Dear Miss Disruption 3

Silicon Valley’s Advice Columnist Weighs in on the Holidays, Wedding Etiquette, and Cryptocurrency

Sarah Jeong
Dear Miss Disruption
5 min readDec 4, 2013


Dear Miss Disruption,

I’m writing the day after Thanksgiving. What a mess. I don’t want to go into details in case my family reads this column, but let’s just say my family is an explosive mix of Old South grandparents, Tea Party uncles, a niece going through this thing with Nietzsche, and a nephew who thinks he’s in love with a toy pony from a TV show.

Aaaand I’m hosting the family for Christmas. Any tips?

Drinking These Whiskeys As Fast As I Can


Your letter came as something of a shock, as I was under the impression that the traditional family had been disrupted, like, ages ago. Or at least since last month. And I suppose this doesn’t hold true for everyone, but I was a passionate early adopter of Holidays 2.0: my year now revolves around TED, Oracle OpenWorld, and TechCrunch Disrupt.

Ever since I learned to code (and learn I did, DO NOT believe the rumors that my first words were “while 1: print ‘mommy’”), it has been clear to me that “Thanksgiving” is in dire need of disruption. I for one find my annual late November hackathon to be a vast improvement on that calcified and inflexible holiday. Turkey is so analog.

Wouldn’t you rather chow down on an illegal foie gras burrito while one-handedly implementing union-find in Hadoop?

Why endure a lecture on the evils of Obamacare from your uncle, when you could be enduring a lecture on the evils of Obamacare from Fred Wilson? Why nod and smile for hours at Grandma, when you could be nodding and smiling as Peter Thiel goes off again about seasteading and the monarchy? After suffering through the “holidays,” all you get is family. But with Holidays 2.0, you could wrap up your first round of funding.

By the way, I have a pretty excellent foie gras hook-up now. I can give you his number if you’re cool.

Dear Miss Disruption,

My sister-in-law is getting remarried. Her first wedding was, I thought, a very nice wedding. Not extravagant, but nothing to sneeze at. At the time, my wife and I gifted her a very expensive espresso machine.

Now she’s getting married again, and this time the wedding is much, much bigger. Let’s just say… I’m not paying for the wedding, so I can’t judge her for her taste. But then I saw her gift registry. Talk about sticker shock!

Based on conversations she’s had with my wife, we both know she definitely expects a wedding gift from the registry. But I can’t believe she’d ask us to buy something so expensive, especially for a second wedding. Dear Miss Disruption, would it be bad form for a family member to bring a much less expensive gift from outside the gift registry?

Bridezilla’s List Enrages Reasonable Guests


I’m not sure why people these days even bother getting married, when they could be spending that time learning to code. Marriage has a certain appeal, but the institution has several well-documented bugs and vulnerabilities that have yet to be resolved.

But never mind, we all have our own mistakes to make, our own crosses to bear, and our own Color to invest in.

Now, regarding the gift registry: a gift registry is always a suggestion, never a mandate. In certain circumstances, going outside the gift registry can be dubious, but for a second wedding, it would be perfectly reasonable.

In fact, I think it’s absolutely clear what you have to do: you have to gift her a bitcoin. Just one. Or maybe half a bitcoin, depending on how the market is today. One second, I have to check.

Okay, back. Whew, that shit is cray. I’m thinking .2 bitcoins right now. Maybe just wait to see what the market is like one or two days before the wedding.

But see, that’s why BTC is the perfect wedding present. What’s more disruptive than making a legally binding promise to share your life with another person? A peer-to-peer deflationary cryptocurrency prone to crippling bouts of speculation, that’s what.

A bitcoin wedding present is as fungible as cash, without the boring predictability of state-sponsored currency. Even better, it is a deeply poetic commentary on the institution of marriage itself. Like Bitcoin, marriage holds the promise of both massive success and devastating failure. No one knows how things will wind up five, ten, fifteen, or fifty years from now.

And maybe if we’re lucky, we won’t be sitting around alone and bankrupt in an empty apartment, surrounded by the atonal whir of mining rigs and hard drives full of meaningless, worthless hashes.

Dear Miss Disruption,

Should I invest in Bitcoin?

Thinking Of Ordering, Lots of Arguments To Entertain


It’s one thing to buy bitcoins for wedding gifts or to pay off your illicit foie gras dealer, but buying bitcoins as a long-term investment is an entirely different thing. When it comes to the latter, the train has left the station. I wouldn’t advise you to buy bitcoins now, not any more than I would advise you to learn COBOL.

Bitcoin was The Thing for a while. Owning bitcoins was pretty much the same thing as learning to code. And dear reader, I am sure you know I would not make such a statement lightly. Bitcoin was a surefire ticket to success, the highway to our grand techno libertarian utopia ruled by the wise philosopher venture capital kings and their noble crypto aristocracy. Alas, the Chinese have gotten in on it now, and we all know that communists ruin everything.

It’s time to look forward to The Next Big Thing. Which reminds me, have I told you about my innovative new alt-currency start-up?

Bulbcoin is a peer-to-peer currency based on tulips. Unlike state fiat currencies, it derives its value from an incontrovertible, tangible commodity: tulips. Why trust the Federal Reserve, when you can put your faith in the immutable laws of botany?

Bitcoin’s intentionally deflationary aspects have led to a wasteful expenditure of computing power, with the attendant externalities of wasted energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, Bitcoin is incapable of scaling in response to demand from China. But Bulbcoin is a green, environmentally friendly currency well-equipped to deal with high demand. Let a trillion flowers bloom!

And if the market ever crashes to 30 cents a bulbcoin, at least you can eat the tulips.

That’s all for this week, dear readers! As always, send your letters and serious offers of venture capital to

Until next time, I am yours truly,

Miss Disruption





Sarah Jeong
Dear Miss Disruption

Sarah Jeong is a journalist and author, previously at the New York Times, the Verge, and Vice Motherboard.