Category Archives: Technology Editorial

Chewse’s Tracy Lawrence on Raising Your First Round As A Female Founder

“…I thought it would be more interesting to touch on parts of the financing process…” – original author

TechCrunch

tracy-lawrenceRight before Tracy Lawrence went into fundraising mode for her catering startup Chewse last year, she cut off her hair.

She didn’t know it at the time, but later upon reflection, she thought it might have been a subconscious choice in trying to improve her odds.

“I found I was trying to play it androgynous,” she said. “But it didn’t work, because I wasn’t being authentic. No matter what you do, whether it’s fundraising or hiring, the best role to play is the only one you can — which is being yourself.”

Many other female founders I’ve met over the years have had to be very deliberate about how they look to be taken seriously. A few months back, Kathryn Minshew told me she A/B tested all of her outfits while fundraising for The Muse, a Y Combinator-backed recruiting and hiring platform for millennials. She felt she would get easily dismissed while wearing dresses…

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Why Tech Needs The Rooney Rule

“…The current tech industry is, in many ways, similar to the Rooney Rule-less NFL…” – original author

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”sammy-ahmed”]

Something that you’ve likely never heard uttered is that an industry should look to the National Football League (NFL) for social cues. The league has been scandal-ridden for decades, and has consistently fallen flat in its responses to domestic abuse, cheating, health and wellness and drug scandals.

Really, the only thing the NFL has gotten right is the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule is named after Dan Rooney, the Chairman of the Pittsburg Steelers and former head of the NFL’s diversity committee. Instituted in 2003, the Rooney Rule requires that NFL teams interview underrepresented minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs before making a final hiring decision. (There is no requirement to hire minorities.)

Prior to the rule, 70 percent of the NFL was non-white, yet minorities made up less than 6 percent of head coaches and senior personnel. Moreover, research done by Janice Madden and…

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Yes Your ******* Startup Can Cut A Little Free Speech

“…just take a look at our comments every once in a while…” – original author

TechCrunch

The internet’s ugliness has been revealed in so many different ways these past few months, it almost makes you want to pull the plug on all of it (I can’t of course, because Apple already removed my Ethernet port before I could get the satisfaction). Blow up(s) at Reddit over whether we can post pictures of fat people. Terrorists using Twitter and other social media to call for more murders. That whole sordid affair around Gamergate.

It’s not like any of this should be surprising. For all the value the internet creates, it also has the dark power to bring out the inner animal inside all of us, unmoored by social conventions. Often you don’t even need to look into the far reaches of forums to see the full spectrum of quality, as the best and worst content are often sitting right next to each other (just take a…

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The Rise Of Silicon Savannah And Africa’s Tech Movement

“…Kenya is now a recognized IT hub…” – original author

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”jake-bright”][tc_contributor_byline slug=”aubrey-hruby”]

Tech will be on President Obama’s agenda as he hosts the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya, taking along internet pioneer Steve Case and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Nascent as it may be, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) does have a promising tech sector — a growing patchwork of entrepreneurs, startups, and innovation centers coalescing country to country.

Kenya is now a recognized IT hub. Facebook recently expanded on the continent. And Silicon Valley VC is funneling into ventures from South Africa to Nigeria.

These pieces are coming together as Africa’s budding tech culture and ecosystem emerge.

The Rise of Silicon Savannah

Most discussions of the origins of Africa’s tech movement circle back to Kenya. From 2007 through 2010 a combination of circumstance, coincidence, and visionary individuals laid down four markers inspiring the country’s Silicon Savannah moniker:

  • Mobile money,
  • A global crowdsourcing app,
  • Africa’s tech incubator model; and
  • A genuine…

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The Importance Of Design Thinking For Big Data Startups

“What are the requirements for business success and how does data help to enable that success? ” – original author

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”kyle-fugere”]

We’ve reached a point technologically where consumers are no longer impressed by access to data, as data availability, even our own, is increasingly the norm. Instead, the usability of that data is what’s driving demand for new products and services. Even the term “Big Data” is slowly being replaced by “Business Intelligence” as data is increasingly becoming commoditized.

This is where Design Thinking becomes so powerful. What insights can we extract and how do we present those insights to the user? The difficulty with that question is that it requires restraint and focus.

IDEO’s President and CEO described that practice best, stating, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

What are the requirements for business success and how does data help to enable…

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The Dinosaurs Of Cybersecurity Are Planes, Power Grids And Hospitals

“…It’s time to stop using a patch’s level of severity or complexity as an excuse for taking little to no action…” – original author

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”wesley-wineberg”]

As we continue down the path toward complete connectivity — in which all devices, appliances and networks connect to each other and the Internet — it is evident that much of our longstanding technology can no longer keep up.

And it’s not an issue affecting only tech companies and web-connected devices, it’s affecting systems and infrastructures that most would expect to be the safest in the world. Even airplanes are at risk, and the recent breach of the Office of Personnel Management demonstrates that government networks can be breached as easily as those in the private sector.

Even though recent incidents may have been a surprise to the general public, it wasn’t for my team or me. The only surprise is that we are not hearing about these attacks more often. It’s no secret that companies are hacked way more often than they report (or even realize)…

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The Diversity Report Gap: Without Specific Goals, No Accountability

“…The goal with these diversity reports should be for one day to see the breakdown in Silicon Valley mirror what we see in the country’s total workforce…” – original author

TechCrunch

The diversity reports are back. Yesterday Yahoo became the most recent tech company to tell us how painfully similar its diversity numbers are to those it reported last year.

In an effort spurred by Google, every major tech company released a diversity report last year. Releasing the first reports last year was an important step for tech. It allowed the industry to realize the scope of its diversity problem and prompted public discussion about it. The companies should be applauded for taking that first step toward transparency and accountability.

But now a year later as the second diversity reports are released, it seems that accountability piece is missing.

Reporters are saying surprise, surprise, these companies still aren’t diverse. Companies are responding with vague commitments to do better and initiatives to fix the long-term issue of the gender and minority gap that exists in the talent pipeline. Those promises are…

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