Learning in school was very difficult for me because I was more of a hands on learner and school was very heavy on lecturing. When I am in situations that frustrate me, I try and solve them with technology. This was what I had planned to do with my ed tech company “Socrenchus.” Before Socrenchus though, I was interning in Mountain View and I got to meet some of the AI great’s. I saw an article about his interest in education technology, and I cold emailed Peter Norvig, who was working in the same building as me, to ask if he wanted to get lunch.
To my surprise, he responded and wanted to have lunch. He assumed that because I got an internship at Google, I was smart, and I was star struck. We had lunch and talked about AI and education. He introduced me to Sebastian Thrun, who had an ed-tech startup that was looking to hire it’s first engineer.
I interviewed for almost a week with them until I was extended an offer. It came with mixed emotions since I would be making less than I was making as an intern and I had to drop out of school. Ultimately, I was afraid of being used and discarded, so I went back to school to wonder what might have happened.
Still, after that experience, I had that young invincible feeling that made me pursue my dreams of an ed tech startup as my fourth internship (with the help of the folks from my third internship at FluxData). I hired a total of 5 interns with the money I made in my previous internships. We spent 6 months building a platform when the hard realization that I had no idea how to run a business set in. We built a platform, but not a market for it. This experience distracted me from my dreams of AI by bringing me back to earth hard. All I wanted to do was get a job that people would see as respectable and maybe pursue my dreams on the side.