About

I started off studying neuroscience, because I wanted to understand where everything came from.

I started at U. Oregon because of a scholarship, and found I wanted to speak directly with the people who wrote the books. I emailed a few neuroscience professors at Stanford, got a research position, dropped out of UO, and drove to Palo Alto. I lived out of my car for a year while learning programming and working in two neuroscience labs. It was great. I’m grateful to people who took a chance on me early on, and work to pass it on.

I transferred to study CS at Berkeley, and then computational neuro in the Redwood Institute. I thought the field was blocked by lack of good tools for measurement and data processing, so cofounded NeurotechX, which remains a large open-source neurodata / neurotech developer community.

That summer I got an email about setting up the neurotech company that would become Kernel. I joined as a founding teammate and stayed to research noninvasive devices.

After seeing the valley-of-death curve faced by science companies, I started looking at using blockchains to do something I thought was useful: fundraise for deep tech companies. This led to teaming up with some friends to build TrustLabs. We built the first stablecoin to have a formal partnership with a US bank (TrueUSD). People told us it was too early and we couldn't do it. I wrote the whitepaper and found the bank. TrueUSD grew to $200M AUM and was acquired in 2020.

Afterwards I spent time learning the modern AI stack, and worked as an early-stage cofounder to help an AI company and neuro company get off the ground.

If anything, I want to become exceptional at navigating ambiguity.

Some principles that have developed:

  1. Portfolio of Worldviews: I don’t know yet, but I can cultivate a set of weighted hypotheses
  2. Conviction: Sometimes the best move is to swing unreasonably hard at 1 thing
  3. Feedback loops: I go out of my way to work with people who are smarter or more experienced than me. To choose to set up my incentives so that I keep evolving, so I can contribute more in the future.