Be Cool Stay In School

The Case for College: You Say Keg Stand Like It’s A Bad Thing

sarah kunst

Minority Report is a guest column by Sarah Kunst, who does business development and product at fashion app Kaleidoscope. She’s a black, non-engineer female in tech, but plans to IPO anyway.

Few founder origin stories capture the nerd mind like “Hacker as dropout.” From Bill Gates at Microsoft to Box’s Adam Levie, and of course a little-known CEO named Zuck, the allure of leaving the dorm room behind to rake in billions seems irresistible.

Recently, this middle finger to the establishment of higher education has been codified by billionaire rabble rouser Peter Thiel. This past Sunday, for the second time in three months, the New York Times found cause for a close examination of the virtues of Mr. Thiel’s 20 under 20 Fellowship as a way for exceptional teenagers to pass college and collect $100,000 to spend on changing the world. Granted, participants aren’t your typical undeclared freshmen at State College U. Rather, they’ve already exhibited Mensa-level intelligence, with a work ethic to match.

What doesn’t coordinate quite as well? Their social lives. A recent night saw several Thiel fellows–all under legal drinking age–at a San Francisco house party described by one attendee as “tech hippies doing drugs and sitting in a cuddle pile.” Read More

Minority Report

Our Guest Columnist Gets a Rocky Mountain High Off Networking

Ms. Kunst.

Minority Report is a guest column by Sarah Kunst, who does business development and product at fashion app Kaleidoscope. She’s a black, non-engineer female in tech, but plans to IPO anyway.

Fortune magazine’s annual Brainstorm Tech summit is the Lincoln of conferences (the motor company is also a sponsor so kudos to them for nailing their demographic). Not the too-rich-for-its-own-good Bentley like Davos or the flashy Porsche that is TED. Rather, Brainstorm Tech brought together a lot of guys from Ivy League schools who work for companies with giant market caps and little buzz. They’re there to listen, network, and cut deals in one of the many hospitality tents at the Aspen Institute.

The listening part was easy as the speakers were relevant and quippy. Peter Thiel and Eric Schmidt went all Hunger Games for the crowd, trading blows on stage during dinner in what felt more like a sporting match than a debate about the future of technology. (You’ll have to excuse me if you already heard about their exploits, it takes a girl awhile to adjust back down to sea level.) Read More

Minority Report

The FEM Funnel

Ms. Kunst.

Minority report is a guest column by Sarah Kunst, who does business development and product at fashion app Kaleidoscope. She’s a black, non-engineer female in tech, but plans to IPO anyway.

The big question on everyone’s mind in the wake of Ellen Pao’s allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination against venture capital powerhouse firm KPCB: “There are women not named Mary Meeker in VC?”

Betabeat crunched the numbers and came up with a Female Equality Metric, or FEM – the percentage of VC partners who are female. The number: 8.3 percent. Guess they’re not going to rename it “Sandra” Hill Road anytime soon.

For women who want to write big checks, this can seem like a pretty daunting statistic. But the refrain in the tech world is that there aren’t a lot of women, because not enough qualified women apply. What does it take to fill the hiring funnel with estrogen? We pulled together some job listings, stats and empirical evidence to provide a fast and dirty look into the world of who makes it to partner. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: When Embargoes Break

rumormonger

ALL THE VERTICALS. BuzzFeed is staffing up. Yeah. We know. They have $15.5 million. We know. The site launched its already highly scoopy 2012 vertical alongside the already-popular “cute” and “LOL” verticals, with reporters covering the presidential campaign with the vigor of a dedicated cat blogger; we know. Now it’s time to conquer the internet by rapidly adding “verticals” (as they’re called!) and editor-in-chief Ben Smith is already thinking of where to boldly go next. We heard from a potential poach-ee that the next section will be… tech! We asked Mr. Smith today if this was true. “I don’t want to say,” he said, shaking his head, but acknowledged that the next vertical isn’t far off. Maybe it’s divorce Read More