15 Feb 2013

Starbucks is not my office

2 Comments outdoor activities

When I left Yahoo! a few years ago, I prided myself on Starbucks being my office. Meet folks there, have a drink, use the free wifi. It was in Silicon Valley, where tech folks meet for lots of coffee, though the elites may wish to mention Bucks, Il Fornaio, or other high-end VC hangout.

But for me, it represented the energy of meeting other entrepreneurs, well before superhappydevhouse, co-working or incubators became en vogue. Meet others and feed off their energy in a 24×7 environment.
Turn the clock back 20 years ago and the forests were my office. When you’re running 100 miles a week for cross country, it feels like you’re doing nothing but running. If you’re eating, then you’re merely refueling after a run or getting ready to run again. If you’re walking, you’re walking to meet others for the 6 am morning run or walking to the gym to do weight training after your afternoon run. Run, run, run.
I ate whatever I wanted, since anorexia was a real problem for us. It was hard to eat enough calories.  I ran the half marathon in 70 minutes, did my first ultramarathon of 70 miles in 12 hours, and weighed 128 pounds.
Today, I’m 195 pounds and definitely obese.
Instead of my default place being the forest, it’s been the airport and conference rooms for meetings. I’m still on the run, but in a different way.

So I’ve chosen 24 Hour Fitness to be my new office. It’s not because of The Biggest Loser, a News Years resolution, or even to lose weight.
I had the best times of my life when I was an athlete.
Did you know that the shoe company ASICS stands for Animo Sane in Corpore Sano?  That’s latin for “a sound mind in a sound body”.
I’ve rediscovered the joys of pickup basketball, swimming, volleyball, and even some dancing– yes, I’ll admit to some Zumba and Jazzercise-like classes.
It’s about the context you set, which determines your home base. I’ve found that when I’m fit, my energy levels are higher, allowing me to be 3-4 times as productive when tired, perhaps more.  How about for you?
Check back on me in 90 days and see where I’m at!
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written by
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of Portage. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at InsideFacebook and AllFacebook. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@portage.co, his blog, or on Facebook.
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2 Responses to “Starbucks is not my office”

  1. Blitzmetrics » Blog Archive » Howard Schultz says:

    [...] then I saw it was more than morning zombies feeding an addiction. When I left Yahoo!,Starbucks became my office– a place to meet business contacts and friends. If you’re not familiar with the concept of [...]

  2. Why Starbucks = Community says:

    [...] then I saw it was more than morning zombies feeding an addiction. When I left Yahoo!, Starbucks became my office– a place to meet business contacts and friends. If you’re not familiar with the concept of [...]