The Silicon Valley Luxury Trap

I’m torn about what to write about IfOnly, a new service I ran across last night: http://www.ifonly.com/ IfOnly is an incredibly cool service.  It allows you to purchase unique experiences like a group swim clinic for up to 10 of your friends with Olympic champion and TV broadcaster Summer Sanders–a mere $8,000. I immediately looked … Continue reading The Silicon Valley Luxury Trap

Should entrepreneurs blog?

Keith Rabois touched off a mini-Twitter firestorm the other day when he posted a tweet saying, “I don’t know of a single successful CEO or entrepreneur who blogs regularly.” http://bit.ly/1b0gv4V Sadly, as I often note, 140 characters isn’t enough for a nuanced response, which this topic deserves.  Here are my (often conflicting) thoughts about whether … Continue reading Should entrepreneurs blog?

Will Success Ruin Silicon Valley?

Everywhere one looks, Silicon Valley seems ascendant.  Tech companies like Apple and Google are among the world’s most valuable and admired, while tech titans like Larry and Sergey, and Mark and Sheryl are given the first-name-only treatment of offline celebrities. Silicon Valley has even stuck its nose into broader society, helped by the fact that … Continue reading Will Success Ruin Silicon Valley?

Confidence Is Only Valuable When Accompanied By Credibility

Confidence is widely seen as a positive virtue.  We like people who are confident, especially here in America, especially here in Silicon Valley.  (Some might even call us arrogant) Yet in my own experience, confidence doesn’t always win you points with me. Confidence is a dual-edged sword–it can cut both ways.  The key is credibility. … Continue reading Confidence Is Only Valuable When Accompanied By Credibility

The Underrated Power of Warmth

Silicon Valley worships the intellect. How many times have you read entrepreneurs bragging about hiring rockstar programmers? How many times have you heard investors describe their entrepreneurs as geniuses? For that matter, how many times have you heard investors or entrepreneurs describe *themselves* as geniuses? Intelligence does matter, and not just for coding.  Being able … Continue reading The Underrated Power of Warmth

San Francisco’s New (Old) Entrepreneurial Culture

I read Nathan Heller’s latest New Yorker piece, “Bay Watched,” with great interest: http://nyr.kr/17s8pwi Heller writes about the “new” entrepreneurial culture of San Francisco, incorporating interviews with friends like Ben Casnocha, Tyler Willis, Hunter Walk, and more.  Heller, who grew up in San Francisco, returns to his home town to examine the results of the … Continue reading San Francisco’s New (Old) Entrepreneurial Culture

Stop Shooting The Messenger, Silicon Valley

On Sunday, I weighed in on the Twitter board controversy: http://bit.ly/1adJT3P My argument then was that there is a dangerous tendency on the part of Silicon Valley’s power players to think that those who have achieved less than they (read: everyone) don’t have the right to criticize them. Then I read an editorial by Pando … Continue reading Stop Shooting The Messenger, Silicon Valley

The Hidden Assumptions That Neuter Criticism in Silicon Valley

The contretemps of the day comes courtesy of TechCrunch, where Professor Vivek Wadhwa has published a guest post addressing a Twitter debate he had with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (now how’s that for meta?): http://tcrn.ch/GD0570 The controversy began with a quote that Wadhwa provided to the New York Times for a story on sexism in … Continue reading The Hidden Assumptions That Neuter Criticism in Silicon Valley

Carte Blanche and the Creativity of Constraint

As Los Angeles native, I can’t help but see parallels between my home town’s industry (movies) and my adopted home’s (startups).  Today’s parallel concerns the problem with having too much money. In Hollywood, studios love to work with successful directors.  When a director produces a critical and commercial smash, a studio or production company is … Continue reading Carte Blanche and the Creativity of Constraint

Sexism in tech is a problem of the majority, and has to be solved by the majority

TechCrunch Disrupt is the most important conference for the early-stage startup scene in Silicon Valley.  Thanks to the combination of the biggest speakers, and the TechCrunch platform, it generates a huge media spotlight.  Which is why it’s astonishing that the conference’s main presentations kicked off with a completely inappropriate and offensive presentation about an app … Continue reading Sexism in tech is a problem of the majority, and has to be solved by the majority