What I've been doing since leaving NerdWallet

After nearly 6 years building NerdWallet, I left at the end of March to move back to my home country, Singapore. It's been nearly 18 years since I first arrived in the US to start university at Stanford. I never imagined I would be here so long, and now it's time to begin navigating my return. 

My motivation: I have an almost-two year old daughter - I want her to experience growing up in a safe place, surrounded by family in a geography that is poised to experience a ton of secular growth. I want her to know what real char kway teow tastes like =). I don't want to worry that she's going to be shot in school by some crazy person. =(

People's reactions: 

  • My American friends: "What a great adventure! Is this forever? Can we come too?"
  • My Singaporean friends: "Huh? Why you come home? California is so nice" 
  • Singaporean taxi drivers: "Why? In America, don't have to work can collect welfare, what" He refused to believe me when I said that being poor in America is actually pretty terrible
  • Singaporean civil servants: "Good, nice to have Singaporeans come home" 

My process: I've been spending the last 5 months traveling in the region, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, meeting entrepreneurs and investors, trying to build a mental model of what I think is exciting and fun to do, and where I can be of service. I was basically choosing between a) joining a company, b) starting a business, and c) raising a fund. After over 100+ conversations, I finally decided to join two of my oldest friends, Elizabeth Yin and Eric Bahn at their new pre-seed fund, Hustle Fund. More on that decision in my next blog post! 

Upcoming blog topics:

  • Why I joined Hustle Fund
  • Why operators should do angel investing
  • Why women should take more risk in their portfolios
  • Communication - why you have to say everything more than once, in multiple channels