Take Your Own Advice: vlcn with Matt Wonlaw

Take Your Own Advice: vlcn with Matt Wonlaw

After his first child was born, Matt Wonlaw (@tantaman) imagined giving his son life advice. What kind of life did he want his kid to lead? At the time, he was working for Facebook, and he decided that his own life needed a change in direction. So Matt started vlcn, aka Vulcan Labs, a research company that develops open-source projects like CR-SQLite and Materialite. vlcn has an unusual business model – Matt receives donations and sponsorships from users and clients. It’s all part of his mission to rethink the modern data stack for writing rich and complex applications.

Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at

Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications!

In this episode we discuss:

  • One reason that software is still too hard to write: Object orientations

  • How CR-SQLite allows databases to be merged together and Materialite provides Incremental View Maintenance for JavaScript

  • Why coding directly to relations can provide a more flexible and efficient approach to building applications

  • Matt’s decision to build vlcn as a research lab rather than as a startup

  • Thoughts for the future on PGLite


People mentioned:

The origin story behind the best open source projects and communities.