This is where I will talk of my life adventures.

Chronology

High School

I went to High School. I got mostly straight A's, and I was on speech team (I think I got enough points for a letter jacket!), drama club, and newspaper.

I was editor-in-chief of our literary magazine, and a charter member for our schools invovlement with "Horses for the Handicapped." (So I have actual experience with animals in a barn!)

Undergraduate

At the time, I wanted to do pre-med, so I was a Biology major with a Chemistry minor.

The most fun was an improv comedy troupe...until it fractured due to "ego issues."

I also did some ballroom dance, just for fun.

I also wrote some plays for the student theater. Which was fun, until it became apparant that director(s) of my scripts couldn't understand the sub-text that drove the characters lines.

I started two bands. I didn't know what I was doing. (There was an internet at the time, but there wasn't the "explosion of advice on every topic" there is today.) I left my first band when I realized they wanted to become famous full-time professional musicians.

I started my second band with the express vision of "We're just doing this for fun." Unfortunately, doing it "just for fun" made us get "too good too fast" and we had an opera soprano as a vocalist who decided she was responsible for the band's "success." (I later learned that "big ego" is a stereotype for opera sopranos...)

With those extra-curricular adventures, I also did well academically. I earned the "around 3.5 GPA and over 30 MCAT" that was the "fake number" you aimed for to get into medical school.

Graduate

Senior year of undergrad, I learned about the MD/PhD program. I always wanted to challenge myself and go for the best/lead position. So I entered as an MD/PhD student.

At the time, we had just mapped the human genome, and neuroscience was pretty big too. (Michael J. Fox had Parkinsons, and Christopher Reeve was quadrapalegic.) So I worked with genetically engineered mice as models for human disease. My 1st advisor didn't get tenure, and our department head let me finish the PhD with him. (This made the PhD take longer to earn.)

I eventually learned that academic research is not a meritocracy. "Peer review" means your competitors don't want you to publish good science that refutes their arguments. And those same peers evaluate grant applications, so getting funded means politcal maneuvering and alliances. So research wasn't for me, but I still had medical school.

Med school was...not so fun. You'd think med profs would be good at teaching (since if they teach badly, people will die.) But nope. Few people can understand the advanced science topics well enough to teach, and if you do have the understanding, you probably didn't develop good interpersonal skills. So we had bad teachers who rely on good students to teach themselves what they need to know (so people don't die.)

Political maneuvering was also a big deal at med school. (If no one is good at teaching, the way to get ahead is through petty power games.) Which is fine, because I also learned that an actual medical career invovles much bureacracy and internal politics - and less about actually helping the people who are paying and trusting you to do your job.

So I didn't want a medical career either. Now what?

Biz1: Video

In undergrad, I wrote plays. And computers had megabytes of memory, so I could record music.

In graduate school, computers had gigabytes of memory, so I could record video (with scripts like my theatrical days.)

At the time, there was the 2008 Meltdown, so no one was hiring PhDs (or anyone else for that matter.) So I decided to start my own business: combine my PhD with my video skills.

There are a lot of bad science videos on the internet. Because few people can make a good video, fewer still can understand the science, and even fewer could do both. I thought my combination of skills could provide a valuable service.

But while the value was there, the money was not. Big fish focus on making money. Little fish focus on saving money. And at the time, life-science marketing was full of little fish. They would rather waste a little bit of money for a bad video, than spend more money for a video that would actually benefit them. Oh well.

What would they spend money on? Social media marketing. Which led me to the startup idea.

Biz2: Startup

Companies have money. They want social media marketing. They do not want good videos.

Who wants good videos? Students want good videos to learn from. But they have no money.

The idea was that I could provide students with educational videos. Since students have no money, they would pay me with their time and attention.

I would then sell that time and attention to companies, who do have money, and would pay for social media marketing.

The startup was more complex than that, but that was a the core business model.

And I got good traction. We got a quarter-million connections in the first year, and geometric growth in Year2. This is what investors say they want.

Unfortunately, investors reallly don't care about traction. They invest in companies led by their friends, not in companies that have good traction. (If you go to a Venture Capitalist's website and see a bunch of companies that will NEVER make any money, it is because these are bad companies that are led by the investor's friends.)

Without investment, I couldn't scale my startup. I could connect with the audience and provide what business would pay for. But since I have no rich friends, it was a dead end.

Teaching

So now I'm trying to use my PhD to teach. I'm applying to places. We'll see how it goes.