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The back cover of the final issue of the Whole Earth Catalog (Stewart Brand, 1974), via Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.

If you have a great startup idea and a burning itch to do it, you don’t need to read this post — go full steam and make it happen! But if not, please pause tonight to reflect and ask yourself a simple question — Do you find yourself at the right place at the right time?

We could all use the reminder that the rest of the planet calls this place where we live and work a magical place. As folklore puts it, Silicon Valley might be the only place in the world that is not trying to become Silicon Valley. …


We are engineers who have built large scale production systems at fast growing startups. Some of us have founded startups ourselves and are deeply connected to the startup ecosystem here in Silicon Valley and beyond. Recently, we realized that people of our ilk — senior engineer, architect, and tech lead types — have a lot to contribute to this ecosystem, but we have no forum to do that in an organized meaningful way. Specialized Types is our attempt to bring together our technical world and the world of startup founders and investors.

Our group consists of deeply technical folks specialized in different areas of expertise. Today there are more than 30 of us with expertise spanning all layers of the modern tech stack from bare metal to pixel. We come from companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Expa, Operator, Twilio, Box, etc. and share one trait — we were each fortunate to be early at a startup where we directly built or oversaw at least one production system from scratch that scaled to hundreds of millions of users. …

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