A quick metaphor that might help you explain your tech job at the dinner table.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means it’s time for all the great holiday staples: falling leaves, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and blank stares from family after you attempt to explain your tech job to them. If you work in technical role, or at a technical company (in any capacity), then you’re probably no stranger to looks of utter confusion at the dinner table after you try to explain what an API is.

So here’s a metaphor to help explain the general concept of software-related work to friends and loved ones on the precipice of a food-induced coma.

In last 11 months my wife and I have planned two weddings. For the record: both were for us. We had a small ceremony (20 people) in December of 2014, and then a bigger ceremony in early August of 2015 (110 people). While both were wonderful events, the planning for each was incredibly frustrating because there was no master tool to fit my needs. Below are my observations on what’s missing from a product perspective, in this $50+ billion industry (US only).

But first, a PSA:

Hire a planner if you have…

Getting media organizations to care about speed and UX is great.

However, what worries me is that platforms are building these great tools but only giving access to a select group of “brands.” If these tools aren’t given to everyone then it kills the web as a tool of free, accesible expression. It becomes an expensive, Pay-to-Play Premium Experience™, or one you can’t join unless you’re part of the cool-kid club with huge reach.

This doesn’t empower smaller voices — The people who make up those millions of MAUs — in these digital town squares. The social web was supposed…

What it’s like to watch Steph Curry play basketball

Every three-point shot he takes, the whole of Oracle Arena collectively inches off their seats, holds their breath, and waits for the shot to swish through the net. If it doesn’t: we are shocked. Genuinely disappointed, because it happens with such frequency.

And when it does swish — the joy is instant.

Because the hypothesis has been confirmed. Our cheers are a ritual, a celebration of what we’re lucky to have. It’s like we get to rediscover his wonderful talent again and again, with every three-point shot.

The last company you’ll ever need.

Today we are pleased to announce Last Mile, a company that will change the way you live your life everyday.

With today’s hectic pace and demanding work schedules, it’s not your fault if you come home and are too tired to finish your chores. Heck, we don’t blame you if all you want to do is curl up with Netflix and binge-watch “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards.” But when you’re done with that, your chores remain incomplete.

This is where Last Mile helps you finish the job.

Has your dishwasher…

A Fake Advertisement From The Future

Life is depressing. You will eventually disappoint your parents, embarrass your children, not work hard enough, forget to pursue your passion, and neglect your significant other. For years there was nothing you could do about the guilt these actions would bring up.

“It’s just part of being human,” says your therapist, 10th grade guidance counselor, or best friend.

But that’s no longer a valid excuse thanks to the latest advances in organic-robotic surgery. This is not your grandfather’s world anymore.

It’s time to seriously consider becoming a robot.

Here are some…

I have purposely abandoned them.

Many were just too silly, some were totally unfeasible, and a few of them I simply got bored with. I always keep a running list of ideas, spread across notebooks and software, and every few months I try to go through and clean it up. But instead of tossing this crop out, I decided to share. Generally, these kinds of ideas are blasted out in pithy status updates, but I think there’s something special about collecting and liberating them all at once.

We should all fearlessly release ideas, even the ones we aren’t passionate about, even the ones that are…

Flickr credit: DBaron

The bridges of San Francisco have a complicated relationship with one another. Almost a classic sibling tale, the Bay Bridge should have every reason to be jealous and spiteful of the Golden Gate, but it's not. Despite all the photographs and gushing over its more picturesque sibling, the Bay Bridge holds its tongue and does its duty.

The Bay Bridge is older, by a full six months, and it's charged with more responsibility — supporting over double the amount of traffic of the Golden Gate (280,000 vehicles compared to 110,000) — and it is a thoroughly more complex structure. No…

I originally wrote this on the day of the Sandy Hook shootings, December 14th, 2012. I’m reposting it under a renamed collection.

You’ve heard this story before: one mass shooting after another occurs, then the media machine rears its head and gets to work with an almighty roar. Countless satellite-equipped-vans approach the scene of the crime, eyewitnesses are interviewed without consideration of their trauma, and pixelated images of suspected killers are thrust onto any screen available.

I found myself disgusted with a lot today. With the senseless killing, the poor initial reporting, the objectification of the child eyewitnesses, the cries…

My parents have always been incredible examples to me. They both left busy, ambitious jobs in Washington, D.C. to move me and my two brothers to Costa Rica when we were four, five, and seven. We grew up on a remote plot of land, with packs of half-wild dogs, two-thousand meters above sea-level.

To make money, they started a catering company, which eventually became a restaurant. When the restaurant started to flail, we offered cooking classes. Most of the clients for these classes were people’s maids (lots of folks have maids in Costa Rica). But for every three paying clients…

Mischa Vaughn

Read to plants, sing to pets, write for you.

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