Johnathan Teh

The Global Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Bay Area, Part 3

San_Francisco_Stay.jpg A global entrepreneur in San Francisco needs to make do. Space is limited and prices are sky-high. Especially when we’re talking working and living.

Working Space

In Australia, I never understood the value of a shared workspace. We were highly productive in our own office in Pyrmont (it’s also our proud achievement). Being in the Bay Area, however, shared workspace is the norm, especially for an entrepreneur or startup. These spaced foster a sort of ‘instant network’. Strangers you encounter on a daily basis don’t hesitate to collaborate. It’s a boon for the global entrepreneur looking to save money and build a network simultaneously.

I visited eight separate locations prior to deciding on my particular workspace. You can find me at WeWork located in South of Market Street (SoMa), which is the hottest space for startup to be located in San Francisco. I picked this particular location because of the community support. It is a growing and thriving community, the community manager is amazing and there is extensive support in searching for the right connections.  Plus, I love those cute little telephone booths.

That said, every office space has its strength in a particular niche. When you’re evaluating a shared workspace option, carefully consider a few factors:

  • Is it the right location? Is it convenient? Does it appeal to individuals that share similar or complementary interests?
  • Does the space promote interaction across its user base via events or other community engagement? Is the level of community engagement appropriate for your needs?
  • Is the office comfortable? This is an important one.
Living Space

Finding a decent apartment in San Francisco was a challenge. Frankly, it was a horrible experience.

First, I found a temporary place through couchsurfing.org. A Stanford graduate opened up his floor. This was my first couchsurfing experience – I was excited about both the experience and checking out Stanford.

Those that aren’t lucky enough to couch surf with one of your friends in San Francisco, your next best bet is Craigslist for an sublet or apartment. Set aside a few days to sift through your options. Beware … you can find some of the worst places on Craigslist, so visit your options prior to committing to a lease and don’t always trust what you see in the pictures.

Carefully consider your budget before relocating to the Bay Area. Allocate at least $1,400 USD per month for a modest place in or around San Francisco. And don’t live in the Haight or close to the Tenderloin, it’s a sketchy neighbourhood.  :-D

Here’s the tip for entrepreneur looking to relocate internationally or domestically. Find comfortable places for living and working. In my experience, your work and living conditions have a massive impact on your emotional state of mind. Don’t let anything get in the way of building your network.