Thales Grilo


2019: Retrospective

ps. I’ll edit this post to add some pictures when I feel like it

After reading my friend Joenio’s 2019 Retrospective, he invited me to make my own.

(2019 is not a typo)

What a year this one was. Despite the many reasons for any brazilian citizen to be very unhappy about this year, there were many good thinks to talk about. I will forever remember 2019 as:

This year I chose to give myself a chance. I chose to try many things I always wanted to do, and that made me very happy.


This was an incredible year for Ribon. In February, we received a seed investment by Redpoint eVentures, which by itself is unbelievable - it was a huge goal since I started there. Honestly, half of the things that happened at Ribon this year I didn’t think I’d ever see. I learned a lot with the Dev team, they are people I really really admire and learn from every day. I worked on the app for the first few months, then moved to bug-fixing for a while, and finished the year working with automation for the Growth team - there were many challenges I had never faced before, and I struggled with a lot of stuff, but it was all an amazing growth experience ;)

On the topic, I love their culture, it makes me very proud to a be part of. They were a huge part of this ongoing journey of self-knowledge, and a source of good references and materials about health and well-being. We discussed Spiral Dynamics on weekly meetings, and cultivated a good, open feedback practice. It may sound silly, but I honestly owe a lot to this experience.

We began the year as roughly 9 people in the team, and we are ending at around 20 (and hiring). Some people left in the meantime, though. I learned a lot working with djorkaeff (now in Rocket.Chat), we worked together really well. Around March/April, we applied together to Google Summer of Code, which he passed. Even though I didn’t make it, I was very happy for him!

I participated in a couple of hackathons (something I really wanted to do!), but didn’t take the cake. It was very fun though!

In hindsight, it was a year of trying a lot and failing a lot… I wonder what that means


I first knocked at the door at the MediaLab/UnB on an uneventful April wednesday afternoon. A friend had told me to pay them a visit a few days before, saying I could learn a lot there. A stranger opened the door, asked me who I was and let me in. I had just begun prototyping a cute little animation with Clojure and Quil, and I wanted to show them and learn about what they were doing.

Sitting at a nearby desk was Alexandre rANGEL, a brilliant artist and performer who’d become a friend and a mentor. He was working on some Sonic Pi and Blender sketches, and he taught me a bit about both tools.

A couple weeks later, I met Joenio Marques, who introduced me to TydalCycles, with which I fell in love immediately. I started playing around on my own, making a couple of beats, and once in a while we would jam together at the lab. Joenio was part of the NomadeLab collective, and invited me to jam with them at deCurators Art Gallery (around June).

Around that time, I also started learning a bit about hydra, a brilliant tool from @ojack. The graphics above were made by Arthur Cabral using that tool.

Soon I would join the group, which performed numerous times in the next few months:

Lately, I’ve been invested in FoxDot. I have two desktop synths I really love, and I’ve been enjoying a lot playing them through code. Absolutely love their sound. Me, Kim Riecken and Gui Nomura jammed a lot together and recorded some stuff too. These are great friends who also compose and play - amazing vibes! There may be some new material coming soon!

It was also a year of speaking in public a lot:

Personal Life

It’s been tough living by myself. I used to play guitar and bass on a couple local bands, but these days just the thought is enough to make me uneasy. Instead, I have been doing a lot on housekeeping, work and studying at university - that’s basically the entirety of my time these days.

This year I chose to focus on getting to know myself better, and trying to figure out how I want my life to be from here on. I found out I have trouble keeping habits - I veary

My mom started learning to play the guitar again, after years, and we’ve had lots of fun together because of this.

After struggling with depression and alcoholism for a couple of years, some concepts begin sounding strange, like the idea that you can be part of something meaningful, that you can do good things and that you’re not fucking up as bad as you think.

This year taught me the value of being more present and allowing myself to be part of things. Everything felt very different from previous ones, and I’m still learning from all that’s been happening.

The year ends on a very high note, and I am very thrilled about 2020!