Let’s start with this: I love software. Algorithms. Data structures. Computational models. Languages. The pure, computer science beauty, and the dashed-off hacks. It’s the ultimate medium for total creativity, conjuring up new realities from nothing more than electrons shooting through the void.
But no matter how elegant or advanced, technology means little unless it touches a human being in some way. Puts smiles on people’s faces. Makes the world a better place. Choose your hippie cliche: We do this stuff because we want to make a difference. At least I do; hopefully, you feel similarly. (If so, we’re hiring!)
In the current computing universe, if you want to touch people, you build mobile applications. Because electronic communication is no longer a discrete endeavor. It’s integrated into all of our activities. Carried around in little glowing glass capsules, spanning applications and locations, in an ever-growing expectation of ubiquity. To be in that world, you need embedded interaction, running in the cloud, over intermittent mobile networks.
Recently, I helped to build some systems like that at Apple. (Holla: iMessage, FaceTime, Push Notifications.) I’m incredibly proud of that work, and the impact it’s had on people’s lives. But let me say it out loud: building that crap is hard. If you want security, scalability, low latency, bandwidth and power efficiency (and you do), it becomes brutally difficult. But also interesting and challenging and pretty darn fun. This is where Layer comes in.
So I suppose I joined because it’s an opportunity to build some beautiful software, solve some tricky problems, and bring people together on a large scale.
But Layer offers something beyond all that. Because we’re not just focusing on a single application. We’re laying out a whole dang platform, something that can grow a multitude of novel apps. Leveraging the creativity of a flood of inventive and restless developers. I have no idea what you’re going to do, and I can’t wait to see you do it.
Creating a cool new app is big; but enabling the creation of unimagined cool new experiences? That’s gonna be an Earth-shattering kaboom.