Dark Money

Dark Money is a both a roller coaster tale and an effective playbook of political influence. It tells the story of the Koch brother’s legacy on both the dialogue of American politics and the platform of the republican party. It made me realize that significant changes to our political landscape (e.g. rise of the Tea Party, Citizens United case) were not random developments in our nation’s history, but were events engineered to occur. It made me realize ...

The Golden Handcuffs Are Tighter Than You Think

New CS grads are often showered with salary, perks, and equity. When I was graduating, I had no idea how any of this worked. How does tax work? How much will my shares be worth? I joined Uber after college, a company few people doubt will IPO and do so successfully, but still there were still many surprises. I'm going to walk through how equity grants work, so that the new grads among you can make better informed decisions ...

The Secret Sauce to Uber's Growth

Uber is in fair running as the best product of the decade. It has enabled millions of people across the world to make money, give up owning a car, and has literally changed city traffic patterns. Uber's level of impact, naturally, goes hand in hand with some of the fastest growth growth in startup history. So how has Uber managed it's astronomically rapid growth?

Most companies would have been crushed under the weight of rapidly accumulated technical debt ...

Python Serialization Performance

As projects reach scale of moderate complexity, they must represent objects in many forms. As a json record from an API endpoint, cache, or database, as a thrift object for RPC, or as an object in-memory.

At Uber, we've begun to use the schematics library for our in-memory representations. It provides a canonical form for an object to take, which can then be serialized into thrift, sql, or various json forms. The native serialization works great for the base ...

The Future

Here's what the future will look like in 40 years.

Almost-free on-demand point-to-point public transit. Combine UberPool and self-driving cars and this is what you get. It could be actually free with ads, but people voted with their wallets, and they prefer peaceful and ridiculously cheap to noisy and free.

Magic is real. Wearables allow computers to perfectly recognize gestures and speech. Gestures that previously were arcane are now the way to invoke computer programs that perform actions in ...

Rules to Live By

Life is full of choices and things vying for attention. Every morning we wake up and make a choice about whether to go to work (usually we choose to), what to eat, how to spend our free time. We carry in our pockets a tiny computer that is an incredible tool, but also an incredible source of distraction and a black hole of attention and free time.

Also, these choices are repetitive. We ask again and again throughout the day ...

Starting a Salon

Three weeks ago, we began a new community in San Francisco. Bringing this community together is one of the most fulfilling things I've done so far in my life. Period. This post details my motivations & my fears, the philosophy of this community, and the difficulties, and I hope it will be helpful to anyone hoping to start a new chapter of this community.

Lessons from Confidence Game

Lessons
  • You can't win really big on Wall Street
  • Eliminating risk and access to capital are products just like any app or technology
  • Know what you're talking about instead of following the hype, and take the advice of such people
Thoughts

As exciting as the tech world is, it's good to know something about the world that goes on outside that bubble. I just finished reading Confidence Game on the recommendation of my friend @JakeCahan. If you ...