We’re excited to welcome Ryan Kwon to Pavilion’s engineering team! Ryan graduated from Williams College, where he was absolutely sure he was going to go into academia. Before joining Pavilion, he co-founded a (now defunct) ticketing platform startup, dabbled in a quant hedge fund, and was on the engineering team at Dropbox. In his free time, he games heavily, is into social AI and social robotics, and also spends inordinate amounts of time convincing his friends with cats to let him visit.

Why Pavilion?

Part of it is that Pavilion showed up at the right time! I was planning a transition out of my previous company, and wanted something that was much smaller by comparison. Pavilion hit a lot of the normal checkboxes I was looking for: smaller team, had an office present nearby and (at least) a hybrid in-office policy, and I liked the thesis behind the product as well as its underlying mission. The thing that really elevated Pavilion to the top of my list though was a comment while I was meeting the team that they were “really trying to build a good organization.” That resonated well, and having that be explicit really caught my attention.

What do you like to do when you're not working?

I’m really into gaming! Especially incredibly complicated simulators. Aurora 4X, a little space-based strategy game, is really near the top of my list for just the kinds of questions you get to entertain with respect to doctrine, engineering tradeoffs, logistics, and the fun drama and depth of stories that tend to get spun up. Currently though I’m romping around Elden Ring, which explores a pretty devastated world in search of a legendary artifact. Beyond gaming, I really enjoy blogs by historians, vocally complaining why people would do things in horror movies with regular breaks, and spending lots of time with friends who have cats.

Words to live by?

“Don't ever, for any reason, do anything to anyone for any reason ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you've been... ever, for any reason whatsoever…” - Michael Scott (The Office)

Obviously I’m half-joking, but I have been watching The Office a lot when I just want white noise at home. I think there is merit in being intentional in relationships and with people, and when not having clear intentions just striving to be pleasant.

What's a goal you have for the year ahead?

Personally? Definitely figure out what to do with my hair. I have no idea why it’s been so difficult my entire life. More broadly, it’s been a lot of little things. Still trying to gradually lose COVID weight, I’ve really been wanting to try to pick up robotics but am having a surprisingly hard time, and I’ve been debating for the longest time whether I should foster a cat. Beyond that, I do want to get a good sense of how smaller organizations run, which is definitely at least part of the reason I’m at Pavilion!