- David Blumberg, managing partner at Blumberg Capital, used to travel to Israel, New York, and beyond for work before the COVID-19 pandemic drove the world to a halt.
- Now, instead of commuting into his downtown San Francisco office, Blumberg takes calls at his home in the city starting early in the morning – sometimes in his pajamas – cooks, and spends more time with family.
- He said he feels more efficient, and he’s realising how much the business travel has disrupted his natural rhythm.
- Blumberg is one of many white-collar workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who have been sheltering in place since mid-March.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Thousands of Bay Area residents have been working from home since the shelter-in-place order was issued in mid-March – and that includes the region’s top tech executives, including venture capitalist David Blumberg.
Blumberg and his family have been sheltering in place in their home in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighbourhood since mid-March. Business Insider caught up with Blumberg to see how the pandemic has altered his workday and life.
Here’s how one of Silicon Valley’s top investors is spending his days through a global public health crisis.
David Blumberg is the managing partner of Blumberg Capital, a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm.
He and his team have very smoothly transitioned to remote work, a blessing for which he said he is grateful. Many digital workers have done the same as remote work has gained a greater focus, while essential workers have not been able to do so.
His office is in downtown San Francisco at First and Folsom Streets.
Blumberg is not your typical venture capitalist. As he told Business Insider’s Melia Russell in 2018, he’s a white man but still a minority in Silicon Valley’s technolibertarian sphere – he’s gay, believes in God, and voted for Donald Trump.
“When we came out as Republicans, we got dropped from a lot of cocktail-party lists,” Blumberg said in 2018. “There’s a number of friends who we just don’t see anymore because – we would be happy to see them – but they can’t deal with it. We break the stereotype.”
He used to wake up at 6:30 am, shower, get the kids up and ready, and take them to school. He and his partner would take turns driving them.
Before the order was issued, his two kids had extracurricular activities, like soccer games and Sunday school. For him, he also used to have cocktail parties, seminars, and other events in the city.
He also travelled a lot before, to New York and Israel, among other places, which is an aspect of his career that he said he doesn’t miss.
“I didn’t realise how disruptive it is, but the travel is kind of a break in your normal circadian rhythm,” he told Business Insider in an interview for this article.
Now he wakes up around 6:30 am per usual and has breakfast with his family. He starts taking calls by 8 am, sometimes earlier.
“I’m more efficient this way,” Blumberg said. “I’m able to be on the call in my pajamas. I’m able to have my kids bring me tea or lunch or breakfast while I’m sitting at my desk, and I don’t have to miss a conference call, board vote, or whatever.”
He has a home office and can see the Pacific Ocean from his window – Blumberg lives in the city’s Inner Sunset neighbourhood on the western side of the peninsula.
“My commute is a minute downstairs and I don’t have to drive all the way downtown and go to the parking lot, wind up the circular ramp, and four flights to get to my parking space,” he said.
He’ll pause for lunch around noon, and he’ll eat with his family when he can, but sometimes he’s too busy and his kids will sweetly bring him his meal.
His daily meetings range from typical board meetings to investor pitches for new companies and so forth. Time zone differences have always been something he needed to consider.
Blumberg and his team have weekly all-hands meetings on Monday mornings. Everyone gives updates on how they’re doing, what they did over the weekend, and how their families are. They also have regular virtual happy hours.
He has dinner with his family around 6:30 pm, and he said he’s gotten into cooking since much of San Francisco’s restaurant scene has shuttered with the pandemic.
He said he misses trying out new restaurants, but he’s enjoying eating at home, and he’s even lost some weight.
He loves all kinds of food: gazpacho and other Central American dishes, spicy soups, and even sushi. He goes to a local corner store for ingredients and has gotten to know the people there and likes the sense of community.
“I think this time of physical disconnect has made us look for other types of connections,” he said.
He enjoys taking walks in the evening with his family through the neighbourhood.
“It’s very quiet in San Francisco,” he said. He doesn’t hear the usual traffic from his house.
He said it reassures him when he sees signs from the outside world.
“I’m happy whenever I see a cargo ship coming in and out of Golden Gate Bridge,” he said.
The kids are in bed by 8:30 pm, and then his day wraps up by 10:30 pm.
He’s also been participating in a virtual Shabbat and attending virtual Jewish services regularly every Saturday morning.
He said the past couple months have been a transition, but he’s handling it well.
“It’s been wonderful in a certain sense because I’m able to spend time with my family and go on walks in the evening with our kids in the neighbourhood or Golden Gate Park or the beach,” he said. “I feel calmer.”
He said he and his team are still figuring out what office life will look like in the future and when they would even be able to return. Premiere Silicon Valley design firms say companies will likely have to implement a number of distancing measures to make employees feel safe in the workplace moving forward.
But until then, he’s making the most of the situation by spending time with his family.
“We’re doing things that are more actually important rather than urgent,” Blumberg said. “And we’re doing things that are more meaningful with the people that mean most to us.”
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