While the other interns chose to live in apartments with their own room, privacy and other basic creature comforts, I decided to rough it out at a hacker hostel for my first month in San Francisco. For JUST (/sarcasm) $840 a month, I got a bunk in a ten person room, work space and immersion in a community of entrepreneurs.
Despite a disastrous first day, I eventually learned to love the Startup House and will be sad to leave. I am going to miss how every Startup House resident is either starting their own startup, working for one or planning the next stage of their entrepreneurial life after shutting down a company. It is a place of startup collaboration and inspiration with some of the brightest minds I have ever met. The diversity of the community with residents coming from all over the world and walks of life is just icing on the cake. Exploring this diversity has led to a lot of late night debates and discussions, which always left me more enlightened.
To complete the whole experience are the amazing staff. They live in the hostel with the residents, making sure everything runs, taking care of our complaints and constantly rearranging the furniture to find that optimal set up. The staff are a supportive bunch with infectious enthusiasm, time to time one of them will walk around the house and ask “Do you want to change the world?!” which just brings a smile to my face.
However, it has not been all smooth sailing at the Startup House. A week after I moved in there was a bed bug scare. One day, a few of the residents including myself realized that we all had small bites over our arms and legs. The exterminator was called, and the staff informed us with a smile and sigh of relief that it was not bed bugs but just fleas! I shudder to think how bed bugs could be worse. On my second week, the pipes gave out, and for a week the kitchen floor was covered in a thin layer of water. Living at the Startup House has kept me on my toes and I wonder what will go wrong this week.
Despite the mishaps, all of us residents still dearly love the space. I often joke that the fleas and flooding are the staff’s way of hazing us into a tight knit community, as it is always a sad day to see a familiar face move out.
It is tough to convey why Startup House has been such as an awesome experience. When I tell my friends about the things I deal with and price I pay, they alarmingly ask me why I have not moved out yet. I try to explain my reasons, but the magic of the Startup House needs be experienced in order to be understood.
Let’s just say that I cannot imagine a better place to start off my post-grad life in a full-time job.