About this episode
It all changed one day while Nand was sitting in traffic on the 101 freeway. Why am I doing this? Nand had experienced no less than 4 successful exits of cyber security companies where he was founder or CEO. He was one of the most accomplished cyber security entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and his origins trace back to writing compilers for Sun Microsystems. At that moment, Nand decided to leave corporate life and set course to start a new phase of his career in the government.
His first step was to uproot his family and move them into graduate housing at Stanford where he would finally do that MBA degree he had considered long ago. Throughout Nand’s hour long interview with Jack and Dave, Nand explains how his family embraces the abrupt change from predictable Valley life and comforts to community living inside a small apartment on campus. While Nand is determining how to best complete projects with 19 year-olds, his wife Sarbani and children flourish, starting a non-profit as a result of their experience.
Nand’s next step towards Washington D.C. is a one year stint across the country to the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he aimed to learn “the art of politics”. His time spent amongst princes and fledgling politicians taught Nand important lessons in complexity, the power of good Queen ballad during karaoke and the occasional necessity of a Scorpion Bowl to wash it all down.
After considering a run for Congress, Nand completes his plan to restart his career in government when by a series of unusual events (and a bit of start-up hustle) he becomes the CTO of the Department of Defense’s efforts in Artificial Intelligence. From his new vantage point, he shares what tech companies look like from the Washington D.C. perspective and answers heady questions such as “Who’s more trustworthy? A politician or a venture capitalist?” and we find out whether it’s easier to be in a government or a Valley boardroom.