144: TZ Discussion – Justin’s Big Left Nav

Justin and Jason discuss whether software is actually eating the world, why Elon Musk is the most impressive entrepreneur in modern times, splitting payments using PayPal Adaptive Payments, how to solve the problem of the fractured social web, why Justin posts the kinds of links he does, some upcoming changes to Pluggio, the status of Jason and Guyon’s custom scrollbar component, Justin’s concern about working on code with Jason, whether begging is a type of social defection, Justin’s theory that the recent Anonymous BART hack was a false flag attack, the movie Apollo 18, NASA’s discovery of nucleobases on twelve different meteorites, a recent discovery that early life was sulfur-based, the current status of Appignite and the design of the AnyFu logo and character.

  1. Xavi says:

    I strongly recommend that you do _not_ write your own scrollbar implementation. You’d be opening a pandora’s box of usably and compatibility issues. If you want custom styled scroll bars, consider using CSS: http://www.webkit.org/blog/363/styling-scrollbars/ . This is what google does. The down side is that scrollbar styling only works in webkit (and IE kinda). The upside is your app won’t break when JS is disabled or when viewed on an iphone.

    Also about not working with other people’s code, you should really consider starting. For me personally it’s somewhat worrying to hearing that a programmer has gone a whole career without learning how to read code. It’s like meeting a writer who doesn’t read or a musician who doesn’t like to listen to music. If you never read anyone else code, how do what you write is any good? How do you it’s readable? Sure it works, but that’s only half the battle.

  2. Niklas Fiekas says:

    Talking about false flag operations (which was very intresting) you suggested that the Reichstag fire [1] was used to justify the invasion of poland [2]. Those are seperate things. Instead:

    The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germany[5] and was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland

  3. Jason says:


    There are probably a lot of reasons why you might want to write a custom scrollbar (see the popularity of jScrollPane as one indication), and accessibility and compatibility issues are not really a concern of mine since what I’m building is an internal admin tool for use by Uber’s various ops teams. I haven’t attempted to dissect Google’s code, but I think the scrollbar they use for the left nav on Google Maps is custom and not styled CSS. But please let me know if I’m wrong about that.

    In regards to my ability to read other people’s code, I think you took my statements too literally and I suppose I should have done a better job expressing myself. I’ve been coding professionally for almost 20 years and have read through millions of lines of code in a dozen different languages, so honestly I wouldn’t waste your time worrying about me or the quality of what I create. The reason why I don’t like to read other people’s code and why I try to avoid getting myself into a position where I have to support other people’s code is that it’s generally crap and I can’t stand wasting my time sorting through it. Luckily, I’ve built enough of a reputation though my career that I can pick and choose what I work on and that has and probably always will be greenfield projects. The point I was really trying to make is that if Justin wants to code in a non-standard or unorthodox manner he’s more than welcome to, but he’s going to be on his own if he does.

  4. Niklas Fiekas says:

    @Jason: Xavi is right. Google Maps uses CSS, as everyone should. Just try viewing it in Firefox, that doesn’t support custom scrollbar styles or grepping the code for webkit-scrollbar.

  5. Jason says:

    @Niklas Fiekas – That’s interesting about the Google Maps CSS, but what’s more interesting is the Reichstag Fire Decree. Thanks for correcting me on that.

    Just out of curiosity, did you know about the Reichstag Fire off the top of your head or did you just read up on it? The reason I ask is that this isn’t typically the kind of thing most people know much about.

  6. Niklas Fiekas says:

    @Jason: I knew that because I am from Germany, I guess. However I did look it up to see what the English Wikipedia says about it and give a meaningful quote.

  7. I think its a good idea to sell shirts, even before building the product. GitHub done it and actually made profit from it (not sure how much).
    You have a big audience already – might be easier for you.
    I know I would buy a shirt for sure.
    To minimize the risk we can ‘pre-order’ it, so you’ll get the money before spending it. The profit can be used to build AnyFu.

  8. In regards to the “Who is Justin Vincent” section of the podcast. When you explained why you do what you do, I could totally relate to wanting to make everyone happy. When you mentioned the part about not wanting to divide an audience based on a strong opinion because you don’t like how it makes you feel when that happens to you, I thought, wow – he’s me.

    I have an inherent need for the client to love my work, if they don’t, I feel like I failed them. (yea, I need a couch session I’m sure)

  9. Ben Boyter says:

    Since you guys are going all in on AnyFu I would be interested to hear in your next chat about what you are setting in place against the partnership not working out for any reason. How are you going to handle equity split and the like.

    I figure that’s something important to work out before going to far and I would like to hear your thoughts on it. I liken it to getting married, before you do you should discuss issues like having children.

  10. Jason says:

    @Ben Boyter – You know we don’t really have that figured out yet, but that might be a good discussion to have on the next show. Thanks for bringing it up.

  11. Loved the Justin-Jason ratio calibration on the show. I think it gives the show more energy. Otherwise when one person goes on for a while, as a listener my mind starts wondering and not paying as much attention.

    Justin, great job at handling the “who is JV anyway”, great candor and example of the friendship you guys have.

    The discussion about 1099s in the context of AnyFu was surprising. I’d definitely like to hear more about that. Same thing for the split payment approach.
    Btw when you get back into interview show season, it would be great to interview some payment expert.