Jon Evans

Jon Evans is a novelist, journalist, and software engineer. His novels have been published around the world, translated into several languages, and praised by The Times, The Economist, and the Washington Post. His journalism has appeared in Wired, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, and The Times of India, and he writes a weekly column for TechCrunch. Jon also has a degree in electrical engineering and a decade of experience as a software developer, building everything from smartphone apps to billion-dollar asset-allocation services.

Crunchbase profile →

Featured Picks from Jon Evans


Latest from Jon Evans

  • Self-driving cars and shipping containers

    Self-driving cars and shipping containers

    The most wonderful and most terrible things about new technologies are their emergent properties. The latest example is, of course, Fake News On Facebook; who would have thought that connecting everyone via social media would lead to wildly divergent narratives of (so-called) reality? And yet here we are. But if you think social media is messy and weird … just wait until we get… Read More

  • Curing the incurable

    Curing the incurable

    Very rarely, an app comes along that changes your life. I want to tell you about such an app, and how it changed mine. I had nothing to do with its making; I have never installed or opened it on my phone; and yet, I expect that this will be the most personal of the almost 400 pieces I have written for TechCrunch over the years. It is estimated that between one-third and one-half of adults in… Read More

  • Capitalism without consequences

    Capitalism without consequences

    Technology decouples economies. AirBNB owns no rooms, but provides accommodations; Uber owns (essentially) no vehicles, but provides transport; Stripe is not a bank, but provides bank accounts; a vast panoply of corporate services run on Amazon-owned servers. There are many excellent things about this decoupling; it improves efficiency, aids focus, and spurs innovation. But technology also has… Read More

  • The abyss of analytics

    The abyss of analytics

    I want to talk about a mistake I see client after client making. (I work at a tech consultancy. We have a lot of clients. Not all of them make this mistake! …But many do.) That mistake is to obsess over analytics data, without any strategy; to assume that all that needs to be done is to gather as much data as possible, and then this data will magically become knowledge, and knowledge… Read More

  • The learned helplessness of Equifax

    The learned helplessness of Equifax

    Is there a formal name for the fallacy of assuming that the status quo is sane? Such a name would become more useful with each passing year. There are a shocking number of examples, but I give you, as a perfect, vivid, front-of-mind example, the credit rating system of the United States of America, as exemplified by that radioactive disaster of a company called Equifax. It is well understood… Read More

  • Technology, complexity, anxiety, catastrophe

    Technology, complexity, anxiety, catastrophe

    You wake up. Check your phone. Something happened overnight. People are upset. The actual news is uncertain, it’s too soon for context and understanding, but it’s not too soon for everyone to quickly confirm their biases. It’s never too soon for that. You shower. Get dressed. Get ready for your job. Work emails have already begin to flood into your inbox. Some automatic… Read More

  • Real news of fake reviews

    Real news of fake reviews

    Goodhart’s Law, as phrased by Mary Strathern: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” Honored more in the breach than the observance, alas. Our algorithmic world has turned so many measures into targets, and by doing so ruined them. Let’s talk about just one example: let’s talk about books. “#1 Bestseller!” That’s a mark… Read More

  • Seven things I have learned about writing software

    Seven things I have learned about writing software

    It’s happening. Bit by bit, little by little, I’m morphing from an engineer into some kind of…manager. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still write code every day; but I find myself spending more and more time in analysis and discussion, in meetings and calls, making higher-level decisions, trying to organize teams, and worrying about strategy rather than tactics. Of course… Read More

  • Cryptowestworld

    Cryptowestworld

    Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there lived a mysterious, brilliant inventor, now lost to history, who created a kind of autonomous zone wherein the traditional rules of governments and law did not apply. It was scoffed at as escapism, but over time it drew an ever-growing crowd who used it primarily to indulge their greed and lust. A few, though, believed it could be more than an… Read More

  • Not even remotely possible

    Not even remotely possible

    Down with the tyranny of geography. Down with commuting, “the daily activity most injurious to human happiness.” Down with allegedly “collaborative” open floor plans built such that “high-level executives […] are exempt from this collaborative environment.” Up with more time, greater flexibility, and, believe it or not, higher… Read More

  • Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    The silly season continues. Speculators are piling into the cryptocurrency space in the hopes of–sometimes very literally–making money fast. As I write this Ethereum’s value has halved since June but is still 20x since January. Litecoin is up 12x since then. Even Bitcoin has tripled, again. It seems like everyone now has an opinion on, and a position in… Read More

  • When Snowden mattered

    When Snowden mattered

    Four years ago, the deep state was the enemy. Edward Snowden had just revealed its machinations. The head of the NSA was angrily catcalled during his Black Hat keynote. “We”–hackers, iconoclasts, individualists, and/or everyone in tech who hopes we’re building a better future–readied for a battle against surveillance capitalism and the surveillance state. How… Read More

  • Unhack the vote

    Unhack the vote

    Voting is the free world’s Achilles heel and/or Trojan horse. Valid voters are suppressed. Vote audits are suppressed. Voter registration systems are hacked. And the worst-case scenario of all looms before us all like a monster in a horror movie: what if voting machines themselves are hacked, the “results” are faked and democracy is quietly cancelled without the general… Read More

  • When your fear is my opportunity

    When your fear is my opportunity

    I’m not saying the people around me here at Black Hat are malicious, or that the threats aren’t real. I’m saying that the industry, and everyone it, is strongly incentivized to make its customers and the wider world as frightened as possible, and people tend to follow the path of most incentivization, consciously or not, reluctantly or not. The security industry is the… Read More

  • Facebook’s CSO: the security industry needs to change

    Facebook’s CSO: the security industry needs to change

    Every summer, suited and/or black-clad security geeks flock en masse to the sun-drenched surreality of Las Vegas for “Hacker Summer Camp”: a full week of various security and hacker conferences. Today Facebook’s CSO Alex Stamos gave its keynote address. He began by calling the infosec community a “family” — then gave a speech which felt a little like an… Read More

  • Dear tech dudes, stop being so dumb about women

    Dear tech dudes, stop being so dumb about women

    I want to talk about a relatively little-discussed aspect of the venture-capitalist sexual-harassment revelations that have rocked the Valley of late. In their wake, I have seen, first- and secondhand, men react with statements which can be collectively paraphrased as “Now I’m nervous about hiring women / investing in women / being alone in a room with a woman, what do I… Read More

  • Death to C, ++

    Death to C, ++

    The C programming language is terrible. I mean, magnificent, too. Much of the world in which we live was built atop C. It is foundational to almost all computer programming, both historically and practically; there’s a reason that the curriculum for Xavier Niel’s revolutionary “42” schools begins with students learning how to rewrite standard C library functions… Read More

  • Why so costly?

    Why so costly?

    Technology makes things better. Not morally, of course: military technology kills and maims people more efficiently, surveillance technology invades privacy more pervasively, and so forth. But improved technology leads to more output from less input for any system. Almost a tautology, right? I mean, that’s the whole point. So why, in our technology-laced world, do certain domains… Read More

  • Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of lulz

    Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of lulz

    Well, why not? I mean, you know, what the hell. Dave Aitel’s proposal over at The Hill for “a cyber investigatory setup funded by private industry” to react to hacks into the American government may not be a good idea, per se, but who can afford that kind of cost-benefit analysis when we’re already in the throes of de-facto high-seas Internet warfare? Let’s just… Read More

  • The Uber and the frog

    The Uber and the frog

    How the mighty are fallen. Travis Kalanick is out, and Uber has become something of a headless horseman, with no current CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, VP of Engineering, or general counsel. Its alleged valuation has fallen by $18 billion and counting. How did this happen? Or maybe a better question is: how could this not have happened? It really wasn’t so long ago, believe it or not, that Uber… Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. ...