If you want to do good work, and I really hope you do, start doing it at your day job. Start asking questions about what you’re building. Start asking questions about who benefits from what you’re building. Start asking questions about who gets hurt by what you’re building. And take a look at your team. Does it look like the audience you’re trying to reach? Especially if you’re building something in the social sphere, where trust and safety is paramount.
But here’s the thing. You can’t help Uber build Greyball during the day, or help Palantir design databases to round up immigrants as your main gig, and then buy ethics offsets by doing a non-profit side hustle. We need you to work ethically during that day job much more than we need you working with that non-profit.
It is time to stop being superstitious and pretending a calendar year is killing people. Alcoholism and drug abuse are killing people. Next year it will kill more. Next year it might be your favorite recording artist, or maybe your best friend, or your brother, or maybe even you.