There are several things that most people associate with San Francisco – wine from Napa, land of startups, and the high cost of living. These are the iconic characteristics that define the Bay Area, but are they really true?
I’ve recently moved to SF to start a job in tech sales at a startup based in Fidi (a nickname for financial district because we’re cool). I’m fortunate enough to find a company that I love, an apartment that is walking distance, roommates that I get along with, and a group of friends/family I can depend on.
Here’s what it’s like being in SF.
1. Everyone’s in tech…
I’m not even kidding when I say this. 9/10 people you meet are working in tech. These could be people who program/design/sell/use tech OR work with tech companies. With that said, there are 3 types of tech companies people come from – industry giants (ex. Salesforce, Oracle, FAANG, etc), hot startups (ex. Uber, Slack, Snowflake, etc), or unknown new startups.
2. Startups are exciting but daunting…
My company has about 130 people and I’m employee #117. I came on-board at a time where we just received our Series D and are building out the Sales team. Here are the good and bad of being in a startup:
I’m part of a family.
With only about 100 people, you get to meet everyone and know them on a personal level. There is no bureaucracy that you’d experience at larger companies and you’ll be working with people that share the same belief for the company.
My voice matters. Many people, including management, are new to the company. Therefore, we get to decide collectively the type of team we want to run.
No one’s heard of you.
You spend most your days reminding friends and strangers what your company does and why it matters out of the 100’s of startups. BUT see it as a challenge to educate others to care.
Hard to ignore industry giants.
It’ll be hard not to feel bad when you meet people who work at companies like Salesforce or Facebook. BUT it’s always good to be reminded that companies like Facebook started at someone’s dorm or garage.
3. The most expensive city in the country…
A study by Clear Captial shows that the highest Median Home Price by city in the US belongs to San Francisco ($860k) and San Jose (1.1 Million). Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see:
- 3 – 4 people living in a 2B2B
- People traveling 2+ hours to commute to work
- Professionals taking the ferry to work
- Adults still living with family
4. But if you make it here, there’s a lot to do…
SF is a combination of NYC skyscrapers & Victorian-era houses
Incredible food scene for the food lovers like myself
A plethora of museums for art enthusiasts and insta-influencers
Iconic view of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate
Weeknd trip to Lake Tahoe to Ski/Snowboard
And of course… the bougie experience of wining and dining at Napa Valley