January 14, 2009
My Macworld recap
Steve Jobs may not have been able to make it to this year’s Macworld, but I was. The Griffin gang and I arrived in San Francisco last Sunday to get ready for the big event. While my friends rushed over to H&M for shopping, I spent a chunk of the afternoon walking around downtown getting a feel for the city. I had been to San Francisco before, but it had been about 20 years. Sunday night we all went out to an Italian restaurant and had plenty of laughs sharing stories.
We arrived at the Moscone Center Monday morning. Our booth was impressive, by far one of the coolest ones at Macworld (dare I say coolest.) We spent the next seven hours setting up product, displays, vacuuming, dusting, etc. It was an exhausting day, but we were able to squeeze in a California Pizza powered picnic. That night we ventured out to Foley’s Irish pub for some grand Irish fare. We arrived back at Hotel Serrano and sat up for a few hours in longer in the lobby (hat tip to the concierge, John).
The two hour time difference may not sound like much, but when you’re accustomed to waking up at 6ish most mornings, 4ish is brutally too early. Tuesday was the first day of Macworld for the media, so I had tossed and turned making sure all of the new products were in my head. It gets confusing when a company as innovative as Griffin launches so many new items at one time. I hardly left my post as “Desktop Dave” all day. An overwhelming craving for sushi was fulfilled that evening when the group and I hit Sushi Boat. Each piece of sushi was delicious as was the saki we sipped.
Wednesday was Day One of Macworld. Once again, I could not sleep more than four or five hours. I complained of my time zone case of insomnia on Twitter, when Jackson Miller replied that to him (a fellow Central Time zone brother) PT stood for Productive Time. When I realized I wasn’t alone in suffering 4 am wake ups, I waved my white flag and hit the shower. A few hours later I met my Griffin peeps in the lobby, together we walked down to Mel’s Drive-In for what would be one of five breakfasts.
Mel’s is a great place which is very inspired by American Graffiti, it’s also a popular place for Macworld exhibitors to dine before hitting the show floor. The orange juice was freshly squeezed, coffee was copious, and french toast worth writing home about. It was the perfect place to pack those much needed carbs and caffeine before manning the booth.
Day One went very well, I was happy to meet so many enthusiastic Griffin customers. I think I did a rather good job answering questions, showing off our new products and live tweeting from the booth. It was difficult to use Twitter during the first day, because of live tweeting from the keynote. I should add that the 3G network was really being hammered by thousands of iPhones under one (two) roofs. Still, I was able to successfully give away some prizes to people who received my tweet challenges throughout the day.
Our dogs were barking by the end of the day, we all retreated back to the hotel to kick back for some rest time and showers before venturing back out to dinner.
Day Two, Wednesday, was a particularly exciting day for me, because it was the day of the Twitter tweet up. I organized a successful Tweet Up in Nashville a couple of months ago, then one in Toronto back in December. I was really looking forward to creating one in San Francisco, especially since so many incredible tech minds happen to live in the Bay area. As expected, the tweet up was a blast. It was great to catch up with friends like Betsy Weber, Tim Street, Patrick Rhone, Chris Pirillo and many more. I have to throw a shout out to J. Curtis (@blatherskyte) who helped me pull it off, it was a little tricky giving away some prizes, but it all went well. The House of Shields rocked as a great location for a tweet up!
Later in the evening we were joined by the rest of the Griffin gang at the tweet up. Together we went to a great Italian restaurant, Il Fornaio, for a late dinner. Like usual, it was a pleasure hanging out, sharing stories and laughs with my co-workers. Just a few hours after I attempted to sleep, I joined J. in the lobby to go shoot some footage (above) of San Francisco waking up, including the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. I am eternally grateful to J. for bringing me along for the ride.
Thursday and Friday were both rather busy days at Macworld. I got a little down time to walk around the show floor to meet some of our neighbors. A special thanks for my new bag goes out to Harvey Stone at Brenthaven, it is an incredible improvement over my older bag. Thanks to the guys at GelaSkins for giving us some cool covers for our MacBooks and iPhones, I had no idea they are based in my hometown.
It was also fantastic to catch up with Andrew Sinkov from Evernote, Cali Lewis from Geek Brief, iJustine, Adam Jackson, Geoff Smith, and many more friends. We ended Macworld at 4pm on Friday, when we began tearing down our booth and handing out our goodies.
The final night with my friends from Griffin were spent at House of Nanking and an Italian cafe in Little Italy.
The next couple of days were spent with my wife, Heather. Together we played tourists and walked until our feet could walk no more. We ventured to Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Chinatown, Little Italy, to name a few neighborhoods. We even ventured across the bay in a ferry to Saulsalito, it was an added bonus that a massive farmers market was taking place at the terminal.
Heather and I found some great restaurants like Dottie’s, Nick’s Crispy Taco, Nob Hill Cafe and Sodini’s Green Valley restaurant. We even survived a near fatal cab ride by a seemingly homicidal driver.
All in all I had a fabulous time, both at Macworld with my friends and with my wife, Heather. Thank you San Francisco for being such an incredible city!