Appendix D. Think Like a VC for Your Career

A critical consideration in building a career in machine learning is to think like a VC (venture capitalist). What does a VC do differently than an employee? One thing they do is design for failure by investing in a series of companies. So why not do the same thing for your career? Suppose you think about a multi-company strategy from the beginning. In that case, you can always focus on the long-term process of getting more skills, building side projects and portfolios of work, as well as income outside of just your job.

Further, an understanding of revenue and expenses allows you to build autonomy—autonomy to, let’s say, drop what you are doing for the summer and dive deep into the next big MLOps technology. Let’s dive into how to think about revenue and expenses.

Pear Revenue Strategy

We live in a new era, where it is possible to start a business with a laptop and an internet connection. As a long-time consultant and entrepreneur, I have developed a framework that works for me. When evaluating who to work with and what project to work on, I think of PPEAR or “pear”:

  • P (Passive)

  • P (Positive)

  • E (Exponential)

  • A (Autonomy)

  • R (Rule of 25%)

Here is how you can use this framework “side gigs.”


Many people hop from job to job focusing on a higher salary, but salaries are fixed: no matter how great the work you produce is, you still get paid the same. Passive income is a form of investing in exponential results. ...

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