What’s next for me: cities, Sidewalks and NYC

I’m really excited to share that I’ll be joining Dan Doctoroff and Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, and moving back to the greatest city in the world. Sidewalk is focused on the future of cities and I’ll be part of a small team working on strategy and product to help shape that vision.

When I left Imgur in May, I wrote a lot, coded a bit, and churned through a number of companies I didn’t end up starting. I’ll probably write more about that whole process soon. But what excited me the most was Sidewalk because I genuinely believe that cities are going to save humanity. They allow us to 1) efficiently use our limited resources and 2) renew our great resource, human creativity.

Two years ago I wrote The Internet Becomes the City’s Cartographer, about how cities have become more valuable, not less, when we have the Internet:

Instead of only the lovely serendipitous connections that cities have always been appreciated for, the Internet allows the city-dweller to map and mine the mutual interests and creative density that have always existed in the city but were previously harder to discover and plan for.
Meetup.com, Foursquare, Twitter, Tinder– these Internet-enabled tools make density far more valuable. Perhaps a higher resolution version of the Internet will tip the equation towards the end of geography. But until then, the city’s appeal is heightened by our newfound abilities to map the world into our consciousness.

I believe that cities will be play a profound role in defining our human experience over the next hundred years and I’m excited to be a part of that.

Finally, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to some of the many people who have been so supportive over the last few months including Noam, Rob, Steve, Matt, Jeff, Semil, Alex, Chris, Frank, Alok, Tim, Zal, Connie, Khalid, Selby, Jess, Daniel and David. I am probably forgetting a few of you.