Shane Vitarana

hello 👋

I'm a software engineer / entrepreneur on a mission to build products and services that are more decentralized and equitable.

Most recently, I led the engineering team at TruStory, a social app built on a proof-of-stake blockchain with Cosmos SDK.

Previously I built the iOS app for TED. I also independently built Drum Kit, a top selling music app with 10 million downloads.

I was an early contributer to many projects in the Ruby ecosystem, including Rails.

You can find me online at Twitter, Github, and Medium.


I got my start in technology in the early 90's as an operator of a BBS, an early form of pre-Internet social network. I taught myself to code to make plugins for it.

I focused more on the hardware side in college, once designing a 16-bit microprocessor for a class project. I graduated with an M.S in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Electromagnetics.

After college, I moved back into software and worked at Motorola, building government encryption software. Later I joined Orbitz, where I helped scale backends for airline reservation systems.

In the early 2000's I got involved in the development of Ruby on Rails, building open source libraries that were used by many web 2.0 startups of the time. I launched my first startup in 2007, a social network for fitness enthusiasts. It was one of the first sites to feature a live newsfeed.

In early 2008 I quit my job at Groupon after Ken Pelletier, then CTO, showed me a demo of Google Maps on his iPhone. I went on to release Drum Kit, one of the most popular apps in the App Store built by an indie developer. It had over 10 million downloads, and was featured in Apple's iPod Touch ad campaign.

Around 2013, I started getting disillusioned by the tech industry and considered studying to become a nutritionist. However I decided to apply my skills to non-profits instead. I joined TED, building new versions of their iPhone and iPad apps.

In late 2015, Marie Leaf introduced me to Ethereum. The hacker ethos of the ecosystem reminded me a lot of the early days of the Internet. I believe blockchains will enable a new generation of digital services where value is captured by end users and operators over a few centralized providers.