About Ryan

About Ryan

I am an aspiring underachiever. I’ve worked for NASA, planned and conducted my own scientific research at the CDC, and served as a foreign affairs analyst/speechwriter in the British Parliament; I've founded four companies and sold three (most recently to OKCupid), and I have published peer-reviewed scholarship in fancy-pants journals across two separate academic disciplines. All this misguided, insecure early-life ambition mostly just taught me how disappointing and anticlimactic status-driven accomplishments can be.

Now I've happily organized my life around art and escapism, as the founder of a luxury consumer electronics workshop, Norbauer & Co., which seeks to craft the dreams of diehard keyboard nerds like myself.

I am pretty sure that claiming to be offended is just a lazy way to tell another person to shut up without having to prove that what they said is false. 🙄

I'm a polyamorous gay dude. 🤙🏻 The proposition that loving one person means you can't love another has always struck me as, at best, rather less than self-evident. I and my partners, whom I adore, all agree that the creation of oases of affection and acceptance (a.k.a. love) is the best thing that there is in life. Insofar as love is an inherent good, then, it seems silly arbitrarily to limit the amount of it we have of it in our fleeting time on this planet.

I founded Lovetastic, a NYC-based startup acquired by OKCupid (Match.com) in 2010. During my time as CEO, we won laudatory national press from outlets like The San Francisco Chronicle, TechCrunch, and the Boston Globe. The idea, which I had around 2004, was simple: to build an online community for guys who like guys but who feel like we don't quite fit in with mainstream gay culture and the widespread belief (at the time) that gay men were primarily interested hookups rather than meaningful loving connections.

I believe in the Prime Directive: Gene Roddenberry's idea that the goal of sentient beings should be to find ways of being connected without trying to change each other. 🖖🏻

I am pretty sure that all worthwhile human relationships are predicated on radical honesty, shared vulnerability, and mutual acceptance. Emotional guardedness and unacknowledged transactionality are poisonous to human connection.

I was trained as an academic research scientist, specializing in the rigorously empirical, dispassionate, and quantitative study of animal behavior, particularly that of humans.

I've lived in London, New York, France, Boston, Silicon Valley, and now Los Angeles.

I speak English, French, Ruby, CSS, and HTML.

I founded a global tech consulting firm, Norbauer Inc, which was acquired by a consortium of software engineers in 2008. We were a team of over twenty software architects, builders, and designers with offices in Boston, New York, and New Delhi. We counted Microsoft, Harvard, Yale, and AMD among our clients, along with a variety of tech startups.

I enjoy Stoic philosophy, Disneyland, fussy coffee and tea, CNC machining, vintage Star Trek, world-weary pessimism, and protracted auto-didactic deep-dives into arcane technical topics.

I like to read. I'm especially attached to the works of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Seneca, Michel Houellebecq, Kurt Vonnegut, HP Lovecraft, EM Cioran, Gene Roddenberry, Alain de Botton, Cyril Connolly, and Albert Camus.

I am pretty sure that everything is fairly easy. Most of what passes for intelligence is just persistence and a high tolerance for boredom (both of which may technically be the same thing).

For the pathologically curious, you can read a little bit more about my business and academic backgrounds.

Get my future dispatches delivered directly to your inbox.

Now check your email and confirm your subscription.