Yesterday, a hacker pulled off the second biggest heist in the history of digital currencies. Around 12:00 PST, an unknown attacker exploited a critical flaw in the Parity multi-signature wallet on the Ethereum network, draining three massive wallets of over $31,000,000 worth of Ether in a matter of minutes. Given a couple more hours, the hacker could've made off with over $180,000,000 from vulner…
read more

Imagine you didn't need to trust a stranger to make a deal with them. Imagine you didn't need to trust your bank to deposit your money there. Imagine you didn't need to trust your government to know it was being just and fair. What would happen? It would change the world. This is precisely the promise of blockchains. Cryptocurrencies, which are built on blockchains, are all over the press these da…
read more

I have no self-control. Luckily, I know this about myself. This allows me to consciously engineer my life so that despite having the emotional maturity of a heroin-addicted lab rat, I'm occasionally able to get things done. Mm, a waste of time! I waste a lot of time on Reddit. If I want to procrastinate on something, I'll often open a new tab and dive down a Reddit-hole. But sometimes one needs…
read more

Apr 2017

I was originally planning to write this post reflecting on 2016 and my year-end donations (I know, better late than never). But given the political climate in the U.S. right now, I'm feeling pretty shaken. I don't usually write about politics, but I decided I needed to share a few thoughts. [video] First, donations. [Note: for those who don't know my background; I am an effective altruist, and I e…
read more

I just came home from a vow of silence at a meditation center in northern California. It's a strange feeling coming back to city life after five days of silent meditation. Looking around at puffing joggers, Christmas wreaths, eager couples waiting outside restaurants, the stop and start of traffic—it's almost too much for my senses. The last time I took a vow of silence was 5 years ago. It l…
read more

So you know the first 6 rules. You've maneuvered through the initial offer conversation, you've lined up counteroffers from other companies, and now it's time to move into the actual negotiating. Naturally, this is the part where everything goes horribly wrong. But worry not. Stick with me, and I'm going to make you into a superhuman negotiator. (Or at least an eccentric billionaire negotiator, wh…
read more

When the story of how I landed a job at Airbnb went viral, I was surprised at how infatuated people were with my negotiations. Media stories portrayed me as some kind of master negotiator—a wily ex-poker-player who was able to con the tech giants into a lucrative job offer. This is silly. It's silly for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is that in reality, my negotiation skills are…
read more

Jul 2016

I recently completed a job search for my first role as a software engineer. Despite having first learned how to code almost a year before, having a background as an English major and former professional poker player, I was able to land a total of 8 offers including Google, Uber, Yelp, and Airbnb (where I ultimately joined). In this three-part blog post I'm going to describe my advice to a job-seek…
read more

May 2016

(Note: this is the second part of this story. You can read the first part here.) Despite the rejection from 23AndMe, I kept pushing. I applied to the all the big hiring websites. Hired rejected me from their platform. I got no bites anywhere on AngelList or LinkedIn—not even cold e-mails from recruiters. Nothing from WhiteTruffle or SmartHires. Not a breath of interest anywhere. [video] I ke…
read more

A couple weeks ago I had my last day as Director of Product at App Academy. This coming Monday, I will be starting work as a software engineer at Airbnb. Here's the story of why I left App Academy, the tribulations of my ensuing job search, and why I decided to join Airbnb. [video] Disclaimer: in this blog post and the next, I'll be speaking frankly about compensation packages I received from (…
read more

Popular