August 2010

Women in technology startups: a few things each of us can do (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress, feedback welcome!
revised version intended as a two-part series on NWEN’s blog

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Fretting, asking, and begging isn’t a plan: the Arrington kerfuffle and women in tech

also cross-posted on Feminism 2.0

WWII image of a woman: Yes we can!

Success in Silicon Valley, most would agree, is more merit driven than almost any other place in the world. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what sex you are, what politics you support or what color you are….  Statistically speaking women have a huge advantage as entrepreneurs.

Michael Arrington in TechCrunch

Privileged much? *

The lastest firestorm about women and entrepeneurship got kicked off by Shira Ovide’s excellent Wall Street Journal article Addressing the Lack of Women Running Tech Startups.   Shira’s article has some fine quotes from Dina Kaplan, Yuli Ziv, and Fred Wilson, and this from Rachel Sklar of Change the Ratio:

Part of changing the ratio is just changing awareness, so that the next time Techcrunch is planning a Techcrunch Disrupt, they won’t be able to not see the overwhelming maleness of it.

I thought it was a great read.  But not everybody agreed.

TechCrunch: Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men. Or At Least Stop Blaming Me.

Every damn time we have a conference we fret over how we can find women to fill speaking slots. We ask our friends and contacts for suggestions. We beg women to come and speak. Where do we end up? With about 10% of our speakers as women.

Oh please.  Fretting, asking, and begging isn’t a plan.

Yes, it’s hard.  Stop whining.  Take some responsibility.

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Notes from underground: Psylebrating good times

Psylebration Part 3

I eased back into things slowly after our vacation, visiting LA to see my brother and his family and then San Diego to meet a Facebook friend and hang out with D, who was launching PrivacyActivism’s graphic novel Networked: Carabella on the Run at ComiCon.  How cool is that?  By the end of July, it was back to full speed ahead.  We’re making great progress on Tales from the Net, I’m really excited about the innovation work I’m doing volunteering with NWEN, and I’ve been meeting some incredibly interesting people online and off.

Sounds like a good time to psylebrate!  It’s a birthday bash for Dr. Spook, so should be lots of fun.

And with the summer wrapping up and the year almost exactly 2/3 over, it’s a fine opportunity to see how I’m doing on my New Years’ Resolutions.

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31 months later: The Economist’s Debate on Privacy (DRAFT! Feedback welcome!)

DRAFT! Feedback welcome!
Revised version to be posted on Tales from the Net.

Economist Debates: Online Privacy.A debate between Marc Rotenberg of EPIC and Jim Harper of Cato, moderated by Martin Giles.  Because, y'know, who cares what women think?

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Jeff Jarvis: 10 benefits of publicness/Bill of Rights

From Jeff’s talk at pii2010.

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Go Seattle! The Innovate 100 Pitch Slam at pii2010

pii2010 logopii2010 (privacy identity innovation) got off to a fine start yesterday with a great opening reception and the Innovate 100 Seattle Pitch Slam.  While a few of the participants were from the Bay Area, Seattle-area startups Optify, InternMatch, and Pathable took the top three spots, with Tweetajob and IdeaScale also representing well.  Go Seattle!

And props to the Innovate 100 team and pii2010 for getting a more diverse group of participants than we often see in events like this.  As well as good racial diversity, two of the speakers were women — quite a contrast to the all-male feel of TechStars, Y Combinator, or last spring’s NWEN First Look Forum.

Shameless plug: speaking of the First Look Forum, we’ve extended the application deadline for the fall event to August 23.  If you’re an early-stage startup, please check it out!  If you’re thinking of applying, there’s some tips here and here.

The pitch slam started with a one-minute “Quick Pitch” competition, with Secret123, Puzzazz, Open Mobile, aNEWSme, wishpot, and InternMatch competing for the last open spot in the finals.  I was impressed by how well most of the presenters conveyed what they were doing in just 60 seconds.  The crowd went wild after InternMatch’s dramatic reveal at the end of their minute: the person giving the presentation was actually an intern!  Gotta love that.   So it wasn’t at all surprising that they moved on to the finals.

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Seattle Geek Week: a Pitch Slam, a Tweetup, pii2010, and more!

This is “Geek Week” in Seattle .  Yeah, yeah, every week is geek week here, but this is especially geeky with pii2010, gnomedex, and a host of other events.  Thea Chard’s got a good overview in XConomy.

I’ll be at a couple of events on Tuesday, August 17, and probably more later in the week.  Please let me know if you’d like to sync up.

  • at 4:30 in the Bel Harbor conference center, it’s the pii2010 opening reception followed by the the Innovate 100 Seattle Pitch Slam is on August 17.  Innovate 100 is run by Guidewire Group, which includes Chris Shipley (best known for DEMO); they’ve already done over a dozen in Eastern Europe, and this is just the second one in the US.  Judges include Rebecca Lovell of NWEN and Fran Meier of TRUSTe.  I don’t know details but it looks very interesting.  It’s $40 to attend, and if you’re looking for an interesting window on innovation or a good networking opportunity, it could be a good deal.
  • at 8:30, pii2010 and NWEN and the CFP coference are having an impromptu tweetup somewhere in Belltown.  We’re still finalizing the location; look for more info on the #nwen and #pii2010 hashtags on Twitter.  It’s no cost to attend (in this context, “Tweetup” is code for “everybody buys their own drinks”), so if you’re a night owl, come join us.

Speaking of NWEN, if you’ve been considering applying to the First Look Forum, we’ve pushed the deadline back to August 23 to better align with Geek Week.  Rebecca Lovell’s Help us Help You: The Art of the One-Page App on the NWEN blog has some very helpful advice.

And speaking of pii2010 (privacy identity innovation), if you’re doing anything related to online identity, privacy, or the social web, by all means check it out.   It’s pii’s first year, and they’ve got a really exciting program.  The pitch slam is one of several other things going on their, including a Startup BootCamp on Thursday at the space needle.   There’s a lot more information at http://pii2010.com/ … see you there, perhaps

jon

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