Humor and Gender

A recent Atlantic piece on humor and psychology, which focused on the “dark psychology” of comedians, seems to me to have buried the lead: What’s really interesting to me are the relationships between humor, intelligence, and gender. 1. Humor is correlated with intelligence: “For a 2011 study published in the journal Intelligence, Greengross gave … Continue reading Humor and Gender

“You Look Good”

One of the first things women often say to each other when they meet is, “You look good.” It’s so common, you’ve probably never thought about it. But isn’t it kind of strange, that the default pleasantry is to praise a woman’s appearance? I’ve even found myself doing it, though that messes up the standard … Continue reading “You Look Good”

Change is Hard: Women at HBS

I’m always proud of my two alma maters, but I’m especially proud when they lead the way toward change in the world. For example, Stanford recently became the first college with an African-American Athletic Director, head football coach, and head men’s basketball coach…a fact which is even more powerful because nobody at Stanford bothered to … Continue reading Change is Hard: Women at HBS

Silicon Valley: The “Ultimate Meritocracy”

My fellow denizens of Silicon Valley are fond of referring to our happy little ecosystem as the ultimate meritocracy.  It’s definitely true that in comparison to the rigid and/or corrupt regimes that prevail in other industries and geographies, Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, but it is far from perfect. I often joke with the female/minority/over-30 … Continue reading Silicon Valley: The “Ultimate Meritocracy”

Culture is never neutral

As you know, I’m a big advocate of working on the culture of your startup.  The instant you start your company, you’re starting to build the culture, and the decisions you make in the garage days are likely to reverberate for years to come, even if your company grows by orders of magnitude. But far … Continue reading Culture is never neutral

Entrepreneurs are from Mars, VCs are from Venus

I have an inordinate fondness for outdated references.  Just one of the pleasures of getting old! Yet while the famous bestseller, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” was a cringe-inducing self-help book, it did touch upon a theme of gender differences that later, better writers tackled. More recently, I read the fascinating book, … Continue reading Entrepreneurs are from Mars, VCs are from Venus

Is Manliness Hazardous to Your Health?

“Well, I’m not the world’s most masculine man / But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man” –The Kinks (singing about a transvestite homosexual lover) I am not noted as a totem of masculinity.  I don’t repair cars.  I let my wife program the VCR.  I eat arugula almost every day. … Continue reading Is Manliness Hazardous to Your Health?

Jeremy Lin, Women in VC, and the Bigotry of Pattern Matching

Jeremy Lin is the talk of the NBA. Sportswriters everywhere are busy cranking out column inches on what people have called the ultimate Cinderella story: The emergence of an Asian-American Harvard graduate, seemingly from nowhere, as one of the NBA’s biggest stars. On February 3, Jeremy Lin was the Knicks’ third-string point guard. Less than … Continue reading Jeremy Lin, Women in VC, and the Bigotry of Pattern Matching

Is The Age Of Men Over?

The Cato Institute recently published a fascinating essay by Kay Hymowitz, “What’s Happening to Men?” In it, Kay reviews recent research to try to find an explanation for the decline of the American male. The grim facts are these: Women now earn 57% of college degrees, 60% of masters degrees, and over half of Ph.D.s … Continue reading Is The Age Of Men Over?

Do Sexists Earn More Money?

That’s what a recent study purports to show, at least according to attention-grabbing headlines in the mainstream media.Judge and UF colleague Beth Livingston analyzed information from interviews of nearly 8,000 individuals, ages 14 to 22, at the study’s start in 1979. Interviews also took place in 1982, 1987 and 2004. The participants were part of … Continue reading Do Sexists Earn More Money?