posts tagged tech

Syntax highlighting is backwards

tech

Most code editors color different pieces of your program in different ways. For instance, they’ll make keywords like if bold and bright so that you notice when you’ve misspelled them. They’ll make non-executable parts like comments and documentation fainter so that you know that the computer isn’t seeing that part of the program. But isn’t that exactly backwards?

Unintended consequences and GDPR (but not the way you think)

tech

Somehow I never worried about this particular failure mode (in either component):

Are venture capital markets inefficient?

tech

Top venture capital firms predictably earn massive returns. Is this a violation of the efficient market hypothesis? And why might it be happening?

How bad are bad fundraising terms?

tech

Suppose you took a job at Square in November 2014. A stock option package you valued at $500k then would have become worthless a year later, when they IPOed at less than half their previous valuation. Yet it seems like Square did quite well in 2015. What’s going on? I go over the startling findings of a new research paper that explains this and lots of other venture capital mysteries.

Stock options are really complicated

tech

Most employees at startups get some of their pay in stock options. This is often framed to the employee as “you get x percentage of equity in the company.” Unfortunately, stock options are a lot more complex than true equity.

Don’t run code at import time

tech

In many dynamic programming languages, there’s no distinction between loading a module and executing a script. I argue that this has more unfortunate consequences than people realize.

Don’t claw back employee options

tech

Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz recently suggested an alternative structure for employee stock options. I disagree with it strongly.

Autocomplete as an interface

tech

Many programming environments offer autocomplete: the ability to guess what you’re about to type based on the first few letters you’ve typed. I’m used to thinking of autocomplete as a convenience tool that saves you a few keystrokes, but it’s much more than that.

Readability, hackability, and abstraction

tech

Suppose you’re writing a script to spin up servers for your web application…

Modern methods for old-school statistics

tech

A review of Frank Harrell’s excellent statistics test, Regression Modeling Strategies.

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