Some of your “friends” are no longer your friends: The Bay Area is starting to exhibit some shocking similarities to the Los Angeles entertainment scene. One day you are in, the next day you are “out”. CEOs of venture-backed startups with decent profile in the Bay Area are like rockstars. Once you are no longer in that position, people who used to reach out to you — conferences you used to get invited to — a lot of those privileges disappear. The upside to this is that the real relationships endure no matter what.
This is true when you are an exec at a higher-profile company too. Most of the “friends” that always wanted to have lunch or coffee with you will suddenly disappear when you are no longer an exec there. You will probably be able to count on both hands the real friends that stick with you across companies and roles, through the high times and the low, and are happy to just hang out and catch up no matter what you are doing or what your current job title is. And that’s ok, once you understand it and make peace with what it really means.