Sarah's Guide to Dating Geeks

Sarah shares what she's learned about dating in Silicon Valley.

When you’re a total geek, like most in Silicon Valley, you start to get insight into your geekdom. From Episode 2 I’ve compiled my learning lessons on what is considered socially acceptable in Silicon Valley. Watch the show Mondays at 10/9c!


1. Friends will throw you under the bus for nothing and then apologize for all the wrong reasons. First, Ben and Hermione yell at me over a three-month-old email. I still don’t know what was so bad about it, and I don’t feel I did anything wrong. Do I need to share it as Exhibit One for a public vote? I’m not concerned about the email, but clearly they are being defensive by spreading rumors in San Francisco -– guess what? I can hear you 30 miles away in Palo Alto. It’s classic Tell-Tale Heart unfolding.

2. You are supposed to accept insincere “Black-Princess” tiaras as a form of apology because women in tech are supposed to support each other and “draw a line under the sand and move forward.”  Huh?

3. If your best friend says that she’s been competing with you for the duration of your friendship, was she ever your friend to begin with? Are friends supposed to be competitive? I’ve learned that they are even when they pretend not to be.


4. Don’t accept a date unless he asks you at least five days in advance. When Jay asked me out the day before, it wasn’t as impromptu as he professed; he had already made his intentions clear when he kissed me in my hotel room a couple weeks before. However, if he cares about you he’ll ask way in advance.


5. Don’t go up to the guy’s place on a first date even if he says he’s taking you to dinner right after. You only subject yourself to allowing him to enjoy his CheapDatedotcom, while you’re left checking out his dirty laundry, Murphy bed, and sink-full-‘o-dishes.

6. You should eat before going on a geek date even if he allegedly made reservations for dinner. If you’re going to have me drive all the way from Palo Alto to San Francisco to go to a restaurant, then I’ll be hungry. I learned that you can’t count on men to follow through with their promises. They may default to CheapDatedotcom or just try to get you drunk on an empty stomach.


7. You aren’t supposed to wear heels or dress up for a date. If Jay’s judging me for wearing heels, did he expect me to wear flats? I dressed for a date wearing a Maggie London dress and Christian Louboutin heels because he said he had made reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant. I’ve learned that’s a no-no with dorks, dress down.8. Have a response ready when he asks you “what goes into getting ready?” or about beauty products. It’s a woman’s secret and men have no idea what goes into getting ready. Try to brush off the questions as he may be asking you just to secretly make himself feel good that you spent time thinking about him as you sloooooowly applied your makeup.


9. There’s certain etiquette and unspoken Geek Dating Rules, but sometimes you lose sight of the dos and don’ts amidst distractions like lifecasting. I learned to follow my rules even when I’m on an awkward date.

10. Don’t expect to be treated like a lady. On my date I learned that men may raise their voice at you, curse, and worse, call you a dude! I guess I should get used to this if I’m to continue dating dorks like him.

11. Don’t lifecast on a date without permission. I decided to lifecast to Socialcam on my iPhone because someone had to do something to make that date more interesting. I intentionally broke my Pop17 Geeks Guide to Dating Etiquette rule number 6, but so did he when he cracked open his computer to check my quote unquote “Twatting?”

My “Tweet” pretty much wraps it up here:

12. If he doesn’t call you 1-2 days after the date, it’s safe to say something went wrong.
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Ending the Friendship with Sarah

David reacts to Sarah's accusations.

Building a product is hard enough, but launching it and putting a big event together to generate marketing buzz for it at the same time was almost enough to put me over the edge! But I've been working my butt off to get GoalSponsors out the door and launched, and after several months of effort, I was able to have a successful launch event and gain enough buzz to get a great set of beta users to test out the product! It's live in the app store if you'd like to give it a try:

I'm proud of myself, for sure, but I definitely didn't do it alone. There were several other companies that have helped me quite a bit, including NoXcuses Fitness and especially Appcelerator, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me make my app and my launch a success. A good number of people showed up to the launch event -- not an AMAZING number, but a strong 100-150ish, and after all the beta signups, I've been able to test my product out on real people, get feedback, and launch something that's now helping people achieve their biggest goals in life! In fact, the total weight loss of our users is in the hundreds of pounds, and we've only been live for the past month or so! On the business side of things, life is going well.On the personal side of things, not everything is so great. It's really hard to see someone that you've been close to turn around and do something to hurt you. When Sarah asked me to meet with her that day, she sent a text asking if I had time to get together and when I asked what it was about, she alluded to it being about business, and then quickly changed the subject. Nevertheless, I showed up in generally good spirits, so I was caught completely off guard when she accused of "physically assaulting," even "tackling" her -- thank goodness the world was able to see the moment she was referring to, in which she tries to interrupt Hermione's presentation at my event and I come to her calmly and escort her away from the stage, smiling and being generally friendly, as I didn't want to create drama at my own event.

So that hurt me quite a bit. Also, she was upset that I didn't provide a booth for her, but she literally never asked me, and the truth is (and I told her this) that if she wanted a booth, all she had to do was tell me and I would have given it to her. Ben and Hermione asked, and that was why I gave them one. Sarah never did.

There's a lot more to that conversation at the Four Seasons, from accusing me of trying to keep her and Hermione apart to trying to take credit for someone else's work in helping put together my event, the list of things she threw at me that day was quite large, and to this day I don't understand why she did it, knowing that I was her confidant, that I was there when everyone else was against her... why me, of all people? Was it just to create drama? Just to establish herself as the queen bee or, dare I say it, the villain?Needless to say, that was the last conversation I had with Sarah. I'm all for second chances when people make mistakes that were unintentional, but the kind of cold calculation Sarah did that day made me realize that it is better for me to let the friendship end and not do anything further to try and continue it. For once I was a part of the drama, not just the instigator of it -- and boy was that a reminder that it's better to be on the sidelines when the poo hits the fan!

Thanks for watching Start-Ups: Silicon Valley! Feel free to check out my app, follow me (Facebook, Twitter), or book me for speaking engagements by emailing the address listed at the bottom of my website!


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