Where is your accent from?
How long have you been here?
Three weeks
Did you come here for school or work?
For work…I got a job with Sprig – a meal delivery service here in San Francisco..I wanted to be here in San Francisco, where everything is happening.

So these are home cooked meals?
Yes, we serve lunch and dinner –   they have three options –  chicken, beef, and vegetarian – all
So how much is dinner, for example?
$9.00 for dinner
Including delivery?!




Did you move here for school or work?
For work.
Who do you work for?
I work for Brilliant Earth.  We sell diamonds that originate from ethical and environmentally responsible sources.
What exactly does that mean?
We protect the environment and we ensure workers get fair wages, education and training.
Where do most of your diamonds come from?
Russia and Canada
How interesting..I never would have guessed Russia.
Yeah, people don’t know.
What is your most effective marketing strategy ?
You mean how do people find out about us?
Mostly through Pinterest.
Oh, wow…another surprise!
Yeah, brides love Pinterest. …and women start collecting pictures of things they like even they are engaged!


Account Executive, ClearSlide

Me:  Hi!  How are you?
I’m good.
Me:  Ok, so can I ask you about your job?
Me:  Ok, so who do you work for and what do you do?  What’s your job title?
I work for ClearSlide….I am in sales…I sell software.  I’m an Account Executive.
Me:  Oh!  I haven’t heard about ClearSlide.  What does it do?
ClearSlide helps sales people share slide decks with their customers.  It lets them see how much time the customer spent looking at the slides and they can also see which slides they looked at.
Me:  Oh, wow!  That would have been a great tool to have when I was doing pharmaceutical sales.  So, who are your customers?
My customers are companies…companies who have sales teams.  My job is to get the company to buy our product to help their sales people be more effective.

Start-up Founder, Fleksy

Me:  Hello…where is your accent from?
Oh…I’m Greek.
Me:  Do you live here or are you visiting?
I live here in San Francisco.
Me:  What brought you here?
This is where all the action is.  
Me:  What do you mean?  
Oh…this is where all the start-ups are…this is where all the talent is – the people you need to hire.
Me:  Do you have a start-up? Are you the founder?
Yes, I do have one….a group of my Greek friends and I started it.
Me:  What is it?
It’s called Fleksi.  It’s a keyboard for mobile devices for the blind.  
Me:  Oh…how interesting…
Yeah…it can also help anyone make fewer mistakes when they type on their phone.
Me:  Wow….that’s a great idea!
Yeah…the blind community has been using it already for a while.
Me:  Hmmm….I’ll have to ask my friend if he’s familiar with it.  He used to be the pastor at my church…I was amazed at how much he can do…and this is an example of the types of things that have enabled him to do more

Software Engineer, Twitter

Jack Dorsey, a co-founder and the chairman of Twitter, in 2009
Me:  So what was your major in school? 
I took engineering…
Me:  What kind?
Computing science
Me:  Oh…and who do you work for?
Twitter, do you have a Twitter account?
Me:  Yes and I’m going to take advantage of this and ask you things I don’t know how to do on Twitter.  1) How do you reply to thank someone for the follow without replying to everyone?  2) Can you link your Twitter account to more than one website?
No…both of those are really good questions… the answer to both of those questions is: “we’re working on it”.  But regarding the URL, yes there only is room for one URL but you can add your other websites in your bio. 
Me:  So, how many people work at Twitter?
I think we’re at about 2,500.
Me:  Hmmm…..so not as many as Facebook, I hear they have about 7,000 employees. 

My twitter account: @yourlovecup

Software Engineer, Adobe

Me: Where is your accent from?
I am from Spain.
Me: Oh, the first guy I talk to from Spain. What do you do?
I’m a Software Engineer for Adobe.
Me: Oh, I didn’t realize they were here, also. They’re one of the older companies.
Yes, we’re on 6th and Townsend in San Francisco.
Me: Oh, ok…what do you like best about your job?
I like that we get to work with a lot of different companies….everyone uses Adobe. How about you? Where are you from originally?
Me: I am from Mexico, my parents came here when I was 8 months.
Oh! well then why are you making me struggle with my English (and he started talking in Spanish) I have an uncle who lives in Mexico City and he loves it! He keeps telling me to come visit. Just today he posted this on Facebook. His uncle said he got in a taxi and the taxi driver asked him where he was from and if he liked it. When he answered he was from Spain and that yes, he liked it, the taxi driver replied, “Oh, well, that’s not surprising – the Spaniards loved it when they first came 500 years ago”.

Venture Capitalist

Me: Do you live here in San Francisco or are you visiting?
I live here.
Me: What do you do?
I’m a venture capitalist.
Me: Hmmm….so that means that you fund companies? Is it your own money or do you also look for investors?
I fund start-ups with my own money.
Me: Oh…………………
I started several companies. Some worked…some didn’t. My first one was 10 years ago.
Me: And so now you have lots of money and you fund companies. How do you like it? I read “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh and he talked about how fun and exciting it was to start companies.
Yes, that is very true. It’s lonely being an investor it’s more fun creating a company….I know Tony…he’s a good friend.
Me: Yes, it’s very exciting to create things. One of my biggest accomplishments is the establishment of a program for the medical care of women and HIV through a grant I wrote.
What do you do now?
Me: I just became the Director of Development for Reality Mentor.
Is that like Big Brother Big Sister?
Me: Yes.
Those are great programs. I was a Big Brother in New York. We need more of those programs.
Me: Yes. I work primarily in Hayward, a school district which has some of the worst schools in the state and a graduation rate of 58% and where 85% of the students in the district are Latinos. I grew up in Hayward, which is why I care about it. It is now worse than the Oakland schools, and those are notorious for how bad they’ve been.
That’s great. Those are the kind of programs we need, not more “hand-outs”Me: I couldn’t agree with you more.
Hand-outs don’t help people…the old adage of “don’t feed a man, teach him to fish” is so, so true.
Me: Yes, those programs do more harm that good. I believe they decrease people’s self-esteem and they create the opposite of what they were intended to do. I once heard a 27 year old say, “I’m so happy!! I love my new apartment…I love my Section 8!” But I thought you said you just moved here? and I thought there was a long waiting list for Section 8? Yes, but when you move to another city, you don’t lose it and you don’t go on the waiting list. So since I already had it, I went right to the top of the list!”
What a shame….her life-long goal was to be on Section 8…I can’t believe Oakland is still in the shape it’s in. Oakland needs to take advantage of the tech companies being so close. They need someone with leadership over there. There is no reason why the tech companies shouldn’t be spilling over into the East Bay. They need to create some incentives.
Me: Yes, but the people who work in government don’t think like business people.
Exactly. And if they do, people don’t like them. Look at Bloomberg…he did a great job in New York, but some people don’t appreciate what he’s done.

Development Director, San Francisco International Film Festival

Me: So how long have you been in San Francisco?
Almost a year now.
Me: and what do you do?
I’m the Development Director for San Francisco Film Festival….I just started.
Me: I just saw a sign for the Sonoma Film Festival taking place the first week of April. Is that the same thing? If not, how is that different?
No, they are all separate, but they are all .
Me: Did they give you a list of companies and the contact names of whom to contact?
Me: Oh….so what exactly do you raise money for? I mean…since they charge when you go see one of those movies.
Oh, well that just basically covers the cost of the venue. The funds I raise cover the operating costs like the staff, office space, the travel expenses of the film producers we bring in to do talks during the film festival, etc.
Me: So, how’s it going?
It hasn’t been easy…the city (San Francisco) gives the tech companies a break for being here in San Francisco which is contingent on them giving back, but inspite of that, it’s still hard. They get to write it off and they get great exposure, but it’s not easy…
Me: So what did you do before this? Meaning…what was your stepping stone to this job?
I did event planning. I planned big fund raisers.

IBM Software Engineer

Me: So what do you do?
I’m a software engineer for IBM.
Me: Oh….and do you work here in San Francisco? Meaning…do they have an office here in San Francisco?
Yes, but their main presence is in San Jose and Seattle.
Me: What was your degree in? or are you self taught?
Computer Science…but yes, self-taught as well (smile). When my math teacher required that we get a scientific calculator in high school, I got really curious about how it worked….that’s what got me started.