Silicon Valley in the Mirror (a Trump Silver Lining)

It’s safe to say that Silicon Valley’s reputation hasn’t been having a good year.  Uber has reached the point where the number of pages that claim to be “the definitive list of Uber scandals” runs off the first page of Google results, with widespread sexual harassment and discrimination resulting in the termination of over 20 … Continue reading Silicon Valley in the Mirror (a Trump Silver Lining)

Notes from Doha: Building Silicon Valley in the Desert

I just spent a fantastic week in Doha, Qatar, working with the researchers and entrepreneurs of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) Research To Startup program.  In this program, the first of its kind in Qatar, we brought together about 20 entrepreneurs from around the world (including a couple of local entrepreneurs) to work with the … Continue reading Notes from Doha: Building Silicon Valley in the Desert

Situational Shyness

Very few people would characterize me as shy.  Based on the classic “Big Five” personality factor model, I score heavily on the extroversion scale.  Yet there are definitely times in my life when I have felt shy, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and I’ve concluded that there is a pattern. First, I’m more likely to … Continue reading Situational Shyness

What KRS-One Teaches Us About Silicon Valley

I am an unapologetic booster of capitalism in general, and Silicon Valley in particular.  It’s even in the name of this blog!  Yet I’ve found myself playing the role of skeptic in an increasing number of conversations lately. As our current bubble (yes, I said it!) reaches new heights, it seems like all anyone in … Continue reading What KRS-One Teaches Us About Silicon Valley

The Ultimate Startup Success Plan (based on 10 years of data)

First Round Capital, the first and foremost of the “micro” VC funds, recently released a retrospective set of lessons learned based on 10 years of investing data.  It’s an incredible trove of data, some of which I love, some of which makes me feel uneasy.  But since I always believe in working with the world … Continue reading The Ultimate Startup Success Plan (based on 10 years of data)

Risk and Race: A Modest Proposal To Encourage Investing In Minority Entrepreneurs

Fast Company put out a fantastic package of stories covering the role of race in Silicon Valley.  The centerpiece is a deservedly glowing profile of Tristan Walker, but my favorite was an interview with a group of African American startup folks titled “An Honest Discussion of Race in Silicon Valley.” One thing that I failed … Continue reading Risk and Race: A Modest Proposal To Encourage Investing In Minority Entrepreneurs

The Real Reason You Need To Overcome Envy

Envy, to put it bluntly, sucks.  This isn’t news; envy is one of the original seven deadly sins.  And the media is happy to tell us that envy is the most modern of sins, enabled by social media and the fear of missing out (FOMO; by the way, who decided that everything had to be … Continue reading The Real Reason You Need To Overcome Envy

Silicon Valley, Ageism, and Hipster Jeans

A friend’s husband was laid off, and he had trouble finding another job.  Was he unskilled?  Hardly–he has a Stanford MBA and an engineering Ph.D.  The real problem, they realized, is that he was the father of two boys in college, and dressed that way. My friend gave her husband a makeover–new haircut, trendy jeans, … Continue reading Silicon Valley, Ageism, and Hipster Jeans

You can be a dick and be right

Venture Capital legend Tom Perkins stirred up quite a bit of outrage with his letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1aGMGJy In this editorial (which Perkins presumably dashed off without showing it to any competent public relations professional), he criticizes what he perceives as a rise in unfair criticism of the wealthy.  … Continue reading You can be a dick and be right

I Am Not My Talent

One of the perils of living in Silicon Valley is the way it encourages us to develop a fixed mindset. Our vocabulary uses the language of traits.  Someone is a “Rockstar Engineer,” or an “A Player.”  Companies like Google scrutinize candidates’ resumes, discarding those who didn’t attend the right universities. Even successful entrepreneurs aren’t exempt.  … Continue reading I Am Not My Talent