San Francisco, coffee, seriousness

I was in San Francisco last week. I worked with some terrific people there. They were calm – and serious about their work. In fact pretty much everyone I met in SF was calm – and serious. I talked to a strategy guru from LA who often commutes to SF: he said he preferred LA because everyone in SF is so serious.

All this is good of course, you can’t fault seriousness. But here is what I couldn’t understand: the calm part. This city seemed to me to be super-caffeinated. There is a traffic sign near a Blue Bottle Coffee that says Caution Coffee Zombies Ahead. This photo is from Ritual Coffee in the Mission District.

There are so many coffee shops and everyone is very serious about their coffee. I tried a light-hearted approach to several baristas. But they too are very serious.

I went to the restaurant in the Ferry Building that so many people told me I had to go to. I talked to the server about the (very excellent) food and sought his recommendations. He was very calm, and very serious. Was he as caffeinated as I was? Couldn’t have been.

I overhead people talking about stock options and people talking about sustainability. I saw billboards for distributed data services. Gamifiers were there in conference. I walked past Zynga’s huge new building – it is across the street from Adobe in what used to be called Multimedia Gulch. (Remember multimedia?). And I talked about how down the road WPP has opened a VC branch in Palo Alto.

There is a lot going in the Bay Area. There is a lot of good energy. A lot of coffee is being consumed. And a lot of good people are doing good work.

If you haven’t been recently, you should go there. Seriously.