. I also had to parallel park on a very steep incline, which was a new and difficult experience for me, a normally very confident parallel parker in DC. Luckily I managed to park kind of close to the curb without hitting either car around me.

After my exploration of the park area, I drove over the Vinyl Wine Bar to meet back up with Mike and some other friends for trivia. They had a very cool group of folks there, and it reminded me a ton of my life back in DC. Several of them play in a rec sports league together and Kristin, their captain, was getting ready to retire from captain duties and pass it off to Alex. It brought back many fond memories of my time on Green Death kickball and sharing leadership roles with Chloe, who is now my roommate in Columbia Heights. It was cool to see that 20-somethings on the west coast aren't that much different from my experiences back home.

After trivia, we went to another bar to meet up with some of Alex's other friends for a birthday party. We met another great group of folks, most of whom work together for a biotech company. One of the girls there, Alina, was actually a BC '09 grad. Such an incredibly small world, and it made me feel right at home to make friends with an Eagle and Hoya in the same night. We reminisced some quality memories from Chestnut Hill and our mutual friend, Colin Anderson. Eventually I departed from the group around 11:30pm to head back to Jess's house to get a good night sleep before a busy Wednesday working to push forward on a number of key projects. I will do my best to keep these write-ups coming over the course of the trip to share my adventures with you. Let me know if there's any specific topics you want to read more about. I'm excited for what the next month of my life has in store, and one thing is for certain, this trip is going to change everything.

Relevant Links:

http://mashable.com/2013/01/07/betterific/

http://bottomlinelawgroup.com/2011/10/31/convertible-note-financing/

http://www.arealchange.com/blog/favorite-apps-business
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