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

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

I’m very sorry, but you’re going to have to learn to love the blockchain

I apologize. I get it. You hear “blockchain” and you immediately think “shady get-rich-quick schemes” or “bubble of magical fake Internet money” or “libertari

What the heck is going on with measures of programming language popularity?

I looked at the TIOBE index today, as I do every so often, as most of the software pros I know do every so often. It purports to measure the popularity of the world’s programming languages, and

Our Precious

I’ve long theorized that one’s moral character is inversely proportional to the number of syllables in one’s Starbucks order. (Yes, this is a tech column. We’ll get to that. Ha

What is the meaning of LinkedIn?

Thanks to John Biggs for inspiring this piece; I cosign most of what he says here. I have long been mystified by LinkedIn, because of its spectacular uselessness (for me) as a professional social netw

Optimistic

I spent TechCrunch’s latest Disrupt extravaganza asking questions of various notables onstage, and what struck me most was how fantastically optimistic they were. To pick two examples: Kai-Fu Le

Burning Man: sympathy for the turnkey devil

The most interesting thing about Burning Man, says me, is that it’s a testbed for a post-scarcity society. The irony of course is that such a testbed requires enormous amounts of money and resou

Hating the wrong tech people for the right reasons

The slings and arrows aimed at tech’s titans these days are almost too numerous to count. Jeff Bezos: squandering money on space while exploiting warehouse employees. Mark Zuckerberg: complicit

What the hell is the deal with Tether?

It was a simple concept: a cryptocurrency whose units were always and constantly worth exactly one dollar, because they were backed by dollars held in a bank. Voila: dollars with the powers of crypto,

Nobody minding the store: security in the age of the lowest bidder

So, to recap: Satellite communication systems worldwide are “protected” by easily cracked hard-coded passwords. The private internet connecting the world’s mobile phone operators rem

Voatz: a tale of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea

Let’s get the fish in the barrel out of the way. Voatz are a tech startup whose bright idea was to disrupt democracy by having people vote on their phone, and store the votes on, you guessed it,
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