Organized by LinkedIn, DevelopHer is the only Silicon Valley hackathon that is exclusively for women. Now in its second year, DevelopHer sprung out of LinkedIn’s Hackdays, which bring engineers in cities across the country together for coding competitions. The first DevelopHer had about 70 participants—this year, the number jumped dramatically because the event (held October 25th and 26th) was timed to coincide with TechWomen, a U.S. State Department mentorship initiative that brings female STEM leaders from Africa and the Middle East to the U.S.
"It’s easy to understand why the growth specialists, data scientists, and engineers that define a growth team are the most coveted hires for many startups in Silicon Valley. This is quickly spreading to other industries as well, as more and more companies realize that growth hacking, at its core, is really just an intense focus on understanding and shaping the customer experience with data. Even Walmart’s marketing chief, Stephen Quinn, recently shared at the ANA Conference that they now are seeing an ROI on Facebook and Twitter to the tune of 10 times what they see through other advertising. Why? Because once they measured user engagement, they understood the power of their now 31 million Facebook fans.”
Good morning, Tumblr! Here are a few social media tips to help your brand today:
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“As the company grows larger … you will require more time than ever before to just think: Think about what the company will look like in three to five years; think about the best way to improve an already popular product or address an unmet customer need; think about how you can widen a competitive advantage or close a competitive gap, etc.”
Would you do a favor for this person, or ask a favor of them?
If so, make the connection. If not, pass.
Google Reader is closing up shop on July 1, but have no worries, plenty of alternatives are popping up. Today, AOL announced AOL Reader. Facebook reported that it too is working on a news aggregator. And in two days, Digg’s new reader will make its debut.
Here are some other Google Reader replacements:
- LinkedIn’s Pulse
- Google Currents
- The Old Reader
- Managing News
What have you used to replace Google Reader?
As part of our social media roadmap in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company, we asked social media’s savviest users about their best practices. Use this guide to share their rules, then add yours, and we’ll keep charting a course through this rocky terrain.
Instead of crowing about career triumphs and students’ bright futures, Greylock Partners data scientist DJ Patil addressed a more pressing topic at a recent commencement address: his biggest failures, and why new graduates should embrace similar humiliation.
And how, practically, do you achieve success though failure? It starts with passion—finding work that you love. Once you do, you’ll never take no for an answer, or have patience for those who stand in your way. Second, surround yourself with people you value. Just like your body responds poorly to junk food, your mind and energy levels also respond to the company you keep. Third, strive to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. The world is changing as we speak. Right now there are two people in a garage with a dog (don’t ask me why there is a dog, but there always seems to be one) creating the next iPhone, Facebook, Google. Those of you that are graduating today, you are the first to go through your entire social years (puberty onwards) with Facebook. During your entire educational experience you’ve had access to Google, mobile phones, and the Internet. And yet during your time in college you have seen the introduction of the tablet. The notion of using a desktop or a laptop is outdated. Given this rapid pace of change, the only advice that I can give you is to keep learning—putting yourself in uncomfortable situations where you fail and acquire new skills as a result.
They were doing just fine before, but the biggest of minority owners of Facebook are about to be catapulted into a far more elite bracket. As we ponder what they’ll do with with new millions (nearly half a billion dollars for Reid Hoffman?), here’s a look at what got them where they are today.
DJ Patil pulls a two-foot-long metal bar from his backpack. The contraption, which he calls a double pendulum, is hinged in the middle, so it can fold in on itself. Another hinge on one end is attached to a clamp, which he secures to the edge of a table. “Now,” he says, holding the bar vertically, from the top, “see if you can predict where this end will go.” Then he releases it, and the bar begins to swing wildly, circling the spot where it is attached to the table, while also circling in on itself. There is no pattern, no way to predict where it will end up. While it spins and twists, with more velocity than I’d have imagined, Patil talks to me about chaos theory. “The important insight,” he notes, “is identifying when things are chaotic and when they’re not.”
A Year After LinkedIn Came Calling, CardMunch Poised To Make “The Rolodex Obsolete”
All they wanted was some mac and cheese. It was late 2010, and Sid Viswanathan, Bowei Gai, and Sudeep Yenashankaran were outside LinkedIn’s headquarters, peering into the cafeteria. The three CardMunch cofounders had just been escorted outside after a meeting at the company, but the meals inside were too much to resist. ”There were these huge boxes of food,” recalls Viswanathan.
"And we had backpacks," Gai says.
The team snuck back in, started filling their bags with food—and then bumped into one of the senior directors of engineering at LinkedIn, with whom they had just met. And who had just walked them out of the office building. “I have never been more embarrassed in my whole life,” Viswanathan says today, laughing.
How Haiti’s Earthquake Inspired LinkedIn’s Skill-based Volunteer Marketplace
LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and former Facebook executive Matt Cohler drop $15 million into education startup Edmodo. Can creating an education graph transform how schools do their job?
FC: Big data is also why you have faith in Groupon
RH: Yes. There’s two points on which a lot of the discussion about Groupon misses key insights. First is what exists with Groupon today: both scale and data. Data becomes important because of the scale. If you look at the core service that Groupon built on, it’s: Here are some offers that may motivate you to act today. That’s interesting enough for you to plunk down the money.
As the activity in this space gets denser, it becomes important for [deals companies] to maintain their value proposition, both for the merchant and the consumer, and to be able to match the right two. The ability to do that kind of matching, off the data, is the kind of thing that has a robust, at-scale, defensible value proposition and makes it harder for other people to offer products that are as good.
I also think people discount Groupon’s ability to build new value propositions. Groupon launched Groupon Now. An ability to raise my mobile phone and say there’s a 20 percent off offer two blocks from you in the next hour is actually pretty useful. And that’s a value of scale.