The Startup Dream: Journeying into the heart of San Francisco pt. 1


We all know of those startups that are a few steps ahead of us.

They are getting featured in news articles, speaking at tech events, getting multi-million dollar investments, and seem to be tapped into that mythical network of social connections that brings them one step closer to the startup dream. The rest of us sum it up by saying, with a tingle of envy: “They are rising entrepreneurs. They got it all figured out.”

But how did they get there?

As a part of a recurring series, we will be following the epic story of an entrepreneur who has been travelling across the country jumping from one hackerspace to the next in search of the startup dream. He has seen the transformation of an idea into a full-fledge company many times. His experiences have been chronicled through photos, videos, and scribbled notes, which shows the progression of the hackerspace culture all while documenting the success stories of many startups aggregating around these unique co-working spaces.

This week, we dive into the interconnected world of San Francisco where our traveler finds himself visiting several tech communities of creative and innovative people.


It’ all starts during a bright and sunny day in Mountain View, California. There are cars everywhere filling up all the parking spots in the lot and every inch of space on the street, except for one little area off to the side. This allows for a dark car to roll up smoothly and snatch that last spot positioning itself on the outside of a co-working startup environment code-named The Hacker Dojo.

Inside the doors are dozens of individuals sitting in leather chairs and at organized tables busily typing out code for their budding startup ideas. They hope to find a co-founder here, or perhaps someone to invest money into them. They work with 3D printers and play on pool tables. Mounds of Columbian coffee helps to keep the energy focused on the tasks at hand. This gives them the necessary motivation to stay up at odd hours programming databases and various software solutions. The scene is mostly quiet here, as people wait for something big to happen.


Just then, tires screech and rubber hits the floor. That black Toyota Camry that took the last parking space peels out into the road driving sporadically towards the freeway. The driver knows that there is something going on just a few miles north; near the decrepit streets of the open air Mission market. He slides into a parking garage, pays for the fee, and ventures out onto the noisy sidewalk causally strolling passed drug dealers and bloodied butchers.

As our journeyman loses track of time, he stumbles up to a locked door. Behind it lies the infamous hackerspace called Noisebridge where eccentric hackers gather to take apart old computers and build something new. They come from all over the world to experience this founding member in the maker movement.

But why? What makes this place so special?


Next week, we will continue our travels and explore what is behind the Noisebridge door. We will run into goblins, accordions, and heavy machines. Prepare yourself, for it will be quite the adventure!


Article written by @industrychanger



Hacker Dojo’s Website:

The Noisebridge wiki:

About Matt Terndrup

I'm a virtual reality, wearables, and technology art journalist who focuses on emerging trends in the maker, hacker, and inventor cultures. I like to travel around from place to place researching what is being made.

One response »

  1. Pingback: The Startup Dream: Journeying into the heart of San Francisco pt. 2 | Hacker Trips

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