Sunday, May 31, 2015

Guess Who Doesn’t Fit In at Work

Read more in the NYT.

Thanks, Zuhair

Unicorn CEOs Spout Off on the Dangers of Billion-Dollar Valuations (Video)

From StrictlyVC: Yesterday, during the last day of the Code Conference, three CEOs of so-called "unicorns" -- Slack’s Stewart Butterfield, Houzz’s Adi Tatarko and Stripe’s Patrick Collison -- spoke candidly about how rich valuations are impacting their respective startups. “One is the impact it has on motivation,” said Butterfield, whose business messaging service is valued at $2.8 billion. “The bigger problem for us is avoiding the feeling of okay, we’ve done it.”

Read more in Re/Code.

Animation Shows Every Oil and Gas Pipeline Incident Since 1986

"Using data from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Center for Biological Diversity created this animation showing 621 oil and gas pipeline incidents from 1986 to 2013." Read more in NBC.

Biracial Beauty Queen Challenges Japan’s Self-Image

“The reporters always ask me, ‘What part of you is most like a Japanese?’ I always answer, ‘But I am a Japanese.’”

Read more in the NYT.

Women Fight Their Way Through Army's Grueling Ranger School

An excerpt:
At Georgia's Fort Benning, female soldiers are fighting a two-month battle. Their enemies? Hunger, fatigue, even hallucination. They're fighting their way through the Army's notoriously hard Ranger School, trying to make history by becoming the first women to graduate from it. 
It's one of several Pentagon experiments to see how best to move women into ground combat roles. And it's a test that thousands of men before them have failed.
Read more in NPR.

Update: All 8 remaining women in the inaugural class failed to pass to the next round

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Small, Happy Life

"In this first batch of personal takes on how some readers found purpose in life, a surprising theme emerged."

Read more from David Brooks.

Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

All books and no sex: Harvard study finds 1 in 4 grads had no intercourse

"Annual survey finds 21% of seniors were virgins and 26% had 10 or more partners, but 60% reported drinking once a week during college years."

Read more in the Guardian.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Demi Lovato Is The New Face Of 'Be Vocal,' A Mental Health Campaign Hoping To Lessen Stigma

Read more in Medical Daily.

Columbia's engineers celebrated Class Day with special guest Ben Horowitz (CC '88)

Why I won’t run another startup

Lured by the lights of the startup industry, founders are the product in someone else’s show. So I’ve made five new rules for myself.

Read Arthur Attwell's post in Medium.

The Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know by Heart

Read more in MergeLane.

TED Talk // Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

"Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women"

Thanks, Reade

You Draw It: How Family Income Affects Children’s College Chances

How likely is it that children who grow up in very poor families go to college? How about children who grow up in very rich families?

Try to draw your guess for every income level on the chart in the NYT.

Thanks, +John Griffin 

NYC Teacher Inspires Her High School Students To Understand And Promote Feminism | Elite Daily

Feminism Is Losing Its Cage Fight With Multiculturalism

"The Left refuses to criticize abominable treatment of women in Muslim societies because it places two leftist values in conflict: multiculturalism and feminism."

Read more in the FederalistThanks, +Natalie Rothfels 

How feminism conquered pop culture

Alice Vincent explains how 2014 was the year it became cool to use the F word. Read more in The Telegraph.

Thanks, +Natalie Rothfels 

Boys at the Back

An excerpt:
That boys struggle with school is hardly news. Think of Shakespeare’s “whining schoolboy with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school.” Over all, it’s likely that girls have long behaved better than boys at school (and earned better grades as a result)...
...A few decades ago, when we realized that girls languished behind boys in math and science, we mounted a concerted effort to give them more support, with significant success. Shouldn’t we do the same for boys?  
When I made this argument in my book “The War Against Boys,” almost no one was talking about boys’ academic, social and vocational problems. Now, 12 years later, the press, books and academic journals are teeming with such accounts.
Read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Natalie Rothfels 

5 Efforts Toward Creating a More Feminist Classroom

An excerpt:
Sometimes, when people piece together that I’m both a feminist and a teacher, they have a very adverse reaction to it.
“But you can’t bring that man-hating, socialist dogma into the classroom! It isn’t your job to instill values into our country’s children!” 
Read more in EDF. Thanks, +Natalie Rothfels 

When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire

An excerpt:
Family-friendly policies can help parents balance jobs and responsibilities at home, and go a long way toward making it possible for women with children to remain in the work force. But these policies often have unintended consequences. 
They can end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place, because they fear women will leave for long periods or use expensive benefits. “For employers, it becomes much easier to justify discrimination,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, director of women’s economic policy at the Center for American Progress.
And what happened in Spain:
Spain passed a law in 1999 giving workers with children younger than 7 the right to ask for reduced hours without fear of being laid off. Those who took advantage of it were nearly all women. 
Over the next decade, companies were 6 percent less likely to hire women of childbearing age compared with men, 37 percent less likely to promote them and 45 percent more likely to dismiss them, according to a study led by Daniel Fern├índez-Kranz, an economist at IE Business School in Madrid. The probability of women of childbearing age not being employed climbed 20 percent. Another result: Women were more likely to be in less stable, short-term contract jobs, which are not required to provide such benefits. 
Read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Katherine Stiner 

The Highest-Paid Female C.E.O.s

"There are very few women on the list of top-paid executives — just 13 out of 200 — and their average pay, $20 million, is 11.5 percent less than the $22.6 million overall average."

Check out the list in the NYT. Curious what the returns of the female execs were of their companies vs. not.

How Jessica Alba Built A $1 Billion Company, And $200 Million Fortune, Selling Parents Peace Of Mind

Read more in Forbes.

You Brain's Ideal Schedule

Thanks, +Branca Ballot de Miranda

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mental Health Facts in America

Whoa, some of these stats were larger than I expected. Read more in NAMI.

Thanks, Eric

Leslie’s Law: When Small Meets Large, Small (Almost) Always Wins

The competitive advantage for start-ups. Read more in First Round Review.

The days are long but the decades are short

My favorites:
15) Don’t worry so much. Things in life are rarely as risky as they seem. Most people are too risk-averse, and so most advice is biased too much towards conservative paths.  
17) If you think you’re going to regret not doing something, you should probably do it. Regret is the worst, and most people regret far more things they didn’t do than things they did do. When in doubt, kiss the boy/girl. 
35) Don’t judge other people too quickly. You never know their whole story and why they did or didn’t do something. Be empathetic.
Check out Sam Altman's blog postThanks, Fred and +Brandon Kearse 

Monday, May 25, 2015

HBR Daily Stat: A Non-Narcissistic CEO Is a Bargain CEO

"Among CEOs with long tenure in their organizations, those who are high in narcissism receive more than 3 times as much total compensation as those who are low in narcissism, says a team led by Charles A. O’Reilly III of Stanford University. Narcissists tend to have a sense of personal superiority, a desire for attention and power, and a lack of empathy, yet they can be charismatic and charming. Despite long-tenured narcissistic CEOs’ higher compensation, firms with narcissistic leaders don’t appear to perform any better than those led by non-narcissists, the researchers say."
Read more in HBR.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Startup That Wants to Cure Social Anxiety

This Bay Area company says its website can treat the debilitating mental illness—and clinical psychology doesn’t disagree. Read more in the Atlantic.

Thanks, +Deepa Talwar 

The Capitalist’s Dilemma

Check out Clayton Christensen's HBR article.

Thanks, Bill

The Price of Wall Street’s Power

Recommended reading from one of our KKR senior leaders. An excerpt:
... Before its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, Boeing had an engineering-driven culture and a history of betting the company on daring investments in new aircraft. McDonnell Douglas, on the other hand, was risk-averse and focused on cost cutting and financial performance, and its culture came to dominate the merged company. So, over the objections of career-long Boeing engineers, the 787 was developed with an unprecedented level of outsourcing, in part, the engineers believed, to maximize Boeing’s return on net assets (RONA). Outsourcing removed assets from Boeing’s balance sheet but also made the 787’s supply chain so complex that the company couldn’t maintain the high quality an airliner requires. Just as the engineers had predicted, the result was huge delays and runaway costs. 
...Boeing’s decision to minimize its assets was made with Wall Street in mind. RONA is used by financial analysts to judge managers and companies, and the fixation on this kind of metric has influenced the choices of many firms. In fact, research by the economists John Asker, Joan Farre-Mensa, and Alexander Ljungqvist shows that a desire to maximize short-term share price leads publicly held companies to invest only about half as much in assets as their privately held counterparts do.
Read more in HBR.

How Tarted-Up Book Covers Belittle Women’s Fiction

The publishing industry's packaging of women's literary fiction in stereotypically girly covers makes great books seem trashy.

Read more in FastCoThanks, +Ashley Meyers 

US Work Visa Explorer // Salaries

Curious what workers with visas make at some of the most popular US companies?

Why We Give YNAB to College Students for FREE

Read more on the You Need A Budget blog.

Thanks, +Claire Packer and +Austen Packer 

The Janki Method Shortens the Time It'll Take You to Learn to Code

Read more in LifeHacker.

Thanks, +Derek Gerson 

Inspiration of the Day: Teddy Roosevelt

"We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

Read more in Teddy's book: The Strenuous Life.

Thanks, +Daniel Shafer 

At Zappos, Banishing the Bosses Brings Confusion

After quirky retailer adopted no-titles ‘self-management’ system, more than 200 workers decided it wasn’t for them.

Read more in the WSJ. Thanks, Laura

Silicon Valley Is Lying to You

"We're forever thankful to Silicon Valley for giving us the iPhone, omnipotent search engines, and swipe-simple hookups. But now that America's most vaunted industry has also become its most self-satisfied, Silicon Valley is veering toward fall-of-Rome territory. Which is why it needs to blow up these seven myths about itself before it's too late."

Read more in GQ. Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?

An experiment at Fieldston, which starts when 8-year-olds are sorted by race, has some very liberal parents fuming. Read more in the Science of Us.

Why Everyone From Bankers To Filmmakers Is Changing Careers And Learning To Code (Hint: It’s Where The Money Is)

Read more in IB Times. Congrats, +Erik Trautman and +Viking Code School 

Columbia President Refuses to Shake Emma Sulkowicz’s Hand at Graduation Ceremony

Read the story in NY Magazine.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Making Computer Science More Inviting: A Look at What Works

A new prize aims to recognize colleges that succeed in attracting women into information technology, a field where they remain underrepresented.

Read more in the NYT. Thanks, Pam

Resilience by Eric Grietens

This quote: "Resilience is about moving through and not bouncing back from tough experiences. It is critical to understand the difference as tough experiences teach valuable lessons in life and you are no longer the person you used to be before"

Check out Eric's book on Amazon.

The Freedom of ‘I Do,’ Take Two

Read more in the NYT.

Kids Benefit From Having a Working Mom

"Women whose moms worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time, according to research by Kathleen McGinn and colleagues."

Read more in HBRThanks, +Jacquelyn Kung 

Death by a thousand cuts: the reality of being a woman in tech

This is so true in so many industries. Megan Kierstead hits it spot on.

No wonder this starts happening...

Thanks, +Christine Schatz 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Companies Drain Women’s Ambition After Only 2 Years

Read more in HBRThanks, +Gloria Ahn 

A Rational Defense of Sleeping Alone

"Why is it so uncommon for couples to sleep in separate beds? ​Imagine a world where everyone sleeps well, because no one sleeps together."

I snorted laughing watching part of this -- it was sweet. Check out the video in the Atlantic.

People Can’t Be Trusted To Make Unbiased Hiring Decisions. So This Woman Created A Computer Program.

Read more in ThinkProgress.

Thanks, +Christine Schatz 

Therapy-By-Text Startup Talkspace Raises $9.5M Led By Spark Capital

Read more in TechCrunch.

Thanks, +Andrea Sparrey 

Behavioral-Health Focused Quartet Plans Hires With $7M Series A

An excerpt:
On one level, the company’s goal is simple: It wants to better connect the patients of primary care physicians with mental health care, or vice versa, because of the connections between mental and physical health problems, said founder and CEO Arun Gupta. By developing working pathways between the two groups, which have typically operated separately, it can improve the health of people who simultaneously suffer from both types of conditions, such as depression and diabetes, asthma and anxiety, or congestive heart failure and depression, Gupta said.
Read more in Xconomy.

PureTech pockets $50 million to bring life sciences ideas out of the lab

Read more in BetaBoston.

Three Years of Logging My Inbox Count

For any other "Inbox Zero" disciples out there, Mark Wilson may have just captured all the emotions that come with hunting down that elusive "you have no mail" alert.

Beyond Bitcoin: Commercial Applications of Blockchain Technology

Check out Ali Rahimtula's (Partner, Cue Ball Capital) post.

A bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand

Balaji Srinivasan announces his role as CEO of 21 in Medium.

What VC Can Learn From Private Equity

An excerpt on the biggest contrasts:
  1. Private equity is control investing. Venture Capital is minority investing. 
  2. Private equity can’t afford to lose money on an investment. Venture Capital requires it. 
  3. Private equity generates leverage from financial engineering. Venture Capital generates leverage from technology driven disruption and the opportunities that presents.
So what can VC learn from PE? Check out Fred Wilson's post.

The Real Teens of Silicon Valley

Inside the almost-adult lives of the industry’s newest recruits. Read more in California Sunday Magazine.

Meet Healthy Ventures: This seed-stage venture firm is looking to uncover digital health startups

Read more in GeekWire.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Importance Of Founders

An excerpt:
In a prior era, some considered it best practice to bring in “professional managers” to run the businesses started by creative and hard-working entrepreneurs once those businesses began to scale and appeared to need “adult supervision.” The term “upgrade management” is still occasionally heard among investors but never in front of founders. 
...Founder CEOs raised more capital on average than professional managers, and produced higher valuations. Where they really shone, however, was in creating ‘value’ – the difference between capital raised and valuation. Value created was more than double for founder-CEO led companies than those led by professional managers.
Wonder how they reduced sample bias in this case. If a company is doing well, it's unlikely that they'd replace the leadership -- so in most cases the "upgraded management" is actually coming into a situation that is likely less than ideal.

Read more in KPCB.

Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers

An excerpt:
Nearly three-quarters of American mothers with children at home are employed. That fact doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for mothers to drop a toddler at day care or miss school plays. The mommy wars might seem like a relic of the 1990s, but 41 percent of adults say the increase in working mothers is bad for society, while just 22 percent say it is good, according to the Pew Research Center. 
Yet evidence is mounting that having a working mother has some economic, educational and social benefits for children of both sexes. That is not to say that children do not also benefit when their parents spend more time with them — they do. But we make trade-offs in how we spend our time, and research shows that children of working parents also accrue benefits.
Read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Megan Gardner 

Billionaire hedge-fund manager says Uber told him it might cut driver pay ‘because we can'

An excerpt:
In the book, Stout traces how the idea of why a company exists has changed over the years. Once upon a time, according to Stout, executives believed their companies existed to create good products and serve the community (in part by creating employment). The shift to shareholder primacy changed that, and put a company's stock price above everything else.  
That's why Novogratz and others on the Street see this "shareholder's first" way of looking at labor and wages as a major problem — one that distorts incentives and leads to short-term thinking. 
Read more in Business Insider.

Fixing Engineering's Loyalty and Longevity Problem

"The social cost of burnout culture is too high; it’s a dirty unspoken truth that we keep perpetuating."

Read more in First Round. Thanks, +Megan Gardner 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Swearing Off the Modern Man

An excerpt:
The Modern Man has an iPhone 6 Plus and goes to Coachella every year. He’s thinking about starting a blog and has been “like really into standup lately.” He has a favorite microbrewery because he likes his beer really hoppy, whatever that means. He has a fun Twitter feed and interesting theories about what could happen on “House of Cards.”
Read more in the NYT Modern Love column. Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

How Millennials' Money Habits Could Shake Up The Financial Services Industry

Read more in Forbes. Thanks, +Ted Gonder 

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat // Commencement Speech at USC

I think he nailed it, but I'm also a sucker for commencement speeches: "find something you aren’t willing to sell."

Check out the transcript on Scribd. Or if you prefer, video below:

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Haha, this is brilliant. Just start typing after you open the page.

Thanks, +Rushi Patel

Millennial-Friendly Career Site The Muse Raises $10 Million Series A, Passes 3 Million Monthly Users

Wahoo. Congrats to +Kathryn Minshew and +The Muse! #dukewomenintech

Read more in Forbes.

Thanks, +Michele Choi 

The Friend

His wife was just thirty-four. They had two little girls. The cancer was everywhere, and the parts of dying that nobody talks about were about to start. His best friend came to help out for a couple weeks. And he never left.

Read the story in Esquire. (Warning: tears)

Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

The Definition Of Hell For Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type

They say that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Each one is inspired, enraged and absolutely tortured by something slightly different. Here’s the destiny that would psychologically destroy each Myers-Briggs Personality type.

But actually. I would be miserable:
ENTJ – Somebody is wrong, and they’re directing a large group of people! You can’t do anything about it and will have to obey whatever inefficient policies they decide to implement.
Read more in Though Catalog. Thanks, +Claire Packer+Brandon Kearse and +Erik Trautman  

Consulting firm giant McKinsey buys itself a top design firm

Yet another data point showing the value of human-centered design skills. Read more in WIRED.

Thanks, +Brandon Kearse 

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .