W2D3 - Economic empowerment

On writing

I'm very happy to have blogging be sustained as a daily practice, and amused how expectations contrast against reality. I expressed to a friend:

I started a blog to write about the stuff at RC. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing, so worried at how it comes across. Then I learned what I imagine a lot of startup founders and writes [sic] encounter - it's people caring too little rather than too much is the problem.

I was similarly worried about my first comment for an open source project, made available to the whole world. I guess it's a bit like going to a party and worried how people think of you, when in fact most are too worried what others think of them.


The day kicked off early with an event with José Valim, the BDFL of Elixir. I came away thinking how Elixir was inspired by Clojure but built on top of the Erlang VM. What I know about Erlang is (1) the language was designed at Ericsson, and (2) WhatsApp's Erlang code supported ~500 million users with ~30 engineers and the company got acquired by Facebook for ~$20 billion. Clearly something got built right.

I asked José what he thought about using Go for concurrency at the time he started Elixir. He emphasized immutability - the guarantee that data not change under our feet (achieved via functional programming) helps developers write robust concurrent software. He also said that, at the time, Go marketed itself as a replacement to C/C++ (as opposed to Java). He shared the following article which I haven't had the chance to read, but the blog itself is a real find.

José also super nice - he set aside time at the end for people who didn't get a chance to ask questions.

Content: Jack Dorsey

Now going on a tangent, my first role in San Francisco was at Square. It was privilege being in a company led by Jack Dorsey. He genuinely believed Square's products helped small business owners put food on the table, and worked hard to ensure they had access to the same tools that big businesses had. I was based in Berlin prior to moving to the Bay Area; I specifically remember reading a New Yorker profile of him, in a copy of the magazine that an ex-flatmate left behind after moving out.


It's funny how things work out.