Moving to San Francisco

Some of you might heard about it already (especially the one’s connected on Facebook), but I didn’t want to make it public before it’s 100% official. Today we finally received our visa, after a months-long struggle that made us nomads for almost two months (personal advice: Never quit your apartment contract before receiving the final visa. Not even if everyone swears it will arrive in time and you have accounted for an additional six weeks!). Sigh.

So yes, my wife and I are finally moving from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco, California – next week! We’ll be living in the city, close to the Zynga headquarters (but not too close – I’d rather live outside of SOMA). And this better be good, because I probably won’t stand going through all the bureaucracy pain again.

The main reason for the change: To help my colleagues at Zynga in building the next generation of games that are super fun, truly social (not the spammy kind), instantly playable and broadly distributed, naturally with the help of HTML5. And to double down on my mission: To make the web a better place for games.  All while personally gaining important leadership skills I’m still missing, needed to kick off any or all of my future projects (yes, I have a long list of crazy stuff that needs to get built).

Here’s things I will miss (in no particular order, excluding the obvious friends and family..):

  • Long, warm, summer evenings
  • Awesome public/social health care (although I hear that is coming to the States – thanks Obama!)
  • Concerts, theater plays, musicals (like pop concerts? You better move to San Jose, not SF..)
  • Decent milk (fun story: I went to a grocery store in SF once and asked for milk. Guy: “What kind of milk?”. Me: “Well, the one that comes out of a cow, preferably the way it is”. Guy: “Um, we don’t have that”. Me: “What is the closest to normal milk you have”? Guy: “That might be that Vitamin D Milk over here”.)
  • Fast internet
  • Clean streets
  • Public transportation (the MUNI is to Frankfurt’s public transportation system like a three year old’s doodle to a Picasso)
  • Cheap(er) groceries

Here’s things I’m looking forward to:

  • Better overall wetter throughout the year
  • The beaches all around California
  • Being close to my team
  • Being able to meet existing friends in SF more often, and making new friends
  • A thriving web community, hundreds of companies focussed on making the web a better place
  • Krispy Kreme donuts
  • SF’s gourmet restaurants (and sometimes a decent burger)
  • Being close to where most browser development happens
  • All of the awesome conferences in SF and beyond (want me to speak? Get in touch!)
  • Great bike tours, hiking, etc.
  • Japantown

If you live in the city or come by, don’t be shy and say hello! Seriously, we could really need a warm welcome, and people to show us the greatest secrets of the city :)

Looking forward to see ya all soon!

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