Startups: NameLayer was the commercialization of algorithms I developed to find the needles in the haystack of the domain aftermarket. We sold premium domain names to startups and Fortune 500's. After NameLayer's launch, I wrote the popular guide that many startups consult when choosing their name. NameLayer was ultimately acquired by Techstars as a means to name their next generation of startups.
Code: Since the sale of NameLayer, I've been building open source tools to change the way we visually interact with software. Velocity is the first in a trilogy of libraries, the development of which is sponsored by Stripe. (Read about the experience here.)
Talks: I recently gave the keynote lecture at the world's largest instructional coding event, where I taught 500 people (at once) the basics of web programming.
I'm in SF. Reach out :)
As with dumb people's susceptibility to the falsities of our sloppy media, smart people are susceptible to the falsities of the articulate.
Twitter power-user tip: Intricately debate someone on a controversial issue. Then, delete all your tweets. Now the other guy looks like a schizophrenic.
Something I believe most people struggle with but don't realize: I've always settled on whoever pure happenstance brought to my door as a coworker, friend, or acquaintance. This disposition to settle on whoever was naturally around me — which was the result of a lack of self-awareness among other things — has led to the biggest regret with the way I've lived my life until now. For the first time, I've recently begun putting genuine and sustained effort into meeting enough interesting people that the good ones can naturally rise to the top. When they do, I focus on spending my time with them while dutifully ignoring the rest. This is a lifelong process, but one that will probably bring more rewards than any other similar use of my time.
The biggest thing to happen to entertainment recently is Rotten Tomatoes' growth. Awful tomato ratings increasingly correlate with poor openings. Hollywood is being forced to make better movies.
The average cost of a Make-A-Wish foundation wish is $7,500. If you left $500k to this charity, which directs 75% of revenue directly into wishes, you would grant roughly 50 wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. The foundation's yearly revenue is $65m, which equates to roughly 6500 wishes granted per year. Pretty sure the amount of American children with life-threatening diseases in a year is higher than that... They could use more funds. Psychologically speaking, this is an interesting charity to donate to since the reward is so tangibly appreciable as the donor. On the other hand, I'd also argue that a charity helping millions of malnourished children throughout the developing world is probably a better use of donation dollars. Ultimately, however, the systemic lack of the direct observance of struggle will always be the enemy of charity.
Serial killer self-test: Kill a turtle and make note of whether it gives you a dopamine rush. If yes, stay away from public areas.
Don't get angry when people go to shitty movies, read shitty celebrity gossip, or vote for shitty political candidates. No. Instead, embrace these phenomena — appreciate them for what they really are: An indicator that you should not bother talking with these people. You see, shitty popular interests are amazing. Without them, there'd be no quick litmus test for whittling down the world's 6B people into the few that we'd likely be compatible with. Humans are the only animal whose population is not pared down by the survival of the fittest. You say "astrology"; I say "let's stop talking."
Twitter: Where influencers bask in the realization of their impact... and where everyone else pretends they're an influencer.