A few weeks back my friend Millie Tran invited me to attend the daily morning News meeting at the New York Times. I’ve been a HUGE Times fanboy since growing up in NY and while I’ve had the chance to visit their offices many times, I’d never seen the inner workings like this. Well, at least not outside of the famous documentary Page One (the morning news meeting *used* to be called the “Page One” meeting during the Times’ more print-centric days).
Scene from the Page One meeting, circa 2003
What I didn’t tell Millie was that I wouldn’t be attending alone. You see, when I travel my daughter gives me one of her stuffed animals to take along and send her back pictures of our adventures together.
The News meeting is staffed in-person by all the top editors and called into by the Washington bureau and any other editorial
Continue reading "What It’s Like Attending the New York Times “Page One” Meeting"
I met Jessica Alter when she was running FounderDating, which helped solo founders discover their perfect cofounders. Like many of us, the 2016 Presidential Election alarmed her, but unlike many of us, she’s doing something more than just rage tweeting. Jessica, along with two cofounders, started Tech for Campaigns, which connects tech volunteers with the campaigns of progressive candidates for skill-based volunteering. Their momentum has been impressive and I’m a donor, so wanted to learn and share a bit more.
Hunter Walk: For folks just learning about this effort, what is Tech for Campaigns? How’d it get started? Where is it now?
Jessica Alter: Tech for Campaigns (TFC) is the digital arm for centrist and progressives. TFC brings digital and tech to down ballot political campaigns – both by building shared technical solutions and by matching our community of 3,000 tech volunteers campaigns. We have 50 campaign projects projects
Continue reading "How Tech for Campaigns Has Helped 3,000+ Techies Make a Difference in Progressive Politics"
Twitter’s general policy is to not comment on the actions taken against a specific account deemed to be in violation of its Terms of Service. Occasionally in high profile or controversial cases they’re forced to present clarifications, such as yesterday’s tweets from @Safety regarding Rose McGowan’s suspension.
Today there exists a trust gap between Twitter’s professed interest in decreasing abuse on the platform and the community’s experience day-to-day using the product. There are lots and lots of blog posts about why Twitter has struggled in this area and plenty of suggestions as to how to revise their product and policies. In fact, two of them are mine — My House, Your House and Don’t Let Abusers @ Name, informed by my longtime on the Twitter platform as a user and my product leadership stint at YouTube. But this next suggestion actually reaches further back in my career to a
Continue reading "Twitter Needs a Public Police Blotter"
If you only kinda know me you might think I’m a confident extrovert, but if you really really know me, it’s more clear: I’m an introvert, and one who gets slightly anxious during prolonged exposure to large groups. Introversion isn’t shyness and it’s not a like or dislike of people generally. For example, I really enjoy public speaking. Introversion is quintessentially “does being around other people give you energy or take energy away?” Introverts can be proverbial life of the party but then need time alone to recharge.
My own introversion is compounded by low level anxiety in large group settings, especially when the social dynamics start to approximate high school – you know, groups of people, some of whom know each other and others who don’t. A bit of hierarchy and peacocking starting to play out, alcohol flowing (I don’t drink much).
Over time, and in the interest
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Lots of continued buzz these days in technology circles about Universal Basic Income because it’s assumed UBI is the best (or only) solution for a future where automation and AI dramatically shrink the number of jobs available. Although the American economy has already experienced a pretty significant shift in jobs over the past half-century towards roles that are thought to be less exposed to these risks, there are many signs of economic dislocation among the middle and lower classes today.
I’m actually quite bearish near/medium term on UBI as the right solution. Not because of any philosophical opposition and certainly not because I think it’s economically impossible, but rather because UBI tends to ignore the self-worth aspect of a job. We’ll make the numbers work far sooner than we’ll be able to change the societal aspects of how, in our culture, your job is a source of identity, pride and
Continue reading "Hey Tech Industry, Let’s Focus Less on UBI & More on Minimum Wage, Portable Benefits & Vocational Training"
It’s in a founder’s natural disposition to want to convince people of their point of view. And while engaging substantively with those who disagree is often an excellent way to both stress test your assumptions and increase your ability to tell your story, figuring out when to stop and disengage is critical for your productivity and sanity. Especially during fundraising.
Earlier this summer an engaging and forward-thinking founder told me a story from her in-process seed fundraise. Operating in a technology market that most would consider nascent, she had encountered a variety of responses to her pitch. Spoiler alert, more than enough were positive and she soon closed an oversubscribed round, but of course she also encountered rejection. We talked a bit about what she’d learned from those conversations and then the founder confided her most useless investor meeting to me.
“We sat down to discuss my company and he
Continue reading "“Convince Me” said the Investor. “No” said the Founder."
I want to share something which might be a bit unsettling – whenever I’m looking at you, I’m judging. Whether it’s in person or a static photo. I just can’t help it. It’s how I’m wired. By the way, it’s how you’re wired too. Perhaps our most basic survival skill is the near constant assessment and reassessment of other people based on their facial structures, their demeanor, slight changes in their movement. Which makes one wonder: can I “hack” this evolutionary necessity and influence the way you react to me?
For example, “microexpressions” are defined as “brief, involuntary facial expression shown on the face of humans according to emotions experienced. They usually occur in high-stakes situations, where people have something to lose or gain.” Perhaps you remember “Lie to Me,” the Tim Roth tv show where he played the world’s leading expert of microexpression-reading (now THAT would
Continue reading "Fake Cues: Why The Next Photo Innovation May Be Helping You Tell a Lie"