A short story by Steve Yegge
Note, 2021: I wrote this story some years back, more or less as a 30-year-belated make-up assignment for a bad short story I wrote in high school. I don’t 100% trust Google not to lose the story by shutting down the site, so I’m posting it here as well. I hope you enjoy it. I had a lot of fun writing it. I posted some notes about the story in my old blog.
Dedicated with fond memories to Ken Whipple, Olympia High School English Teacher, 1983
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The two boys lay quiet…
I’m about to say some stuff that’s gonna get me in trouble. I’m a private citizen of the US who’s not even employed by anyone, and there will still be trouble.
Incidentally, I’ve decided to start my own talk show. I am so bursting full of rants that I’ll never be able to write them all. It’s going to be a tech-oriented show, since I’ve been in the Big Tech industry for 30 years, and I’ve already got a bunch of high-falutin’ guests lined up. I’m busy getting my game Wyvern launched to Steam (very very soon), and who knows…
God dammit, I didn’t want to blog again. I have so much stuff to do. Blogging takes time and energy and creativity that I could be putting to good use: my novels, my music, my game, and so on. But you get me riled enough, and I have to blog.
Let’s get this over with, then.
I’ll begin with a small but enlightening story from my early days at Google. For the record, I know I’ve said some perhaps unkind things about Google lately, because it’s frustrating when your corporate alma mater makes incompetent business decisions on the regular. But…
Saying Goodbye to the Best Gig I Ever Had
Friday was my last day at Grab, and I wanted to give a quick retrospective, plus tell folks what I’m up to. I didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye to so many folks in Southeast Asia, due to Covid shutting down travel. Grabbers, please accept this as my chance to say farewell to you all.
Grab was an incredible adventure. I was there for almost two and a half years, and if it weren’t for the fact that there’s a global pandemic going on, I’d probably still be…
Big Fat Disclaimer: I DO NOT SPEAK FOR GRAB. I work there, but these are my own opinions. Not Grab’s.
It’s now been 15 months since I joined Grab, the ride-hailing and financial services Super App giant of Southeast Asia. The time has gone by so fast. I’m on a plane headed back from our leadership offsite in beautiful Kuala Lumpur. And since it’s a bit of a long ride and I don’t have wifi, I thought, hey, I can finally tell you how it’s been going.
I had been hoping to do a 1-year follow-up. But I missed, in…
I’ve never before been inspired to write an essay about a piece of music. This is a first for me; we’ll see how it goes.
Update, April 2020: I did eventually record my special version of it — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK244wAQ3Qo — enjoy!
You know that feeling when you find a new song or a new piece, and for a while it just consumes you for days, maybe even weeks? Most of us have had that feeling many times. …
This is the story of the first time Jeff Bezos got something spectacularly wrong. It’s the story of why he was wrong, what happened afterward, and what we can learn from it. It’s also the story of how Jack Ma tackled exactly the same problem a few years later, and got it right.
For this particular story, I don’t have all the details. I may get a few things slightly wrong. …
Note: I do not speak for my employer, Grab. These thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
Ten years ago I published a blog post titled, “Get that job at Google”. My basic motivation was that I wanted people starting their technical interviews with the right expectations, and more importantly, bringing their best game.
And everyone got mad. Which is at least sort of funny, given that the first three pages are about how everyone gets mad when you talk about interviewing, so I had all these disclaimers. But no luck. The very next day, some guy posted an angry…
Who will steal Android from Google?
Disclaimers: These are my own personal opinions. A lot of them are probably wrong. I do not speak for my employer (Grab!). Take all this with a healthy grain of salt. In fact, don’t even read it.
Here I am, writing a Medium post while on a plane to Jakarta again. This is getting to be a habit.
I’m getting a lot of calls from reporters, asking me for a hot take on my claim yesterday that Google has lost the ability to innovate. And since I’m busy with my new job at Grab, I don’t have time to talk to everyone. So let’s just nip this in the bud here.
Most big companies don’t innovate at a large scale. It’s normal. You have two perfectly valid alternatives for responding to market shifts: You can acquire the innovator (or one of their competitors), or you can build your own competing product and compete head-to-head.
Acquisitions happen all the…
Steve Yegge is ex-Geoworks, ex-Amazon, ex-Google, and ex-Grab, with nearly 30 years of tech industry experience. Nowadays he’s pretty much retired.