It’s pouring rain.
I take the Bart to Fidi. Everybody on the train is wearing a mask. As we roll to a stop at Embarcadero, the train loses power. We wait “for the generator to come on so we can open the doors.”
Finally outside, I pass 10 people on the three-block walk to 345 California. Half are “our unhoused friends.”
The Cafe-X coffee robot tent at the corner of Pine is no longer there. Somebody is bundled up, sleeping in its place.
I roll into Industrious at 9:15am. All of the bagels from the breakfast spread are gone. This isn’t San Francisco’s fault! Although since most private offices are empty, I’m not sure how I missed the rush.
I get some third wave drip coffee and begin my morning scroll.
I learn Facebook is laying off 13% of their employees. Just down Market Street, Twitter is embroiled in an internal war - payroll, servers, and debt payments all competing over declining ad revenue.
Worst of all, it turns out the guy with the curly hair plastered on every billboard around town is a total scam who rug pulled every FTX customer, creating an $8 billion hole in his balance sheet and sending crypto into a free fall. Bitcoin is down to $14k, not far off its price when I left San Francisco in August of 2020.
I take a Lyft to dinner. We get stuck behind two ambulances on Polk. As we idle, watching a woman get loaded onto a stretcher, I realize nine years ago I was picked up for my first-ever Lyft ride just a block away. I tell my driver about this personal history, about how magical it felt to order a car at the push of a button, how a Honda Accord adorned with a pink mustache pulled up to the curb, how I donated the suggested $8 to be driven to a bar near
AT&T Oracle Park.
He asks me how much Lyft is charging me for this ride. $22.50.
He grunts. They quoted me $9.
I get to the bar where I’m meeting two of our investors. One has just come from a CEO roundtable. He decides not to drink because he has to “wake up early now.” Everybody is planning layoffs, he explains. People are burning millions a month. Capital markets don’t exist. I don’t think half of these people are going to have businesses in a year.
A couple hours later, I schlep back to Oakland. Lyft quotes me $0.50 more than Uber, so I flip a mental coin and go for the Uber. Boy does my gamble pay off. I’m matched with a Model 3.
In bed by 12:30, awake four hours later, and hungover from my three glasses of wine, it’s time to catch my Delta Main Cabin 5.5 hour flight back to NYC.