01 Jan 2018

Gap years

I used to entertain myself with naïve thoughts about how Chapter 2 would begin. At one point I was pretty determined it’d begin with my enrolment into a grad school as I bypassed formal undergrad studies. Or more ambitiously in the event that I design an algorithmic-game-theory-based trading bot to exploit the Chinese stock market. Or a more recent thought, in the event that I start an AI research lab with a middle-aged scientist from Italy I met while travelling in Dali, China back in early 2016.

None of the events’ve occurred, and I’ve ended up delaying Chapter 2 by taking a gamble with the scientist from Italy, and investing in a romantic relationship with a really cute girl I met in a Sino-Russian equinox party. The scientist from Italy, despite having a decent peer-reviewed publication record with over 700 citations, turned out to be a self-delusional hypocrite. The girl, despite having the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen, turned out to be the main source of my self-hatred inducing a spiral of depressive behaviours in the next 18 months before the entanglement came to a bitter end. Nonetheless they had both taught me a lot in many aspects of life I would otherwise reckon as a pure waste of time. And thanks to them I managed to gain a deeper insight into my own behaviour patterns and reactive tendencies. But the truth remains the gamble and investment didn’t yield the result and romance I’d love to have. And I had let many days slip past without much accomplishment.

i.e. I can’t afford to lose any more time.

The actual Chapter 2 begins with my resignation from the position of CEO with 0% vested share in a start-up I co-founded four months ago with the scientist from Italy and a UK postdoc, after the previous start-up co-founded by the two (wherein I was employed as the lead architect and developer) ran out of funding and died. Upon discovering that the scientist from Italy was highly inadequate to be a co-founder and experiencing it first-hand in proximity as a collaborator, I decided to dismiss him and repurchase (or basically reclaim) his share. I couldn’t reach a consensus with the UK postdoc however. The soon-to-be-middle-age postdoc agreed it was a logical thing to do but simply did not want to let the scientist from Italy (whom he had known for more than 10 years) to walk away empty-handed. At this point I would like to dismiss the postdoc as well, especially considering that he was taking a part-time position and wasn’t much help either. I deeply regretted the wishful thinking that led me into doing a start-up with these two forty years old. And thus the resignation. Many lessons were learnt though.

I will be conducting a lot more start-up experiments in Chapter 2. And I will make things right this round. With the right people.


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