To "explore vs. exploit" is a classic dilemma in decision-making. To illustrate, imagine it’s date-night in downtown Manhattan and you’re choosing where to eat.
To exploit is to dine at your favorite restaurant. The food is well-cooked. The servers are attentive. You'll have a great meal and you know it.
To explore is to try something new. It's to implicitly concede that while your favorite restaurant is great, it may not be the best overall. Your new choice may very well end in vomit and tears. However, you'll never find something better unless you try.
Four and a half years at ASAPP was my career on "exploit." ASAPP is a company solving important problems replete with wonderful colleagues and ample opportunity for personal growth. I benefited from this environment each and every day. I kept choosing ASAPP because it unfailingly was, and remains, an excellent place to call my professional home.
I joined ASAPP at age 28. I'm now 32. And I'd like to see what else there is. Where else I can learn, enjoy, create, and grow. In simple terms, I'd like to explore.
On the technical front:
- Learn Rust and smart-contract development in Solana.
- Study the theory and applications of complex systems (per my long-standing interest in this space).
- Apply these tools to the crypto space at large.
On the personal front:
- Study Russian.
- Spend time with friends.
In addition, I've applied for Ph.D. programs in statistical ML. Hopefully, I'll have a difficult choice to make in March.
In the spirit of exploration, I won't rigidly structure this period of my life. Instead, I'll see where my interests lead and follow them vigorously.
Please don't hesitate to say 👋 if any of the above resonates with you!