6 months in review and what's next
I had plans to chill and relax a bit since my last post about 6 months ago, but it turns out I’m not really made for doing that.
It’s been a challenging, fun, and crazy 6 months. However, I’m thankful that my family has been safe and to have figured out what I’m doing next!
Here’s a recap:
Feed the Frontlines Boulder
When the COVID-19 quarantine started, I had no plans to help except by staying at home with my family. Then, Kyle Judah, who I’d interacted with a bunch via CU Engineering but didn’t know that well yet, tagged me in this Tweet:
Ryan Sarver @rsarverSince we launched #SFHospitalMeals a few days ago, we have been blown away by the support. Tons of people have asked to expand the program to more places, more cities, more restaurants, etc. So we decided to "open source" our process and tools: https://t.co/SHFdwtMAOu
I was on the board of Boulder Community Hospital Foundation, and so decided to ping Grant Besser who is the President of it. Next thing I knew, I was somehow in charge of leading / jump starting something in Boulder!
Thankfully, I was at least smart enough to rope Kyle in to lead things with me as a “co-founder” and we launched the effort a week later.
Over the next several weeks, as a team of volunteers we raised over $687K and delivered over 35,000 meals. It was an incredible experience and the most rewarding part was the people I got to work with in the Boulder community to make this happen. As a side benefit, I also basically became best friends with Kyle and would do anything for him or the other volunteers.
Kyle and I made this video to recap Feed the Frontlines Boulder, highlighting all the frontline workers as well as volunteers and donors who made it happen
Family adventures during COVID
My wife Elaine has been amazing at figuring out fun adventures to do with the family safely during COVID.
Here’s a couple of the fun moments
We celebrated Ro’s first birthday, Kieran’s third birthday, and Elaine’s 40th birthday during COVID times. Excited to do these in a much more fun way next year!
(a video I made for Elaine’s 40th birthday, recapping some of our adventures together)
I finally achieved a life goal by having exactly one (1) viral tweet! Sadly I didn’t have a Sound Cloud to link.
I spent a bunch of time prototyping various ideas and it was fun getting back into coding. Here’s a Twitter thread I used to link to progress:
One idea that I really love is the idea of enabling the immersive capture of memories.
Here’s a demo I uploaded to YouTube (you should be able to scroll around or look around on your phone):
And here’s a screen recording of an upgraded prototype that used LiDAR depth data from the iPhone 12 Pro:
I ultimately decided against building a company around this, but I think it’s really interesting, and maybe somebody will execute on this in the coming years.
I spent a bunch of time agonizing over what I should do next. Should I go work at a company? Should I start a new company? Should I consider ideas beyond spatial computing and computer vision?
I ultimately decided that I’m still excited about spatial computing and computer vision. It’s just at the very beginning of what’s possible, and the next 10 years are going to be incredible.
I want to have a chance to help build and shape that future, and so I’ve decided to start a new company!
I’m not quite ready to announce it publicly yet, but I’ve made a survey here to gather some feedback for what I’m working on and you can add yourself there to be on the list for an alpha / beta!
One thing I found to be incredibly rewarding during this period was all of the friends, family, and entrepreneurs/founders who reached out with words of encouragement, to catch up, and to give/ask for advice. I really appreciate everyone who reached out - it made a world of difference for me after some tough times - thank you!
I know 2020 has been a very difficult year for many - if there’s anything that I can help with, please let me know!