Why is Snowflake so Valuable?. This piece makes the case that the high valuation of Snowflake is largely due to strong performance in the following 5 metrics: (1) Growth (2) Net Retention (3) Net Promoter Score (NPS) (4) Average Contract Value and (5) Net Loss. At my old company we frequently measured our success against these 5 metrics as well, as we ended up with a similar result to Snowflake where we were acquired at a valuation that about 10x’d our revenue. Our numbers weren’t as insane as Snowflake, but these metrics seem like a pretty good gold standard for a SaaS company valuation.
For a Good Time, Call. A story of two young women and growing up in Las Vegas in the early 2000s, told through stories on the party line. I’d never heard of party lines until this podcast from California Love, and now this is the second story in less than a month I’ve read about them. I missed this train as a kid, lol.
How normal am I?. This website is an experiment from Dutch privacy researcher Tijmen Schep that tries to codify how normal your online profile is based on ~20 key demographics. It’s pretty shocking to see how much data is colected about you in the process of browsing the internet, and this piece is a sobering reminder about all the privacy many internet users willingly give up to be online. If this subject matter interests you, Schep has another site that I recommend checking out: Social Cooling.
Things I Was Wrong About: Types — Sympolymathesy, by Chris Krycho. I’m really into strongly-typed languages, so this piece was a fun read for me to challenge my assumption that strong typing is always a good thing for a programming languages. The major takeways from the author are that the 3 major benefits of type systems in a language are (1) type inference, (2) type soundness, and (3) sum/tagged union types.
The Era of Visual Studio Code. I write a ton of content on VSCode (including this blog!), and it’s pretty amazing to see the dominance of this editor among developers in the last decade. VSCode is a great example of how powerful an editor can become when a powerful company focuses on the right things and aggressively innovates on them.