It’s midnight after a long day, there’s some genre of music I’ve never heard before blasting two doors down and we need to sleep for another long day. We are living in a house with 40 people in the middle of San Francisco’s Mission district. Most tenants are doing something tech related and have places to be in the morning but there’s this one guy wrapped in a blanket, swaying back and forth in the living room staring at the speaker and really soaking in this dark-electro-metal which seems to be bringing him some sort of zen. We started a smart jewelry company and it’s the furthest thing from glamorous.
Alina and I met at a bar a few years ago and got to talking about design, it was the summer before she started NYU’s ITP, the so-called center for the recently possible. About a year later she made a hoodie that texted people with gestures. I had this idea marinating in my head for a few years and asked her out to lunch. I didn’t really know what was going to happen that day but Alina seemed like a someone who could point me in the right direction. We ordered our food and I started telling her about a piece of jewelry that could archive my stories in the way that I capture them today, digitally. I was blurting out thoughts that built up over the years and Alina waved her hand to cut me off and said “You can stop explaining it, I’m in.” She wouldn’t stop texting me at midnight, e-mailing me research, making spreadsheets and 5 year plans. I didn’t think 5 years ahead, I was trying to figure out what to do next. She wrangled my ideas and made sense of a business.
We dove into research and talked to anyone that would give us their time. We created a prototype, raised equity financing and were accepted into the premier hardware manufacturing accelerator. Earlier in the night we were on a roof looking out at the lit up Mission, talking about the day. We’re in a endless state of delirium, joy and stress. We burst into laugh fits all through our days. We send each other funny drawings on our Apple Watches and heartbeats after particularly inspiring moments. We have every problem a software company has plus we need to manufacture a physical product at scale. Good thing we like solving problems.
We come home every night and hang out with Tesla and Schrödinger, the house cats. They’ve been trained to know it is feeding time when their Tile beeps. The front door opens with a Slack command, rent can be paid in Bitcoin and a Dropcam overlooks the kitchen so everyone can tune in to see who didn’t do their dishes. Every month, we have house meetings that are ran like product sprints. I had to recently be reminded that this is an extreme situation.