These are the fireflies that flash faster.
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.
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, as 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.
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.
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 is an independent researcher. His work is on a variety of fields, but mostly levitating between psychology and technology. Some of my favorite of his articles are:
- Spaced repetition
- Silk Road 1: Theory & Practice
- LSD microdosing self-experiment
- In Defense of Inclusionism on Wikipedia
- Bitcoin is Worse is Better
- Terrorism is not about Terror