“Put me anywhere on God’s green earth and I’ll triple my worth.”
—Jay-Z, “U Don’t Know”
hope y’all have been getting tan, eating watermelon, watching Solana skyrocket, and enjoying the dog days of summer. I actually started writing this from Martha’s Vineyard a few weeks ago where I’d been trying to recharge after moving out of my New York apartment, and mentally prepare for my next step in life: moving to San Francisco. I forgot about it for a hot sec and it was originally to help me gather my thoughts but now that I’m kinda getting settled in SF, I figured I’d put it out there as a PSA.
it’s no secret how much i love new york so I’d been getting the “why the **** are you moving to SF?” question A LOT the past couple of months lol. here’s the short answer:
First and foremost, I moved to work more closely with team at Maven Ventures. Beyond that, I’ve been in VC for a year now and as I’ve gotten to connect with founders, operators, and investors from both coasts, I’ve started to notice a pretty fascinating difference between how people tend to approach their professional lives in NYC vs. SF folks: In New York, people work; in SF, people build. I really want to build (sounds a little corny, right?)
*This is NOT a catch-all: I’ve been fortunate enough to befriend and meet with some of the best young founders, and start-up operators in New York and they are DEFINITELY building (especially in crypto, fintech, and social).
What it comes down to, in my opinion, is culture: Having spent two years at Goldman before joining Maven, I saw up close how easily folks get caught up in the rat race in New York (especially if working in finance - Elena Burger does an incredible job explaining that here). While I mostly love how cut-throat and competitive New York feels (it keeps me sharp), it can get a bit toxic sometimes. Folks are constantly looking over their shoulder to compare themselves to the folks around them: Who’s working where? How much are they making? Why am I not doing that? Even I found myself getting anxious when I started to see friends leave Goldman for cooler, higher-paying, or more entrepreneurial jobs.
Largely because it’s a finance hub, there’s a lot of ‘me vs. you’ energy in new york; it’s like “I eat your food or you eat mine.” And it’d be silly to say SF isn’t insanely competitive, but since the city was essentially built by tech entrepreneurs, there are more collaborative vibes. People seem to find ways to win together. It’s more like: ‘there’s enough food at the table; we can all feast without eating off one another’s plate.” Not tryna overgeneralize but that’s my take 🤷🏾♂️. I’m hoping to find a nice little balance between the two.
Anyways, SF has been and remains THE leading city for building and investing in startups so, at this point in my life, that’s where I feel best positioned to build. I’m not quite sure what that’ll entail exactly, but there are a couple of itches I’ve been wanting to scratch, including co-founding or joining an early-stage startup. Aside from that, I’m still sussing out my bigger-picture, longer-term goals but here are some of the small things I’m going to do in my first 90 days.
Run a half marathon in under 90 minutes (~6’50 pace I think)
Write write write write
Go DEEPER down the crypto rabbit hole
Surfing, climbing, hiking, and other “California” activities lol
If you’d like to help with any of the latter 3, the DM’s are open.
To all of the homies, founders, operators and investors in SF, let’s link up. As a reminder, Maven Ventures invests in seed-stage consumer software and I’m most interested in crypto/web3, social, fintech, and marketplaces. Drinks are most definitely on me if you’re building in crypto lol.
SF: what’s good. NY: see you soon. That’s it for now ✌🏾✌🏾
Things I’ve been working on (coming soon to jaydrainjr.com)
crypto & web3 for dummies - putting together a starter kit for my non-tech friends looking to get into crypto
writing (going to try and get the Blueprint active and poppin again)
toying with the idea of forming a DAO
a redesign of the Infatuation iOS app on Figma
The best things I’ve consumed recently
Certified Lover Boy: Race My Mind, The Remorse, Champagne Poetry, 7am on Bridle Path, Papi’s Home
Donda: 24, New Again, Remote Control, No Child Left Behind, Ok Ok pt 2
Layer 1 Platforms: A Framework for Comparison (really long but helpful)
Really Love on Netflix
**I’d apologize to my subscribers expecting a think-piece but I warned y’all this would be more of a digital journal than a newsletter.
“Pessimists get to be right. Optimists get to be rich.”