Welcoming Gaia 🐣🌎
Sharing some exciting personal news, a career update, plugging a new side project and offering up some recommendations for streaming + reading
It’s been a couple months since my last post but life’s been busy 👇
I’m a little superstitious about sharing stuff like this prematurely but now that both baby and mom are healthy…
I’m a dad!
A couple weeks ago Carole gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Gaia. Here’s 1-week old Gaia smiling next to George.
Fatherhood has already given me an early glimpse into some highs and lows.
Starting with the lows, the main challenge has been the exhaustion from the constant feeding+diaper changing cycle and from not having as much time for long walks with George. George’s exercise was my primary exercise for the last few years, so in addition to being tired and sedentary, I also feel guilty that I’m not giving him the exercise he deserves.
When we first adopted George as an 8-week old pup, our trainer told us that a happy dog is a tired dog. We’ve made it a goal to tire him out multiple times a week and as a result, he’s been very healthy and happy. Aiming to get back to long walks ASAP (once Gaia is a bit heavier I can use the Ergobaby carrier instead of the stroller).
There are also highs, of course.
For one, I’m already an expert at diaper changing and feeding. Practice makes perfect.
And the 20 minutes after feeding Gaia are fun: holding her head, listening to her heavy breathing and watching her hilarious poopy faces as the food passes through her (I learned that babies digest mother’s milk in ~ 20 minutes which is nuts). In these moments I’m completely present as my hands are literally unavailable for anything else. Watching Gaia eat is like having a front-row seat to humanity’s most basic operating system. Gaia has no idea what she’s doing but she’s doing it well.
On a related note, I want to acknowledge how incredibly Carole handled the pregnancy and delivery. The grace with which she advanced through the past 9 months redefined my mental model about what’s possible with pregnancy. It was unreal. She was active throughout, completing a 7 mile nature hike w/ me one month before giving birth and joining me for a comedy show in Manhattan the night before delivering.
Gaia is very lucky to have Carole as a mom. She’s also been dressing her up stylishly so she’s tracking towards being a Brooklyn hipster w/ a trendy French sense of style.
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Moving on from the wonderful personal update, I’m also ready to share an update on the career front.
After a year at Attentive, I made the personal decision to part ways with the company in November. I joined the company because I was excited about the opportunity to do great 0→1 product work, collaborate with a strong team, and learn from a manager I respect.
With the macroeconomic downturn in 2022, the new product experimentation team I joined was disbanded only a few months into my time at the company and I was re-assigned to a completely new domain that I didn’t find exciting. And then my manager left the company. And then I was re-assigned to a new domain, and then another.
I had 4 managers over the course of my first 10 months at the company and by the end of the year, it became evident there was no longer an overlap between the company’s needs and my interests and strengths. So we decided to part ways.
I was able to enjoy November/December with Carole and George and felt relieved to be out of a situation that was simply no longer a good fit.
Fortunately I’m at a point in my career where I have enough experience and financial cushion to explore opportunities with a lot of intention and patience. As I think about what’s next, I’m optimizing for longevity; I want the next chapter of my career to be long, fun, challenging, and profitable.
Here’s my framing for what I’m looking for in my next role:
Company. Massive market, inspiring humanity-positive mission, leadership-level appreciation for the role of product management. Focus on outcomes over outputs; not a feature factory.
Team. Strong XFN team with very senior folks who don't need to be micromanaged, reporting to a manager who will become invested in my career. Hungry execs.
Role. Meaningful IC scope in a mission-critical area with a path to people management in 1-2 years. Data-driven decision making with expectation to demonstrate measurable impact.
I’ve enjoyed working in various stages of companies (I’ve been a founder, worked in Series A, B, C, E, and Facebook) so I’m stage agnostic as I look for what’s next. I’ve been meeting with teams from seed stage to post-IPO.
My past experience has also spanned various domains, including retail software, consumer social networking, mindfulness/mental health, automotive fintech, enterprise design collaboration SaaS, marketing and advertising tech. I’m confident I can ramp up quickly to new domains that are interesting for me so I’ve been mostly domain agnostic.
Despite the layoff-filled news feeds, it’s clear there are still many companies hiring product people and I’ve had no problem getting in the door at some great companies. I’m looking forward to finding a role where I can make a real impact while enjoying myself and growing. Will keep you posted where I land.
For now, I’m savoring the family time at home without the distraction of work 🙏
I’ve been writing for a long time, mostly in published form such as this newsletter. But over the last year, I’ve found myself increasingly writing without intention to publish (i.e. journaling).
None of the journaling sites I’ve tried have blown me away and taken the writing experience to a level that makes me truly look forward to journaling. So together with a couple friends, we’ve been exploring a new take on journaling as a side project. We’re calling the product Disco.
Disco is a privacy-first take on journaling that aims to offer a 10x better focus mode journaling experience.
Below is a quick video I recorded outlining our approach w/ Disco and here’s a link to join our waitlist if you’re interested in being one of the early beta users later this year.
🧠 Non-Mainstream Thinking
This TED talk from Rupert Sheldrake was banned as pseudoscience but I watched it recently and it made a ton of sense to me. Thought provoking.
Banshees of Inisherin was weird and unique with beautiful scenery. Loved it.
Triangle of Sadness had completely unexpected plot turns and I still find myself thinking about it. Highly recommend.
The Last of Us on HBO only has 2 episodes out so far but they’re excellent. The camera work is very interesting and has a way of making it feel like you’re following the story in a video game.
Project Hail Mary became one of my favorite sci-fi novels recently. Couldn’t put it down.
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