An ever-growing auto-biography.
History Part 1: The Early/Gaming Years
Like all great stories, it all started when I grew up playing games. I was born soon after the Nintendo was released and I loved Super Mario/Duck Hunt and Dig Dug on a random Apple ][ computer… until it broke one day.
I was fascinated with these ethereal worlds inside a box. Thus began my interest in technology, computers, and games.
Tech bubble times
In 5th grade, I remember geeking out, with the only other person that was interested in computers, Windows, and Intel. We made a class presentation with a combination of MMX technology and random things we made up. It was a ton of fun!
I played chess during lunchtime and during recess I would play Kickball, philosophize, and talk to a friend about how his parents made a lot of money on Oracle stock.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in school learning how to type on an Apple IIe and play Oregon Trail.
Games got me off track for a while. They were a lot of fun; lots of things to analyze and optimize. RPGs, fighting games, and Starcraft all took a lot of time, but in the end I gained a lot of skills that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Chess and pool taught me to think ahead, RPGs taught me about optimization and risk management.
Then the tech bubble burst
I didn’t know it at the time. If anything I was more worried about Y2K (I literally bought a radio-controlled car instead of a Diablo II game because I was worried about computers! And then the 9/11 terrorist attacks. What I did hear was how people were losing jobs.
I decided that pursuing a tech career was too risky…
History Part 2: The Business Years
Part of the consequences of the tech bubble, besides my computing industry views, was that stocks and investments were really exciting. Of course I only saw the upside at that time and didn’t realize that a lot of people could lose a lot of money… until I did.
It was the height of the tech bubble, but all I knew was AOL was so cool. Being able to go online with the whirling and whizzing of hard drives and modems was such a foreign but interesting experience as a child. That and all we got in the mail was AOL and Compuserve CDs!
I loved the company and idea too much to not own a piece of it myself. With my tiny little savings through the years, I told my parents I wanted to buy 1 share of AOL for $100.
Time passed and I didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the stock market. My parents bought a new minivan with their Microsoft profits and we moved into a new house. Only later did I realize that there was a crash; 9/11 was more important to me than tech valuations and Enron.
We ended up collected those AOL CDs and even brought them over to our new house to decorate the basement we were finishing. It’s now a humbling reminder of grandiose and irrational times.
Though it wasn’t much money, I vowed to not lose money again. I started attending BusinessWeek information seminars that my dad got invited to. They were trying to sell their services, but we would just use their free trial period to find interesting companies.
I still knew nothing then but it spawned an interest that led me to business school. I figured all these people that made a lot of money ought to know what they’re doing. It seemed to be a dynamic industry and every company needed a finance function. You can’t go wrong right?
History Part 3: The Finance Years
Wikipedia Research Investments Efficiency Websites Blog Logan party CS50x Boot camps
History Part 4: Engineering
Made it to western software hacker!