On Taking a Slot

I went to high school with a girl who later attended a prestigious university. Everybody was stoked, “What will she do next?

We haven’t spoken in years, but my understanding is she’s teaching English in a foreign country. What a waste.

Often I wonder who got the rejection letter because the girl I know took their slot. What where their dreams?

Anybody can take a TEFL course for $250 and hop on a plane for an “experience of a lifetime.” But that’s not what our world needs. We’re tired of the adventure-seekers, digital nomads, life-hackers. We need visionaries.

Of course, not everyone is (or wants to be) a visionary. It’s a title reserved for a small group through nothing more than self-section. So while no one can declare you aren’t a visionary, the statement rings true until you prove them wrong.

Two months ago I moved to San Francisco, the tech capital of the world. And it got me thinking…

I’m taking a slot.

It’s disturbing how many talented engineers I meet — from Spain to New Zealand — who aspire to live here. They have the talent, the drive, and they embrace America’s free-market culture. But their visas run out in 2 weeks.

For the next couple years, or however long I live in San Francisco, I’m going to do my best to make it count. I’m not here to make friends, go to brunch, or learn to surf. None of that matters.

To my euro-asia-latin-african peers, know that this California dude is trying to make a difference. That he isn’t interested in rising rents, long walks on the Embarcadero, or weekend Tahoe escapades.

I’m here to make the world a better place through software.

Wish me luck.