Our first full day in SF started, for almost everyone in my 8 person dorm room, at about 6am. Bodies seemed to come to a consensus that despite all feeling absolutely exhausted, sleep was unnecessary. As such we were all waking up through the night, until most gave up as the sun rose. I don’t remember the jet lag being this way around the last time I was in America, but since we had to be on 2nd Street by 9am, there were no complaints here.
Most of the morning was spent sorting out yet more “admin bollocks” to quote the very accurate slideshow we began with. Aside from getting my first taste of what seems to be a standard tech startup office in SF, filled with kegs, ping pong, pool, coffee and bagels, there’s not much to talk about there.
Once that was done and lunch was out the way we headed to the office / production line of Rickshaw Bagworks for a tour of the factory from the head honcho Mark Dwight. Mark was an incredibly refreshing man to meet, he really seemed to have a passion for his business and their product, that being micro-manufactured custom bags. It doesn’t sound like a fascinating topic, I’m happy to admit, but after spending a couple of hours with the guy, a much better narrator than I, I was a convert. He talked not of volume sales (in fact the company only turned a profit this year for the first time!) but of the story of each product, such as the Messenger Zero, a messenger bag designed to have no offcuts or wasted material, all made from one large rectangle of fabric. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mark as a TED speaker, given his passion for design, sustainability, and entrepreneurship.
And then, for the icing on the cake, we were all asked to design a custom SVIP embroidered messenger bag for ourselves! For the curious, here’s what I went with. I hope it holds up to my readers vicious critique.
We finished the day - and when I say finished, I mean we spent from 5 onwards - drinking. Not much of that bares repeating here in the light of day, suffice to say I wasn’t the only man to make a fool of myself, so its all fine. Thanks to the jet lag, a tad embarrassingly, the night ended at a timely 11pm. Not to complain though, as its nearly 9am, and the rest of the weekend awaits…