427Joined Dec 2022


I didn't reach out to any EA funders, for somewhat quirky and contingent reasons, and I'm unfortunately going to be slightly elliptical here rather than saying everything I know:

At various points when I was raising money, I had miscalibrated understanding of how much money was committed or on the cusp of being committed. Since I was optimizing for speed-to-commitment, at most points I favored either my own network or networks I had perceived-high-quality intros to rather than attempting to light up funding sources which I perceived would not have a high prior on our effectiveness. (FWIW, it was not obvious to me that VaccinateCA would be a slam dunk funding decision in our first twenty days unless one believed in me personally. After Day 20, for a long period, I believed we were adequately funded.)

There was a period of roughly a hundred days where I believed we were in sufficient conversations to secure sufficient funding (through end-of-mission) and/or had secured that funding.

When I came to believe that less, in May, the funding environment in tech had chilled to a degree where I thought that new de novo conversations were extremely likely to get bounced without effect, as people we were talking to (including ones with dedicated covid-allocated funds) perceived there as being no need to work on US supply issues in May and later. I/we argued this point strenuously and lost the argument, including with dedicated funds.

It was not my perception at that point that EA funders would have had a different POV. This may have been miscalibrated and was not something that I explicitly devoted more than a minute to thinking about vis EA funders.

Far after the events of last year I met some EA funders and heard variants of "Ahhhhh this is painful to hear" and in clarity of hindsight it rates as a Doh to me, as well. We were not in danger of collapsing as a mission due to funding issues but I did have to go to Plan B and then to one of my early-in-sequence In Case Of Emergency Break Glass options (injection of $100k from money which immediately prior to the injection probably believed it was a college fund).