Trust: Why I Joined RocketVisor
Trust is the most important belief you can have in someone. I’ve trusted RocketVisor for a long time; in a way, my RocketVisor journey started in May of 2014, long before the company was founded. I was a high school senior. I’d never worked a day in my life, and I was starting my first day as an intern at one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. I got the job through a program at my school to prove that I could make it in the financial world one day like my father; but on that first day I just wanted to make it until lunch. I hoped things would turn around and I’d feel better.
Fortunately, that happened when I met my assigned boss. His name was Mike Yaroshefsky, the very same one that officially hired me as a full-time software engineer just a few weeks ago. Mike’s warm smile and enthusiasm for life couldn’t have been any more inviting — somehow I knew I’d be fine that summer.
Under Mike’s tutelage, I quickly progressed from preparing for prospecting calls, to joining in on them, to leading them myself. What was supposed to be a 5 week internship extended past 4 months long. I came out of that summer with skills, self-confidence, and a drive to succeed that I never would have had without Mike’s guidance.
Two years went by, and a lot changed for me. I was a struggling Computer Science student at Northwestern University, having all but forgotten about my short-lived business success. I’d lost a lot of my drive, unsure of the path I’d chosen and generally not enjoying life like I should have been.
Luckily, in March of 2016, I received a call from Mike, who was excited about a new project that he thought would change the way the world works. He wanted me to drop my plans and move to a dorm room in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the summer to help him start the company. My trust in Mike’s intellect, integrity, and abilities made joining RocketVisor that first summer a no-brainer.
What followed was a summer filled with ideas, laughs, drinks, late nights, long walks, and a whole lot of code. I loved it so much that I decided to do the same thing the following summer, this time in New York. Both my summers at RocketVisor were filled with exemplary experiences of what would become our EPIC values:
- Continuous Learning
I didn’t just sit in a corner and code what was assigned to me; my opinions and ideas were valued, and my presence truly affected the direction of the company.
At the end of the summer, Mike presented me with an offer to join RocketVisor full-time the following year. I effectively had two options. The first option was to follow the normal path to recruitment with the rest of my class at college and try for a spot at a tech giant like Google, Amazon, or Facebook. The second option was to join Rocketvisor.
I was stuck between following my peers and following my gut. The prevailing view around campus was that most startups are just vaporware doomed to failure, and it was naïve to expect success. I saw things differently. I had and have trust in the strength of both the foundational idea behind RocketVisor and Mike’s resilient leadership to such a degree that I know the company will find its way to success one day. The opportunity to have a potentially crucial role in that success was not one I could pass up. I accepted, and haven’t looked back since.
I focused my college education on psychology and artificial intelligence. I’m interested in the different cognitive functions our brains have, and how well machines can emulate them. Machines have always had an advantage in tasks like arithmetic; now, machines are learning to accel at more advanced human-like tasks such as image recognition. But machines are still far behind when it comes to general reasoning and social skills, and the truth is: it will stay that way for a while.
Therefore, my mission is to create products that form a mutualistic connection with their users. Mutualism in nature refers to a symbiotic relationship between two different organisms in which both benefit from one another. A great example of this is the coexistence of sea anemones and clownfish in the world’s oceans, as depicted in the classic Disney movie Finding Nemo. Anemones protect clownfish from larger predators by stinging them, while clownfish scare away butterflyfish who eat anemones. The most notable aspect of their relationship is trust — both organisms bet their lives that their counterpart will do their job. This is the kind of relationship that intelligent software should foster: User and product working hand-in-hand, doing what they each do best, creating a system capable of so much more than either could component could achieve separately. Most importantly, it should be a system you can trust.
That is why RocketVisor is the perfect product for me to work on. As a copilot for your browser, RocketVisor provides information and functionality right when you need it. RocketVisor is using the capabilities of modern software to do exactly what machines do best, while simultaneously making it easier for the user to do what humans do best. Our product is intelligent, while still maintaining the trustworthiness that lives at the foundation of everything we do.
I strive to take our already intelligent products to the next level. The last few years have seen a tremendous increase in the amount of software leveraging data-driven machine learning models to make the most predictive, smart software the world has seen. I bring a research background in this field that, when mixed with our revolutionary browser technology, could provide a software experience unlike any the world has seen before.
Our cutting-edge Browser technology isn’t the only thing that makes RocketVisor a special company. We are a family of engineers, designers, growth hackers, and advisors who welcome any like-minded individuals that share our belief that software can unobtrusively power individuals and teams to go beyond normal human capabilities and reach the next level of productivity and performance. Since our founding in 2016, I’ve seen how well a shared mindset can unite a team, and this unity makes for a special work environment.
I believe environment plays a crucial role in the success of a team. Our environment has created more just productive coworking relationships, more than just friendships — it’s created a family. I have so much trust that joining this family was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, and I am so glad that the team trusts in my abilities to help the company. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the RocketVisor family.
Ben Kalish is an AI Software Engineer at RocketVisor. He graduated with a B.S in Computer Science from Northwestern University. He is also a talented EDM producer and DJ: https://soundcloud.com/runawaymusicofficial