Jonathan ES Lin
Life · Tech · Faith

Disdain for hype

Jun 24, 2018

I’ve come to realize that I have a disdain for hype.

I disdain React, because most of it is hype, not because they are superior technologies (What’s wrong with following browser standards?). So I stick to Web Components as a standards-based frontend development paradigm. LitElement is really quite nice. Well, Vue is kinda nice too: I might use it when I need to sprinkle in some JS into my static sites. I disdain RoR (though I use it at work), because there’s too much magic going on, and you bleed money to keep your servers running.

I disdain Venture Capitalists and inorganic growth. There’s so much hype surrounding this area. What’s wrong with good old bootstrapping with some money in your bank account and growing steadily over the years? When you take on venture capital, you’re selling off your company prematurely and scaling prematurely, because suddenly you have to make investors happy to the tune of millions of dollars.

I disdain startups that are built upon hype, that hire a ton of people when they really only need 20% of the manpower. I think the best startups are the most unheard of ones. They solve a boring need and deliver it so boringly that the customer never needs to think about it. There’s also nothing to shout about in public. They grow organically because their product is so good that people just cannot not talk about it.

Why do I disdain? Perhaps it’s easier and more doable. Using only simple technologies ensure that I do not lose control and am able to personally intervene in any software corner case. Growing a business organically is probably easier than to work to extreme lengths to achieve great heights imposed by a VC.

But then again, I am a nobody. I disdain at my own peril. Reality is, hype can deliver, while going the road less travelled may bring failure.