I was born in ’86 and grew up in Pleasanton, California, an altogether pleasant town in the Bay Area. An only child, I kept myself entertained with such things as magnets and water pumps. I was painfully quiet except with my nerd-skewing friends. Around them, I was an occasional jokester. I chose the snare drum to be my instrument in the fifth-grade concert band.
My parents decided to move to Canada when I was 10, and we settled in White Rock, BC, a beach town near Vancouver, where I joined a public-school French immersion program and got a drum set from a pawn shop. I joined a punk band as its drummer at 16. We did some studio recording.
I decided I wanted to live in America as an adult. I went to NYU to study “business” at Stern. Transplanted to NYC from suburbia, I became a changed man almost overnight. I became social, even flirty, but was and still am a shy guy. I got my first girlfriend. I applied to transfer to Penn, got in, transferred, got broken up with. I played drums in various campus groups, got my second girlfriend, and I tried creating my first web company; it got nowhere. Another breakup. I graduated in ’08.
I got a job at a startup in NYC. Got back with my ex and moved in together. I worked at my job for a bit doing various data analyses using Excel and SQL, then took a similar job at Yelp in SF. Broke up again. After some 16 months, I quit that job to start an online legal services startup, Lawdingo. It got into a startup program called Y Combinator in 2013. I was the runt of the batch and zero investors wanted to invest after demo day.
I moved back to NYC, miraculously managed to raise $700k from some foreign investors. Ran out of money 1.5 years later. Tried every trick in the book to keep the company alive, which worked, sorta; that company still isn’t dead. At one point, Forbes mag put me on one of those 30 under 30 lists for my efforts.
I had a series of short-lived girlfriends, most of whom remain my good friends. I tried doing stand-up comedy at open mics in New York with the goal of mumbling less. I vowed never to do the same set twice, which forced me to write out every notable thought I had.
For 1.5 years, I kept my business alive by illegally Airbnb’ing my studio apartment in New York several days a week and living at the Borgata in Atlantic City. After the fourth eviction threat, I put my stuff in storage and moved in with my parents who were then in Vancouver, Washington, near Portland.
I started another company, Vessel.us, a home equity exchange that serves as a mortgage alternative. It’s complicated and, um, pre-success, but is ostensibly my main focus now. A pandemic struck, I stayed with my parents longer, and I recently moved to Wilmington, Delaware, partly for business reasons, and back to my old tricks of renting my place on Airbnb to fund my businesses.
While my open mic standup career has slowed to once in a blue moon, for the past six years, my personal hobby continued to be writing out my thoughts in the format of bits. That habit, through some twists and turns, became what I’m now, in mid-2021, hitting publish on as this book.