Josh Miller, a former Facebook product manager and entrepreneur who served as the White House's first product chief under President Obama, started a new job this week. He's now entrepreneur-in-residence at Thrive Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Ivanka Trump's brother-in-law, Joshua Kushner.

Joshua's brother Jared, of course, is a top adviser to Trump. In an interview with Axios, Miller, 26, said he isn't at all concerned about the family ties, and spoke about they key differences between Silicon Valley and the government.

Why we care: Tech employees from Silicon Valley flocked to Washington for stints in the Obama Administration, helping in some ways to bridge the cultural divide between the two coasts. It remains to be seen how Trump's own digital operation will shake out, but it's a safe bet that Silicon Valley workers won't be lining up to help the administration after the immigration uproar.

Silicon Valley's misconceptions about government: "I think people do not appreciate how much the government does for them...I know there are very sort of libertarian tendencies in the Valley … I think people just latch on to the worst examples, which I think you can do anywhere."

Regulations aren't all bad: "As a private citizen, I don't want anyone to play fast and loose with my health and safety," says Miller, adding there's always room for improvement.

Government is more diverse than the tech industry: "Coming from a white male-dominated world of Silicon Valley, it was so refreshing and so wonderful to work with such a diverse group of people," says Miller. He adds that the diversity he encountered wasn't just limited to race and gender, but also extended to the ideas during brainstorming sessions, and people's personal and professional backgrounds.

Meeting people where they are: That's how Miller described his team's approach to various projects. For example, he helped get the White House on Snapchat because that's how many young Americans are choosing to engage. His team also built a chat bot for Facebook's Messenger app. "The idea that citizens are talking to each other on social media every day but there wasn't a way to send us a message on social media just felt like a hole in our suite of tech products," he said.

The answer is not always an app: "Most hard problems cannot be fixed by apps and websites," says Miller of one of the hardest lessons he learned during his tenure. At times, he would be invited to a meeting to help, only to realize that "this is not a technology problem, this is not something that the internet can really solve. We need Congress or we need policy."

Go deeper

Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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