Why a trip to SV specifically? Among the many reasons, there was the hope that, in SV, we would find early adopters for our technology product more easily. It took us a dozen meetings to finally realize that this wasn't true, and we didn't find people to be particularly more tech-savvy in SV — at least in comparison to Paris, London and Dublin which are the European cities I know the most.
I totally disagree with this. Having lived in London myself and now moving to the bay area, it's not that whether people are tech-savvy, but rather willing to spend time on something that may fail. This is what makes the SV gold. I found that culturally (specifically in London) that Brits wait until high tech get's proven in US markets and then they are willing to adopt it themselves. People "can't be bothered" to waste their time on technology that's not proven. Obviously YMMV, but this was my experience after working and building businesses there for 3 years.
That being said, you've already proven that people do want this product/service in large markets. All you really need to break into the US market is someone with industry knowledge and voila, you will have sales.
Note - I do find places like Stockholm and Berlin are also great places where early tech evangelists can be found in Europe.
In NYC, I take a lot of meetings (more than 5 a week on average), but rarely need to spend more than 30 minutes in transit. I'd guess the average is closer to 15.
Digital Guru Bookstore (and Madhuban has a great Indian buffet almost next door);
Weird Stuff Warehouse (be sure to go in the back room);
and there's a Fry's is close to those 2
Then slightly distant from those:
Unix Surplus (tell them Hacker News sent you and you might get a used hard disk or GBIC as a door prize, or ping me and I'll organize a time for a geek tour)
I'd also recommend Halted off of Central Expressway in Sunnyvale. It looks like Haltek in Mountain View closed some time ago...
No doubt a little of all of these things. But Americans in general try to be helpful. If anything, people in the Bay area are a little more stand-offish, although this is not taken to an extreme. The helpfulness only extends so far for strangers (and even close friends) -- there often comes a point where people start to get a little impatient. This helpfulness is to be contrasted with the superb hospitality shown in some parts of the world. Americans are helpful but not very hospitable. Be prepared to fend for yourself here for anything beyond the basics.
Could be that you were meeting with the wrong people - those with the time on their hands to meet over what is frankly a very unlikely opportunity for them (if you're based in France, and they do Realty in SF/SV etc) or are having to be so opportunistic are probably not the people who are going to be the best placed to help you. Those that can make that golden connection, have they key knowledge or can make something happen may be simply too busy to meet someone without a strong endorsement within their network.
I wouldn't tarnish all of SV as being "not tech savvy" simply from the bench of folks who would take a meeting like this.
Then I wouldn't get cheesed off when I clicked on it, because I wouldn't click on it.
(Oh look, it happened while I was posting! Thank you Intarweb Gods).
Is it ok to change a title after the link has been posted?
not sure if "don't waste your time" is an american idiom or not
it comes off as "don't bother" which I don't think is what you're trying to convey
I guess it's somewhat fashionable to suggest that the industry you're targeting isn't tech-savvy, but I don't see how anyone with knowledge of the market can credibly suggest that this is the case with real estate.
Many of them still write property descriptions as if they're paying by the letter in a dead tree publication - "2bdrms, 3bthrooms&snny blcny", randomly interspersed with lines like "this exciting property features exciting features like a sunny sunroof and utilities are included." Some of them are not just un-techsavvy, they're nearly illiterate.
You should consider that "knows how to use WordPress" is not the litmus test of tech savvy. There are a good number of folks out there who have made millions online who probably don't have any experience with a CMS.
Bad link baiting title.