After 5 years in Silicon Valley and 2 amazing years as a product manager on the MoPub team, today is my last day at Twitter. I am incredibly thankful for the many opportunities I have had across Google, MoPub and Twitter and for the chance to learn so much from the Silicon Valley community.
I’m taking a sabbatical to “reset” before the next stage in my career. During this time, I hope to make more art, to travel and to research the future of labor markets.
The theme for my sabbatical that spans all of these: Space.
Space to create.
Space to consider the next 5, 10, 20+ years of technology.
Space to explore and to rest.
Space to reflect on the lives we’re designing for ourselves and for one another.
“Between stimulus & response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth & our freedom.” — Viktor Frankl
During this sabbatical, I hope to have the space to bring to life the “backlog” of art I’d like to make and techniques I want to explore. I also hope to make further progress on my art book.
Set foundation for a creative life
The desire for creative expression will be with me for life. I look forward to a lifetime of weaving together “Art” and “Everything Else in Life,” well into old age. As this video from the Institute on Aging demonstrates, even the physical limitations of these elderly participants did not stop them from making art.
I believe in carving out space in one’s life for creative expression, turning it up and down based on one’s circumstances. I’m very thankful for the circumstances that have enabled me to turn up art at this stage in my life.
For the past 10 months, I’ve been pursuing my creative calling while working full-time. Weekends, evenings, early mornings. This balancing act was constant practice in making tradeoffs in how I spend my time.
In light of this view of a lifetime of creative expression, I see this sabbatical as “rebalancing my portfolio,” as they say in finance; I’m currently “under-invested” in the art part of my life. I look forward to navigating the next steps in my career with a “rebalanced portfolio.”
I look forward to a lifetime of creative expression, no matter what my primary profession. I enjoy working in tech. Seperately, I believe there’s “something there” at the intersection of technology and art that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
I make art because it brings me joy. I experience a combination of autonomy, mastery and purpose. I hope seeing my work on your smartphone or on the walls of your home or workspace brings you a moment of joy as well.
“Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Future of Labor Markets
I was in college when the iPhone 2G and the first iOS development classes first came out. When I first started working, the grown-ups were trying to wrap their heads around “geo-local-social.” Now, 5 years later, cars drive themselves. It’s interesting to consider, “What’s next?”
I would like to research and form an “investment thesis” in the area of the Future of Labor Markets, something I’ve been curious about for the past 5 years. My interest roughly corresponds to “One Million Jobs” in YC’s Request for Startups and Homebrew’s Bottom Up Economy.
In one of my college classes, we compared the car assembly lines of Detroit (illustrated by the book Rivethead) and the more collaborative car assembly lines of Uddavella Volvo (similar case study). I had thought there was only 1 most efficient and profitable way to create a product or to perform a task; the class demonstrated how work can be designed and how that design impacts workers, businesses and consumers.
This interest is in the theme of making space to reflect on the lives we’re designing for ourselves and for one another, as technology is shifting the needs of workers, businesses and consumers. I look forward to sharing a more focused project description in the coming weeks.
I look forward to the space to rest. The cycles of work and rest are undervalued by our linear view of time and productivity. I hope to travel in early 2016. I also look forward to exploring more of the beautiful outdoors of Northern California.
Making space for a sabbatical is something I have wanted to do for years. This decision comes after a year of personal introspection — clarifying and validating my desires, learning to manage my fears, making tradeoffs and taking action, as demonstrated by 10 months pursuing my creative calling while working full-time.
I see these aforementioned areas of interest as experiments I’ll perform in the coming months. I am thankful for the multitude of Life Variables and Life Tradeoffs that clicked into place that has given me the opportunity to make space for these explorations. I look forward to keeping an open mind to what may come in the months ahead.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ― Gilda Radner