Why I chose *not* to do a startup for now

Day 1 at Akash.Network — DeCloud for DeFi

As many will tell you, building and running a company is hard. You really have to be mentally prepared to do it. The first time around, I was young, not married, didn’t have a lot of responsibilities in my personal life and it was still extremely difficult and stressful.

COVID hit in early 2020

I was laid off around the end of March.

Crystallizing moment…

Over the last few years, the process of discovery of who I am and what I want out of life, which had been slow-going until 2020. Maybe because I finally took time to think. It forced me to examine my life. After my Mom died (not due to COVID) in late June, not long after her 90th birthday, things began to crystallize in my mind. She was not happy for many years with her life, and since retirement, said that she is just “passing her time.” It was very sad to see her like that. She was explicit that she didn’t want any of us to do anything to prolong her suffering and we should let her go. I’m glad I got to spend the final days with her. She was coherent and responsive for about a day and half and then she was gone.

Should I do a startup again?

I realized after that trip that the most important thing wasn’t a job or a startup or money or status or power. What was important were the people in my life, the relationships, particularly, with my wife and close friends.

Talking to the right companies…

I knew my search would take longer this time. It accelerated starting in January 2021.

  1. Find a company where my purpose aligned with theirs in the optimization space and more importantly, their rationale. There were three companies that fit the optimization and/or ML criteria. Lots of opportunity still to be discovered. This was a higher priority for me.

A few words about compensation

At startups, you are not going to get Google or Facebook salaries.

Director of Product — Making the complex simple