4 min read

This is not the future I wanted

Binary code (zeros and ones) but some of them are colored red to form a heart.
Photo by Alexander Sinn / Unsplash

I remember when I first began to learn how to build things with code. Must have been 2002–2003. I was teaching myself Wordpress, learning HTML and CSS and some PHP. I'd copy/paste JavaScript from other sites not my own. It all felt so strange and wonderful. PureVolume.com, The Big Noob, Gowalla, Friendster, MySpace, all the blogs I read and followed. I could write a post anytime I wanted and put it out to the Internet. People would comment, were mostly kind, and I made friends from around the world.

Fast forward to 20 years later. Just look at this shit.


Like the content you see here? Subscribe today!

My wife and I don't have kids. We don't have kids because we like to pick up whenever we want and travel wherever we want. And the thing that I love about traveling is seeing how the rest of the world lives. For example, there are entire cities that don't have a fucking McDonald's on every corner. Cities without Home Depot and cities without Walmart. Instead, you are gifted with small little shops and boutiques and restaurants that are unique and wonderful and have no interest in growing to 800 locations.

When I think about food in America, I hate that we don't have 30 cuisines unique to America. You can fit about 30 European countries into the continental US. France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, go down the line and many of these places have their own language, their own food, and Americans, the fucking geniuses that we are, decided to grow corn for sugar and gasoline. We chose profit and growth at all costs. lmao. Sugar and gasoline.

Twenty years ago, we could have chosen a different path for tech and maybe we tried to. Maybe we tried to build small communities and boutique software that could employ and provide for the people closest to us. But at some point, we let the capitalist monsters in. And now, instead of a thousands of small apps that do things well for the customers that use them, we build monstrosities and try to sell that shit to everyone. We call it enterprise software. And we let these fucking cancers grow and grow and grow and destroy the lives of so many people. And then we idolized the fucking billionaires that this cancer created. We call them "geniuses" and we make up myths about their benevolence. We hope to they pick us to be billionaires too because we're so goddamned faithful.

We treat them as gods and their words as gospel, a religion. We evangelize for them on Twitter and Reddit. Pick me pick me pick me...

I keep thinking about building a small thing well. How much better the world would be if software wasn't Salesforce or Microsoft or Google. I look at a firm like Tapbots and think to myself, that's what I want. I know it's harder. It's not as lucrative, I get it. But mortadella in Bologna, Italy–is and will always be–better than the Oscar Meyer bullshit we make in America. And I want that feeling. I want people to seek out what I'm putting out into the world because it's good and not because it's Salesforce and our IT department says we have to use it.

If we're honest with ourselves, I don't think any of us would disagree that late-stage capitalism is exploitative as fuck. It doesn't feel great. And I don't know about you, but I'm so goddamned tired of it.


Like the content you see here? Subscribe today!

I'm tired of making software for sales executives. Tired of making software for stock analysts. I'm tired of working for companies that call you "family" until the CEOs fuck up because they all magically "hired too much" and yet, these very same CEOs keep their bonuses, their equity, and their power.

These motherfuckers think they're immune from unionization. But friends, we can change the future. We can think about what we want the world to be in the next 20 years and make it happen. We don't have to put up with their bullshit. We can have a different world, if we want it.

I'm not sure what that first step looks like for you, but with all the love in my heart, take it. We don't have to live like this. Fuck these billionaires and their simps.

A couple of things before you go

I'm done with Twitter. You can find me on Mastodon.

My last tweet

Also, I went to LA last weekend for a little birthday food tour and I shot a few pictures. Maybe you'll like them or something.