Who is Adam Goldberg?
I’m the editor in chief of Drift, a new coffee magazine you probably haven’t heard of. I’m from and currently live in New York with my girlfriend and Drift’s creative director, Daniela. My sister Elyssa, Drift’s Executive editor, also lives in the same building, so it’s a blast working together on a project we’re passionate about: Drift, a magazine about cities — their culture, architecture, and people — as seen through the lens of coffee.
I love to travel and learn new languages. That’s been the inspiration for Drift’s city-by-city focus. In my spare time I box and write home automation software for my apartment.. right now my coffee brews automatically when I wake up, lights dim when I watch TV, and turn off when I fall sleep. Although admittedly, sometimes lights still turn on in the middle of the night.
What is your best childhood memory?
When I was 13, I lived in Sichuan, China for a summer. My best friend from elementary school was from Chengdu and invited me back with him and his family. It was the first time I travelled outside my home country. Everything was so foreign, fresh and new — the sounds, the smells, the tastes — I was hooked. I gained 15 lbs that summer and came back a pudgy teenager–but it was well-worth it!
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I took a year off from Columbia during my sophomore and junior years to do a startup. It was a predecessor to Facebook called CampusNetwork. We launched 6-months before Facebook and 80% of the Columbia student body was online in 3-weeks. At that time, I was student body president and coded the website as a way to connect students–I didn’t think about profiting from it, turning it into a business. About 6-months later Mark launched Facebook at Harvard and experienced similar growth. But then he launched to other schools very quickly. By the time we had 200k users, Facebook had 2M but because of the network effects, it was too difficult to catch up. Mark offered me the chance to close CampusNetwork and come out to work at Facebook–I would have been the 5th employee or something. I don’t regret turning down that opportunity; I regret not launching a simplified version of my site to other schools more quickly. but, it’s an honor to have played a part in the early history of social networks.
What do you feel most proud of?
I studied Spanish in high school and college and after all that time I still sounded like a 2-year old. I didn’t want to be the guy who loved to travel but could only spoke one language well. After college, I made a serious effort to learn French and Spanish. I lived with guest families in Buenos Aires and Paris for 4 years. I then moved to Puebla, Mexico for another 3 years. In 2013, I gave an all-Spanish presentation to a Mexican audience at the Mesamerica chefs conference. That was really rewarding.
If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be and why?
Assuming I already have access to clothes, food, and water… I would keep my iPhone, a coffee brewing kit, and a great pair of headphones. It’s amazing to me that we now have all of human knowledge accessible to us at any moment in a hand-held device–this wasn’t really possible 10 years ago. But sometimes I like to disconnect, and listening to music while drinking great coffee is a great way to do that, hence the brewing kit and headphones.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
A date very, very, far from today.
What is Drift Mag?
Coffee is this ubiquitous beverage that’s permeated all aspects of our lives, from sitting on the table during some of the most important events in history to bringing old friends together. We’re fascinated by this. There are so many ways one can get to know a city, and this seemed really interesting. So, Drift is a way to get to know a city — its history and people — by diving deep into its coffee scene.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee, brew method or coffee origin?
I like brewed coffee–it’s what I make at home every morning. I go back-and-forth between methods; right now it’s a Kalita. I like that it takes me awhile to finish a cup; it’s a big part of my morning routine. I really like the acidity in Ethiopian coffees, just have to be careful that it’s balanced. That’s the challenge every morning, really, but it’s so rewarding when it comes out right.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
In New York, that would be Parlor Coffee, Two Hands, or Sweetleaf, although I just discovered a new shop that opened around the corner from me in a subway station called Voyager. With the right tools, it’s not too difficult to make great brewed coffee at home, so when I go to a coffee shop, the environment becomes important.
What does a perfect day look like?
I’m not sure there is such thing as a perfect day. But most of my best days start with a great cup of coffee, are loaded with challenges, and end with a quiet dinner with my girlfriend.