San Francisco is my favorite city in the world, bar none.
I love NYC, I love Bali, and I love Buenos Aires, but SF is the place for me. And since I’ve been here for 10+ years, I get asked a lot: what should I do when I visit?
This post will highlight some of my favorite things.
Recently, I joined forces with InsideHook – the “essential lifestyle guide for adventurous and discerning men.” I’ll be their SF curator (and advisor), helping them find and share hidden gems in gadgets, food, outdoor adventure, and more. Subscribers get one hand-picked item per day via email. That’s it.
I encourage you to check it out here. At the very least, you’ll get an education in headlines, as their copywriters are amazing.
Now — onward!
Below is one of my ideal days in SF, planned out so everything is within close walking distance.
A Damn Fine Day
Wellness FX Blood Analysis
Activity: Blood-drawing and high-end diagnostics
Description: Visit one of Wellness FX’s labs for a blood drawing to produce an in-depth analysis of your state of health. Results offer a wide range of information, from cholesterol and hormone levels the to an analysis of your body’s electrolytes and vitamins.
Activity: Smoothies, juice blends and more at 21st/Valencia.
Description: SideWalk provides made-to-order juices, smoothies & kombucha juice blends that are as delicious as they are beneficial to your physical and mental health. My favorites? The “Green Machine” and the “Jake Shields,” named after the local UFC fighter (“The strongest kale drink in existence!”).
Street Art Tour
Activity: Walking tour of two alleyways with notable graffiti artwork with Dan Pan. We focused on the Mission district.
Description: Guided walking tour with Dan Pan, founder of 1AM Gallery’s new street-art app. The app allows you to find nearby street art, as well as take pics and have users tell you the artist (very cool). Try Clarion Alley as a starting point, which is run by an artists’ collective.
Pricing: The 1AM app is free.
Mission Cliffs Climbing
Activity: Indoor rock climbing
Description: Indoor rock climbing at Mission Cliffs, a sprawling gym located at 2295 Harrison St.
Lunch at Salumeria
Activity: Lunch at Salumeria
Description: Salumeria is a 20th St. deli and larder that marries the culinary traditions of Old World Italy with the trend-hopping foodie culture of contemporary San Francisco.
Activity: Adult beverages with friends
Description: Enjoying social lubrication with new or old friends. A fine tradition as old as time. Some of my favorite spots include:
St. Vincent (Mission)
Hotel Biron (Downtown-ish, Hayes Valley)
Trick Dog (Mission; Disclosure: I’m an investor)
Bourbon and Branch (Tenderloin)
4 More Free Activities
Hawk Hill: where you can take a bike ride into our Cold War past.
Once upon a time, Fortress America dotted San Francisco’s hilltops with Nike missiles and radar outposts. Of course, those missiles were never fired — but you can still visit the rusted remnants of their vigilance if you bike up to the SF-87C radar outpost, the best-kept secret of the Marin Headlands coastline.
The Lands End Trail, where you’ll find the best maze in the Bay.
Truck up the Great Highway to stretch legs and strut your knowledge of the Sutro Baths. Hike up the Land’s End Trail from the ruins to the labyrinth at Eagle’s Point. It’s only a couple miles round trip, and damn fine panoramic views’ll be in serious supply.
California Cheese Trail: pairs well with Mission Cheese (below) or your vineyard of choice.
As an adult, your knowledge on cheese should surpass the realms of Lunchables and Easy Mac. Showing you the whey: the California Cheese Trail app from the folks at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, available now for iPhone and Android. If you’re up for spending a few bucks on cheesy delights, visit Mission Cheese on Valencia.
The Bay Bridge’s long-awaited East Span.
The opening of the Bay Bridge’s new East Span has been years in the making, and now it’s officially open, welcoming pedestrians and cyclists of all stripes and offering exclusive access to Yerba Buena Island.
6 More Paid Activities
Vantigo: Tour beer breweries in a cherry-red VW Bus.
Indulge your nostalgia for simpler days with Vantigo, now offering tours of some of the Bay Area’s best microbreweries via a pristine ’71 VW Vanagon.
Pricing: $85 per person
Trumaker and Co.: Shirtmakers who come to you.
Restock your shirt library with Trumaker and Co., a custom shirtmaker with a highly mobile fleet of outfitters. It’s simple: you make an appointment, they send a tailor your way.
Pricing: from $98, free outfitter appointment
Boatbound. Because every man should own a boat…if only for a day.
Herein: your guide to using BoatBound, a new AirBnB-style boat rental service. SF Bay or Half Moon Bay?
Pricing: from $250 per day
Big Sur Roadhouse. The Big Sur getaway you’ve been looking for.
There’s a sprawling new Cajun restaurant in Big Sur. There are also some skinny-dip-friendly hot springs down the road. That gives you at least two good excuses to visit.
Pricing: from $50 per person
Mikkeller. It’s like a beer tour of Europe in a single bar.
The legend of Danish brewery Mikkeller has been growing across the pond for some time; they just opened their first North American alehouse in San Francisco.
Shelter Co.: Romantic private camping service with tent butlers.
Shelter Co. offers completely customized luxury camping experiences. You want tent butlers? They got tent butlers. You want a private island? They will rent you a private island.
Pricing: from $2000
Let’s Talk About This…
Want more activities, rare finds, and goodies? Sign up for InsideHook and let me know what you think. I’ll also choose one person who signs up for a 30-minute phone call with me.
Then what? How about you try my Pacific Northwest roadtrip from SF to Whistler? Damn, I love the Bay Area.
What’s your favorite city in the world, and what are your favorite 2-4 activities?
If you’ve ever fantasized about taking time off to globe-trot, I would highly recommend Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding
. It is one of only two books I took with me when I traveled the world for 18 months. Outside Magazine founding editor Tim Cahill calls Vagabonding
“the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written.”
I recently partnered with Rolf to release the exclusive audiobook for Vagabonding. For more on this incredible book, click here
How to Live Like a Rock Star in Buenos Aires
How to Hack Tokyo for Less Than NYC
How to Travel Through 20+ Countries with Free Room and Board
How to Travel to Exotic, Expensive Cities on $50 a Day (e.g. Paris, Hong Kong)
Goofing around at Burning Man ’08. Ah, the memories…
This is just a quick announcement post.
Below, please find the winners of Chip Conley’s Burning Man 2013 contest (See “28 Festivals and 8 Reasons They Can Change Your Life“), as well as the finalists for the Charity:Water roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world.
Please vote for your favorite Charity:Water finalist! The most votes wins — deadline is this Friday, Aug. 23 at 5pm PT.
First, Burning Man Tickets — Enter Chip
Wow, what an impressive and heartfelt collection of stories about how festivals have or could transform your lives! Thanks to the 250 people who shared with us. This was a difficult choice and, while only one person wins the two tickets to Burning Man 2013, I’ve selected one winner and three alternates depending upon whether the first place winner can use the tickets (since the event starts in a week and ends on the Monday of Labor Day). Congrats to these four! Tanis, DW, and Rebecca, we will immediately reach out to you if the person above you on the list can’t use the tickets.
For everyone else, take a look at Fest300 and imagine which festival might transform your life or give you a whole new perspective on how you could live your life. In this era of digital overload, festivals offer you the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and others.
FIRST PLACE… Read More
Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels.
Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he began at age 26 and built to more than 30 properties in California alone. In 2010, Joie de Vivre was awarded the #1 customer service award in the U.S. by Market Metrix (Upper Upscale hotel category).
Conley has also been named the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
Last year, he decided that he wanted to become the world’s leading expert on festivals.
Why? Because he’d seen his personal and professional lives transformed by places like Bali and Burning Man. Since that decision, he’s traveled to more than two-dozen countries to experience more than three-dozen festivals and launched Fest300.
Why are festivals — one of the mankind’s oldest traditions — most important than ever in a digital world? What are Chip’s favorite festivals and how can they tranform your life?
This post — full of inspirational photographs — answers all of these questions.
Chip is also giving away two free tickets to this month’s sold-out Burning Man, which include drinks with Chip and quite possibly Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man. Deadline for submissions is this Friday! Details at the end of this post.
Enjoy… Read More
There are dozens of topics covered in this wine-infused, bromantic episode of scatterbrained nonsense. Some of it might improve your stock picking or even save your labradoodle from being eaten alive. Or you can just choose to waste tons of money on awesomeness. O-tanoshimi dane!
This special edition of The Random Show was recorded and edited by Graham Hancock (@grahamhancock). For all previous episodes, including the epic China Scam episode, click here.
Below are all the show notes and links, courtesy of kind reader Jonathan Wu. Thanks, Jonathan!
FULL SHOW NOTES:
1) St Vincent’s Restaurant SF
2) Taser Dual-Shot Pistols
3) Chef Steve Rinella
4) The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine by Steve Rinella
5) Pee Mart
6) Deer RedLight Deterrent
7) Surefire LED Defender
8) Foundation.kr (David Copperfield)
9) Theory 11 Magic Trick Online Guides
10) Every Day Carry (EDC)
11) Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert
12) Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
13) Tim Ferriss Monthly Audio Podcast (TBA)? “Tim Tim Talk Talk”?
14) The Tech Guy by Leo Laporte
15) Foundations.kr with Jack Dorsey
16) The Graveyard Books Audiobook by Neil Gaiman
17) The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton
18) Foundation by Isaac Asimov
19) Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card
20) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert a Heinlein
21) Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
22) Kevin Rose’s Top 3 Stock Picks A. TSLA B. AMZN C. APPL
24) Game of Thrones
25) SOG Tomahawk Knives
26) Food Photography Made Easy
27) Flow Free
28) Heroes of Ismia
29) creativeLIVE free high-def classes
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers… or so the story goes.
In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Over the last 13 years in Silicon Valley, I’ve found that the homerun hitters are precisely the opposite: risk-averse. They mitigate downside whenever possible with low-cost and short-term testing. They’re often extremely ambitious and aggressive (e.g. Travis Kalanick of Uber or Elon Musk), but they aren’t remotely haphazard.
They’re methodical, and this is a learned trait.
The above video is a conversation between me, several first-time entrepreneurs, and Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo.com. In this video, Noah — who was an early employee at Facebook and Mint.com — covers his risk-minimizing methodologies:
In the first 20 minutes:
- His career path, including failures.
- How he has used low-cost testing in his own ventures.
- Why focusing on the small things (even trivial things) is a big thing.
- Common mistakes and coping mechanisms of first-time founders (e.g. seeking multiple co-founders).
In the second 40 minutes:
- Live critiques (in some cases, constructive tear-downs) of real companies and entrepreneurs.
- How entrepreneurs can make the jump from theory to revenue… in real-time.
- How you can immediately stop “playing business” without customer contact.
If you’re going to skip any part, skip the first 20 minutes. Though I enjoyed every minute, the last 40 minutes are especially must-see.
For more from Noah, be sure to check out his previous how-to posts on this blog, as well as his free upcoming course (9/26/13) on creativeLIVE: How to Overcome Fear and Get What You Want.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What tools or services have you found most valuable for low-cost business validation? Any other tricks?
(Photo: Marc P. Demoz)
OK, I’ve had a few short posts recently.
Now it’s time for my favorite: a post you will want to print out, refer to often, and take with you on adventures. In this case, we’ll explore budget travel that is luxury travel.
But what does that mean? It means that traveling inexpensively is a decision for creativity, not simply a decision against excessive spending. Throwing money at a trip means you are ordering from the normal, plain-vanilla menu (e.g. Marriott or Four Seasons hotels). This often means physically changing locations without changing your perspective or worldview at all.
In contrast, looking at how locals live — and find hidden gems — ensures you have amazing experiences that no guidebook can capture. This post is written by Matt Kepnes, better known as “Nomadic Matt.” He didn’t have his first overseas trip until age 23, and now he’s traveled to more than 70 countries.
His specialty is engineering first-class trips from economy-class budgets… Read More
The following is a guest post by Kevin Ashton, the co-founder of the MIT Auto-ID Center, which created a global standard system for RFID and other sensors.
He also created the Internet of Things.
A Hungarian psychology professor once wrote to famous creators asking them to be interviewed for a book he was writing. One of the most interesting things about his project was how many people said “no.”
Management writer Peter Drucker: “One of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours–productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well.”
Secretary to novelist Saul Bellow: “Mr. Bellow informed me that he remains creative in the second half of life, at least in part, because he does not allow himself to be a part of other people’s ‘studies.’”
Photographer Richard Avedon: “Sorry–too little time left.”
Secretary to composer György Ligeti: “He is creative and, because of this, totally overworked. Therefore, the very reason you wish to study his creative process is also the reason why he (unfortunately) does not have time to help you in this study. He would also like to add that he cannot answer your letter personally because he is trying desperately to finish a Violin Concerto which will be premiered in the Fall…” Read More
The above video is a presentation by Peter Attia, M.D.
His talk is somewhat technical, but I always write blog posts hoping 20,000 people will *love* them, not that 1,000,000 will *like* them.
In this presentation, you will learn (in my words, not Pete’s):
- More about nutrition than most MDs learn in med school.
- How ketosis-adapted performance can aid fat loss and high-altitude resilience.
- Why the calorie estimates on treadmills and stationary bikes are complete BS.
- The three primary systems of energy production and basic organic chemistry, both of which aid understanding of all athletics.
Even if you struggle a little with vocabulary, the first 30 minutes are well worth watching a few times.
This talk made me immediately want to jump back on the Cyclical (or “Cyclic”) Ketogenic Diet (CKD), which was conceptually introduced to me in 1996-1998 by the writing of Lyle McDonald, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, and the late Dan Duchaine. It’s incredible for simultaneous fat loss and lean muscle gain, though perhaps needlessly complicated for non-athletes.
I usually limited the carb-reloading period to 12-18 hours after a glycogen depletion workout on Saturdays, though I experimented with moderate Wed night carb-ups while training for sports like kickboxing.
If you’ve experimented with ketosis, what was your approach and experience? Pros and cons?
For additional reading, I suggest the following posts by Dr. Attia:
Odds and Ends:
This week, I’m using my birthday to change the world with @charitywater. Please click here to take a look. You could do the same.
I’m turning 36 years young! Here in a village in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.
My 36th birthday is here!
It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too. In this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.
But back to that strange birthday gift…
Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for. Not so. I love handwritten letters, homemade brownies, girlfriends in next-to-nothing, and–most of all–when people do something nice.
You, my dear readers, have an awesome track record of doing nice things.
For my b-day in 2010, you all raised more than $100,000 for high-need public school classrooms in the US. In 2011, you helped build libraries overseas (Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam), and last year, you helped poor youth in developing nations finish school.
In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to provide clean water to the people who need it most. I’m doing it on this page. There are fun prizes involved, so keep reading… Read More
(Photo: Andrew Atkinson)
### PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS DEADLINE HAS PASSED. THANKS! ###
I am looking for one great company to put my name, brand, and entire network behind.
Usually, I do this through advising, and my start-ups include Uber, Evernote, Automattic (WordPress.com), and Shopify, among others. I’ve been with some of them from pre-seed money to $1-billion+ valuations.
Here’s my full bio and credentials, and below is a testimonial from one of my start-ups:
“Tim has played a huge part in putting Shopify on the map. He has been an advisor to Shopify since 2009, and he’s been invaluable in the growth of our business.
Back when no one knew about us, we were brainstorming with him. He challenged us to prove that building an online business was in fact as easy as we claimed. In order to accomplish that, and under Tim’s guidance and leadership, we created the Shopify Build-a-Business competition. Now, it’s one of the most important things that we do.
In the most recent Build-a-Business contest alone, more than 12,000 brand-new shops sold more than $55 million in products. It’s become the most popular ‘online retail’ competition in the world.
This helped Shopify ‘cross the chasm’ in terms of pushing Shopify’s brand to a mainstream audience.
It was risky, but Tim knew it would succeed – it was entirely consistent with his track record for PR and Marketing. Simply put, Tim is our secret weapon!”
- Harley Finkelstein, CPO
Shopify – The world’s most popular ecommerce platform for small businesses, currently powering more than 60,000 online stores that sell more than $1B in products annually. Shopify also powers stores for brands like Gatorade, Forbes, Budweiser, The Chive, and more.
Back to Spearhead Capital…
This time, I’m doing things differently: I’m raising an entire round of financing for one company… with unusual perks. I’ve been planning this for a long time, and it’s only possible now.
Here’s what it looks like…
You should want (or be willing) to raise $500,000-$1,000,000, and here are the benefits of doing it with me:
- I won’t take a board seat, so you retain all control.
- Massive national PR/exposure. This is going to get a LOT of attention, and I’m famous for maximizing impact (e.g. Forbes’ “The Tim Ferriss Effect” and AdAge awards for product launches).
- VCs usually want a minimum of 20% ownership. You can sell as little (or much) % as you want here.
- Once VCs see you succeed, you are in a massive position of strength and will probably receive unsolicited term sheets. This flips the tables. If you want optimal leverage for a larger round (say $5-10M total), raising a small amount with me makes sense.
- Minimal disclosure. You don’t have to pitch to investors and potential competitors.
What I’m looking for:
- Consumer-facing product/service (e.g. Evernote, StumbleUpon, Uber, etc.), or small-business focused product/service (e.g. Shopify), not enterprise software.
- 100K+ active users OR serial founder(s) with past exits OR 10K+ paying customers.
- 10%+ month-on-month activity growth.
- Clean cap table, minimal previous financing (or none), no bridge rounds.
- If you’re in “stealth” mode, you’d have to come out of stealth when I start fundraising, which would only last a few weeks.
- US-based companies, or companies willing to create US-based investable entities (which is easy). Shopify started in Canada, for instance.
### PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS DEADLINE HAS PASSED, AND THE FORM HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN. THANKS! ###
Interested? I’m psyched. Please fill out this form. Deadline is July 25, 2013 at 5pm EST, and I’ll be in touch!
VERY big things ahead.
Please note: I’m only recruiting the start-up at this point in time. I’m not talking publicly about the mechanisms or process, so thanks for understanding if I can’t answer many questions in the comments.