The Future I Want to Build

Here's an ongoing list of the things I believe are important to build. I think we need to build better tools for thought, figure out how to unlock human potential through optimism, and leverage genetics to live healthier lives. Inspired by Ada Nguyen's post.

Building better tools

  • Language models are the next frontier in software. You can make self-driving web browsers, inquisitive word processors that ask clarifying questions, programming languages that do what you mean, textbooks that you can chat with, brainstorming tools that make connections for you, research papers rewritten for any skill levels, and more!
  • Tools that use language models should focus on building a collaborative environment where the humans and model work together. Language models have greater sheer generation abilities while humans have a more refined taste, and the best tools will combine the two.
  • We need more user friendly programming languages. React and Javascript are a powerful duo, but the next simplest programming environment is a spreadsheet – there's a massive skill and power gap between them. I'm working on this with Debuild.
  • Designing in code is far superior to using dedicated design tools. Libraries like Tailwind CSS and SwiftUI make it simple to go from an idea to a functional prototype, and the best part is there's no developer handoff.
  • Siri's successor will be able to use a web browser, generate code, and execute it to complete your requests.
  • Recommendation engines control our beliefs to a remarkable degree. Why don't we have more control over the content we're fed besides a clicking a dislike button? If you can shape the algorithm, you can shape your personality.
  • Optimism and ambition

  • The thing preventing most people from doing great things isn't necessarily ability, but rather the belief that they're even capable of changing the status quo in the first place. How can we get more people to believe they can do great things? What are the best ways to instill optimism, curiosity, and ambition?
  • The future is seen as dystopian because of shows like Black Mirror. We need more authors and directors to paint a more compelling future where humanity is capable of solving any problem through pure determination and technology. The Three Body Problem trilogy is my favorite optimistic sci-fi, after reading it I felt like I was capable of accomplishing anything. For more, see Dan Wang's Definite Optimism as Human Capital.
  • Health and genetics

  • Testosterone and other hormones dramatically modulate our mood, personality, and risk tolerence. We should be able to continuously measure and optimize our hormones.
  • Everyone should get their genome sequenced and analyzed via Promethease. It's so cheap and it can explain many of our biological quirks.
  • There are tons of devices collecting valuable biometrics - Apple Watch (HR, VO₂), Eight Sleep/Oura Ring, Levels CGM – yet there's still no tool that audits your data for practical lifestyle changes.
  • We need to develop stimulants with shorter half-lives. Caffeine, while tremendously useful, can be detrimental to our sleep quality.