Monday, August 10, 2020

My New Job

Today I start a new job: Vice President of Product for Osso VR.

Osso VR uses virtual reality to train surgeons. I have commented previously about the incredible potential of modern technological tools. I am excited to apply these tools in such a clearly positive way.

This job is a new direction for me. Rather than digital entertainment, I am effectively working in the medical sector. My own recent experiences with the health care system in the United States, coupled with a desire to have more tangible positive impact in the world, led me here. 

Some of my friends who are doctors also inspired me to consider this line of work: Andrea, David, Tina, Velouette, and particularly Sue.

Given the current state of the world, helping people be healthier seems like a good thing to do, and a fitting use of my time and skills.

This job is also a return to start-ups, after a long time working for a big Fortune 500 company. I am excited about having a more hands-on role and working with a small group of smart, motivated people.

As expected, I got this job through a personal introduction, via my friend Cindy, in whose debt I remain.

I would also like to express my thanks to my friends who provided support, advice, and wisdom, particularly Iran, Jeff, Janin, Maryann, Patricia, Thomas, and JP.

A special thank you to Kelli Richards for her advice as a trusted advisor and thought partner.

You can see founder and CEO Justin Barad talking about Osso VR in this TedX talk:

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Marc Baptiste (1970 - 2020)

Marc Baptiste died in July of 2020. 

I met Marc in college. We both worked at the radio station. We had many friends in common, and were friends ourselves. He was frequently in attendance at my band's shows.

Marc was from Trinidad (his father was kind of a big deal), and his slight accent was distinctive and melodious. Marc was a funny, self-deprecating guy with a gentle nature.

He ended up moving to Los Angeles not long after I did, and I helped him get an apartment in the building I was managing at the time. He lived on the floor below me for a year or so, and we'd spend evenings playing Mortal Kombat on his Sega Genesis (he mopped the floor with me), or watching Conan O'Brien or Star Trek. He provided good feedback and support for my early band efforts in L.A.

I remember him like this photo shows -- smiling, laughing, hanging out. Marc left Los Angeles quite suddenly a few months after this photo was taken, and didn't talk about it with me at all. Marc did not share much about his internal darkness or problems. I suppose none of us did, in those days. 

Perhaps if we had, if we had been willing to be more vulnerable and available, he might still be here. 

I miss you, Marc. Thank you for being my friend. I hope you have found some peace.