Data

Name: Adam Zerner
Age:
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Passion

Rationality, effective altruism, startups, learning, writing, basketball, Curb Your Enthusiasm - this is the short list of things that I'm passionate about.

People who've influenced the way I think

Eliezer Yudkowsky, Paul Graham, Salman Khan, Tim Urban, Kalid Azad, Robin Hanson, Richard Feynman, David Heinemeier Hansson, Bret Victor.

Past

I spent middle and high school pretty obsessed with basketball. In college I became obsesed with knowing how the world works. Next it was figuring out how I could make it a much better place. I declared as a neuroscience major and planned to spend my life figuring out how our minds work, but I quickly ditched that plan. I figured that the bureacracy of academia is too slow, and that to have a big impact on the world, I'd need to start off by accumulating resources and power.

Startups are a means to that end (although they're also pretty awesome in and of themselves). So I started teaching myself about programming, business, design, and other relevant stuff. I spent junior and senior year of college starting a startup that eventually failed. In the aftermath of that, I realized that I need to develop my skillset before diving back into it.

Teaching myself to code without any guidance wasn't going too well, so I attended Fullstack Academy (a coding bootcamp). That really helped me as a programmer. I then spent about a year and half working as a web developer. I sorta hated the world of being an employee, but I saved most of my money and met some great people.

Present

I'm self-studying computer science full-time right now. Saving my money + living frugally allows me to do this. As much as I want to dive into startups, I believe the ROI of this investment is well worth it. Plus, I do love to learn.

Future

I expect that studying computer science will take up the year of 2017 for me. Then I'd like to spend some time self-studying design, economics, and math. Along the way I'll also spend some time freelancing, a) to sharpen my skillset and b) to accumulate some money and extend my runway.

Next, it's startup time! The plan is to basically keep trying until I succeed, while spending time developing my skill set and freelancing to extend my runway when necessary. Once I succeed, I plan on spending the rest of my life doing some combination of a) investing in startups to accumulate more money, and b) using the money I have to make the world a much better place.

Why the ambition?

Why not! I'd be much happier trying to do something great and failing at it than I would living a "regular life". I've been living on $1000/month for almost a year now, and I'm perfectly content with this standard of living. I'm not motivated to work for a salary so that I could have more spending money. Raising a family is a common reason to avoid this lifestyle, but it isn't what I want to do.

Ultimately though, I don't plan on failing. I do this because I feel that I'm capable of it. Not to be cliche, but I truly do believe that people are capable of almost anything. Along the lines of Mahatma Ghandi's quote: "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."

Why the autobiography?

Hey, you visited my personal website, and then clicked "About".

I don't expect most people to be interested. For anyone who is, it's here. For anyone who isn't, it's not "in the way".

I think learning about new people is cool though. I wish more people would actually introduce themselves.

Fun interests

Playing basketball, playing other sports, NBA, NFL, Steelers, poker, meeting cool people, trying food that doesn't have tomatoes, movies, TV, my girlfriend, wandering around new places, reading. Complaining about doctors. Wearing pajama pants. Sprinkling relevant Curb clips throughout the internet. POSSIBLY doing stand up comedy one day.

Quotes