“It started out weird and then, it got crazy.”
That was the quote from Dyn COO Gray Chynoweth following his three day trip to San Francisco this week, accompanied by VP of Finance Joe Raczka. A trip that was built around business was mixed with a lot of pleasure involving a Valentine’s Day dinner, Patron shots, a Mercedes Benz, a house of hackers and a multiple time Super Bowl MVP.
A tale best set for a Ben Mezrich book? Decide for yourself.
The two originally were heading west to speak/appear at the Pacific Crest Emerging Technology Summit, a two-day event featuring the movers and shakers of everything from SaaS & cloud companies, infrastructure, alternative energy and tons more. Gray gave a presentation Tuesday, saw some familiar faces in clients/partners like RedHat, Tableau Software, FreshBooks and hopefully met a few new ones.
But with he and Joe stranded in San Francisco, the marketing team tried to find them a date for Valentine’s Day as they were sad to be away from their wives. Luckily, we found two in Eli Connelly of Awesome Goo and Karina Guillot of social messaging app Mumbo who were ridiculously great dates and a fun time.
She even wrote two haiku to celebrate the occasion.
when your packets drop
dyn comes in and picks them up
the day’s saved again
your tweets must go through
netflix will not watch itself
dyn makes it happen
Via friends from Mumbo, they were invited post-dinner to the infamous LikeALittle (LAL) Hacker House, seen on this TC Cribs walkthrough. The gang was supposed to meet up with Evan from LAL, who may or may not have been on a potential date (his words). The experience turned out to be a little different than expected.
“His car was in the front driveway with a flat tire and the front door was wide open. So we just walked in and gave ourselves a tour. Surprisingly enough, the house was full on Valentine’s Day night. Imagine that,” Gray explained. “Later, the Patron shots came out. Much, much later, our CPO Cory von Wallenstein came and got us, appearing out of the mist like an 80’s rock star with a pimped out Mercedes Benz. I think it was Cory, anyway. I get him confused with David Lee Roth all the time.”
While at the house, the guys met India’s top coder. “He’s won a ton of competitions. It was like shaking hands with Ted Williams, Michael Jordan or Steve Jobs in his prime,” a shaken Raczka said. “It was like…a religious experience, you know?”
Along the three day excursion, Gray and Joe met up with a ton of other friends, clients and partners like Okta, Zendesk, Zuora and VideoGenie. But there was one chance meeting that will never be forgotten. While driving with gracious host, tour guide and pal Richard Terry-Lloyd (Zuora VP of Sales), Gray spotted multi-time Super Bowl MVP and champion Joe Montana walking down the street — a once in a lifetime (triptime?) opportunity.
Prodded by his entourage, Gray made like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible and snuck into an America’s Cup launch event Montana was attending. After a glass of wine, the crafty legal eagle got the nerve to do what many defensive linemen couldn’t do over a 15-year NFL career: corral Montana…for a photo op, anyway.
And just like that, the trip was a wrap. Both are back home in the world headquarters of Dyn, away from the big lights and big city of San Francisco…for now.
“If all that happened in just three days, imagine if we were there for a week,” Joe said. “I think a Gray/Joe World Tour might be in order. What’s Monaco like this time of year? Also, where’s Cory?”
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