sirodoht blog

Role Models

These are the fireflies that flash faster.


David Heinemeier Hansson, also known as DHH, is the creator of Ruby on Rails, CTO of Basecamp and Le Mans & WEC racing driver.

Along with his Basecamp co-lead, Jason Fried, DHH has proposed an alternative way of doing internet businesses to the established one, i.e. the Silicon Valley playbook. Their way has been detailed fully in their books and their blog. It includes revolutionary concepts such as remote working, no-meetings culture, profit-first strategy, exactly 40h work weeks (and 32h in the summer), and the radical notion that you don't have to take every tax deduction that you're eligible to.

DHH is very vocal of his views of the world and his life philosophy, which is based on stoicism. His book recommendations should also not be missed.

Alexandra Elbakyan

Among millions of academics and scientists worldwide, there was no one that could actualize a most foundational freedom of their discipline: read scientific papers freely, without subscriptions or paywalls. Thankfully Alexandra, exception to the previous statement, defied all evil legislators and built Sci-Hub, a simple file sharing site that pirates paywalled scientific papers.

The significance of Sci-Hub is comparable to that of another massively impactful invention, Wikipedia. Alexandra, literally as the defender of man, upgraded mankind's knowledge dexterity like few have done. Let us hope her contribution to the world heritage increases -at worst- linearly.

Elon Musk

Having Elon Musk as a role model is too cliché, but I hope my SV likeness stops not far from this. Elon's goal with Tesla is to accelerate the world's transition to electric vehicles. At the beginning of his quest, no car company had any plans to go electric. It was generally deemed as an awfully inefficient technology. It took Elon 15 years to build a company that brute forced R&D the fastest production car ever, surprisingly pure electric. Now all car companies plan electric.

Elon has another dream: establish mankind as an interplanetary species. He hasn't achieved that. However, space was a domain of governments' until Elon's SpaceX came into being. Eight years after being founded, it became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010). But that wasn't the most important thing they did. SpaceX conceptualized, built and successfully executed an idea NASA hadn't dared to imagine: reusable rockets.

Despite Elon's jaw-dropping achievements, his quality, humbleness, and originality are evident in his own words. Feel free to read his Twitter account and/or listen to his interviews.

Patrick Collison

Patrick is the founder and CEO of Stripe, a payment processing company. Stripe as a technology company has set a new standard of software quality. Most probably, there isn't a single piece of software better designed, most aesthetically pleasing than the UX king, Stripe.

On his regularly updated website, Patrick voices his opinions. I have come to really enjoy his writings, thoughts, and book reviews. Strongly recommended.

Gwern Brawnen

Gwern is an independent researcher that publishes extremely interesting and high quality research. His website is unique. Apart from the great minimalistic aesthetics, the content is vast, compeling, high quality.

His work is on a variety of fields, but mostly levitating between psychology and technology. Some of his articles:

He has also contributed greatly in the English Wikipedia and the Haskell community.

Derek Sivers

I recently re-discovered, the website of Derek Sivers. It's very fast and very simple. Minimalism is a core part of Derek's philosophy, and he is so radical about his life philosophy that inspires you to be too.

He is mainly an author, but also a programmer, and a successful enterpreneur. It is extremely interesting that he started CDBaby, his first business, failthful to the lean startup philosophy without ever knowing about it. He just did what made sense, and simply enough, not only did it work but he succeeded in creating an independent company with a product that people really want.

His blog articles are always insightful and portray a line of thought so original, nowhere to be found.