Stayin' Alive in Technology

Stayin' Alive in Technology

The tech industry is great at talking about the future, especially on podcasts. What we're not so great at is taking the time to understand our past. And that's what this podcast is all about. From the Noyce and Fairchild Semiconductor generation through the founding of social media, the history of Silicon Valley has many lessons for us. And we'll be interviewing the people who lived through these experiences to bring their knowledge to you. You'll get explanations for how we got where we are, which can also suggest where the future might be; along with a few laughs and inside stories from those who lived through it. So pull up a seat and listen to the tales of the past, in which may lie seeds for our future. New Episodes twice a month on Thursdays. ... Show More

Episodes

July 25, 2019 63 min

Laura Yecies has an incredible list of Silicon Valley companies on her resume, including Yahoo!, Catch.com, SugarSync, and Netscape following the AOL acquisition. She has been the CEO of two venture-backed startups, including her current role as CEO of SyncThink, an eye-tracking technology with profound implications for neurological health.  In this episode, Laura and Melinda discuss balancing a family and a tech career (and how we... Read more

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Geoff Donaker has seen every stage of a start-up—from going public to having to close the doors. Now he is on the VC side as founder of Burst Capital, bringing his expertise to investing. Meet this former COO of Yelp and hear his advice for founders and new companies on how to avoid common problems like stagnant prices or becoming untethered from your customers. LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or ... Read more

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June 20, 2019 57 min

Joe tells the story of founding ExecThread, the member-driven job sharing platform where successful executives share information about great job opportunities—openings that you’d only hear about through word-of-mouth or a lucky draw with a recruiting firm. What he soon discovered, however, was that the members signing up for ExecThread were disproportionately non-white and non-male. This idea of opening up accessibility to high-lev... Read more

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June 6, 2019 33 min

Dr. Tiffani Bright, Ph.D., is the Biomedical Informatician Evaluation Team Lead at IBM Watson Health.  As she describes it, the field of Biomedical Informatics sits right at the middle of a three-part Venn diagram, where computational sciences, health/life sciences, and social sciences overlap. Dr. Bright is currently working to advance the science of AI and its application to major public health issues, in collaboration with Brigh... Read more

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May 23, 2019 70 min

Jim Sterne: Speaker, Author, Consultant, Professional Explainer Jim Sterne is widely considered the godfather of digital marketing analytics. He has not only seen it all, he has been articulating how to prepare for what’s coming next since the 90s. This episode delves into just that—in this case, the next big thing he sees coming is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, which he encourages all marketers to embrace as the ne... Read more

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April 18, 2019 63 min

Philip Rosedale is a virtual world entrepreneur with insatiable curiosity. Co-founder of High Fidelity and Second Life, he joins the podcast to discuss the biggest themes at the intersection of humanity and technology. Hear Philip describe how they built believable virtual experiences and takes a look forward to the future of expansive virtual worlds and 3D interactions.   LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: Snow Crash, by Neal Step... Read more

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March 28, 2019 63 min

"We didn't let tools define what we wanted to do. We figured out what the business value is and then we created a data existence that allowed us to answer those questions.” A sense of awe runs throughout this episode with Avinash Kaushik, one of the godfathers of web analytics. Avinash is a data visualization expert and Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and takes a step back with us to wonder at the magic of the Internet while... Read more

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March 13, 2019 59 min

Our next guest left a successful career in Silicon Valley at Adobe and Macromedia when she realized that a major shift had been happening—the women who had been working in the cubes and offices around her were gone. Karen Catlin turned her attention to writing, speaking, and coaching on creating more inclusive workplaces and adding diversity to speaker line-ups, particularly in tech.   Author of Better Allies: Everyday Actions to C... Read more

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February 14, 2019 56 min

Tom Peters, best-selling business author, speaker, and “Red Bull of management thinking,” reaches back to his start in Silicon Valley in the 1970s, reflecting on how the Valley has evolved and what work still needs to be done to bring the focus back to the people. Tom predicts that continued change is coming our way—especially for women—and that any company or industry’s success comes back to what he calls the “soft stuff.” LINKS M... Read more

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November 1, 2018 51 min

Our guest Sian Morson has always followed that nagging idea that keeps her up at night, and this persistence has allowed her to dive into mobile before most people saw its potential, bootstrap her own mobile app business, Kollective Mobile, launch her own beauty app, and now serve as an LP for Backstage Capital. Coming from a background in film and design, Sian can speak to everything from the history of emojis to how to lead a bes... Read more

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October 18, 2018 48 min

Mar Hicks, Associate Professor of  History at Illinois Institute of Technology, drops in to talk about the history of technology and how algorithmic bias has evolved over the years. They discuss topics from how women were purposefully excluded from the tech industry to how transgender algorithmic bias began in the 70’s. Mar shares insights about bias in tech that you have probably experienced but might have only given a passing tho... Read more

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October 4, 2018 56 min

Sherry Wei, the soft-spoken but gritty founder of Aviatrix Systems, shares her story of emigrating from China and starting her career coding for Cisco Systems, and the steps that convinced her to jump into the unpredictable world of startups in 2013. From taking Aviatrix Systems from a bootstrap startup to a company with $25 million in venture investments, Sherry conveys what that experience taught her about not giving up and learn... Read more

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Paula Buchanan, writer, researcher, and self-proclaimed data nerd, likes to pose the question “so what?” as she looks at how data should be presented and how tech should not be a gadget in search of a problem. “How can I make it so what I’m researching can help people not just by my taking a more maternalistic view, but how can I empower them to help themselves?” The way she helps people help themselves? Data visualization and rese... Read more

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Paula Buchanan, writer, researcher, and self-proclaimed data nerd, likes to pose the question “so what?” as she looks at how data should be presented and how tech should not be a gadget in search of a problem. “How can I make it so what I’m researching can help people not just by my taking a more maternalistic view, but how can I empower them to help themselves?” The way she helps people help themselves? Data visualization and rese... Read more

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This episode contains adult themes and a few swear words; so you may wish to exercise discretion when listening with others.  "You’re never too old or too young to do anything."- Cindy Gallop From her early training in theatre, to a career in advertising and a life filled with purpose and fun, to her next mission as founder, investor, and evangelist for positive, joyful sex technology on the web at Make Love, Not Porn; Cindy Gallop... Read more

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August 7, 2018 53 min

The word that keeps coming up in this episode is “audacity.” Ellen Petry Leanse joins Melinda Byerley to talk about her experiences in the early days of Apple, when she served as Apple’s first User Evangelist. Proclaimed the “nerd queen,” she led the company’s first online debut in 1985 with one of the first BBSs. Her career is a parable of what happens when you are willing to take risks, work hard, and don’t worry about looking ba... Read more

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July 24, 2018 62 min

Ron Lichty joins Melinda Byerley to share stories about his time in Silicon Valley as a programmer, then a team and product manager. They talk about his instrumental role in the development of Apple’s game-changing personal computer, the Macintosh. This is only one highlight of his distinguished career that also includes three patents, several books, and recognition as a thought leader in agile methodology. Even if you aren’t a tec... Read more

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July 24, 2018 58 min

Linda Popky, one of Silicon Valley’s top 100 women of influence, stops in to talk to Melinda Byerley about her lifetime of marketing experiences and specifically her time at Sun Microsystems in the heady days of the genesis of Silicon Valley. In this insightfully fun episode,  she talks about how she came to work for Sun and her eventual move from Boston to the West Coast. You will enjoy Linda’s engaging stories about her marketing... Read more

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July 18, 2018 47 min

Owen Thomas joins Melinda Byerley to talk about the history of his controversial blog post about Peter Thiel’s sexuality and the ethos of narrative control that pervades Silicon Valley. His story includes how and why Nick Denton founded Valleywag. His story is about how journalists can incite grudges and the destruction money and power can unleash. ARTICLES & BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE The original 2007 Gawker article: "Peter... Read more

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Kumar Garg joins us to talk about his now famous whiteboard and how to get things done. He tells us about his experiences from the White House Office of Science and Technology during the Obama administration and how the content of the whiteboard came about. Sprinkled in are stories about him being a young migrant from India and how he came to be involved in education policy. This is a fast paced and entertaining listen. MUSICAL INS... Read more

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