Welcome to zhang.dev, the online home of Mohan Zhang

There's a lot of Zhangs in this world—in fact, just shy of about a 100 million or so, meaning the collective Zhang clan would be the 14th largest country in the world... so, uh, make sure you got the right one:

Mohan Zhang, CTO and Co-Founder of CollegeVine

Why people usually search for me

I'm the CTO and Co-Founder of CollegeVine, a startup based in Cambridge, MA that's changing the way families (and universities) think about college admissions.

Why I wish people would search for me (well, maybe someday)

Because you heard my stories and life looked a different way...

Mohan Zhang, musician

Because you saw my sail dancing on a windy day...

Mohan Zhang, windsurfer

Because you caught me flying like an eagle over glacial lakes...

Mohan Zhang, mover

Because you know that Portland, Oregon has the sunniest days...

Mohan Zhang, extra on Portlandia

v9

The Eudaimonia Machine

In this 9th edition of my website, I wanted to explore a virtual rendition of David Dewane’s Eudaimonia Machine concept, popularized in Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work.

If you are familiar with the idea, you will find the expected progression of “rooms” as you navigate from left to right. Moving up and down in each room allows you to explore what’s strewn about or hanging on the walls. Some rooms have more substance than others.

Quick Explainer

Here's the idea behind each room:

Gallery
Gallery of selected deep works, intended to create pressure to go deep.
Salon
Coffeeshop atmosphere for social discussion of ideas. Well, since this is a static site, it's pretty one-sided.
Library
Complete record of everything produced and the references used.
Office
Where shallow work happens (not all shallow work is bad!)
Chambers
Where deep work happens. Mostly just a sign on the door telling you what's next and to leave me alone so I can go do it.

The Floor Plan

The Eudaimonia Machine floor plan is purposely designed as a sequential experience, progressively readying you to go deeper as you move through the rooms. Consequently, you will have to use the arrows to navigate one room at a time, just like in a real building. Going to the right from here takes you into the Gallery.

  • Gallery
  • Salon
  • Library
  • Office
  • Chambers

The Lonely Tree by the Sea

The image used on the homepage is one that has evolved over the years from a rendering I did in Bryce 5 sometime in the early 2000s as a high schooler. It's been a motif now through nine redesigns of the personal site that I originally launched in 2005. I'm not exactly sure what it represents, but the feeling it invokes in me is as powerful today as it was when I first watched the pixels appear row-by-row on a bulbous CRT monitor many years ago. Its interpretation is left as an exercise to the reader.