I believe in work worth doing and while sometimes that’s advising, mentoring, and speaking, there is no substitute for actually building. I’ve always got a few things in development and if you’re ever interested in putting your shoulder to the wheel, shoot me an email and let’s get it done.
Born out of frustration with the gender wage gap, GetRaised is designed to help people find out if they are underpaid and do something about it. It was specifically created with goal not of encouraging people to want pay fair pay but simply making it easier to achieve. It boasts an over 70% success rate, with an average raise earned of $6,500, totaling over $2.3B so far.
Women and the underrepresented are less likely to accept startup offers partly because they typically include a large component of equity in the compensation, which triggers risk aversion. SalaryOrEquity is a simple tool that can be used with a job offer to quantify equity as an approximate salary, using vesting, risk multiples, and dilution.
The result of a Twitter conversation about why more men don’t show up to gender-focused events, #WhyMenAttend funded and analyzed two surveys of men who had and hadn’t attended such events, with the aim of evaluating strategies to increase male attendance. The most direct conclusion: that 1/3 of men would be receptive to a direct invitation to attend, effectively doubling the number of men in the audience.
In order to meaningfully move the needle not just on the specific downstream effects of a gendered culture (as GetRaised, etc. do) but also on the culture of underrepresentation more broadly, we need to change the visibility of underrepresented experts. Speakershipped is an attempt to do that by creating a sort of free speakers bureau, where we train underrepresented experts to become better speakers, prepare their bio and talk proposals, and then actively pitch them to events.
Bing in the Classroom
Born from a simple data-based observation (kids aren’t searching as much as we’d expect), BITC is an ad-free, safer, more private version of Bing that is specifically built for schools. It is free of charge and built on the belief that students are already curious and simply need greater access to tools that allow them to act on it. While I created and designed the program, it is now managed by others.
Launched in 2008 and sold to LendingTree in 2009, Thrive was the opposite side of the coin from competitor Mint. While they focused on charts and graphs and appealed mainly to high net worth white males, we built a behavioral finance algorithm that helped the average consumer increase their credit score by fifty points in six months, through smarter spending and the application of savings against debt.
Founded in 2009 and exited in 2012, Churnless was a behavioral science technology design/build agency. We created behavior change tools for everyone from the AARP to Playboy, built research-based side projects (including GetRaised), and introduced behavioral science to the tech community. We also had a small incubator that gave rise to a New York Times bestselling book, several successful startups, and a lot of laughs.
Initially a response to the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban, YouAreFreeToChoose is built on a simple principle: it is very difficult to make people want to do the right thing, but you can change behavior by making the right thing easier to do. By reminding people that complicity with tyranny is a choice and then providing a safety net of volunteer lawyers and recruiters to minimize risks to liberty and livelihood, we can make it easier for people to exercise their natural instinct to refuse directives that are against human decency.
Klingon in the Bing Translator
I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was what we watched every Saturday night as a family. So when I was looking for a new way to help show how language communities and machine translation interact, Klingon was a natural fit. But a difficult one: because it is a created language that was made by a doctoral linguist to break traditional terrestrial language rules, it also breaks most traditional machine translation. No wonder I was excited enough when we figured it out to shave Qapla’ (Klingon for “success!”) into my head.