Patrick McKenzie Profile picture
I work for the Internet, at @stripe, mostly on accelerating startups.
Rajesh Kuppuswamy Profile picture Yuriy Dybskiy Profile picture John-Kim Murphy Profile picture A H Profile picture 🇺🇸Elliot Temple🤔 Profile picture 11 subscribed
Oct 6, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Pathfinder: Kingmaker has a difficulty curve approaching C except the segfaults are competently optimized NPC mages who understand how crowd control, AoE, and party composition work.

Does it feel unfair at times? No. It simply *is* unfair at times. Fetch quest at level two with four characters; had a random encounter with two greater water elementals.

“Now it has been a while since I played D&D”, said I, “But I recall those having at least 8 hit dice, and they can probably one shot every member of my party.”
Oct 3, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
This is a good thread. A particular subgenre of talent is folks who specialize in companies at their scaling stages: execs, middle managers, and specialized individual contributors. Are your CS teams dying under the load? Need someone who went from 10 reps to 100 three times? SF has plausibly forty folks you could interview tomorrow.

What specialist do you need on your growth team? Drip email copywriter? Specializing in B2B SaaS? No worries, have twenty.
Oct 1, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
On the general theory of: “Anything you spent more than 10 minutes researching is worth writing down”

You may have an SPG Amex and wonder if you should upgrade to SPG Luxury Amex and if so, how. The second question is: “Log into your account and Ctrl-F Luxury; takes 2 clicks.” The first question: if you would stay at a Marriott or SPG hotel in a year for at least two days it is an absolute no-brainer.
Oct 1, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
One of the weirdest things to me about cryptocurrencies is they appear to select for fans who are either hypercompetent at technology or totally clueless, but nobody who e.g. knows what a database is but doesn't use one professionally. I feel compelled to ask: "Quick question: is your blockchain written in SQL?" just to disambiguate.
Sep 30, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Ethereum has been described by some to be a world computer. I describe it as an investment scam platform.

An example of suitability for being a world computer: there are some smart contracts which function as exchanges for the investment scams. Here's an interesting property: One of the exchanges charges maker/taker fees of 0.1% / 0.2%. (This means that the party which "takes" liquidity subsidizes the party which provides liquidity, which is common in the grown-up world as well, though those fees would be ludicrously high in the real world.)
Sep 29, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Do you remember Baldur's Gate fondly? If so: Pathfinder: Kingmaker. It isn't D&D (although Pathfinder is about the closest thing you can get to D&D without getting sued...), but it's the worthy spiritual successor to the game.

(I'm only one hour in but it *drips* with it.) Update from second play session: another thing it drips with is the blood, sweat, and tears of your character early on if melee combat is not your thing. I'm playing my usual (fireball-spec'ed mage) and even with party members after the magic missile fails to drop them welp ouch.
Sep 28, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
I kind of want to quote Matt Levine's latest at you but it's almost all quotable so, in lieu of quoting it, can I again recommend it:

1) It is the best column covering tech or finance
2) I read it daily
3) If you follow me, it is almost certainly relevant to your interests. Because media, it is surprisingly difficult for me to give you a URL which maps to that call to action but I think it is this one:…

You get the column delivered as a free newsletter; otherwise there is some paywall thing that I am too tired to figure out.
Sep 28, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
I just found out someone has made a reactji with my face on work's Slack. The shortcode is :chargemore:

I was worried about being outcompeted by coworkers but it would be really embarrassing if an emoji of me is an adequate substitute. (And for that advice it might well be!) I mean there were actual expensive consulting engagements which were perfectly substitutable with:

A: "Should we charge more?"
B: "Patio11 will certainly tell us to charge more."
A: "Would we take his advice?"
B: "Yes."
A: "Well then let's skip straight to charging more."
Sep 27, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Stripe announced a round of funding today:…

Have I mentioned that we're hiring? We're hiring. We are *so* hiring. <-- Some more specifics.

Two specific genres of folks who I would love to chat with about this, maybe not today but in near future:

1) Do you want to work for our engineering office in Singapore, from Singapore or from Japan?
2) Interested in remote eng?
Sep 26, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
One of the differences between successful artists and many folks: they’re aggressive about it being *their* audience that they will *service via platforms for a fee* rather than it being the platform’s audience which they rent. One of the symptoms of this is “Isn’t X famous for being famous?”, which is a relative unsophisticated way to phrase “X is the public-facing brand of a media empire which they may or may not own.”
Sep 24, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Not identifying the instigating event due to “Never kick a team while they’re in an incident” rule but:

* Make sure you know all the domains you own.
* Make sure communications re: them are routed to right people.
* Don’t use the maximally cheapskate registrar you started with. Protip: Also needs to be on your M&A technical checklist.
Sep 24, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
Matt Levine on accredited investors:…

My rough feeling on this: While I'm not unsympathetic to the libertarian argument against it, there is a compelling social purpose to preventing middle class retirees (and would-be retirees) from getting used as checking accounts by out-and-out fraudsters.
Sep 24, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Ruriko was asked directions by a very lost, very distinguished gentleman to a local shop (quite popular in the neighborhood).

“Just down the street and to the left. They’re delicious!”
“Thank you madam. That is good to hear.”
“Your first time?”
“In a manner of speaking...” “... They buy $INGREDIENT from me.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes; we’re the largest seller in Tokyo. You might have seen it at (a list of places everyone knows).”
“Oh wow... and they have you out doing customer calls on a Sunday?”
“Of course, but not quite.”
Sep 22, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Pro-tip after you read this thread: Every financial institution is aware of this sort of issue. Ask for a “desk name” or internal extension and call back via a known good number. No apology required. It doesn’t significantly inconvenience the person you’re talking to. The other pro-tip for navigating call trees at financial institutions: call their private bank or other elite service line and say “Hey I was just talking to the Fraud Department but got disconnected; can you transfer me? James Smith was his desk name.”
Sep 21, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
I saw the hashtag #weaponizeyourcreditscore and nearly lost it.

There is a good subreddit about this, /r/churning. I mention it to you to say that some people have a hobby of exploiting credit card marketing offers. This is not a particularly high ROI hobby given brainsweat, and has non-trivial execution risk. I do not recommend it to you, especially if you work in tech and/or have a business, because both are better uses of your time.
Sep 21, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Perhaps less likely to succeed in speaking engagements, but for consulting, one of the most dollars-per-words-uttered pieces of advice I received, from @tqbf: Put "I will expense travel as per your standard policies." in all statements of work. This puts the client on notice that the engagement contemplates travel (which is sometimes, incredibly to me at the time, news), moves it out of the rate negotiation, moves your choice of flights/hotels out of the much more consequential negotiation, and often helps client.
Sep 20, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
$100 to charity if this turns out to be true; it seems extremely unlikely as a business decision, as a product decision, as an operational nightmare, as something regulators approved in all 50 states simultaneously, etc.

But it seems likely to piss people off. I worry that social media is constructing a reality of things which push emotional buttons because Engagement for the Engagment God; Cortisol for the Cortisol Throne but it is, essentially, causing widespread information pollution via virulent false memes.
Sep 20, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Luckily for cryptocurrency exchanges, recent decreases in market prices for tokens mean that … doesn't need an update due to:… "Why does this keep happening?"

Because the market is clownshoes, top to bottom.

Users are clownshoes: they are gambling, and so they overvalue ability to move money ~instantly in and out of exchanges. This results in exchanges competing on custodial risk. The winners lose.
Sep 20, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
A tip for receiving compliments, specific to American business culture:

“Thank you.”
“Thanks; that made my day.”
“Thanks; it is always great to know the work matters to people.”

are all probably better socially adjusted than deflecting compliments.

Just macro your favorite. I grew up in a social milieu which expects self-effacing behavior and I know many other folks who are socialized similarly. This is not generally rewarded in the American professional sphere.
Sep 18, 2018 7 tweets 1 min read
If you have to choose between being bland and being remarkable as a small company, choose remarkable. But you should probably choose to concentrate your remarkable budget rather than spreading it thinly over a bunch of places where most customers won’t perceive it. BigCo is BigCo not because they don’t have smart people but because they are pursuing variance minimization intentionally. That took them a lot of hard work to achieve.
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Reading this report by the NY Attorney General is really frustrating because with subpoena power on the Bitcoin industry they investigated and found perfidious... ability of professional investors to outperform amateurs via use of computers, volume pricing, and skill. It is the fraudiest fraud in the history of frauds and the problem which the *New York* AG identifies is maker/taker fees!?!…