Coolest Folks I Discovered in 2023
I am quite sure I am missing some of you...
In an order with no pattern, these are some brilliant people I discovered this year. Highly recommend going down the rabbit holes. You can check out last year’s list here.
Ken Kocienda: I discovered Ken through his book Creative Selection. Former Apple engineer (designed and built the touch keyboard) now working at Humane.
Andy Matuschak: Andy is an independent researcher who investigates things that interest him, including how to improve learning through new mediums and interfaces.
Maggie Appleton: Maggie is a designer and programmer who popularized the idea of digital gardening. She creates gorgeous visual essays and explores the future of digital interfaces.
Malcolm Ocean: Malcolm is aiming to be “a visionary with [his] feet firmly on the ground”. He does a pretty good job! His tweets tend to provoke worthwhile insights.
Dwarkesh Patel: ascendant podcaster focusing on technical discussions (largely, but not exclusively around AI research).
Paul Millerd: author of The Pathless Path and host of the fantastic podcast with the same name.
Robin Sloan: fiction writer, essayist, and inventor. He wrote my favorite book I read this year, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
Marwan Elwaraki: iOS developer and founder building better software for managing diabetes. Marwan was in the Replit Builders in Residence program with me this year.
Dan Luu: writer and technologist who has published his newsletter Things That Caught My Attention for nearly a decade. Dan and I met this year and we put out the first ever Printernet collaboration, featuring six of Dan’s favorite issues of his own newsletter for his readers.
Keegan McNamara: designer and engineer behind Mythic Computer Company. Keegan aims to make our computers more useful by making them do less and elevates their form by hand-carving each one he makes. I interviewed Keegan for my upcoming podcast, which will come out early 2024.
Joel Meyerowitz: brilliant photographer. I am constantly retweeting Joel’s work.
Judah: web developer who tweets insightfully about the web and personal computing. He introduced me to Robin Sloan and Frank Chimero who are both on this list too.
Lazarus Lake: mastermind behind the notorious Barkley ultramarathon. Also created Big’s Backyard Ultra, the race where runners run a 3ish mile loop at the top of every hour, until there is only one runner left.
Priyaa Kalyanaraman + Purvanshi Mehta: the founders of Lica, a company trying to invent new methods of generating video from text prompts utilizing AI. I met Priyaa and Purvanshi during Replit’s Builders in Residence program this year.
Jonas Pelzer: designer and programmer inventing cool stuff like SlideFrame, which lets you open links without leaving the webpage you are currently on. I interviewed Jonas for my upcoming podcast. That will come out early 2024.
Guy Kawasaki: former Apple employee and fantastic podcast host.
Ida Josefiina: cofounder of Sane and awesome podcast host.
Adam Watters: tinkering inventor and video game developer. I interviewed Adam for my upcoming podcast. That will come out early 2024.
Frank Chimero: designer and writer.
Ellen Fishbein: writer who is innovating in the book publishing business. I met Ellen through Twitter after she ordered a Printernet issue and we met up to share notes on why print is awesome.
Paul Rony: cofounder of Kosmik and explorer of computer history. I got a chance to chat with Paul in the back half of this year and we plan on recording a podcast together. Paul, I still owe you a Printernet issue, send me your reading picks!
Courtney Dewaulter: ultra-marathon machine.