Career ramblings: Networking – the anti-diet

I’ll write up more about what I’m doing as an “Entrepreneur-In-Residence.” Suffice it to say, however, that much of being an EIR involves meeting people – whether it’s other investors to tell them about my background, potential technical co-founders with whom to work on ideas or other industry contacts.  This has been the best part because there is little that I love more (besides my family and the Steelers) than meeting new people.

But for some strange reason, we’ve trained ourselves (especially guys) as a species to be unable to meet without consuming some food, beverage or both.  As such, being an EIR truly involves stressing your appetite control.

Because I’m crazy like that and for fun, I decided to do a tally on the meetings I’ve had since I started the EIR program on October 8, 2007.  Note a few things:

  • This only includes in-person meetings
  • I primarily counted meetings of people for the first time (e.g., not internal meetings at Trinity Ventures)
  • I wasn’t even in the office for about 4 weeks during the period (between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.)

So I wanted to study how my career transition has benefited local food and beverage merchants and necessitated and increased focus on going to the gym.  Here’s the tally over 3+ months by location:

  • 165 meetings in non-descript locations (e.g., our office, other VC offices, company offices) where food and/or beverages may have been served, but the cuisine wasn’t notable.
  • 30 breakfasts and lunches at the Sundeck Restaurant right at the heart of VC land (3000 Sand Hill Road) and 1 minute walking from my office.  You can almost hear the din of startups being built up and participating preferred and liquidation preferences being laid down as Luis serves me my egg-white omelette for breakfast or perfectly-cooked sea bass at noon.
  • 17 visits to St. Stephens’ Green, an Irish bar on Castro Street in Mountain View.  I like the fact that the #3 entry for my so-called “job” is a bar. :)  Also note that that 17 includes 2 separate sets of back-to-back-to-back “meetings” in the pub.
  • 12 trips to Clocktower Coffee in mid-Mountain View, where I sit right now.  Though the Starbucks-knockoff is shameless in its imitation of design and menu, it’s 0.4 miles from my house. :)
  • 8 stints at University Coffee Cafe in downtown Palo Alto (I got tired of hyper-linking).  This place is particularly big for networking.  Wednesday I bumped into 2 other EIRs there.  Keep in mind that there are like 50 EIRs at any given point TOTAL. :)
  • 8 rounds of beers (again including some back-to-backs) at The Old Pro sports bar in downtown Palo Alto.
  • 7 scrambles at Hobees, my favorite breakfast place, where they always ask about The Chief.
  • 6 breakfasts at Bucks’.  Surprisingly-low for the VC standby but it’s north of my house and office, though I love the charm of Woodside.
  • Only 6 coffees at Starbucks.  I guess it’s another sign of the anti-chain mentality of us Californians.  Or my laziness because the nearest Starbucks is 0.8 miles away instead of 0.4.
  • 3 stops at Zibbibo (love that place).
  • 2 visits to Citizen Cake (over-rated).
  • 2 cozy drinks in the soft chairs at Stanford Park Hotel.
  • 2 awesome lunches at Junoon, the best Indian fusion around (okay, there’s not that much Indian fusion but still).
  • And 1 a-piece at 4 Seasons Palo Alto, Il Fornaio (only one?), Thirsty Bear SF, Michael Minna (now I wish I had more times there!), Bay Cafe, Garibaldi’s, Dutch Goose, Westin SF, Los Altos Pancake House, Peet’s Coffee, Crowne Plaza Palo Alto, Fibber Magees, Courtyard Marriott SF, Straits Cafe (rocks), Residence Inn Sunnyvale (does not), Tamarine (best in Palo Alto still), Palo Alto Sol (decent Mexican) and Cafe Milano (Berkeley).

Now that’s good eating (and drinking)!  On to the gym…

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3 Responses to “Career ramblings: Networking – the anti-diet”

  1. Matt Daimler Says:

    Ah, some of my old fav’s up there. EIR sounds like an interesting gig, I’ll be curious to see where you land. I like the blog, keep it up!

  2. bubba Says:

    what about our first meeting for drinks at the palace hotel?

    I feel like a jilted drinking partner. ;-)

    -bubba

  3. New gig « Fitful Dreams Says:

    [...] After six months of coffees, breakfasts, lunches and general “Entrepreneur-In-Residence”ing with the good folks at Trinity Ventures, [...]

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