Of complex networks, and why we love hook-ups.

This post is about two friends hooking up.

But before getting to that part, it’s a confession of how unstable and unbalanced I have become since I started research. Work-life balance now depends pretty much on whether Github loads correctly. The lack of results or any kind of milestones is nerve-wrecking.

I cope by doing sports. Lots and lots of sports. Enough to mess up my hormonal system.

Fun fact: did you know that professional athletes force their body so much that it is constantly in survival mode? It reacts by cutting non-essential functions, such as reproduction functions. Next time when you watch sport, think of these professional athletes as all temporarily sterile. Continue reading “Of complex networks, and why we love hook-ups.”

How to find an interesting position, anywhere

In the lab I got assigned a project that no one wanted.

The data is messy, there is no clear goal and I literally heard sighs of relief from those who passed it on to me.

Truth is, this is very common when you start any job, in industry or research. The new colleague gets the projects that others left out. It, however, doesn’t have to stay that way. Here’s how you can get projects you’re interested in, in any working environment. Continue reading “How to find an interesting position, anywhere”

Is academia more risky than startups?

Yesterday I went to the “Business Ideas” workshop organised in Zurich by Venture Kick for the ETH startup scene.

There were talks by successful spinoffs like Aerotainment Labs and SwissLitho talking about their experiences which are all positive of course. And the challenges, and the freedom… Blah.

The most interesting thing I learned was why companies spend millions and millions in advertisement in big sport events. Did you know it was not only for the visibility? They’re in for the emotions: the high-stake, the suspens, the belonging. Positive and strong emotions. They want to be associated with that.

Anyway, while I was busy stuffing myself with free food I bumped into this guy, stuffing himself too. He must be a researcher, I thought. No one stuffs themselves at a networking event if they had a real salary. Continue reading “Is academia more risky than startups?”