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Getting Over San Francisco and Silicon Valley is HARD; But, There’s No Place Like Home

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Entrepreneurs from all over the world dream of making it in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

In garages, coffee shops, and shared workspaces in Bangalore, Berlin, and Bat Yam, entrepreneurs aspire to relocate to California and receive funding from local Venture Capitalists to turbocharge their start-up.

For me, San Francisco and the valley has always been home.

I was born near Pacifica, a coastal town 15 miles south of San Francisco on highway one and raised around the San Francisco bay area for most of my childhood, returning to live in Pacifica full time about 10 years ago.

My mother’s grandmother settled in San Francisco directly from Portugal, making me a 3rd/4th generation San Franciscan. My grandfather worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s leading daily newspaper and his brother was a scout for the San Francisco Giants, the local major league baseball team. Safe to say my roots to the city are heavily involved.

And I’ve never lived more than 20 miles from San Francisco, except for a quick trip to San Luis Obispo to study for about a year. I eventually made my way back to the bay, finishing my studies at San Francisco State University simply because I knew it’s where I belonged.

I’ve traveled a lot to France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Indonesia, as well as coast to coast in the United States, so it’s clear that I really enjoy traveling and have been able to see the different ways of life around the world. I’ve been working for multinational companies for the last six years where most of my colleagues were based in Europe, Asia, and South America.

It’s just that the San Francisco area is home – which just can’t be compared to any place I’ve wondered globally.

There’s something about the sea in Pacifica, the tranquility of the valley coupled with the hustle-bustle of San Francisco which grounds me. It’s the best of both worlds, with complete access to tech and city vibes, while allowing me to retreat back to a coastal vacation spot nightly to refresh and decompress from work life.

I’ve traveled to bigger, more intense cities, as well as to more laid back places, but nowhere that I’ve traveled to or heard of combines both in one metro area like San Francisco.

Though I’ve spent the last six years in mobile marketing, progressing from office manager to senior global marketing positions, I started in food service, working my way from waitress to manager of safety administration and mobile administration (where I managed to wear many hats in a faced paced environment – no doubt foretelling my future in mobile ad tech).

Not only do I work in mobile marketing, but I am also a big user of mobile technologies, as I do mostly everything from my mobile device. Beyond typical apps like Waze, Google Maps, I also use music apps like Spotify, ticketing apps for concerts, and sporting events like Ticketmaster, StubHub, SeatGeek, Eventbrite, and Live Nation. On my phone, I have my shopping section which includes Amazon, Wish, and DoorDash. I use Google Apps for work productivity on the go, as well as games like Heads up and Nextdoor and Citizen for alerts near my home. Amazon Alexa helps me keep my home connected.

I’m excited by the potential of the mobile phone, which is always with us, to provide us with real-time data and information that makes our lives easier and more productive. One thing I’m looking forward to is the integration between my phone and my refrigerator, which will enable me to order groceries based on the items currently in my fridge and the recipes I’m looking to make. Truth be told, I often forget the grocery list on the counter at home.

I’m also looking forward to using the mobile phone for more government and municipal services, like renewing my driver’s license and even voting, since I use it for about everything else. I even pay my mortgage via my banking app!

One vertical that will benefit from mobile technology is the hospitality industry. Having worked in the foodservice industry, I can think of multiple tasks that could be improved using mobile technology, including supply re-ordering, staff scheduling, and menus.

Many of the skills I learned in my hospitality experience have enabled me to succeed in mobile marketing. Whether the customer is spending $16 for Ahi Tuna Poke, or $160K on an app retargeting campaign, they’re always right. The ways of turning a disappointed or apprehensive client into a satisfied one are actually similar – whether it’s correcting a wrong quickly, professionally and with a smile, and then exceeding the customer’s expectation the next time after righting their wrong or ensuring delivery and meeting those expectations, the end result remains: happy customers make for returning customers. After all, we are all human and respond to people who take the time to build trust in their relationships…

They’ve got to believe you are on their side, no matter which side you represent.

As a member of the mobile-first generation, it’s exciting for me to work in mobile marketing. I remember getting my first phone, in middle school, which has defined my online experience.

Developing my marketing skills has been more than rewarding since most of my close friends I’ve actually met in ad tech and heck, its been a whole lot of fun. I’ve managed to make a connection with people around the world, so to say that “mobile connects us” is more than just a statement, it’s my reality, in more ways than one. Our mobile community is meaningful… to brands and companies, and to me, personally. It sits in my heart with some of the best accomplishments of my life.

The fact that I can do this every day, from one of the global hubs of mobile marketing – San Francisco – is a real plus. It’s my backyard and I’m proud to represent the bay.

There is something magical about living and working at the intersection of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and the Pacific Ocean – with three tremendous sources of power coming together. And now, as San Franciscans have come together to support one another as we fight COVID-19, I’m more proud than ever to call this place my home.

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