94 posts tagged with siliconvalley.
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Tinder Confidential

Ashley Terrill was in hiding the first time I heard her voice, splitting time between her Los Angeles home and a $600-a-night room at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Terrill had locked her laptop and phone in a secret vault, and would only contact me on disposable phones—all because, she claimed, the estranged co-founder of Tinder was trying to destroy her. And that fear was mutual. [more inside]
posted by rorgy on Nov 24, 2015 - 37 comments

Does it dry up like a raisin the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run

The Slow Demise of a Unicorn Everybody knows how the first tech boom went bust. But this time around, something's different. More than 100 tech start-ups are currently valued at more than $1 billion dollars, if you go by what VCs and other early investors have paid to buy ownership stakes. Unlike in the early 2000s, very few of today's unicorns have gone public, so there's no way to know what the market really thinks they're worth. Lately though, it seems like the hype train may be coming of the rails. So what happens to those companies now? The New York Times profiles Living Social to find out.
posted by Diablevert on Nov 20, 2015 - 64 comments

well past time

"We all know tech is excluding most people from participating. But one group is actually over represented. And we’ve been conspicuously silent." Metafilter's own Anil Dash asserts that "Asian American men who work in tech are benefitting from tech’s systematic exclusion of women and non-Asian minorities" and gives some recommendations about what they should do about it.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 22, 2015 - 23 comments


WeWork Used These Documents To Convince Investors It’s Worth Billions
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 9, 2015 - 43 comments

We have replaced “venture” capital with “product-market fit” capital.

Bros Funding Bros: What's Wrong with Venture Capital. "What really matters is that we are in the midst of a technological renaissance that will be much farther reaching than any of us can predict if we invest correctly. Our generation has an opportunity, in our lifetime, to put a massive dent in human suffering and make trillions of dollars in return. ... We need a wake up call on Sand Hill Road. We need to recapture our potential and open the doors." [more inside]
posted by annekate on Oct 6, 2015 - 22 comments


Can the Pentagon do business with Silicon Valley?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 4, 2015 - 46 comments

"Adult Supervision"

Mozilla Firefox cofounder Blake Ross couldn't wait for the season 3 premiere of HBO's Silicon Valley, so he did the next best thing and wrote his own script which is pretty much indistinguishable from an actual episode.
posted by Pope Guilty on Sep 9, 2015 - 22 comments

We don't need pink canes and jewelled pill boxes

Barbara Knickerbocker-Beskind has been an occupational therapist, inventor, author and recently started a new career as a designer for famed firm IDEO. Her work there is on products to support the ageing community - which benefits from her perspective as a 91-year-old.
posted by Stark on Sep 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Tandem Computers

Remembering Tandem Computers: "Tandem was an archetype Silicon Valley company with stock options, an emphasis on taking chances, a recognition that sometimes the answer lies in a place where no one else has thought to go." The company was founded in 1974 by Jimmy Treybig. Though largely forgotten today, Tandem's surviving legacy is the NonStop line of servers, now owned by Hewlett-Packard.
posted by DrAmerica on Aug 26, 2015 - 20 comments

"things you thought would never end turned out to be the first to vanish

Start-up Costs: ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ and How Microserfdom Ate the World
Douglas Coupland’s novel Microserfs is about the spiritual yearnings and time-frittering activities of youngish coders immersed in the drudgery of the software-development process, and how those activities become an expression of those yearnings. It was published 20 years ago this month, which as far as I’m aware makes it the earliest significant stab by a fiction writer at the Great North American Tech-Company/Start-up Novel. It predates Po Bronson’s The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest, Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge, Dave Eggers’s The Circle, numerous other neuroman-à-clefs, score-settling pseudomemoirs and murder-dot-com whodunits,1 as well as tech-sector TV shows like Silicon Valley and Halt and Catch Fire, serials that pick up where the novels leave off.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2015 - 73 comments

"At this point, I started banging my head against my desk..."

"What’s compression in the first place? At its most basic, compression is a way of representing data using less space. An emoji is a good metaphor: it represents an entire word or even several words using a single character. Our minds then 'decompress' the character back into the word it represents.

"When hackers see a magical plot-driving compression algorithm, it’s hard to chalk it up as simply a narrative device. After all, universal lossless compression sounds pretty sweet. So, at a recent hackathon, I decided to get to the bottom of middle-out compression."
I Hacked the Middle-Out Compression from 'Silicon Valley' - Alexander Gould, Major League Hacking (Silicon Valley is on FanFare)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 18, 2015 - 50 comments

If productivity improves, that is morally good.

"But the problem runs much deeper, because Silicon Valley’s amorality problem arises from the implicit and explicit narrative of progress companies use for marketing and that people use to find meaning in their work. By accepting this narrative of progress uncritically, imagining that technological change equals historic human betterment, many in Silicon Valley excuse themselves from moral reflection. Put simply, the progress narrative short-circuits moral reflection on the consequences of new technologies."
posted by ignignokt on May 17, 2015 - 43 comments

Bid on YOUR waste profile!

Get ready to have your insides disrupted by SmartPipe, the Venmo of pipes! (adult swim, 11:01)
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2015 - 22 comments

The next Googleplex goes way beyond free snacks and massages.

Big and Weird: The Architectural Genius of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick
The vision outlined in these documents, an application for a major expansion of the Googleplex, its campus, is mind-boggling. The proposed design, developed by the European architectural firms of Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, does away with doors. It abandons thousands of years of conventional thinking about walls. And stairs. And roofs. Google and its imaginative co-founder and chief executive, Larry Page, essentially want to take 60 acres of land adjacent to the headquarters near the San Francisco Bay, in an area called North Bayshore, and turn it into a titanic human terrarium.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on May 14, 2015 - 52 comments

I'd just need to exercise more, and hide my shell-cordovan boots

A Silicon Valley Community of Excellence Has Bunk Openings. "Educate. Liberate. Disrupt." At Startup Castle.
posted by wonton endangerment on May 14, 2015 - 152 comments

Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins

"The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, had accused the firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of discriminating against her in the course of her employment and eventual dismissal. The decision handed Kleiner a sweeping victory in a case that had mesmerized Silicon Valley with its salacious details while simultaneously amplifying concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry." Pao is now the CEO Reddit - Relevant Reddit thread.
posted by marienbad on Mar 28, 2015 - 52 comments

How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future

These are the high priests of technocratic capitalism... [more inside]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on Mar 11, 2015 - 128 comments

Kathy Sierra draws parallels between skater culture and Silicon Valley

Kathy Sierra talks about the myth of meritocracy in tech and how skater culture broke her heart. You might know Sierra as the unfortunate victim of mega-troll weev, but her concise and touching analysis of her years as a promising skater shows an entirely new side of her.
posted by averysmallcat on Feb 27, 2015 - 29 comments

One Last Ride

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 25, 2015 - 37 comments

GMaps @ 10

Google Maps recently turned 10. Ten Years of Google Maps, From Slashdot to Ground Truth
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 12, 2015 - 51 comments

insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope

"Instead, most current systems, almost without fail, do the opposite. Moderators responsible for content and complaints, regardless of gender, are making decisions based not just on the information they are reviewing, but on the way in which the information flows – linear, acontextual and isolated from other incidents. They are reliant, despite their best efforts, on technical systems that provide insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope. In addition, they lack specific training in trauma (their own or users) and in understanding gender-based violence. " -- "Silicon Valley sexism: why it matters that the internet is made by men, for men", by Soraya Chemaly, The New Statesman
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

Je Suis Newsweek?*

The 5000 word cover story on "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" in Newsweek is getting a lot of attention, but mostly for the illustration on the cover, which very simply (or simplistically) depicts high-tech sexism, and which writers like Rachel Sklar and Alexia Tsotsis consider to be sexist itself.
Responding to Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast**, article author Nina Burleigh says "It’s provocative because it quite powerfully and accurately depicts the disgusting behavior and attitudes toward women that dozens of women in tech described to me and that tens of thousands more must navigate on a daily basis, to the detriment of their professional advancement." [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 30, 2015 - 73 comments

"Basketball would be bad enough. But hoops?"

Article: Hiring is Broken [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 27, 2015 - 52 comments

Why I Am Not a Maker

There’s a widespread idea that “People who make things are simply different [read: better] than those who don’t.” [...] It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products. [more inside]
posted by haltingproblemsolved on Jan 24, 2015 - 116 comments

East of Palo Alto’s Eden

A history of East Palo Alto (SLTechCrunch) "a story of how two neighboring communities [Palo Alto and EPA] followed entirely different trajectories in post-war California — one of enormous wealth and power, and the other of resilience amid deprivation"
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Jan 10, 2015 - 19 comments

A makers gotta make, make, make, make, make

"It’s all about burn rate / Bout burn rate / slow spending" -- This years holiday video from First Round Capital, the venture capital firm that convinces dozens of its entrepreneurs to participate in parodies of the past year’s most popular songs.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 18, 2014 - 5 comments

...they’d look into "your personal lives, your families"

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed reports: Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Nov 18, 2014 - 242 comments

The other side of diversity

Here I’ll try to highlight how it has affected me, as I grew from a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.
posted by forza on Nov 5, 2014 - 15 comments

tech punditry: stage-managed gobbledygook with an undercurrent of sexism

The Dads of Tech – by Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil, The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house," Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It "always struck me as a strange observation — even the metaphor isn't true," the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. "Get ahold of the master’s hammer," and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people "flipping on the 'I'm gay' light on Facebook" to signal their support for marriage equality — there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

"Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down," panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he'd overheard outside — and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn't need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was "maybe a little true." Heh.
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 4, 2014 - 41 comments

When a drag club dies in San Francisco, a classy cocktail joint is born.

Queens vs. the Machine - a look at nearly two centuries of drag culture in San Francisco and how it survives in today's tech economy.
posted by psoas on Oct 25, 2014 - 5 comments

Meet the "suitsy"

S.F. inventor hopes to dress for success with 1-piece suit
Local developer Jesse Herzog has solved a problem most of us didn’t know we had. It’s kind of a trend with him. Simply put, Herzog has created an alternative to the tired old hoodie-and-jeans look that permeates the lofts and startups of San Francisco techie culture. It is — wait for it — the "suitsy." The suitsy is a pair of dress pants, a nice white shirt and jacket ... all sewn together. You step into it like a pair of mechanic’s coveralls, zip up the hidden zipper, and voila — you’re dressed for success.

You know how people say it’s a fine line between genius and crazy?
posted by Lexica on Sep 25, 2014 - 208 comments

"the first service layer on the shared economy"

Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas : The winner of this year's TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Award is Alfred Club, basically "Uber for servants"
posted by gwint on Sep 16, 2014 - 203 comments

An Indian Woman Engineer from Bangalore post

What India Can Teach Silicon Valley About Its Gender Problem [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 16, 2014 - 28 comments

Hello my lovely Sloggers!

"Using contractors it calls "brand ambassadors," Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets. Uber calls the program "SLOG," and it’s a previously unreported aspect of the company’s ruthless efforts to undermine its competitors."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 27, 2014 - 94 comments

Email, the "cockroach of the internet" (that's a compliment)

Email is still the best thing on the internet
Getting an email address was once a nerdy right of passage for Gen-Xers arriving on college campuses. Now, the kids are waging a war of indifference on poor old email, culling the weak and infirm old-people technology. One American professor maintained that, to his students, "e-mail was as antiquated as the spellings 'chuse' and 'musick' in the works by Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards." The vice-chancellor of Exeter University claimed, "There is no point in emailing students any more." The youth appear to think there are better, faster, more exciting ways to communicate than stupid email.

Yet, despite all the prognosticators predicting it will—choose the violence level of your metaphor—go out of style, be put out to pasture, or taken out back and shot, email grinds on.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 23, 2014 - 140 comments

Armoring Up: Surviving Sexism As A Female Founder

Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.
Read on to learn more about that problem.
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 8, 2014 - 71 comments

Reason magazine and racism

Last week, Pando.com's Mark Ames posted an article on the efforts of the GOP to recruit in Silicon Valley using libertarianism as a wedge and the history of libertarian links, particularly through Reason magazine, to racism. Reason responded, calling Ames a "conspiracy theorist". Ames, who has a history of digging into the seedy history of libertarianism, has responded by posting a copy of Reason's holocaust denial and revisionist history issue, along with profiles of its contributors and their involvement with Reason and late 20th century libertarianism.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 25, 2014 - 179 comments

"Be excellent to each other" is not a code of conduct

Why Silicon Valley Needs The Coder Grrrls Of Double Union, The Feminist Hacker Space
The lack of women in the tech world isn't just a pipeline problem--it's one of rampant sexism. Enter the haven of Double Union.
[more inside] posted by Lexica on Jul 23, 2014 - 83 comments

You want a juicy industry to disrupt? How about your own?

It's astonishing how many of the people conducting interviews and passing judgement on the careers of candidates have had no training at all on how to do it well. Aside from their own interviews, they may not have ever seen one. I'm all for learning on your own but at least when you write a program wrong it breaks. Without a natural feedback loop, interviewing mostly runs on myth and survivor bias. "Empirically", people who wear suits don't do well; therefore anyone in a suit is judged before they open their mouths. On my interview I remember we did thus & so, therefore I will always do thus & so. I'm awesome and I know X; therefore anyone who doesn't know X is an idiot. Exceptions, also known as opportunities for learning, are not allowed to occur. This completes the circle.
According to Carlos Bueno, Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy, it's a mirrortocracy where startups hire the people that resemble them the most. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 22, 2014 - 62 comments

We Deserve Better Dressed Billionaires

"You're a rich white man. You're used to being listened to. But while you're jabbering away, all anyone can see is your garbage shirt that you bought for twenty bucks and have been wearing all year, shoved nastily into your shiny off-the-rack suit. Why would you do this to your brand?" - Shirterate, a clothing consultation service for tech moguls by opinionated homosexuals.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 10, 2014 - 75 comments

By hook or by crook, we will.

A man wearing a dark blazer with white braiding steps out from behind what looks to be a giant white balloon. A penny-farthing sits in the foreground. Cheerily, he addresses the camera: "Hi, I'm Scott Apel, video critic for the San Jose Mercury News, and I'm here to welcome you again to The Prisoner, one of the most intriguing and most talked about television series ever made..." (YT) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

Living in a Fool’s Paradise

San Francisco must change. "...the current state of permitting regulations for building and the glacial pace of infrastructure projects in San Francisco benefit very few people and risk turning it into a caricature of its former self for tourists and residents rich enough to live in a fantasy, not a living city. If there was ever a time when San Francisco needed to embrace a dynamic, expansive policy for building housing, offices and transportation, it is now." (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
posted by ambrosia on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

None of the many men I spoke to had mentioned her name.

"At one point, Whitney Wolfe was promoted as Tinder’s “inventor” and co-founder in fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. She named the app, and her marketing savvy was often cited as the reason it found an audience among young women. Her role in the company was widely touted as an exception to male-dominated startup culture. According to the lawsuit, [Justin] Mateen told Wolfe, who was 24 years old at the time, that “he was taking away her ‘Co-Founder’ title because having a young female co-founder ‘makes the company seem like a joke’ and ‘devalues’ the company.” Mateen had also been designated a co-founder of the company despite joining after the fact, and argued that Wolfe’s title undermined him." Tinder Co-founder files sexual harassment lawsuit. [more inside]
posted by emptythought on Jul 3, 2014 - 94 comments

an overconfident autodidact’s imitation of a Lewis Lapham essay

“Moldbug.” The name sounds like it belongs to a troll who belches from the depths of an Internet rabbit hole. And so it does. (SLTheBaffler) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 1, 2014 - 67 comments

The walking dead of Silicon Valley

But what about those tech entrepreneurs who lose – and keep on losing? What about those who start one company after another, refine pitches, tweak products, pivot strategies, reinvent themselves … and never succeed? What about the angst masked behind upbeat facades?
posted by lenny70 on Jun 29, 2014 - 36 comments

Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 50 comments

The Anti-Social Network

Whisper is an app that allows users to "anonymously share your thoughts and emotions with the world, and form lasting and meaningful relationships in a community built around trust and honesty." Secret is an app " to openly share what you're thinking and feeling with your friends. Speak freely, share anything." The Genius of Whisper, the Massively Popular App You Haven't Heard Of. With New Anonymous Social App Secret, the Merit Is in the Message. Two Apps, One Hot Trend [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 15, 2014 - 72 comments

California K-12 Teacher Tenure System Struck Down

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said that the laws governing K-12 teacher job security were unconstitutional. Treu declared the rules governing K-12 teacher tenure in California were unconstitutional because they affect predominately minority and poor students, allowing incompetent instructors to remain in the classroom. He said in the decision that the protections "impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education." He went on to say that the evidence for this "shocks the conscience." The decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And, lastly, it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching. The case was brought by a Silicon Valley group, Students Matter. The suit has highlighted competing views of teacher tenure. The decision has lead to significant and spirited debate over K-12 teacher job protections.
posted by professor plum with a rope on Jun 11, 2014 - 147 comments

“Let’s, Like, Demolish Laundry”

"In Silicon Valley, where The Work of creating The Future is sacrosanct, the suggestion that there might be something not entirely normal about this—that it might be a little weird that investors are sinking millions of dollars into a laundry company they had been introduced to over email that doesn't even do laundry; that maybe you don’t really need engineers to do what is essentially a minor household chore—would be taken as blasphemy."
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Jun 5, 2014 - 217 comments

No Exit

Wired's Gideon Lewis-Kraus reports from the trenches of the Silicon Valley "ecosystem". [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 25, 2014 - 79 comments

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