Jacob O'Bryant
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Stuff I read: 17 October 2022
17 October 2022

No news is... a sign of a stagnating Internet by Mark Nottingham. "[N]o matter what you think of the proposed News Bargaining Code, Facebook’s actions this week [Feb 2021] are a dramatic demonstration of a failure of the Internet to evolve, and a failure to meet its design goals."

What You Miss By Only Checking GitHub by Sumana Harihareswara. "The place I saw this GitHub-only perspective that really gave me pause was in Working in Public [...] by Nadia Eghbal. [...] I picked up Working in Public because I care about open source as infrastructure and how we sustain it. But if you exclude development work on forges and platforms other than GitHub, then you are excluding quite a lot of active, widely-used open source projects." I also read Working in Public and had a similar gut-level reaction. Although I use GitHub for my projects, I resent the idea that GitHub defines open-source.

The Age of Algorithmic Anxiety by Kyle Chayka (The New Yorker). Highly relevant to my work, and gives a fair critique of algorithmic recommendations instead of spreading FUD. I appreciated that the author actually uses the term "recommender system"—I believe it's the first article I've read in this genre to do so. Some time I'd like to write an essay called "In Defense of Recommendation."

Do Loom's Claims Stack Up? (webtide.com). I guess the JVM's Project Loom won't necessarily be a drop-in replacement for regular threads. I'll keep Loom on my list of things to look into if/when I start dealing with scaling issues, but probably won't worry about it much until then.

No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees by Sahil Lavingia. A description of how Gumroad operates. I read this a while ago but thought about it again recently. This bit practically made my eyes pop out, despite not getting much discussion: 

In [Sid Yadav's] words, “most entrepreneurs have two options: work a full-time job and hustle nights/weekends, or leave your job and risk everything to start the company. Gumroad provided a third way: I could contract 20-35 hours a week, and for a couple days a week, incubate ideas and work on my next thing.”

In 2020, Sid left Gumroad to start his own creator economy company, Circle, together with former Gumroad coworker Rudy Santino.

Why is nobody talking about this! Having taken the "leave your job" approach for the past four years, I honestly think this model could end up powering the next Y Combinator, for several reasons. (Building that is my ultimate scheme, by the way—but I have to get my own business working first.)

And some stuff I wrote:

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