Pokémon Go flies in the face of everything we’ve learned. As of the time of writing this post:

  1. Pokémon Go sends zero push notifications.
  2. Pokémon Go does not ask to upload your address book to find or invite friends.
  3. Pokémon Go does not have any (virtual) social mechanics.
  4. Pokémon Go has a shop, but it never asks you to buy anything. The game does not become frustrating without purchases.
  5. Pokémon Go does not have any concept of game stamina or fatigue.
  6. Pokémon Go is not stable and crashes constantly.
  7. Pokémon Go has not been featured in either US app store.

And yet, Pokémon Go is the most downloaded app in a first week, ever, and it continues to shatter records and expectations.

For this app, strength of brand and product-market fit is everything. Traditional growth strategies be damned.


You can’t be what you can’t see, and I see a lack of women leaders in my industry.

Despite good intentions from most people, unconscious bias and structural inequality still leads us to a world where women and minorities are extremely underrepresented in Silicon Valley. We can do better.

After being in this industry for almost a decade, I’ve learned that given the existing inequalities, the only way to make real change is to go out of your way to do so. It’s important to acknowledge that there is already bias in your criteria, whether for hiring, promoting, or…

Some sexist tropes in The Martian


This isn’t a critique of the book, The Martian by Andy Weir. The book is excellent. I’m neither a physicist nor an astronaut, but if Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets praise, I assume a lot of the technical details are correct. Actually the book is so good, it also catches some of the cultural details of the STEM industry. Whether these were intentional by Weir or not, I don’t know.

This is a classroom exercise. Just as you’d read To Kill A Mockingbird and examine racial injustice — which isn’t necessarily a…

Image credit: SneakyTurtle

If you know me well, you’ll know that although I’m an Android engineer, I carry both iPhone and Android. It may be uncommon to dual-wield smartphones, but I think it gives me an interesting perspective to compare apps on both platforms.

People often ask me which one is my primary phone. Alas, I won’t choose favorites between the two. I will that admit I reach for my iPhone a lot, especially for iMessage…and if I already have my iPhone out, I’ll end up doing other things on it too. …

I tweeted a Wired article today about rendering black holes in Interstellar. It is, by far, the most interesting thing I have read all day. Naturally. The tweet received little engagement (though I’ll gladly take the pity favs, keep ‘em coming). Here’s likely why: all anyone wants to talk about today is Uber.

Sorry SnapCash, sorry Spotify, sorry epoch Tweet search, you’ve been eclipsed.

Uber’s missteps (and their apologies) are making headlines in USA Today, the NYTimes, CNN and NBC. Even my high school friends in Toronto are posting about them on Facebook. …

@kanyewest, 808S & HEARTBREAK

When I was 14, I was heartbroken for the first time. Literally.

The details of this failed teenage romance were typical and really not worth dwelling on. Girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, boy makes girl think she’s special, boy dumps girl. I was 14. It sucked, but it happens. But the rather strange events that followed changed me irrevocably.

February 5th, 2001 was a Monday, but also a holiday for my Toronto private school. I will never forget this day for as long as I live.

I was in the 10th grade, and to my credit, I was…

Sara Haider

android engineer at @periscopeco. previously @secretly, @vine, @twitter. @uwaterloo alum. @49ers. runnin through the 6.

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