Most advice about early career growth tends to sound like: “Look for the rocket ship, get on board, and hang on tight!”

Two months shy of my 2-year mark (and a Patagonia jacket), I closed my laptop instead feeling like I had jumped right out of the emergency exit, just as we had reached the stratosphere. I had just closed my fingerprint-greased, sweat-stained, and overtly dust-sexual hunk of a laptop for the last time as an engineer at Vanta.

(Some of) Vanta at Spark Social… sometime around August 2019. I’m in the back w/ a white hat!

Excited. Sad. Crazy. Happy. Insane in the membrane? Some heavy feeling draped over me as my chin dipped down towards my…

Second long-form update. Start at When To Jump off a $500 Million Rocket Ship.

One of the fantastic things about starting a startup in 2021 is the incredible abundance of startup resources freely available. Y Combinator and Startup School, vocal and successful entrepreneurs on the Twitterverse and Medium, and VCs like First Round regularly sharing their own insights from their portfolios have made it such that you could easily spend your 9–5 day just consuming content. …

Short story.

He twisted the knob on his bedside speakers. Thump, thump, thump, thump. The slap of the guitar strings rang clearer. White lips, pale face. The words started to bleed in with the rain.

Yet, he couldn’t shake the distant feeling of familiarity. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he couldn’t run.

He twisted the knob again. Slap, slap, slap, slap. The steel strings punched through his skull.

1, 2, 3, 4.

The same beat of the scars strapped across his back.

1, 2, 3, 4.

The same count as the lights turning off one by one, forever.


Recruiting for early stage startups, a look into my mind to (maybe) help you find your next rock star

Original Illustration

February 18th. That’s when I finally lifted myself out of the “What are you doing after graduation” purgatory. I had been interviewing with these Series A and Pre-Series A startups from coast to coast, from AI platform to esports companies, for one intensive month of start up interviews. After all the Tell-me-about-yourself’s, Where-do-you-see-yourself-in-5-years’s and Tell-me-your-proudest-accomplishment’s, I was sick of interviewing.

Every startup felt the same.

The CEO would drone on about the billion dollar regulated industry that no one dared to…

“Passionate from miles away” — AKON

Signup Form:

Hi, Chris here! How are you?

So as you might have heard, I graduated! And as I can’t stay away from learning for too long, I’m creating this Learning Community for Fruits. Let me tell you about it.

TL;DR I think learning on my own is hard; I really stink at it! I think people generally stink at doing things on their own, but learning is something that most people tackle largely individually. …

No 3rd party intermediaries, complete transaction transparency, and independence from any central regulator — Blockchain is the trust machine: it algorithmically manufactures consensus. But what kind of trust will be effective and respected?

From the very onset of the 2008 Bitcoin white paper author, this decentralized digital ledger technology has been heralded as the libertarian panacea. In China, however, blockchain technology and development has been nurtured in a completely different light. In China, a unique culture leads a new attitude towards blockchain: de-intermediarization, not decentralization. …


Facebook in 2009.

Twitter, later that year.

Google, in 2010.

Time and time again, in the face of government pressure and the battle over censorship, the Internet giants of the West fell to their knees at the hands of China.

Then just four years ago, in the budding months of 2014, LinkedIn had found themselves asking themselves if they could be Western tech’s David. With 4 million Chinese users organically attaching themselves to the LinkedIn brand, LinkedIn saw a huge opportunity to serve the world’s fastest growing professional economy. LinkedIn wanted to seize control over its underdeveloped infrastructure for career…

The Alchemist Paulo Coelho, Flickr

The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.

This story that Melchizedek tells Santiago that one should live life fully, and that living life fully also means to be responsible. You won’t find happiness by focusing solely on the task at hand: your career or schoolwork. You also won’t find happiness indulging in all the vacations, cuisines, and relationships.

Find an equilibrium where you do both, he says. Be accountable to those who gave you the opportunities you have and be serious about what…

WeChat as in Higher Brothers — WeChat Official Video

“There’s no Skype, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, we use WeChat. OK Tell me your WeChat number!” — Higher Brothers, WeChat

The copycat of technology from the West that was China’s tech industry in the past, is dead. And it wasn’t curiosity that killed it. In fact, as China’s tech has evolved from these carbon-copy replicas restamped and rebranded with cheesy graphics and Chinese characters, much of China’s tech has become the central attraction for tech hubs around the world. …

She taught me how to survive.

The pads of my fingers were bandaged, my eyes were pink and sore, and I felt like I had a nail driven into my brain. I was 12 years old and I was convinced I had everything memorized down to the rubato. Chopin Nocturne Opus… Opus… Everything memorized except some number no one ever bothered to remember.

E minor. That was the important part.

“Play it again.” She would tell me.

“But — ” I would stammer.

“This time, no mistakes.” Four words, firm and forward. That was the end of the conversation. Deep…

Christopher Chen

1. Tech. Maybe it's stockholm syndrome, but coding is fun. 2. People. What makes you tick? 3. China + East Asia. What freakin' cool place.

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