The Sweet Spot
On software, engineering leadership, and anything shiny.


Do you remember? We were freckle-faced high schoolers tumbling over China, our obnoxious American mannerisms betraying our origins despite our butter skin. We had agreed to stay in shape during that trip, so the first night one of us had the bright idea to do stairwell repeats up the fire escape. So we laced up our sneakers and bounded up the stairs two by two, laughing between breaths, running single file and breathing musty cigarette air. I remember losing count of the stairs we had climbed, unfocusing my eyes and watching each set of steps blur by in my field of vision, wondering when I would fall. I didn’t. By the twenty-fifth floor the stairs ended and we poured out onto the rooftop of Beijing, stars bright as our eyes, daring each other to look down at the maze of city streets below. Some of us pantomimed a fall. We didn’t.