My name is Tanner.
I grew up just outside Toronto, went to school in Waterloo and now work for Kik, a chat network popular in the US; and Kin, a cryptocurrency for mobile apps.
I started investing in public markets in high school, just after the 2008 crash. Given the virtue of timing, and mostly luck, I had a good run in public equity investing. Like most people who get lucky, I ascribed that success to skill and intuition, not for what it really was: fortunate timing. So my plan was to get a degree in finance and take my (false sense of) investing prowess to the big leagues.
However, that plan (thankfully) was derailed when I torn my ACL during my sophomore season playing college football. I had a summer internship in the city but had to stay local to rehab and Waterloo isn’t exactly a finance hub, so I deferred that job in favour of an industry Waterloo is known for – tech.
I was fortunate to get a job supporting the CFO of a fledging chat app called Kik, which, at the time had 20 employees and was pedal to the metal in scaling. The best part of working at a startup is that there are more irons in the fire than there are people to tend the rods, so naturally everyone ends up doing a bit of double fisting.
I thought about dropping out, but my parents’ will states that if I didn’t finish my undergrad I was excluded from any future inheritance (true story), so I opted to stay in school, sort of.
I joined Kik full time and signed up for night classes that I attended intermittently. During that time, I had a class that in lieu of an exam, each student was expected to deliver a thesis paper and an accompanying lecture – an intuitive way for the prof to delegate responsibilities. There were 30 students and 30 topics up for grabs with an NBA lottery style draft to determine who got what. On the day of the draft, 29 people showed up, so the 30th (me) got assigned the one topic not picked. That proved to be a fortuitous outcome because that topic was Bitcoin.
So at the beginning of 2013 I spent an entire semester developing a thesis on Bitcoin. Since then I’ve been both intellectually and professionally invested in crypto. I worked on the initial proof-of-concept for Kin and now spend 50% of my time on that and the other 50% on Kik.
I spend a lot of time writing and reading about everything from crypto, to startups, to travel, to life in general.
I write because committing my thoughts to words is a forcing function to think deeply, challenge my assumptions, and articulate clearly. If this serves as nothing more than my notepad, it has accomplished all it is intended to be.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t even always agree with myself when I revisit things I’ve written. That’s just part of the human experience – always evolving – and I reserve the right to learn and change my perspective.
This site is a catalogue of the things I’ve written as well as resources that have helped advance my thinking. I hope you find it valuable – I won’t be offended if you only find value the latter.