August 1, 2023

This summer, I interned at 222 (YC W23) through the Viterbi Summer Smasher program. It was such an awesome experience, I figured I’d talk about it!

What 222 does

222 is on a mission to accelerate chance social encounters. Particularly after the pandemic, people have lost their third spaces (social) and even their second spaces (work), making it much harder for people to meet others and just … hang out. People are lonely!

To solve this problem, 222 partners with venues in different cities (first in LA, now expanding to NYC and elsewhere) to curate experiences for its members. When you sign up, you first take a questionnaire that lets them know more about you. Then, through a machine learning algorithm, they find people that you might be interested in meeting and they set you up at an experience, which involves both a dining and post-dining portion.

It’s kind of hard for me to explain because I still haven’t been to one! I worked remotely and I’m not yet 21, so I’m a little bit more limited to the venues I can try out. While a lot of restaurants can take people that are underage, some post-dining experiences are held at bars. There are a lot of TikToks that explain what going to an experience is like, so I’ll leave it to you to take a look yourself. I’ll update this post after I’ve gone to an experience to let you know what it’s like.

While their current target audience is mostly Gen Zers, they’re working on expanding to other groups of people, since loneliness is a problem at every age. The whole idea is honestly super cool! If you’re in an area where they have experiences, I’d totally recommend for you to try one out and see what you think.

What I worked on

I was part of the Venue Dashboard team, where I worked on a team with two other interns (a UI/UX designer and a software engineer specializing on the backend). Shoutout to Yasmin and Andy for their awesome work with me this summer!

We built a dashboard for venue partners (Wow! It’s almost like that’s what our team is named!) to view data on the experiences they are a part of. I specialized in the frontend of the site, effectively connecting what the designer and backend developer worked on. Like most other frontend people, I worked on bringing the design vision to life in the components I worked on, and I fetched data from a backend API that would give me information to fill in the components. I actually hadn’t done much real frontend work before outside of development with static site generators, so working with the backend developer definitely taught me new awesome stuff.

I’d say some of the proudest things I did were building reactive components filled with so much live data, and then refactoring it to make it much more concise and clean. It truly takes someone who understands the code to clean it up — I did this for both parts of the codebase I inherited and parts I wrote myself, which were very different experiences.

I also learned so much about React context, which was probably my biggest pain point during the internship, but now I can say I’ve conquered it at least once!

Working at a startup

I haven’t worked in a very corporate setting before, so I can’t really comment on how a big company is different compared to a startup, but I really enjoyed working at 222. I had a great deal of autonomy in how we built things, and the founders really trusted me to make the right choices for the project. When I felt like we needed a framework for a certain task, I’d do some research, explain the reasoning to our CTO or CEO, and they’d OK it as soon as they took a look. I had a lot of opportunities to suggest the direction that we would take in our product, and I felt like I was taken very seriously — as much as C-suite was viewing themselves.

Another wonderful thing about working for a startup was the culture. I’m conscious that this isn’t the case at every startup, but 222 was an extremely friendly environment. They also weren’t afraid to do things just because they felt like it — for example, we had a policy where we would only have meetings on Mondays and Fridays outside of our daily standup, and all of these would be brief. We weren’t really ever tied up in useless meetings, which really improved my productivity. I’ve been in organizations where all it seems like happens is meetings, so this was a very welcome change. On the other hand, I was really able to connect with some of my coworkers during syncs where we would discuss work items but also just hang out.

The small team size also had its benefits. During demos, our entire team (only nine people at its largest when I worked there!) would come together and display our work. I was able to see what everyone was working on, including some pretty cool stuff I would’ve never really thought about. I’m obviously not able to disclose what that entailed, but if you join 222 as a member, you’ll definitely see some of their work!

Lastly, I felt very appreciated for my work, and C-suite was always so willing to answer my questions, even if they were busy. Before I joined the team, I heard from another founder from the startup garage that 222’s founders were awesome, and after working there for eight weeks, I definitely agree. Much love to Keyan, Arman, and Danial!

Working remotely

This was both fun and awful at the same time. I was able to meet up with high school friends and hang out with my family at home, but I also literally had no division between home and work. I wrote code in the same room I slept in at night. But I could also go for walks in my neighborhood when I needed breaks and adjust my schedule for appointments easily. Definitely an acquired taste, but also very flexible; I can see why some people love it and also why some people need to be at the office regularly. In the future, I’d love to try working in person and in a hybrid format to see how it compares.

I’d loved to have worked in the office at Marina del Rey, but alas I got my internship a month before I was supposed to start, so working remotely was honestly the best option. I’m looking forward to meeting with the team when I get back to LA!


Overall, I had a wonderful summer working for 222. I’m really excited to see what they have in store and what they’ll be able to accomplish. Definitely go check them out, and let me know how it goes!