I’ve been too busy with work to write much recently, but in lieu of that, here’s a batch of links to other stuff I’ve been doing elsewhere.
The thing I’m most excited about:
Wave raises $200m from Sequoia, Stripe, Founders Fund and Ribbit at a $1.7b valuation. It’ll fund faster expansion across Africa. I’m pumped for us to save tons of money + time for even more people!
One of our investors for Founders Fund wrote an amazing deep dive into our vision and strategy. (Sadly, we had to ask Everett to cut the best part for confidentiality reasons—though I’m allowed to tell it to potential hires, so if you’re curious… you know what to do!)
On the Wave blog I wrote up my argument for why working at Wave is an extremely effective way to improve the world. (I expect to write a lot more for Wave’s blog in the future, so consider subscribing if you want to keep up with it!)
This is probably a good time to mention that we are hiring! A lot! If you’re an engineer or engineering leader, and you like tracking your impact in units like “number of households lifted out of extreme poverty,"1 let’s talk.
Other non-writing activities:
I gave a talk at !!con 2020—a conference whose only rule is that you must be super excited about your topic—on some of the things Wave has done to make our app work reliably on unreliable mobile networks: 89 characters of base-11?! Mobile networking in rural Ethiopia!
Alexey Guzey interviewed me about… a lot of stuff… including what habits have helped me the most to be effective, productively channeling neuroticism, what I learned from starting Harvard Effective Altruism, and what it feels like to repeatedly sample from a heavy-tailed distribution.
I appeared on the Narratives podcast where we talked about deciding what to do with your life, differences between management and engineering, cool parts of Wave’s culture, “staring into the abyss,” and other fun stuff.
I’ve occasionally been posting proto-blog-post threads to Twitter. The best ones will probably make it here (in fleshed-out form) but no promises!
As of now I feel pretty good about my plan to eventually get back to a normal workload, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to ship some new posts soon—I have a backlog I’m excited about!
When mobile money succeeded in Kenya, (Suri and Jack 2016) found that it lifted 2% of all Kenyan households—almost a million people—out of extreme poverty. I think Wave has a strong chance of doing the same for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa! ↩︎
Congratulations! That is extremely impressive.
ADDED: Potential hires might want to know more about what Wave and Ben do. Here are some pointers:
Coding at Wave: https://www.wave.com/en/blog/coding/
In Defense of Blub Studies https://www.benkuhn.net/blub/ (I just posted this in our CS channel)
Ben's Github: https://github.com/benkuhn
Oops—I forgot that this was going to be auto-crossposted to LW and probably would have prevented that if I remembered, since it's weirdly meta (it was intended mostly as a placeholder for people visiting my website and wondering why there were no recent posts). I guess I'll leave it here now since it got a lot more upvotes than I expected though :)
Nah, it's good! I'm glad I got to read this. Anything that's not "core LW content" we mark as Personal blogpost (poorly named, it just means stuff we don't want to promote front and center to readers either because it's off-topic or its a topic we want to deemphasize like politics). Zvi and Jeff Kaufman's blogs get auto-crossposted and it's nice getting all their zany stuff too.