In recent months, companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo have dialed back their most egregious political donations, pulling support from climate change-denying groups like ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce. But tech firms continue funneling money into right-wing campaigns, and the Silicon Valley liberals who financed them are pissed.
Tech's armada of PR professionals can be their own worst enemy. But their protective shield occasionally hides the chauvinism of tech founders. Otherwise you get dudes like Blake Francis, founder of the question and answer app Need, who tried to buy favorable press from a female reporter with a wildly inappropriate gift basket.
The last time a startup programmer taught a homeless man to code, the naive vanity project failed. A few engineering lessons failed to solve socioeconomic realities and the man was still sleeping in the streets eight months later. But Twitter has higher hopes for its new "learning center" where employees can "teach tech skills" to San Francisco's homeless.
When a small group of disgruntled Facebook users decamped to Ello four weeks ago, a million more people followed looking for The Next Big Thing in Social Networking. But Ello's newcomers didn't find much reason to stick around, and the anti-advertising "Facebook killer" is already fading away into the internet's collective memory.
Facebook's habit for blowing app launches has doomed another debut. Rooms, a pseudo-anonymous forum app that appears to be Reddit crossed with 90s-era forums, was supposed to make a big splash in the press today. Instead, people are taking to Twitter to complain the app has been pulled from the App Store.
In 2012, Ellen Pao, a partner at the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sued the venerated venture capital firm for sexual harassment and discrimination. It was a more cloistered time and the allegations were shocking, creating a fissure in Silicon Valley's self-image and spurring a wider discussion about sexism in the tech industry.
Before Handy, a house cleaning and odd jobs startup, became the darling of the New York startup scene and raised $30 million dollars, the company was called "Handybook." And according to a person who spent a day interviewing there, its office was a showcase of the worst tech worker stereotypes. Sexism, racism, privilege, and all-around juvenile antics were all on display.