In the ‘Hot Seat’ with Adam Shuaib

What’s your name and where are you from?

Hi – I’m Adam. Half-Irish, half-Pakistani. Nomadic childhood living in the U.K., Ireland, Pakistan, Canada and Brunei

Three words to describe yourself? 

Obsessive, relentless, unconventional

What has been your biggest success in your life so far?

Getting a full scholarship for my PhD studies at Cambridge, without which I wouldn’t have been able to quit my previous role at J.P. Morgan and pull off the esoteric pivot from bond trading to VC

What’s your biggest failure?

Waiting till my late teens before learning to code. Like any language, true fluency comes from early childhood adoption; many of the pioneering visionaries in tech were computer literate from a very young age

If you weren’t doing your job you do today, what would you do?

I’d buy a small boat and run deep sea fishing charters in Mexico. Fishing is a lifelong passion of mine, and teaches patience like nothing else

Who would be your mystery dinner guest (dead or alive) & why?

Either Gary Moore or Stevie Ray Vaughan. The first time I heard them, I immediately realised that if I practised guitar all day, every day for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even be 1% as talented as either of them. Both are musical geniuses. Let’s throw in a quick post-dinner guitar lesson for good measure!

If you were to win big on the lottery what would be the FIRST thing you’d do?

Purchase a derelict farmhouse deep in the Cotswolds, which I would spend my weekends renovating. Given my Irish roots, I’m a country boy at heart!

What’s your favourite book/blog/website to read?

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Most people are terrible negotiators. Master this book and turn any “No” into a “Yes”. Also Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – the only book to have a material impact on my definition of what happiness is

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done?

I once accidentally put a sealed tin of beans in the microwave (don’t ask). The beans didn’t survive. Neither did the microwave..

What was the biggest EUREKA moment in your life so far?

Realising that the unpredictability of life is what makes it so exciting

If you were to die tomorrow, what advice would you leave to the world?

People overestimate downside risk when it comes to big life decisions. If we never took risk, humans wouldn’t have progressed beyond the Stone Age. So make that career switch, move to that country, start that business. What’s the worst that could happen?


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