An Update on Everything

It’s been months since I’ve done a proper update. In fact, the truth is that there’s a lot that’s been going on that I haven’t shared here at all. I get the urge to write almost every day. But it just hasn’t happened. No more excuses. I have a giant task list but this is important to me. If for no other reason than that its tremendously useful to look back on what I was writing about five years ago and see what I was thinking and concerning myself with, and I can’t keep doing that as I go forward unless I keep writing today.

Each of the items below deserves to be its own blog post but just a few sentences will have to suffice for today.

First: the struggle of privacy vs. insight. The trouble with a blog is that it’s only useful if people can find it. But in the era of facebook and google, it’s next-to-impossible to keep your personal/social life separate from your professional life. And so, as long as I was at Microsoft, there was always a struggle about how much I could write about here without worrying that it might reflect poorly on me. And because this was an issue that kept cropping up, rather than addressing it, I inevitably gave-up and moved on to more interesting things. Which brings me to…

Second: I left Microsoft. My life plan when I first graduated from college was to spend 3 years working for a large corporation and then leave and do something else. And one day I woke up, Microsoft was having layoffs, and I was freaking out. I spent the next 4 weeks pounding the pavement and managed to get myself a job offer with another team at Microsoft. And then when the dust settled and I spent some time considering my options, I realized that I didn’t want to go back. I realized I’d been at Microsoft almost 4 years and I had no interest in becoming a lifer. As much as I had loved (and still love) Microsoft, the company wasn’t innovating enough and I wasn’t making a big enough difference in the universe. Which brings me to…

Third: I spent an amazing few months learning to live. I went to the Vancouver Winter Olympics and watched curling and ice hockey making friends with hot Punjabi girls from Surrey. We crammed six friends into a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment overlooking the Olympic Village. I became the President of NetIP Seattle and explored my community, supporting two of my best friends as we together hosted the NetIP National Conference in Seattle and presented speakers like Aasif Mandvi from the Daily Show, Suneel Gupta, VP of Product Development at Groupon, and Dinesh Keskar, President of Boeing India. Finally, I dated. This isn’t something that I’d really devoted time to, ever. I learned a lot about my values and myself. Which brings me to…

Fourth: I got into a serious relationship in Seattle. I’m not going to talk much about that here. But I got to build a relationship with a very special woman who means a lot to me and really got close to her in a way that I’d never been able to do before, because I hadn’t had a girlfriend living in the same city as me since I moved to Seattle four years earlier. Which brings me to…

Fifth: I moved back to the bay area. After a few months of taking time off, I joined a rapidly-growing Silicon Valley startup to lead the marketing organization, reporting directly to the CEO. I was very sad to leave my girlfriend and close friends back in Seattle, but I knew that I had wanted to move back to the bay area for years and I knew that this was too good of an opportunity to pass-up. I was working so hard the first few weeks I didn’t have any time to find an apartment, so for the past 8 weeks I’ve been living with one of my closest friends, Rishi, at his family’s house in Foster City, CA. I finally found a decent apartment in Mountain View, CA and plan on moving there soon. It’s not San Francisco, but it IS close to work. Which brings me to…

Sixth: Work. I joined a startup called Kno – short for Knowledge. The thing I love about Kno is that it’s an education-technology company, which means that rather than just maximizing our profits and users, part of our mission is also to help students learn, to change Education for the better, and to help students reach their full potential. Kno is founded by Osman Rashid a serial-entrepreneur, who was previously founder & CEO of Chegg – a textbook rental startup which is now valued at a billion dollars. Kno is also backed by Marc Andreessen’s VC fund Andreessen-Horowitz and just released a dual-screen Tablet PC and got great coverage at CES 2011.

Finally: I’ve continued being as introspective as ever. New revelation from yesterday: I never allowed myself to hold people’s poor grammar and vocabulary against them because I believed that it was a poor judge of intelligence. I think NOT holding it against them was a mistake.

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