A visit to San Francisco & Portland

I’ve just come back from a couple of weeks in the US, mostly accompanying Craig to JSConf and NodeConf in Portland, and had a couple of days in San Francisco on the way.

I’ve not spent much time in San Francisco – obviously excited to see the orange (unless you’re in the ‘rusty red’ camp) Golden Gate Bridge and discover some good coffee places. We caught up with our friends from Clarium and went on a road trip (our first US driving experience) to visit bill.com, Doug and Sherrill Sleeter and we were invited by Steve Souders to have lunch at Google in Mountain View. There’s a real buzz in San Francisco and a lot of hiring going on.

While Craig was at the conferences in Portland I was really trendy and hung out with my Mac at various cafes around town taking advantage of the excellent free wi-fi that all cafes have, sampling some of the fantastic espresso that Portland is known for (excellent by Wellington standards too!). We had a chance to meet Bank Simple’s CTO Alex Payne while we were there and hear how things are progressing for them as they’re about to launch their online only banking service.

After tweeting that I was going to be in Portland I was excited to find out that an accountant using Xero in Seattle wanted to come down to meet me – she is a total Xero fan girl and it was rather humbling listening to her praise Xero. We talked about the key things missing for her in the US (pleased to find out they’re things we know about and are currently working on – bank feeds still to come from some banks, checks) and it was great to meet someone a world away who gets it and is a real Xero ambassador. I’ll let her tell you in her own words – I snapped this quick video after our meeting although I didn’t get her priceless quote on film “Xero is like driving a Ferrari after a dump truck”! Mariette Knoblauch of Ballard Beancounters.

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