I look back on the things I read this year, on the things that did their bit in making me who I am today. The following is a list articles a My Top Reads from 2014 — Startups, Tech, Life


On January 1, 2014, I knew what I had to change about myself this new year. What I had in mind was to learn a lot of things by reading a lot of things. And so I did. Maybe not as much as I could have, but enough to be able to have an educated conversation on certain topics (or just be able to say “I don’t know”).

I look back on the things I read this year, on the things that did their bit in making me who I am today. The following is a list articles and books sorted by the month-of-reading that I loved the most and that positively contributed to my being.

I’d encourage you to scroll through the entire list and read the ones that seem interesting to you. And feel free to share what you loved to read this year. Oh, and I’m @karangoel.


Note: Most of my favorite reading happened through Medium — that’s my go-to platform for discovering great content. If you have suggestions for other content discovery platforms, add a comment here!


January

How to stop giving a [email protected]$% what people think. Start living your life.medium.com

An Engineer’s guide to Stock Options * Alex MacCaw There’s a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt when it comes to stock options, and I’d like to try and clear some of that…blog.alexmaccaw.com

February

Bitcoin - The Internet of Money This post is old - I wrote it for Wired, which just published an excerpt in “The Wired World in 2014” issue, but the…startupboy.com

7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing With Your Life A unique perspective on what it takes to succeed in life.medium.com

March

Why your previous developer was terrible And why your current one seems so amazingmedium.com

Confessions of an ex-tech journalist 20 months, 1,740+ articles, and countless pitches later, I’ve got some truths to tell medium.com

April

Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem The Cisco Meraki office in Mission Bay, San Francisco, is 40 paces from the water, and just as nice as Google’s. On a…www.nytimes.com

What every founder fears. Answers to your questions ¶ The other night I found myself in a surreal moment of storytelling as a part of the…medium.com

This is your brain on mobile A critique of destructive smartphone habits diagnosed by someone that makes a living off of them.medium.com

How to be an open source gardener * Steve Klabnik I do a lot of work on open source, but my most valuable contributions haven’t been code. Writing a patch is the easiest…words.steveklabnik.com

May

Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash Ever How Two Jetliners Nearly Collided Over the Pacific, Why No One Knows About It, and What It Means for Safety Oversight…medium.com

The Great Works of Software Is it possible to propose a software canon? To enumerate great works of software that are deeply influential—that…medium.com

The real 10 algorithms that dominate our world Maybe a little more than 10medium.com

June

My startup failed, and this is what it feels like… We had users and traction, then we fell off a cliff. My 4 year emotional rollercoaster just came to an end.medium.com

The $124,421 Man How to pay off a mountain of student debt in six (long) yearsmedium.com

BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Goes Long The media mogul (twice over) on being both contagious and stickymedium.com

Technical debt 101 A primer about technical debt, legacy code, big rewrites and ancient wisdom for non technical managersmedium.com

The Secret to Getting Top-Secret Secrets How a journalist with a dark past learned to pry info from the government—and redeemed himself in the processmedium.com

9 Things I Learned as a Software Engineer …that I wish I had known when I started grad schoolmedium.com

How I tricked TechCrunch into writing about my startup And accidentally started BetaListmedium.com

12 Lessons of Waking Up at 4:30 a.m. for 21 Days If it works for me, maybe it works for you!medium.com

July

10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings Here are my ten favorite tricks for quickly appearing smart during meetings.medium.com

We All Got Trolled Supporters of Internet freedom rallied around weev before he went to prison. Now that the hacker is out, he’s maybe…medium.com

Let’s fly How to survive air travelmedium.com

How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet Spark conspiracies, incite riots, and predict the future with a confidence scam for the Twitter eramedium.com

August

I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity a hopeful look at what happens when you quit the Likemedium.com

What Kind of Logo Do You Get for $5? An epic tale of deception, stolen artwork, and crappy logosmedium.com

DON’T do what you love. “Do what you love and the money will follow,” is terrible advice given by lucky people.medium.com

September

*How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream fcked my life up** And five questions I wish I had asked myself at the very beginningmedium.com

What It’s like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class The world’s best airline experience, from Singapore to New York.medium.com

How Andreessen Horowitz Is Disrupting Silicon Valley Just over the crest of the highest point on Sand Hill Road, amid a cluster of relaxed buildings that could easily pass…medium.com

October

Sex Is Sex. But Money Is Money. Escorts make $100 a hand job — but entrepreneurs like me? We make $5,000 a night. How I hacked the new economy of the…medium.com

How to start a startup without ruining your life Startups are emotional roller coasters that make you feel like you’re changing the world and that everything is falling…medium.com

15 Tricks to Appear Smart in Emails My 15 favorite tricks for appearing smart in emailsmedium.com

Tilde.Club: I had a couple drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds I had a couple drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds ¶ The story of Tilde.Clubmedium.com

Here’s Why Public Wifi is a Public Health Hazard Maybe Better If You Don’t Read This Story on Public WiFi ¶ We took a hacker to a café and, in 20 minutes, he knew…medium.com

November

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed [Alexis Ohanian] on Amazon.com. *FREE…www.amazon.com

7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI (Part 1) A non-artsy primer in digital aestheticsmedium.com

7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI (Part 2) A guide to visual aesthetics, written by a nerdmedium.com

Against Productivity This Essay Took Four Years to Writemedium.com

How to Not Freak Out About Material Design A sane approach to making your app Materialmedium.com

How to Get Away with Uber What exactly is it about the controversy-baiting, aggressive, indispensable taxi app that pisses so many people off?medium.com

How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained) Microsoft Rolls Out The April Xbox One Update - Here’s What’s Inside The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most…techcrunch.com

[**The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup WIRED** Ariel Zambelich/WIRED Stewart is hungry. He’s munching on potatoes smothered in chicken fat drippings, sitting by a…www.wired.com](http://www.wired.com/2014/08/the-most-fascinating-profile-youll-ever-read-about-a-guy-and-his-boring-startup/ “http://www.wired.com/2014/08/the-most-fascinating-profile-youll-ever-read-about-a-guy-and-his-boring-startup/”)

December

Redesigning SoundCloud Breaking it down, and building it back upmedium.com

Time Hacking for College Students Picture this: Full-time student taking full course load, working part time, leading a growing club at his university…medium.com

How I Learned to Stop Procrastinating, & Love Letting Go : zen habitsPeople have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is…zenhabits.net

Start Something: The Power of Side Projects Little Projects that have Changed the Worldmedium.com

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future [Peter Thiel, Blake Masters] on Amazon.com. *FREE shipping…*www.amazon.com


Feel free to share what you loved to read this year. Oh, and I’m @karangoel.

Off to a great 2015!