Human metadata creates valuable companies

Zayn Patel
2 min readJan 25, 2023

As the summer nears, I’ve been applying to internships and I realized: the metadata about an experience is more interesting than the experience itself.

For example, my title is Head of Engineering at X company. Underneath this title I’ve written 3 bullet points detailing what I’ve done.

  • Implemented a file submission portal using NodeJS, MongoDB, and AWS S3
  • Led database schema and API refactoring project to improve code base and align with industry standards
  • Built a database denormalization system on commonly used tables to improve overall load times by 12%

While each of these points gives the recruiter data on what I did, it’s missing the fifteen hours of struggling I had to do to learn how to use AWS. Or the five mentorship calls with Dan, the CTO, before I could get the API system working. That’s the metadata.

The metadata is actually what recruiters are looking for when they talk about “soft skills.” They want to know what happens when you hit the first obstacle. Perhaps Balaji would say that the solution to getting some of this metadata is to cryptographically log EEG data to the blockchain so the emotional states of a person are visible throughout the lifecycle of solving a problem. But, I think we’ve already seen the solution to this absence of metadata: in-network hiring.

This paradigm is most prevalent with startup co-founders. I think the reason founders looking for a co-founder…



Zayn Patel

Working on space technology and policy, improving government with data science, and launching a cubesat mission.