Pull up a chair and let’s talk about life.
It’s that time of year. Time to cozy up with your favorite person. Time to rethink your priorities. To rethink your relationship with work, your family, and your community. Time to check in with your friends.
In that spirit, let’s open another round of the Yenta Newsletter. In this issue:
Some quick info about my life: I launched a think tank!
A lot of my friends are hiring too. If not me, then work with them :-)
Some career advice: how to fully recover from burnout
Some dating advice: dating is the search for the right kind of weird
Some yenta success stories
Fun links from the web
Some housekeeping — what I’ve been up to:
One big thing: The Integrity Institute (is hiring!)
Recently, with some friends, I launched the Integrity Institute. We’re a think tank powered by a community of integrity professionals: tech workers who have on platform experience mitigating the harms that can occur on or be caused by the social internet.
We do 3 big things:
Build the Community of Integrity Professionals: We have created a home for integrity professionals that connects to the public square.
Develop and Enrich Community Knowledge: We create consensus among integrity professionals and conduct open research and writing
Share Community Knowledge: We make the world more familiar with integrity issues and how to address them. We collaborate in depth with key stakeholders: companies, policy makers, academics, and nonprofits.
Other things I’ve been up to
For your ease and mine, I’ve updated my now page: sahar.io/now. That page should always remain updated as I live my life, so that if you ever wonder “Sahar, who are you these days? What are you up to?” I have an answer. One fun example: I had a small role in kicking ICE out of Massachusetts.
I’m still at Berkman-Klein, this time as an affiliate. I am now a Roddenberry Fellow.
Just this morning, as I am about to click send: a big article dropped in MIT Tech Review: How to save our social media by treating it like a city. I wrote that! It’s been months and months and it’s finally out! It’s the biggest and most public article I’ve ever written, and it took a lot of polishing and pitching and hard work. Wow!
Okay! Enough about me. On with the show!
(Reminder — If you’re currently searching or open to a job please let me know by filling out this form.)
I am hiring.
Social media companies are taking us seriously
There’s so much interest from policymakers that we are in the bizarre position of turning down requests.
We’re meeting really interesting NGOs that are doing great work, and making good friends
And more! We are punching way above our weight. But, in the end, right now it’s two cofounders struggling to do 3 projects in one, each which could be a full focus on its own:
Build a thriving community around an emerging professional identity
Do the work of writing and presenting ideas as a think tank
Organizational work: spread the word, gather money, make friends, turn ideas into impact.
It’s hard! But we’re in the fun position where the bottleneck isn’t demand for us, but our capacity. We need help.
We most need help with the following things:
Can you help? We have a little bit of money — enough to pay you, but not enough to pay you what you’re worth. We’d like to get help on these tasks: 10-40 hours a week, for 2-4 months. Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Other people are hiring.
The model of Yenta is that a lot of action happens in our semi-monthly Yenta Thread. People swap leads, post opportunities, etc. And then here in this substack, I highlight a few of the posts that catch my eye. So enjoy these, but remember — more of the action is on Facebook.
If any of these seem interesting, feel free to reply to this email and ask for an introduction.
My good friend Adam Reis is the co-founder of Candid Health. They are “Stripe for Medical Billing”. Here’s why they are cool:
We're helping our customers get paid for treating opioid addiction, providing affordable delivery birth control, providing holistic healthcare focused on women, losing weight, testing for & vaccinating against COVID, and lots of other important work.
And they are hiring like gangbusters:
We are indeed hiring! In fact, we have so many people to hire that the most important role we're hiring for is a technical recruiter. If any of y'all know of an experienced recruiter who wants to help grow an incredibly kind and competent 9-person team to 50+, please put us in touch!
You can find our JDs for the following roles on our jobs page: https://www.joincandidhealth.com/careers. For each of these we're hiring folks at all levels (new grad to 10+ years industry experience) for our offices in SF, Seattle, and NYC:
- Generalist software/product engineer
- Data Engineer
- DevOps Engineer
- Strategy & Ops
In addition to these ^ roles for which we already have JDs, we're about to open JDs for a few more:
- Office manager and/or EA in SF
- Data Scientist
- Sales/go-to-market generalist
- Senior Marketer
- Medical biller
- Medical coder
If you're interested in what we're doing and none of these ^ fit, please reach out anyway! We might have a spot for you 🙂
Not to be outdone, another good friend, Ekate Kuznetsova, is also hiring for their startup. It’s called Token Transit, and they are dope.
Do you want to work in public transit? Like, actually public transit, not ride share? Sahar Massachi is right -- we are hiring. Work with us. It is fun.
Our last off-site was to a public transit conference in Orlando, where we drove a Muni emulator.
More about them:
- We are based in SF, but our team members are scattered across the country, and we are remote-friendly. We will fly you into the office sometimes, assuming it is safe.
- We are a great combination of early-stage startup and grown-ups with a work-life balance. Like, our CEO is currently on paternity leave. Also, because he is scared of covid/baby interactions, this means that he is mostly remote for the near future.
- If you are a web developer, you basically get to own our agency portal component of the bat, which is fun. If you are not a web developer yet, but willing to learn, that's cool too. We need someone to do web stuff, but we don't need you to have specific experience.
- Our team is reasonably diverse, and I'd like to keep it that way. If you are not sure if you qualify or if the culture will work, chat with me anyway.
Lydia Monnington is using satellites to fight climate change!
I'm Lydia Monnington. I've recently joined GHGSAT. We are using satellites to detect and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We are growing fast, both in number of staff - currently about 100 people but with about 20 roles to fill and in terms of satellites - we currently have 3 but are building 7 more.
I'm hiring for two roles, if the company interests you but the roles aren't a good fit take a look at our LinkedIn page - we are also hiring software developers, QA and sales.
This role might interest you if any of the below are true:
- You want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- You think satellites are cool
- You want to be part of building something totally new for GHGSat
She’s especially hiring for two roles:
Business analyst: understand our customer base - use this knowledge to drive product development. Find insights in our data to drive marketing campaigns.
Data Analyst: use GHGSat's satellite data to build a new product that will enable ESG investors to make greener investment decisions.
Both roles can be based in London, UK or Ottawa, Canada.
Will Slack is hiring people for the US Digital Service. (That’s right, the government!)
USDS is an office founded after the healthcare.gov mess when political leaders realized they needed technical talent inside the government to help make effective decisions. I'm a "bureaucracy hacker" - I have tech skills but my work is mainly helping the gov some problems at massive scale.
One example: I partnered with CMS on security for a modernization effort for all of Medicare, which processes 1.5B/day in transactions. The problems aren't the most futuristic but the impact is huge. We tell inconvenient truths and partner with feds to get things done, all to serve those with the most need.
He’s very friendly!
Happy to talk about the things we're doing at the federal level to get people better services (there are infinite very large problems, and solving many doesn't require acts of congress)
I’ve known Franco Caliz for over a decade. He’s looking for all kinds of people for a venerable and good political group — Community Change (formerly the Center for Community Change):
I can't promise to find you true love but our roles range from help in the policy arena, to organizing around various issues like immigration and economic justice and HR and coordinator roles to make sure the org keeps functioning. If folks have any questions I'm happy to answer them.
Geronimo is hiring designers and more to work on food!
I’m hiring for 2 product designers at my work at Full Harvest! You’d be working with me on a budding design team. We’re also hiring for a director of product and an engineering manager.
If you care about food systems, sustainability, food waste. Climate change then hit me up!!
An anonymous friend is looking for a cofounder for a project I think is super cool:
I am looking for an entrepreneurial programmer who'd want to build the next generation client-side app development. Keywords: Rust, WebAssembly, UIs, cross-platform, DirectX/Metal/OpenGL/WebGL, shaders, making webapps 20x faster.
(Non-Marxist) Career Advice: Burnout
I don’t have explicit career advice today, but I do have some reflections on burnout. Burnout is real, and I’ve found that people think that they’ve cured it much earlier than they actually do. I wrote a little essay about it, and I like it. If you want to read my essay on burnout check out it out here.
Looking for romance? Let me know by filling this out: sahar.io/romanceform. I’m proud of the questions the form asks — just by answering them, I hope it’ll give you a little boost in the right direction.
Dating Advice: Dating is a search for a weirdo
Like perhaps too many things, dating, to me, feels similar to machine learning. You’re performing a search over a huge solution space. The question: “which person best matches me?”. The decision is often explore (go on more dates) vs exploit (deepen your relationship by taking on an nth date). And since it takes a lot of effort and time to get the true value of is-this-person-right-for-me, we need to develop some faster, lighterweight indicators.
What are those indicators? How about this: (Long-term, searching for a partner style) dating is the search for:
Someone who doesn’t just tolerate the things that make you weird, but actively delights in them;
Someone who likes you for the reasons you want to be liked, and sees you the way you want to be seen;
Someone who you feel proud being seen with.
(Thank you, mom, for helping me refine down to these.)
If you’re dating someone who is excited and happy about the things that you do, that your exes found annoying — that’s wonderful.
If you’re dating someone who, for example, loves that you’re successful and a world traveler, but you think of yourself as an academic and person who throws amazing parties — it’s likely not going to work out. They might like you a lot, but the way they see you is not the way you want to be seen.
That isn’t to say that dating is only a search. It also feels like exercise, or a skill. Repeated efforts make you better at it. Not just at behaviors (acting suave, being a good roommate, handling conflict) but also self-knowledge. Learning what you’re actually looking for. I humbly submit that those three things are good indicators of success. Plus, bonus: know what makes you attractive. Know what you bring to the table. That’s important self-knowledge, too.
I have romance leads. This month in particular, I sense two themes in people reaching out to me:
Beautiful left-wing jews seek same
Boston people are looking for romance
I’m keeping things intentionally vague due to respecting people’s privacy. But you should know that there’s stuff going on. If you, or a friend, are open to romance, let me know: sahar.io/romanceform
And if you’d like to be featured in a future issue — let me know too!
Yenta Success Stories
I’ve been bad at collecting (and following up on) success stories from the Yenta project. Every once in a while, someone will casually mention that they dated/hired/sublet/moved in with someone thanks to this. And then it makes my day! But then I forget to write it down.
Have you had a success through Yenta? Please let me know. Just reply to this email.
Here are some successes that I do remember (names changed to protect the innocent):
Albert hired Bianca to a job doing internet thinking things
Charlotte and David went on a bunch of dates in SF
Esther and Frank have been texting and flirting while Frank is abroad
George rented out his place in DC to Hank this summer
Ingrid and Joey lived together in Hawaii!
Kelly and Lambert spontaneously had a video call to meet just the other day and started flirting immediately
Monica and Newton moved in together in Boston
That’s just off the top of my head — please help me remember more!
Links around the web
Platform Integrity, Platform Democracy (Me + Jeff Allen, and also Aviv Ovadya interviewed for the Tech Policy Press Podcast)
“What is Integrity in Social Media?” (Me + Jeff Allen interviewed on the Lawfare Podcast)
How to save our social media by treating it like a city. — I wrote this! It’s in MIT Tech Review! Wow!
The Tryhards — this, from 2012, is still relevant today. I reread it every few months. I encourage you to read and reflect on it too. (On meritocracy and how to think about it)
Thanks for reading! Hope this has been helpful. Thanks again for everything, and remember — go to sahar.io/yentathread for always the latest opportunity-swapping, and fill out sahar.io/romanceform and sahar.io/jobsform for longer-term desires of romance and jobs.