Walking the alleyways of Chinatown, you can hear the clacking sounds of gambling tiles coming out of back windows. It's a pleasurable little sensory experience of the neighborhood culture.
If you wander the back streets of South Market, and you're Zen aware, you can feel big brains spinning madly around all sorts of digital world propositions and business model mysteries from behind the security doors of former dot.com boom condos.
Tech geniuses are squirreled away in these SoMa warrens, hunkered over computers and huddled around whiteboards figuring out how to change the world, get rich, or both.
I visited one of those Petri dishes the other day, a business called Fwix that focuses on hyperlocal news, and interviewed its young founder, Darian Shirazi.
In case you don't feel old or stupid enough: Darian started building web sites at 14 and went to work for eBay at 15. Before 20, he'd moved to Facebook, then started several of his own companies. He's now 23. Here we try to peel back a little of the mystery of high IQ and compulsive entrepreneurship as we talk about whether new media startups like Fwix will help traditional media -- or "fwix" it like a veterinarian.
And there's a hot tub involved.
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