13 Apr Interview with Brad Nemer
Brad is Studylog’s Head of Product, and one of the newest members of our growing team.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Minneapolis, winters and all. The neighborhood kids went sledding and played hockey in the frigid winter, and went biking and boating in the hot summer. Not much middle ground with the weather, but we loved it.
What sparked your interest in Science?
I was always curious, which is the essence of science, so I really liked learning about theories that explained in an elegant way how the physical world works. And my dad was a doctor, so I also got to see a tangible and very positive application of scientific rigor and heartfelt care.
It was also fun to grow up in the midst of the digital revolution, with a new technical transformation emerging virtually every month.
Did you have any specific role models? If so, who were they?
My parents, on a subconscious level, were probably my first. And of course James Bond — though it’s funny that my profession has turned out to be much more like Q’s.
Later, I came to appreciate the vision of MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte and martial arts guru Dan Inosanto — they are actually more similar than you’d think. Both observed in the world a set of important but isolated concepts that could be better together, and despite the headwinds of apathy and opposition, created entirely new domains of theory and practice.
What would you say to a young person considering a career in science or computers?
Dive in, but don’t learn tech for technology’s sake. Aim your passions at something you would like to improve in the world and develop the skills necessary to achieve your vision. It is much more motivating, and satisfying, to see the smile on the face of someone you have served.
What is important to you personally? I.e.what things do you value most in life?
Spending high-quality time, doing something worthwhile, with good people. It sounds like a simple equation, but it doesn’t always happen automatically so care and attention are required. Family, friends, and good health are the most important things in life for me for sure. It’s totally fine if it’s a cliche.
What are some of the challenges you have faced either in your career or personally that you feel have helped you become the successful person you are?
I have been challenged the most, and learned the most, outside my comfort zone. Whether learning to do a new sport or play a new professional role, I love that feeling of climbing the growth curve.
What is your favorite part of being part of the Studylog team?
Great team, doing something important, with dedication and grace.
What do you do for fun?
I started playing drums in high school, and if it wouldn’t drive my neighbors crazy I’d like to play more. So lately I have enjoyed a quieter — though higher-calorie — pursuit in the form of baking. I’m not great at it, but with enough butter and sugar, even the “failures” are easy to take in stride.