holistic systems

Success in technology is often found by going deep – academics and senior engineers alike spend decades doing hard technical work to become masters of their craft and push the envelope of human knowledge and accomplishment. The deeper you go, the more important your work may be. The other way to go, and maybe the less-traveled path within engineering, is in thinking and solving holistic problems.

There is often at least one order of magnitude difference between the scope of the holistic engineer’s daily work and that of the deeply technical one. The latter dwells on tire pressure, tube materials, and friction coefficients. The former is focused on getting the entire bike moving. Both are critical, even though the holistic contribution may be at times less concretely visible. I choose to focus on work that is more holistic in nature, aware that the tradeoffs are many and sometimes depth is still necessary.

I fell into production infrastructure engineering because of my interests in solving holistic problems. In so many ways, it’s the perfect role for me.

As I think about 2024 and beyond, I want to find problems to solve at the intersection of distributed infrastructure, social good with an eye toward privacy and security, and wearable-based AI. I want to serve the broadest set of people that I can. My work at Mysten Labs is positioned well to move in that direction, and I intend to position other auxiliary parts of my life that way too.

radical moderation

“Moderation” in this context is not about social media or content policies, but rather about acting in moderation – taking a moderate stance. I think most people can be served best {politically | morally | emotionally} by taking a moderate approach. I try to put this into practice in my parenting.

My 2 year old rarely watches anything on a screen and rarely has anything sugary. At this age, moderation means that I help limit exposure to these things, while not being pharisaical about it. We are both happy, and I am at peace about building a good life for my child while fostering independence, self-esteem, and an attitude of healthy living.

I consider myself radically moderate; even though I am looking for the center of most issues, I am not content with the status quo. Change is imminent, change is necessary, and I want to be a part of it, embrace it, ride the wave of technological innovation. Things will continue to accelerate and I want to build systems to serve people.

accelerated future

This heading used to be called “private future” but I recently updated it to be more broad and, I think, more in line with what I was originally imagining. Privacy will always be an area of fascination for me, but it’s a minor component in a broader picture of acceleration and focuses more clearly on the future, which was the original intent.

Acceleration to me is found in building a team to work on hard problems in an area I’m passionate about with broad impact.

I care deeply about building a good future for those who come after us. I want to spend my time building it; that’s the reason I got into computers in the first place.

My career began working on augmented and virtual reality systems at Meta. I transitioned to work on data classification in privacy infrastructure and found a passion for building teams. I’m now part of a moonshot effort (web3 skeptic here) to bring a truly scalable L1 blockchain to the masses. I have always worked at the forefront of technology, and I fully intend to remain.

2024 and beyond

My wife and I decided that 2024 would be our “chill year.” The two of us will have distinct and separate implementations, but that vibe aligns well with where I want to head. I expect to spend a lot of time building things and accomplish more this year than I ever have. And I’m excited about it.

As I focus in on building holistic systems, taking a radically moderate approach to the problems I’m solving, and attempt to accelerate the future, I am optimistic that 2024 will be a memorable year.