Jon Evans

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.

The Latest from Jon Evans

Please stop marking yourself safe on Facebook

Let me begin by saying that Facebook’s Crisis Response pages do a lot of good. They are a locus for donations and offers of help. But that said, for the love of humanity, when something bad happ

When do you go native?

So you’re a startup founder. Or you’re in charge of a new project at a big company. (Or maybe you just imagine being either of these things.) And you suddenly realize: you have to make a w

Privacy is a commons

“The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society,” quoth Wikipedia, “held in common, not owned privately.” We live in an era of surveil

The infrastructural humiliation of America

I’m flying back to the USA today, and as an infrastructure aficionado, it’s nice to be going home, but I’m dreading the disappointment. I just spent two weeks in Singapore and Thaila

The new Two Minutes Hate

You see it first on Facebook or Twitter. Something contemptible: an image, or a video, or a tweet. One accompanied by a furious, snarky caption, highlighting just how awful and unacceptable it is, a d

Technology’s dark forest

We used to be such optimists. Technology would bring us a world of wealth in harmony with the environment, and even bring us new worlds. The Internet would erase national boundaries, replace gatekeepe

Our dystopian cyberpunk here and now

We in the West love our apocalyptic science fiction, in which cartoonishly evil authorities ruthlessly oppress all who so much as wonder about their absolute power, enforced via ubiquitous surveillanc

The YKarma experiment

Blockchains are boring now. It’s been ten years since Bitcoin launched, and cryptocurrencies have almost exclusively been used to recapitulate existing monetary systems in slightly new forms. Th

It’s the Jons 2018!

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the wokest of years, it was the most problematic of years, it was the year of AI, it was the year of scooters, it was the year of Big Tech t

Here comes the downturn

It’s remarkable how fast the tenor of the times has changed. Only a few months ago we were in a boom that seemed like it might never end. Now the yield curve has inverted; the markets have gone bear

In the winds of crypto winter

Well, it was surreal while it lasted, by which I mean the 2017-18 cryptocurrency bubble. For a while there, Coinbase was #1 in the App Store, Bitcoin was above $10K, and there were more notional crypt

JIRA is an antipattern

Atlassian’s JIRA began life as a bug-tracking tool. Today, though, it has become an agile planning suite, “to plan, track, and release great software.” In many organizations it has b

Welcome to the stochastic age

In 1990, Kleiner Perkins rejected 99.4 percent of the proposals it received, while investing in 12 new companies a year. Those investees made Kleiner Perkins “the most successful financial insti

Glimpses of China’s parallel tech universe

What can we learn from Detective Chinatown 2? Quite a lot, actually. The 11th biggest box office hit of the year, it vastly outgrossed the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Star Is Born and Crazy Ri

The slow corrosion of techno-optimism

Two weeks from now, the Swahilipot Hub, a hackerspace / makerspace / center for techies and artists in Mombasa, Kenya, is hosting a Pwani Innovation Week, “to stimulate the innovation ecosystem

Mattereum, perhaps the world’s weirdest and most daring startup, intends to own literally everything

How’s this for eyebrow-raising? In London, for the last year and a half, a team of lawyers, cryptographers, software engineers, and/or former military consultants have been brewing a bizarre and

What if Google unionized?

Last week more than 20,000 Google employees walked out of their workplace to protest, and demand major changes in, how the company handles harassment and discrimination. Mass employee organization, de

The tools, they are a-changing

Building web services and smartphone apps, which is most of what I’ve been doing professionally at HappyFunCorp1 for the last decade or so, used to be pretty straightforward. Not easy, but strai

Blood money

Some years ago an investor I met at a TechCrunch event invited me out for a coffee. This happens a lot; as a weekly columnist here I am deemed an official Media Influencer, and people in turn want to

At what point do we admit that geoengineering is an option?

In 1883, Krakatoa erupted, spewing volcanic ash and gas into the stratosphere, making clouds more reflective and cooling the entire planet by roughly 1° C that year. In 2018, the UN reported that hum
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