I’m currently in route back to Baltimore, where I’m staying for a little while to celebrate Passover with my family. I shifted into an advisory role with a project I was working on, and am currently thinking through next steps.
I had been in San Francisco the past few months, as I was flown out in mid-December from Argentinian Patagonia to interview with YC for an AI/drug discovery project. We didn’t get into YC, and spent the last few months executing further on the project. We successfully managed to receive sizable term sheets from top VCs in the Bay Area; however at the critical juncture I realized continuing further was not the right next step for me.
So, I declined all the investor money and moved into an advisory role with the company. I felt this was the most ethical and correct thing to do for a variety of reasons. Initially I was afraid to make this move, as things were moving and investors were excited to get more involved. I could not have been more wrong here - as I explained the reasoning to investors, the decision was met with admiration and full support.
San Francisco has a very different rhythm than what I had gotten accustomed to in Argentina. I learned a ton through the entire process of starting a company and securing investment. In particular, the respect I have for most founders and great VCs has increased, whereas the respect I have for most other VC investors has decreased substantially.
I continue to be fascinated with how the human mind learns languages. I now speak Portuguese fluently, and was accepted to teach it on iTalki. I’ve also been interacting with the Brazilian immigrant community in San Francisco, making friends and tutoring English for free. It’s a lingering frustration of mine that most Americans seem to have no interest in helping immigrants integrate and learn the English language. In Argentina, it felt the opposite was true - everyone I encountered on the path wanted me to speak as well as possible, as fast as possible during my learning process.
I’m especially looking to meet introspective, curious, and kind people on my journey. If you know or are one of these, reach out at ronnyb - at - jhu - dot - edu.
This update was written Mar 27th, 2018.