How You Can Help Humanity

It’s not as hard as you think In 1800, the average person in the UK would have to work 6 hours to afford 1 hour of artificial light. Today, they would only need to work half a second. That’s a 43,200x reduction in the amount of time it takes for them to acquire artificial light. This little fact stuck with me when I read The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. …


Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb: Summary and Review

Nassim Taleb’s Skin in the Game is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read. It’s full of insights about our world and daily life that seem unrelated but always end up rooted in the importance of people having “skin in the game”. Note that “skin in the game” is not just about having a share of the upside. It requires you to have downside risk too. The most enlightening parts of the book helped me understand my own feelings around risk-taking and entrepreneurship. …


Top Highlights From The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Nothing I’ve read packs so much wisdom into so few words as The Almanack of Naval Ravikant — a curated collection of Naval’s tweets, essays and podcasts. Here are my top Kindle highlights, categorized into themes (I know, a curation of a curation) — The importance of decision-making and being the best at what you do in the age of leverage Technology democratizes consumption but consolidates production. The best person in the world at anything gets to do it for everyone. …


Why You Should Share Your Salary

Eliminating one of the darker sides of capitalism There’s no reason companies should keep salaries a secret. If salaries are determined rationally, according to principles that everyone in the company would agree to, then there’s nothing to hide. When salaries are hidden, employees can be paid much less than they’re worth. The underpaid employees won’t know they’re underpaid. So they won’t ask for a raise, and they won’t go looking for another job. …


Why Coding Interviews Still Suck

An Interviewer’s Perspective Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash You’re nervous. The phone interview is about to start. This could be your one chance to get the job you’ve wanted - at least until next year. It all comes down to this – 45 minutes of proving your problem solving and coding skills. Suddenly the phone rings. You pick up and feel your heart beating. After some quick pleasantries, the interviewer pastes the first question into your shared coding environment, and starts explaining the problem. …


How to Influence People: Deploying Your Power

10 Power Sources and Influencing Techniques You Should Know Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash A few months ago, I took a class at Facebook, taught to employees who need to influence others to be effective in their job. The topic of influencing others is not often talked about. It feels a bit shady. Like you’re trying to manipulate people and get your own way. But people influence others all the time. …


Y Combinator Gave Us $10k for Our Mobile App

Here’s the Story of How We Built “Uber for Photographers” _Photo by slon_dotpics from Pexels In late November 2017, I met up with an old school friend, Ali Sarraf, for dinner in London. We’d both studied Computer Science at university and had been working on different startups. I’d recently stopped working on Tripr, a social app to connect travelers crossing paths on their trips. And Ali had recently stopped working on his startup too. …


Why You Want to Start a Startup

What Really Drives Entrepreneurs? I work at Facebook as a software engineer but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what drives people to start their own startups. I have friends with good jobs at big tech companies that pay extremely well. But they are still obsessed with the idea of doing a startup. I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t empathize with them. I’ve had side hustles ever since I started secondary school, whether it was freelance web development, dropshipping or affiliate marketing. …


How to Be a Good People Manager

As a manager you can make people miserable in the workplace. Here’s how to make them happy and productive. Recently, my team at Facebook was joined by an intern who I’m managing for 12 weeks. As a new manager I had to take a class on how to manage people well. I was excited to take the class as I’ve been on the receiving end of bad management a few times throughout my career. …


About me

Hey! I’m Miraan. I currently work as a software engineer at Facebook. I write here about stuff I find interesting or think could be useful to others. You can follow me on Twitter for updates. Here are some startups I’ve founded: Hypertune Sunrise Tripr Companies I’ve worked at: Facebook Improbable And some more links: Twitter LinkedIn GitHub Facebook