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What (Some) Silicon Valley Women Think Of Newsweek


I have thoughts on this Newsweek article.

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Tech has some issues. You read tradepubstoriesaboutsexualharassmentandassaultallegations so often it’s absurd. Newsweek, which just discovered there are only a few women in tech, sent accomplished author Nina Burleigh to investigate tech gender politics. She did an adequate job in her piece, “What Silicon Valley Thinks Of Women.”

Bandwagoning on after lengthy articles in The New York Times and a very public campaign to collect startup diversity data, the piece contains the requisite tech sexism horror stories and well-worn accounts of women not receiving funding because they are women, but also nuggets of insight like, “One problem with the male-dominated system is that top partners have almost never been exposed to women as professional peers. Their interaction with women is limited to their wives and daughters, and maybe executive assistants.”

This is accurate: Sexism in tech is…

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Don’t think “And we got here with no marketing!” is impressive

A Founder's Notebook

Edited excerpt from “No Marketing” Isn’t as Impressive as You Think by Ben Yoskovitz:

Almost every early stage startup that pitches me these days talks about the traction they’ve had with absolutely no marketing whatsoever. When you tell me that you’ve done no marketing what I hear is: “I don’t really know who my customer is yet. I have no idea how to find them. I don’t really understand my value proposition. But trust me, when we do start marketing everything will be awesome.”

Marketing is about genuinely understanding your customer and the pain they have. It’s about reaching out through many channels, multiple times and building relationships with people such that they immediately recognize that you get them. It’s about speaking the right language and using the right messages.

If a smattering of users show up at your website and sign up you don’t know anything about them…

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Where to watch the 2015 Super Bowl live online


You may watch it because you’re a football fan. Or for the ads. Or simply because it’s tradition. Regardless of the reason, when the Super Bowl begins on Sunday, you’re going to want to be watching — even if you don’t have cable, or maybe not even a TV.

That’s because just like last year, the event is going to be live streamed online. Super Bowl XLIX is being broadcast by NBC, and the network decided to do away with its usual requirement to sign in with your cable subscription and instead it plans to let everyone watch; cord cutters included.

The basics: Super Bowl XLIX features the New England Patriots facing off against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. The game will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and kickoff will be at 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT).

NBC.com is streaming the Super Bowl in its entirety on its…

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Emily Bell: Social networks and journalists need to work together


As we’ve described here a number of times, one of the biggest disruptions in the media industry has been on the distribution end — the actual creation of journalism and other content has also changed, but even more important is the shift from media outlets controlling the channel (newspaper, magazine, TV network) to relying on outside platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google for distribution and attention.

That has brought with it a host of challenges, including ethical ones around how free speech and freedom of the press are handled by social networks that have no journalistic motivations or constraints whatsoever.

This is the landscape that Emily Bell, the director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, recently tried to outline in a speech to journalists in Britain given in honor of Hugh Cudlipp, former chairman of the Daily Mirror newspaper group. In a nutshell, Bell —…

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Female Founders Fare Much Better In 2014


Editor’s Note: Christine Magee is an editor for CrunchBase.

In a place where having a penis is referred to as the sine qua non of the startup founder, it’s easy to jump on the pessimism bandwagon and overlook any gradual momentum for women in tech.

But the data tells a different story.

Of the 1090 U.S. startups that raised Series A rounds in 2014, approximately 10 percent were founded by women. By state, California and New York stood on equal footing just slightly above the national average, where 12 percent of companies had at least one female founder.

Ohio, Florida and Maryland led the charge for progress, racking up at least 15 rounds each with over 20 percent raised by female founders. Texas, on the other hand, sported some pretty disconcerting results — 42 startups funded and not a single female founder in the bunch.

Sure, these numbers are far from an equal split. But considering how early stage female founders fared…

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Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley


[tc_dropcap]As a woman venture capitalist since 1999, I initially read the Newsweek article “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women” with great interest, and then with increasing sadness.  [/tc_dropcap]

The scenarios depicted in the Newsweek story were disturbing, but frankly they remained somewhat abstract for me until I taught my class at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business several hours later.

That afternoon, three separate female students described incidences of sexism and harassment they’d experienced when interacting with male investors. It’s never easy to learn about the unfortunate experiences of others, even when you don’t know them. However, I can assure you that learning about them from people you mentor and finding them to be commonplace is much more alarming.

Still, hope remains. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” While the…

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