Yesterday Once More/Top of the World

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So Naatu Naatu won Best Song (at 2023 Academy Awards), over Rihanna and Lady Gaga, but what was most memorable to me was the acceptance speech, as he mentioned (and sang) Carpenters! I had not thought about them – and their popular songs – for decades. Almost immediately, I downloaded a couple of them to hear on the upcoming flight to Boston.

When I was young
I’d listen to the radio
Waitin’ for my favorite songs
When they played I’d sing along
It made me smile.

And I’d memorize each word
Those old melodies
Still sound so good to me
As they melt the years away.

All my best memories
Come back clearly to me
Some can even make me cry.
Just like before
It’s yesterday once more.

As before, I stayed at Charles Hotel, and walking to dinner (at Alden and Harlow, where the bartender suggested a Vesper variation, swapping Lillet Blanc with Cocchi Americano, which was pretty good also, with orange peel at my request instead of traditional lemon peel) after a brief tour of BBN Raytheon offices (also in Cambridge, thanks Prithwish and Siddharth), passed a First Republic Bank, which as of Friday, was still in operation 😏. After the banking excitement of last week, it was indeed a relief to get the following two emails earlier on Friday:

This will be our final broad update on Vendia’s response to the SVB issue. Headline: We have reestablished all normal financial ops through Chase and are in control of 100% of our funds.

On February 6, 2023, StepZen Inc. entered into a merger agreement with IBM Corp.  Neotribe Fund I received its initial share of the proceeds on Feb 14, 2023. Neotribe will be making a $xx M distribution to the Partners of Neotribe Ventures I, L.P. (“Fund I”) and Neotribe Associates I, L.P. (“Neotribe Associates I”) on March 16, 2023.  Including prior distributions of $yy M, total distributions to date will be $zz M.

(Okay. Markets are still pretty jittery about banks. What will Monday bring? For now, let us just enjoy the weekend.)

As prep for my (5th now? 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022) Schwab WEF Program invited lecture at HKS, I was going through the (very impressive) bios of the 40 or so participants, all social entrepreneurs, covering various areas including Financial and Digital Inclusion, Rural Healthcare Access, Youth and Women Empowerment, Forestry and Environment, from (my count) 18 countries – Indonesia, Ghana, France, Turkey, India, Brazil, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, US, Australia, Switzerland, Tanzania, Venezuela, China, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Costa Rica, and rereading the HBS Case (thank you Julie!), which, among other things, reminded me of the time that was the beginning of my transition from SmartOps to OrganJet (Jan 23: 2013 and 2023). This current visit, likewise, ten years later 😳, can be considered as my transition from Organ Transplantation to Quantum Computing; indeed, I came to Boston a day earlier to spend time with folks at BBN Raytheon to discuss our research (A Floquet Connection), and also explore future possible collaborations, especially in the area of Quantum Communications (Buffering of Flying Qubits). Indeed, as I prepared to discuss what all I have been involved in since 2013 (when the HBS Case is set), I thought I would also list all other things that took place in parallel to activities in organ transplantation. If I could partition my professional life based on the major pre-occupation (not the only) of that particular decade:

1991-2000: Academic Supply Chain Research (IPA)2001-2010: SmartOps EIO2011-2020: Healthcare (including OrganJet). 2021-present: Quantum.

How was my HKS-WEF talk? In spite of my best efforts (actually, this time I was quite well behaved, relatively speaking!😏) to be excommunicated, I failed 😒, as before (A la recherche de Dieu a Harvard):

Dear Sridhar,

On behalf of the Schwab Foundation, we would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us today and sparking such an exciting exchange with our community.

It was fascinating for us to see their engagement and the vibrant environment you created, how you challenged their perceptions and inspired them.

We certainly hope to have you back with the community next year.

Thank you again and hope to be in contact soon.

Regards,
Sophia, on behalf of the Schwab Foundation team

Of course, a couple of participants (from India) wondered whether I had any initiatives on organ transplants there and if my ideas would transfer. I said that I am quite unfamiliar with the system in place in India.

Could my weekend get any better? Unlikely, I figured, but, just as I landed (from the flight from Logan to Minneapolis, The Four Seasons), I received this email (for real!☺️):

Dear Sridhar,

Good afternoon, and I hope you are well. I was emailing you to ask if you mind being introduced to someone who may have strong connections to one of your passions on organ donation. I just visited IIM-B a couple of days ago and am in  India. I met Dr. Sunil Shroff over lunch. I am adding his Wikipedia profile below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunil_Shroff

He was there for a talk on organ donation and has an extensive network in India and has been working in the space for several years on the ground. From what I understood from faculty who had invited him here, he is one of the leading people in the space in India.

I mentioned your work to him, Organjet in particular, and he was keen for an intro and perhaps connecting with you. Would you be OK if I introduce you to him? He thinks an Organjet type idea may also work in India.

I will look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Sriram

Sriram is one of my academic grandsons, a PhD student of Jay, who was my PhD student. As I sat down in my apartment office (on the 32nd Floor, with spectacular views of downtown Minneapolis) to post this, I am reminded of another of my favorite Carpenters’ song:

Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream

I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation

There’s a pleasing sense of happiness for me

There is only one wish on my mind
When this day is through I hope that I will find
That tomorrow will be, just the same for you and me

(PS. Monday: I have now connected with IIM-B faculty and Sunil Shroff.)

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