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 earn-to-give....
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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 lasted...
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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, which is sometimes better?) Seriously though....
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(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 kept on. I asked...
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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...
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2015 has come to a close and I’ve just finished my first year’s donations. In all I gave 33% of my pre-tax income, which since I started my job in June, amounts to $21,200 USD I donated to high-impact charities. [video] Donations I donated $5,300 to AMF, the Against Malaria Foundation, which distributes low-cost anti-mosquito bednets in parts of Africa that are ravaged by malaria. AMF is ranked by Givewell...
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EA Global, the largest ever public gathering of EAs, has left me reflecting on what it means to be an effective altruist. A few weeks ago, 400+ attendees and prominent EA activists, including Will MacAskill and Nick Bostrom (and Elon Musk!), converged on a Google Campus in Mountain View to discuss the state and direction of the EA movement. I ended up donning a volunteer shirt and helping out—time-keeping for...
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It’s officially official. At week 8 into my 12 week coding bootcamp, I was whisked into a room with Ned Ruggeri, the co-founder of App Academy. He sat me down and told me that I was the top student in my cohort (40~ students), and asked that I come on as an instructor and help teach the bootcamp. With the position comes a competitive package, the opportunity to teach others...
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A new stage in my life began four days ago. I got out of a taxi on 7th and Market Street, with all of my belongings stuffed into a backpack and one suitcase. To my left, homeless men were peddling their wares and accosting passersby, and on my right, I could see the dizzying buildings packed with San Francisco’s most promising startups. I’ve never lived in a city like this...
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It’s been almost four years now since I retired from professional poker. I haven’t played a single hand of poker since then. I’ve written a lot about poker, I’ve coached a lot of poker players, but the game itself is long behind me. So what comes next? Ever since I quit, that question has hung over me. What do I do with my life? As a poker player it was...
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I made my final donation yesterday. The $75,000 is now all accounted for. I sent $20,000 to charity: water for building water wells in rural Pakistan, and $15,000 to GiveDirectly (matched by another $15,000 by Good Ventures), which will be distributed through Kenya and Uganda. I’ll be updating the original post where I announce I’m starting over with more information and the receipts once I get them. The print edition...
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(For those of you who don’t know what’s going on with me right now, read this post first.) Christmas has come and gone. It’s never been a big day for me and my family. We don’t celebrate Christmas. So mostly Christmas is a day when everything is closed, my friends are busy, and everything is dim and quiet. For me, it’s a lonely time of year. Two days before Christmas,...
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So I’m starting over. I’ve decided to give away all of my money. Two years after retiring from poker, I have left about half a million dollars. I’m giving some of it to charity, and the rest to my family to go toward my parents’ retirement. I’m leaving myself $10,000 to live off—you know, in case I’m an idiot and everything goes horribly wrong. Oh, and I just finished the...
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