Transitioning to a different "scene" presents various obstacles and challenges. The deeper into a scene you get, the more invested you become in people and the harder it is to transition out. A couple of years into my first job I knew I wanted to make a switch. Since than I've put a ton of effort into meeting new people with similar interests and over time it has started to pay off. Moving out to San Francisco from NYC is a natural next step in this process. I only have a few friends out on the west coast and believe it's important to understand the culture of different cities. There are tons of different ways to meet people but I've found the most success developing relationships through three channels: Meetups, Twitter and Coffee.
Meetups are an easy way to find people that share similar interests. Yes, I have been to some terrible meetups, but, like most things it's a trial and error process. Stay patient and attend events that are relevant to the community you're interested in- good things will happen. I'm excited about checking out some new meetups here in San Francisco and organizing some events. Putting together a small happy hour or weekend brunch is a great way to bring relevant people together. As Erik said to me on Saturday: "Brunches are the Future".
I've lost count of how many people I've met through Twitter since I went from having a private profile to 8k tweets. Like meetups, there have been some bad encounters but again if you're patient you'll get access to some really smart people. Twitter is a great place to find opportunities to help people, strengthen existing relationships and when appropriate meet people in person. People engage in conversations and are responsive. If you build rapport with somebody through twitter don't be afraid to meet them in person. It definitely accelerates things and helps develop relationships.
When you do meet people in person coffee works well and has been critical to my transition into the startup world. Meeting for drinks or lunch is cool but I usually prefer coffee early in the morning or late afternoon. It keeps things professional and not everybody wants to spend money on lunch or drinks. Back in New York I was lucky to be right around the corner from an amazing coffee ship called Why Not where I chatted with people regularly. Having a few spots in your regular rotation gives you some more flexibility.
After just 2 weeks in San Francisco I've already met hundreds of people here. Fortunately, Revivn is part of 500 Startups Batch 10 which has increased our exposure to the startup community in a new city. People are always swinging by the office and there are so many events going on that I haven't even been to much outside of the office yet. Now that I'm settled in I look forward to finding my coffee shop out here and continuing my transition into the startup world. Have already heard that Sightglass is pretty good...