For the first time since 2006, I’m looking for a new job. After leaving Zerista at the end of June, Yue and I spent the rest of summer having fun. We half-climbed Mt Shasta, climbed Mt Baker, visited Cape Code and spent Labor Day in Carmel. In between, I also completed my tour of Washington volcanoes and climbed Glacier Peak.
But now its time to figure out what’s next. Lots of people have asked me if I’m going to start a new company – and for the moment I’m not.
I’ve set myself two goals for this job hunt:
- See if I can get a job via networking and not sending out resumes. Of course I will send out resumes, but I’m going for a targeted approach and have zero desire to send out tens or hundreds of resumes.
- Do something new, particular using AI to make the world a better a place.
Since I knew I would be leaving Zerista, over the last few months I’ve started to try and build my Seattle network (most of my connections are in Denver). I’ve been attending various meetups and networking events. I’ve also become a lot more active in the angel investing community, particularly with Keiretsu and E8. That’s turned out to be a great way of meeting people and companies. For the companies I’m interested in, I have volunteered to due help due the tech due diligence. Its a great way to meet the founder(s) and really understand what a company is up to.
And over the last few weeks, I’ve spent hours researching small companies doing interesting things. Its not hard to find them. I’ve read up on lots of VC portfolio companies, looked at TechStar sustainability companies, read up on clean tech companies, reviewed what Pioneer Square Labs/Madronna Labs/Allen Institute are up to, religiously read GeekWire, looked at Made In Seattle, etc.
By now I must have gone through over 500 companies. For each one, I spend maybe a minute reading their website. That’s all it takes to get a gut reaction – “don’t care, next” to “this is interesting” to “this is amazing, hire me!”
And here is what I’ve learned:
- I want to apply AI to solving problems that make the world a better place (for me that eliminates advertising, marketing, business process efficiency, HR, CRM, ERP, etc.)
- I would love to work on sustainability problems or infrastructure problems
- I would love to work with geospatial data (all the new satellite is amazing)
- I want to work for a small company, defined as less than 200 people, where I will directly impact the company’s success
- I want to work with people smarter than me
Putting this altogether, I’ve come up with a list of companies that I think could be fun to work for:
- Descartes Labs
- Orbital Insights
- Pattern Computer
- Planet Labs
- Pollen System
- The Climate Corporation
Next up is getting a connection to each one and convincing one to hire me!