Optics and subtle cues matter. If kids absorb lessons from who’s on TV, then the rest of us undoubtedly absorb messages from just about every app we touch.
I’m sick of living in a graveyard of V1’s that never get fixed and ultimately become confusing places to get lost in, or worse, backdoors for abuse from the badly behaved.
In the past four years I have wanted to condemn the industry and burn it down like a good underwire bra. But the interesting problems keep drawing me back in. The good people who truly want to help draw me back in.
I left that world with no regrets because change is never made in just one way. We need public protest, we need laws put into action, we need teachers to reprimand bullies, we need actresses to gravitate towards strong female leads. Change is not a single series of boxes we check off and forget.
Despite leading the way on perks and maintaining a concerned chatter about standing desks and gluten-free options, Silicon Valley, like the rest of America, hasn’t given much attention to mental health.
At its best, the web’s powerful and sexy. It makes us feel like tiny gods again. But, the aluminum and plastic shells are really just membranes. To create meaningful worlds and solve wicked problems, we have to be children of the real world.
There are too many people who keep their passions at arm’s length, simply because they're terrified of being alone. We need more people who aren’t afraid to tell stories, build tools, and change communities. By embracing solitude, we give each other the permission to reach for what we really want, to fill the tiny voids we see in the world.
Burnout is America’s favorite spectator sport. We regard it as justice. It’s the price people pay for flying too close to the sun, for daring to toe that line between greatness and madness. But for those possessed by the creative spirit, whether you be an artist, writer, designer, hacker, company builder—what choice do you have but to try?
Obscurity should be a cherished friend of yours. Young projects are quite fragile and there are a thousand reasons not to do anything. In fact, not doing anything is the easiest thing in the world.
I’ve had many relationships with my creativity, some healthy, some bad. We’ve been on the road together long enough that I’ve seen what happens when I feed it and what I lose when I starve it (mainly, my judgment, sanity and ability to be polite to people who do careless things).
The only thing that drove me to write a book was that I love to read and I hadn’t found a book like this one yet. It’s against conventional advice to do anything without a strong reason, but as I had no tangible reason to publish this book, perhaps nothing could convince me to give it up.
I wish we would look at all people like this, with an optimism towards their gifts. We should look at another and ask, “what’s this person’s power? How did they get it? How does it hinder them from fulfillment and how does it help them do awesome things? How has it shaped their experience?”
I am twenty-eight. In the eyes of the law, I have spent eighteen years as a minor and ten as an adult. I do not understand how I can be considered fully grown when I have lived most of my life as a child.
I re-examine my descriptions of him and replace he with she. I realize that I am now this man. I skulk in bookstores and play sad songs on the ukulele. My mood can turn in an instant and I avoid light conversation. I am a little black raincloud with glimpses of levity. I have absorbed the man who was going to rescue me.
Mulan is different. It’s one of the few Disney movies that is not a white narrative of a woman changing to win a man. The main problem Mulan faces is not ‘which man will I choose’, or, ‘how do I change to get the prince.’ Mulan is not a prop or prize, and goes through a hero’s journey for her own sake.