An entrepreneur’s guide to babies

Keith Schacht| March 23rd, 2017
Post to Twitter

My wife and I are both entrepreneurs. Many times we’ve discussed going into business together but there would be too many chiefs and not enough indians so we know it wouldn’t work out. But 10 months ago we decided to launch our first joint venture, a baby. (Well, technically we decided 9 months before that.)

Neither of us accept the standard doctrine on baby raising; we both question everything. And over this last year we’ve figured out many hacks for keeping our little guy happy, both of us well rested, and our household functioning. Today I decided to document these so I don’t forget in case we decide to go through all this again. I’m only going to tell you the things you won’t hear other places.

While in the oven

  • Read The Panic-Free Pregnancy (link) – You will receive false information about risks to unborn babies. Caffeine, alcohol, lunch meets, fish. Read this book for the facts. Some of them are real risks but most of them are not. This book summarizes the actual studies that have been done and explains which risks are real.
  • Prepare for delivery – During the ~24 hours of delivery there was no continuous person who was with us and overseeing things. Even my wife’s OB wasn’t going to handle the delivery, whomever in their clinic happened to be on call when the time came is who would handle it. This makes for a frustrating process and is probably one of the advantages to bringing your own midwife or doula. We interviewed a couple doulas and didn’t like them. Instead, we found a friend-of-friend who is a labor and delivery nurse. We really liked her and make arrangements to call her day or night with questions. I called 3 times during the ~24 hours to update her and ask questions. Every ~5 hours there was a new nurse taking over so it was super helpful to have someone I trusted to call for a second opinion, especially since my wife was drugged up and not much help in making some of the decisions I had to.

The arrival

  • Watch The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (link). Your baby will cry. You will not be able to calm it. You will start to go crazy. This DVD reveals several kung fu moves that work like magic.
  • Read Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old (link). Unlike every other baby book you come across which is 1000 pages long with no chance of you completing in your sleep deprived state, this book will take you just an hour to read. It is a step-by-step guide to getting your baby to sleep. You can’t start until week 5-7 (depends on birth weight) but week 10 our baby was sleeping 12 hours. Many a friend thanked us for this recommendation. You will read it multiple times and follow every step. It really works.
  • Practice the straight jacket swaddle (video) – A good swaddle can make the difference between a full nights rest or getting woken up. After many failed attempts I found this on YouTube. There is no getting out of this swaddle. Babies love it.

Equipment no one will think to buy you but you desperately need

  • The best bottles (link). Not only do these bottles eliminate tons of regular cleaning, these are better than any of those anti-colic bottles (Dr Browns or others you will undoubtedly be recommended). I spent too much time researching the colic bottles. All they do is eliminate air intake. Air comes from two places: bad suction at the nipple or air within the bottle. These bottles have huge freakin nipples, no problems with suction. And the bag liner eliminates all air. Buy these bottles and you’ll never need any other.
  • Sterilizer steamer bags (link) – You will go through a super-paranoid-I-must-sanitize-anything-that-comes-within-twelve-inches-of-my-baby phase. It will pass quickly. Soon you’ll be brushing dirt off the pacifier and slipping it right in junior’s mouth. But until the paranoia has passed these bags make sterilizing fast & easy.
  • Pacifier leash (link) – Buy 5-10 of these so you can tether pacifiers to everything. The carseat. The stroller. The baby bjorn. Your baby. Pacifiers are one of the greatest inventions ever and you always want to have one within reach.
  • Hazmat poopy diaper bags (link) – Poopy diapers stink. When on the go you will want to contain those suckers and these bags do the trick. Worth clipping to your diaper bag.

Random other tips

  • Colic means nothing. Your baby will have colic. This is not a condition, it is a set of symptoms. Specifically, it’s the symptom of your baby being healthy but still deciding to cry or displays symptoms of distress frequently. This defines every baby.
  • Crying. It is very easy to get worked up when your baby cries but changing your perspective can really help. As an adult, we only cry in very extreme circumstances when we are in real pain. For a baby, crying is their only method of communicating. If a baby is slightly cold, they let you know by screaming hysterically. If they don’t like the position of their leg, they let you know by screaming hysterically. If they are a tiny bit hungry, they let you know by screaming hysterically.
  • Dream feeding. You don’t have to wake your baby to feed it! This is called dream feeding. I can’t believe this isn’t mentioned in the baby instruction manual. We didn’t learn this until about 4 months but it was a life saver. There are times when you know your baby needs to eat but you don’t want to wake him. You don’t have to! Just slip the bottle (or breast) in his mouth and he will eat without waking. It’s magic.
  • More crying. When your baby finally gets mobile, it is okay to let him hit his head. He will try to pull himself up on things. Sometimes he will slip and he will fall. Don’t freak out when it happens and don’t go out of your way to prevent it. This is how they learn. It only took our guy a couple times of trying to pull himself up on something flimsy like a paper bag before he started testing how strong a support was before pulling up on it. Absent sharp objects, babies won’t do any real damage hitting their head from their own height.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| March 23rd, 2017
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

“Companies in your space need to …
“Given the stage you’re at, you should …
“No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back negative, the lump is not cancerous, now the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down, but only while you are ignorant of the underlying cause which determines where you will fall in the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

But if you plan to change the world–to achieve something no one before you has. Then you need to figure out ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Or if you plan to be the first in your industry, then look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting and learn how they’ve achieved them. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exceptional cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

“Companies in your space need to …
“Given the stage you’re at, you should …
“No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back negative, the lump is not cancerous, now the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down, but only while you are ignorant of the underlying cause which determines where you will fall in the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

But if you plan to change the world–to achieve something no one before you has. Then you need to figure out ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Or if you plan to be the first in your industry, then look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting and learn how they’ve achieved them. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exceptional cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

“Companies in your space need to …
“Given the stage you’re at, you should …
“No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back negative, the lump is not cancerous, now the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down, but only while you are ignorant of the underlying cause which determines where you will fall in the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

But if you plan to change the world–to achieve something no one before you has. Then you need to figure out ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Or if you plan to be the first in your industry, then look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting and learn how they’ve achieved them. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exceptional cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

“Companies in your space need to …
“Given the stage you’re at, you should …
“No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back negative, the lump is not cancerous, now the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down, but only while you are ignorant of the underlying cause which determines where you will fall in the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

But if you plan to change the world–to achieve something no one before you has. Then you need to figure out ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Or if you plan to be the first in your industry, then look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting and learn how they’ve achieved them. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exceptional cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

“Companies in your space need to …
“Given the stage you’re at, you should …
“No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back and it’s negative—the lump is benign—then the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down. But only when you are ignorant of the underlying cause that drives the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

 

Entrepreneurs: seek to change the world. Set out to achieve something no one before you has. Bring about some change in the world you want to see. To accomplish this, you need to figure out key ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting, learn how they’ve achieved them, and figure out which of these learnings you can apply. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exception cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

Companies in your space need to …
Given the stage you’re at, you should …
No one with your background has ever …

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back and it’s negative—the lump is benign—then the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down. But only when you are ignorant of the underlying cause that drives the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

 

Entrepreneurs: seek to change the world. Set out to achieve something no one before you has. Bring about some change in the world you want to see. To accomplish this, you need to figure out key ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting, learn how they’ve achieved them, and figure out which of these learnings you can apply. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exception cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

Entrepreneurs: Learn from the averages, don’t succumb to them

Keith Schacht| December 26th, 2013
Post to Twitter

As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time telling other people about your business. Early on you do this to learn—you solicit feedback from people smarter than you—while later the feedback may be unsolicited. But regardless, there is a common pattern in the feedback that you will hear from people who are outside your business. It is is important to identify this pattern or you risk drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Here are the telltale signs:

Companies in your space need to …Given the stage you’re at, you should …”

“No one with your background has …”

When you’re talking with wise people, these statements are generally true so it’s worth listening. But they are also admissions of ignorance and you must treat them as such. These are attempts to draw a conclusion about your business based on a general pattern you seem to fit. It’s a form of statistical thinking.

Statistics are generalizations about the world which are helpful when you are ignorant of the particulars. As soon as you have knowledge of the particulars, the generalization is mostly useless.

For example, if you find a lump in your neck and you go in for a biopsy, while waiting for the results your doctor may tell you there is a 90% chance it’s cancer based on its size and location. But as soon as the biopsy results come back and it’s negative—the lump is benign—then the statistic is irrelevant. It’s still true: 90% of lumps of this size and in this location do turn out to be cancerous. But the cause behind this pattern is unknown which is why it was possible for yours to be an exception.

In business, just like in medicine, it is helpful to understanding what the typical outcomes are for people who have already walked the path you’re heading down. But only when you are ignorant of the underlying cause that drives the range of outcomes. Want to predict your net margins? Look at competitors in your space. Want to budget for hiring a senior engineer? Talk to startups who have hired similar people and learn the typical salary. Want to evaluate a term sheet from an investor?

 

Entrepreneurs: seek to change the world. Set out to achieve something no one before you has. Bring about some change in the world you want to see. To accomplish this, you need to figure out key ways to achieve a different outcome than those who have ventured before you. Understanding typical outcomes is a starting point, not a constraint. Most people who give you advice about your business will treat them as laws of nature and think you are naive for thinking they don’t apply to you.

But you can be the exception. The key is to understand the cause behind the patterns you see. Once you understand the cause and can control it, then historical outcomes are irrelevant.

Find the competitor who has exceptional net margins and understand what they’re doing differently. Look to industries where net margins are in the range you’re targeting, learn how they’ve achieved them, and figure out which of these learnings you can apply. Want to hire a senior engineer but can’t afford the typical salaries? Understand what’s driving the price up. Is it because most senior people are older and have kids? Then reach out to the youngest in the field or find those without kids.

Work to understand what drives the typical outcomes if you wish to be atypical. Do this by learning to ask questions that reveal the cause behind outcomes. And seek out the exception cases as key examples to study and learn from.

You can be the exception. Now go forth and change the world.

We’re all nodes on the network

Keith Schacht| December 16th, 2013
Post to Twitter

While walking down Mission St the other day, my plans changed unexpectedly and I needed to get to Market St. I pulled out my phone and within 2 minutes a Lyft driver was pulling up and giving me a ride. It hit me that this is now possible because we’re all nodes on the network. Between 2000-2005 every computer that was out there became a node on the network, but people weren’t nodes. Even though everyone was on AIM, I could only reach you if you were sitting in front of your computer. But in the last 5 years, now that we all have internet connected devices in our pocket, it’s funny to realize that *we* are now nodes on the network.

However, right now our nodes are not that interesting. Most of us only have one port open. It’s the “chat” port. I can call/text everyone but that’s about it. This is like the internet when interacting with computers consisted of Finger and Gopher.

But thanks to Lyft there are now ~10,000 people in the city of SF who have the “driving” port opened on their node. And Lyft runs a directory service where I can scan all open ports and benefit from a people node on the network in a way I never could before.

What other ports will soon be open on the people nodes? What other directory services need to exist? Facebook Graph search looks all the more interesting from this perspective.

We’re all nodes on the network

Keith Schacht| July 2nd, 2013
Post to Twitter

While walking down Mission St the other day, my plans changed unexpectedly and I needed to get to Market St. I pulled out my phone and within 2 minutes a Lyft driver was pulling up and giving me a ride. It hit me that this is now possible because we’re all nodes on the network. Between 2000-2005 every computer that was out there became a node on the network, but people weren’t nodes. Even though everyone was on AIM, I could only reach you if you were sitting in front of your computer. But in the last 5 years, now that we all have internet connected devices in our pocket, it’s funny to realize that *we* are now nodes on the network.

However, right now our nodes are not that interesting. Most of us only have one port open. It’s the “chat” port. I can call/text everyone but that’s about it. This is like the internet when interacting with computers consisted of Finger and Gopher.

But thanks to Lyft there are now ~10,000 people in the city of SF who have the “driving” port opened on their node. And Lyft runs a directory service where I can scan all open ports and benefit from a people node on the network in a way I never could before.

What other ports will soon be open on the people nodes? What other directory services need to exist? Facebook Graph search looks all the more interesting from this perspective.