Last week, I spent a few days in New York City catching up with old friends and making new friends with readers of my newsletter. It was exhilarating! (Thank you to everyone who made time to hang out with me IRL. To those who I didn’t get to meet due to scheduling issues, I’ll be back to NYC again soon!)

Even though newsletter readers are technically “new” friends, they felt like old friends to me, because we already have shared interests over my newsletter’s content. Meanwhile, I also realized that few people know why I write what I write, why I hold the views that I do, and how my background – unconventional and eclectic – shapes my approach to writing and analysis. And I don’t blame them. There are only so many hours in a day, and it is hard enough to keep up with all the posts, who has time to dig into the author’s life story!

So taking a brief detour from my regular, weekly analytical posts, I would like to re-introduce myself, lay out my past in three phases (with a couple of fun action pictures), and link to a few posts from three-plus years worth of writing from the archive, that stem from the real life experiences of each phase. I hope this re-introduction is not too self-serving and can build a stronger connection between me and you!

Phase 1: US Politics, Foreign Policy, Washington DC

After moving to Canada from China as a kid and going to high school in California, I studied International Relations at Brown University. I was (still am) very interested in foreign policy and dreamed of becoming a diplomat. Then, after graduation, I stumbled into working on Obama’s first presidential campaign, which was still probably the best job I’ve ever had. After the campaign, I spent a few years working in the Obama administration in Washington, DC, for both the Commerce Department and the White House, focusing on press and communications.

Because of my campaign and media experience, I’m more sensitive and attuned to DC’s “inside the beltway” machination and “mood of the country” than most people who write about tech or investing. Also because of my campaign and media experience, which is by nature ultra-competitive and oftentimes combative, the tone of my writing can sound pointed and aggressive.

Some posts that stem from my US politics, foreign policy, Washington DC phase:

Me (10 years ago), Jay Carney (Obama’s second press secretary), and the binder I prepared for him every day for his daily press briefing, on my last day working at the White House.

Phase 2: Cloud Infrastructure, Open Source, Startup Operator

After a few years in DC, I did law school at Stanford, while taking all the graduate-level computer science courses there. (My favorite CS class was CS107 Computer Systems.) I realized early on that working at a law firm won’t suit me. The technical academic learning gave me the foundation to, again, stumble into startup land. After toying with building a chatbot for healthcare insurance (clearly a few years too early), I joined PingCAP, a high-flying open source distributed database company, to build out their team outside of China and expand into different markets.

I developed an intimate understanding of low-level infrastructure technologies – databases, APIs, container orchestration, processing and storage hardware (aka semiconductors). I also gained more than a few battle scars and hard lessons learned as a startup operator, blocking and tackling the daily challenges of company building. Thus, I have no patience for professional analysts and opinion makers, whose commentaries and hottakes show zero understanding of how things work and whose skin was never in the game. This impatience often seeps through, for better or worse, in my writing as well.

Some posts that stem from my cloud infrastructure, open source, startup operator phase:

A grainy photo of me talking about the tradeoffs of different distributed databases at a Big Data community meetup. I must’ve delivered this talk at least 20 times at various meetups.

Phase 3: Global Lens, GitHub, Investing and Writing

While at PingCAP, I traveled to many countries to host or speak at meetups or conferences, where I met many developers from all over the world. Interactions with these developers helped me build a strong conviction of the global potential of developers and technology creation. This was all pre-pandemic and pre-generative AI.

After PingCAP, I started doing early stage investing both on my own and with OSS Capital. I started writing the Interconnected newsletter in February 2020. I also started doing public market investing in companies and industries that overlap with my various professional phases to hone my own “circle of competence.” Around two years ago, I started working at GitHub to lead its global expansion strategy and efforts – very aligned with my global lens on developer potential. (I still work at GitHub today. Nothing I write in this newsletter reflects the views of GitHub or Microsoft; everything is my personal view.)

Some posts that stem from my global lens, GitHub, investing and writing phase:

Bilingual Information Symmetry

One meta purpose that threads all of my posts is achieving bilingual information symmetry between English and Chinese. That’s why almost all my posts are written bilingually in these two languages, regardless of whether the topic has to do with US-China or not. (I publish the bilingual version on a standalone, open source website with custom design for better bilingual display, and an identical English version on Substack for the network effect.)

This purpose feels more important than ever, as the information wall between the English-speaking world and the Chinese-speaking world continues to grow higher and more opaque. I’m blessed with being able to speak, read, and write in both languages. Writing bilingually, however challenging and exhausting it may be, is a joyful sacrifice to make if it brings down the information wall even one inch lower.

Some posts that stem from the purpose of bilingual information symmetry:

  • “Morris Chang's 2021 Speech on the History and Future of Semiconductors(My unofficial translation of a Morris Chang speech delivered in Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan in 2021, where he expressed strong skepticism of building semiconductor fabs in Arizona. If the US government knew about the speech and listened to Chang back then, we probably would not be in a predicament where taxpayer dollars will be supporting fabs built in a city that’s running out of water.)
  • Prosus: Softbank Without the Drama(The story of Prosus, a Dutch holding company with South African roots, investing in Tencent is one of the most successful tech investments of all time. Few people outside of China know about it, because the details are locked up in Chinese language sources.)
  • "Why Write A Bilingual English-Chinese Newsletter" (A more fleshed out post on why bilingual information symmetry is important.)

I hope you enjoy this rather unconventional self re-introduction of my unconventional past to contextualize this newsletter’s content and perspectives better. Even if you hate it, I hope you stay, keep subscribing, keep interacting with me, and keep giving me feedback. Thank you for reading.




因此,今天我想从我定期的、每周一篇的分析文章节奏中稍作偏离,重新介绍下我自己,把职业生涯分成三个阶段简单概括一下(并加上一两张有趣的照片),再链接几篇曾经写过的,被每一段经历所启发的文章。我希望此篇 “自我(再)介绍” 没有太多的自夸成分,而是能进一步拉近我与读者们的互相了解!





这是我与Jay Carney (奥巴马第二任主发言人)在我白宫工作的最后一天时的合影,手里拿着我为他每天的新闻发布会准备的文件夹。








离开PingCAP后,我开始做些早期投资,有些是和OSS Capital一起,有些是自己个人的投资。我在2020年2月开始写《互联》博客。同时也开始做二级市场投资,专注与我各个职业阶段重叠的公司和行业,打造我个人的“能力圈”。大约在两年前,我开始在GitHub任职,带领其全球市场扩张的策略和布局 -- 这与我对全球开发者发展潜力的视角非常一致。(我现在仍然在GitHub工作。我在这个博客中写的任何东西都不反映GitHub或微软的官方观点;一切都是我个人的观点。)



贯穿我所有文章的一个大目标是在英语和中文之间实现双语信息对称。这也是为什么几乎所有的文章都用双语编写,无论主题是否与中美关系有关。 (我在一个独立的,开源网站上发布博客的双语版,因为在网站上做了些自定设计,可以更好地显示双语,并在Substack上发布一个相同的英文版,以获取网络效应。)



  • 张忠谋 2021年关于半导体的历史和未来的演讲(我对张忠谋在2021年在台湾用中文发表的演讲的非官方翻译版,他在演讲中对在亚利桑那州建造半导体制造厂表达了强烈的怀疑。如果美国政府当时知道这场演讲并听从张先生的话,我们可能也不会陷入纳税人的钱将用于补贴在一个水源日益枯竭的城市中建半导体制造厂的问题。)
  • Prosus: 平行宇宙里的软银(Prosus,一家源于南非的荷兰控股公司,投资腾讯的故事是有史以来最成功的一笔科技投资之一。可惜在中国以外,很少有人知道这个故事,因为故事详情都被锁在中文文章中。)
  • 为什么写中英双语博客(关于为什么双语信息对称如此重要的一篇更详细的文章。)