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I'm a successful woman in tech — and I didn't complain to HR about the sexual harassment I've experienced

Donna Harris

Donna Harris is cofounder of 1776, a global startup incubator and seed fund headquartered in Washington, D.C. She can be reached via Twitter @dharrisindc.

In the aftermath of “the Google memo” I had to read Eric Weinstein’s tweet multiple times to be sure I’d read it correctly….

Complain to HR tweet
Like Eric, I too am a venture capitalist and a techie. Long ago, I started my career as a Systems Engineer. I’ve worked for big companies like Oracle and run several startups of my own. Some failed; some soared and produced nice exits. I’ve raised tens of millions of dollars, run a VC fund and run incubators around the world.

You could say that, over my 25 successful years in tech, I’ve been around the block a few times. And, I can tell you, most of those blocks were littered with rampant sexism, mansplaining, unconscious bias and some downright ugly discrimination.

Yet I didn’t complain to HR.

I didn’t complain to HR when the president of [our unit in] Korea took me to a brothel and bought me a prostitute. Or when that same president sent his managing director to my hotel room in the middle of the night to threaten me if I did complain. Or when he withheld my plane ticket (back in the days when you needed old fashioned paper to board a plane) so I was, in essence, hostage in a foreign country.

I didn’t complain to HR when the male sales reps I worked alongside took their clients to strip clubs. Or when my boss joined them. Or when they all came to work hung over the next day and recounted their adventures loudly for all to hear.

I didn’t complain to HR when coworker after coworker assumed traveling for business gave him a free pass to come on to me. Or when they commented on my cleavage.

I didn’t complain to HR when I was pursued by one of my investors doggedly trying to get me to sleep with him. Or when my other investors told me they invested because I reminded them of their daughters.

I didn’t complain to HR when I was asked to step out of a photo so my male CO-founder and CO-CEO could be featured in a cover story solo. Or when I was repeatedly mistaken for his assistant when copied on emails.

I didn’t complain to HR when my boss took my idea for a new business line and handed it to his buddy to run, telling me the business would “do better if led by a man with gray hair.”

I didn’t complain to HR the 8,000 times I was interrupted, mansplained, dismissed, ignored, or not invited. Or when I was told I was too bossy or called intimidating. Or all the times I was told to stop talking so much about diversity problems or sexism in tech.

I didn’t complain to HR because, like nearly every woman on the planet, I was doing was I was taught my whole life to do. Be nice.

Have you ever been too nice and ended up in a situation that could have been avoided if you just would’ve been an a–h-le?

My neighbor, Amy, shared this quote a few weeks ago, and my response was “So. Much. This.” I spent much of my career being nice. Making others feel comfortable. Not rustling any feathers. Because, God forbid, my confidence, dignity, power, and assertiveness might be labeled as bitchiness.

So, Eric, as I reflected on your tweet, I just want to say thanks…

Thanks for helping me reflect on all the times I didn’t complain to HR. It reminded me of all the times I was too nice, when I should have been an asshole and called out the bad behavior behavior around me. It solidified for me that, despite the passing of 25 years (!!!!!), not much has changed — the bros’ of the Valley, tech, and venture are not going lead the way to changing a very sexist system.

Thanks for reminding me that, despite the continuous stream of disgusting frat boy behavior all around me, I managed to succeed in ways most men only dream of. Which reminded me of all the evidence that shows women actually get higher returns on capital when they do get venture capital. Which re-motivated me to find ways to help women succeed. So we can make voices like yours irrelevant.

Or, as my mom used to say “kill them with kindness.”

she is kind but strong, and that is where so many mistake her. they interpret her kindness for weakness and force her to show her strength.

I know I’m not alone in having these sorts of stories. Share yours and encourage others to do the same, with the hashtag #didntcomplaintoHR.

SEE ALSO: How a laid-off woman in her 50s learned to code and launched a whole new career

SEE ALSO: Inside the world of Silicon Valley’s ‘coasters’ — the millionaire engineers who get paid gobs of money and barely work

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Microsoft Office 2010
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Using your ad units correctly when you have multiple store apps

As we had blogged earlier, ad unit performance has a direct correlation with the application category and the users targeted by the application. Having an ad unit associated with multiple store applications leads to ambiguity, which can result in improper ad delivery. This will have an adverse impact on your revenue and user experience. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other compliance requirements mandate that there is a 1:1 correlation between a store application and an ad unit.

Each ad unit must be only be used in a single store application. This requirement includes applications that target Universal Windows Platform applications, along with Windows 8.x (WinRT) applications.

We’ve reached out to developers through various means, including multiple notifications inside Dev Center. The ad delivery will soon stop on ad units used across multiple applications, so if you have any such ad units, please update! Setting up new ad units is extremely easy.

Don’t forget these following tips that can help maximize your in-app-ad revenue:

Microsoft Office 2010
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The 15 top-earning movie directors of all time at the US box office

Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park

Directing a single box office hit is an extraordinary feat.

But to become an all-time box office great, one must possess unrivaled levels of creativity, longevity, and enterprise — or else, decide to make five “Transformers” movies.

To find out which directors have had the most fiscally successful careers, we looked into Box Office Mojo’s data to compile this list of the helmers whose movies have grossed the most money at the domestic box office.

From Steven Spielberg to Christopher Nolan to Michael Bay, the top-grossing directors in U.S. movie history all have compelling and versatile filmographies.

Here are the 15 highest-earning movie directors of all time, ranked by total box office gross:   

SEE ALSO: The 13 Alfred Hitchcock movies you need to watch in your lifetime

15. Gore Verbinski — Total gross: $1.529 billion

Number of movies: 10

Average gross: $152.9 million

Highest-grossing film: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” ($423.3 million)

14. David Yates — Total gross: $1.631 billion

Number of movies: 6

Average gross: $271.9 million

Highest-grossing film: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2” ($381 million)

13. Ridley Scott — Total gross: $1.635 billion

Number of movies: 23

Average gross: $152.9 million

Highest-grossing film: “The Martian” ($423.3 million)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Designers and developers are reimagining how apps might look on the home button-less iPhone 8 (AAPL)

iPhone 8 VHB [2]

Developer Steve Troughton Smith has been digging inside the leaked iOS code Apple inadvertently released with the HomePod software, and found proof that the “iPhone 8” will replace the device’s signature home button with a virtual key.

Now, designers and developers are using Apple’s schematics to recreate the iPhone 8 software’s supposed appearance, as well as how apps might look when the virtual home button’s area is added to the device’s screen real estate at the bottom.

Maksim Petriv, an Interactive UI and UX designer at New York firm Design Hunt, tried to reimagine popular apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify, as well as Apple’s own Music service.

In addition to that, he recreated the iOS lock screen, which hides the virtual home indicator entirely, as well as Siri, that makes use of the space with its redesigned iOS 11 look.

Another Twitter user, Rutherling, posted a video — retweeted by Troughton Smith — in which he shows a virtual mockup of the iPhone 8 version of iOS 11.

The home screen is familiar to the one all iOS devices use now, with apps stacked at the top and a dock at the bottom. However, the presence of a virtual home button underneath makes it look as if the dock is sitting on top of it.

When the user taps on an app, the mockup software opens it up as a card, which seemingly floats above the home screen (you can still see the wallpaper underneath, at the sides of the home button’s area).

This, however, doesn’t match with what Troughton Smith was saying yesterday; he claimed that the APIs he scanned showed evidence that apps would open full screen, potentially making the home button disappear entirely (like in games, for instance).

If the home button does stay in place, the surrounding area should bleed with the navigation tabs immediately above it, but developers may have to tweak the app’s code manually in order to achieve the seamless look. Rutherling’s solution could show how an app might look by default before any change is made.

In addition to that, Troughton Smith posited yet another solution to the new iPhone’s interface conundrum, which however seems unlikely.

“Apple does like symmetry. If it weren’t for the iPhone glyph I might even suggest that the home button could look identical to the notch,” he tweeted. “A notch on the top, and a notch on the bottom. But I’m against blacking out the home button area entirely, personally.”

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One of the most famous photographers in history just made her Instagram public and revealed new work

Cindy Sherman, 2017

Fine art photographer Cindy Sherman, whose wildly successful career has spanned over 40 years, has recently released a new form of work via Instagram.

Her now-public account was originally created as a private profile last October. Now, with an audience of over 110,000 followers, it reveals photos that have the art world asking if they’re ever meant to be shown as part of a future gallery collection.

Sherman is famous for her carefully executed self-portraits, one of which sold for $3.89 million in 2011, and currently sits in third place for the most expensive photo print ever sold.    

Below, a sample of her Instagram.   

SEE ALSO: Stunning photos show what it’s like inside a Chinese factory that makes American toys

While Sherman has been using her account to post personal images from her everyday life, her first self portrait was published on the app in May.

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Because of Sherman’s fine art self-portraiture, these Instagram posts have had people question if these selfies might be part of a larger series of work.

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The New York Times noted that it looks like Sherman is using the retouching and makeup apps Facetune and Perfect365 on her photos.

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 Source: The New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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10 things in tech you need to know today (GOOG, SNAP, AMZN, MSFT, AAPL)

SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung

Good morning! Here’s the technology news you need to know this Friday.

1. Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is being sued by early investor Benchmark Capital over fraud allegations. Benchmark said it would never have approved three extra board seats if it was made aware of the controversy inside Uber.

2. Google cancelled a meeting for staff with CEO Sundar Pichai that was meant to address the controversial memo written by James Damore. The meeting was cancelled less than two hours before it was meant to take place — and Google blamed safety concerns.

3. Snap missed across the board for Q2 earnings and its stock sank. Stock was down 16% after the company only increased the number of daily users by 7 million.

4. Elon Musk has publicly denied a story about him firing his assistant of 10 years. Musk called the story, which was included in a biography about him, “total nonsense.”

5. Uber’s first employee, a close confidant of ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, is stepping down. Senior vice president of global operations Ryan Graves will step down in September.

6. Amazon reportedly wants to offer ticketing for events in the US. It recently started holding live shows for Amazon Prime members.

7. Microsoft’s Surface devices are “significantly less reliable” than other laptops, says Consumer Reports. It removed its “recommended” designation for the products.

8. SoftBank is now the major power player in Indian ecommerce after a reported $2.5 billion (£1.9 billion) investment in Flipkart. Flipkart is the biggest ecommerce firm in India with around 37% market share.

9. SoundCloud must sign a new investment deal today or it risks running out of funding. The company is on the verge of signing a deal for $170 million (£130 million) in new funding.

10. Apple is facing a new antitrust challenge in China. 28 local developers are accusing Apple of removing their apps and charging high fees.

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Expedia has been voted the best UK company for work/life balance — look inside their office to see why (EXPE)

Expedia bar

Online travel company Expedia is the best employer for work-life balance in the UK, according to Glassdoor’s 2017 rankings.

Glassdoor allows employees to rate and review their companies honestly, with anonymity, so its results are likely to be pretty accurate.

Expedia’s employees get a range of ridiculously good benefits to keep them happy, including a travel allowance of between £6,000 ($8,515) and £10,000 ($14,192) for most employees who have been with the company for “more than 12-18 months.”

At the company’s two huge offices situated close to Angel tube station in London, there are indoor Formula One simulators, a huge roof terrace that hosts regular BBQs and other staff parties, various free bars, and more “chill out zones” than you’d find at Glastonbury music festival. Basically, the boundaries between work and life are pretty blurred — but in a good way.

It’s the second time Expedia has topped one of Glassdoor’s UK rankings — it was voted the best workplace in Britain in 2015.

Last year, we took a tour of Expedia’s London offices to find out what makes the company so great. Afterward, we interviewed two employees at the company — director of technology Liz Eastaugh and talent adviser Con Marney — to find out what it’s actually like to work at the travel-tech firm.

Here’s what we found:

Will Heilpern originally contributed to this article.

From the outside, Expedia’s office building looks a little dreary, like many others in London.

However, as you get inside, things start to appear brighter.

The wall behind the reception is covered in pictures from employees’ holidays. Everyone is able to travel a lot thanks to the generous travel allowances, which range from between £6,000 and £10,000 a year, depending on your grade.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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A Wall Street analyst's 'hot mic' upstaged Snapchat's CEO and stole the show (SNAP)

Evan Spiegel

A Wall Street analyst upstaged Snap CEO Evan Spiegel on the company’s Q2 conference call thanks to a classic “hot mic” snafu. 

It happened towards the end of Snap’s 60-minute call on Thursday, lending a comedic, and perhaps fitting, finish to the discussion about the business’ underwhelming performance. 

Spiegel and Snap exec Imran Khan lambasted “growth hacking” by certain unnamed competitors, a thinly veiled accusation at the phone notifications and other techniques that Facebook, Twitter, and others serve up to lure users back to their apps. 

Enter Rich Greenfield, an analyst for BTIG, who pointed out on the call that Snap also sends such phone notifications to users. Why is what Snap does any different than what it accuses competitors of doing?

The answer, Snap CEO Spiegel explained, was that certain companies have “relaxed their standards,” Snap’s content is “relevant,” and anyone looking for examples of the most egregious growth hacking should just “go for a Google.”

As far as conference call non-answers go, it was pretty standard fare. 

Unfortunately, when Greenfield’s colleague Brandon Ross erupted into laughter, and exclaimed that “I didn’t even understand his response,” the phone had not yet been disconnected from the conference call creating an awkward moment for the Snap executives, other analysts and all the press and investors that were tuned in. 

Not surprisingly, the gaffe was quickly discussed on Twitter:

 Even Greenfield had a laugh, using, what else, but Snapchat Bitmoji: 

Comic relief

Hot mics offer a cherished moment of levity in the quarterly routine of stilted earnings-call dialogue. In July, listeners to Google-parent company Alphabet’s earnings call were treated to another gem when an analyst was heard mumbling something after company executives sidestepped his question. 

Asked if he had any regrets about his colleague’s hot mic, Greenfield said “it was certainly not intended to be heard on the call.”

Snap had already introduced the next analyst in the queue for the question-and-answer session, he told Business Insider in an email, by way of explanation for the inopportune remarks.

But the hot-mic comments reflect a broader confusion about Snapchat’s “growth hacking” philosophy, Greenfied insists.

“Based on investor feedback, it is clear that nobody understands what other social networks are doing differently than Snapchat that would drive Evan to label other’s actions ‘growth hacking’ distinct from what Snapchat is doing,” Greenfield said.  

You can listen to the key moment of the Snap call here:

SEE ALSO: Snap misses across the board for Q2 earnings, stock gets whacked

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Google's latest Doodle puts you in the DJ booth while paying tribute to hip-hop's history


Forty-four years ago today DJ Kool Herc threw a party in the Bronx and decided he wanted to change up the sound.

He played only the instrumental sections or “breaks” from full songs and had his friend Coke La Rock hype the crowd through the mic. The partygoers went nuts and modern day hip-hop was born.

Google on Friday is honoring that night with an interactive Google Doodle that celebrates the hip-hop movement’s origins and culture. 

The new doodle was designed by Cey Adams, the legendary graffiti artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records. Adams said he was excited by the opportunity to put a graffiti-style logo on the Google homepage and have it be seen by people all over the world.

Graffiti is sometimes associated with vandalism. When he was just getting started, Adams said it was difficult to get the message across that he was an artist and not a vandal. 

The two O’s in the new Google Doodle are turntables and allude to the ones Kool Herc, whose real name is Clive Campbell, used the night of the pioneering party. Users can click them for a chance to mix their own samples from legendary Hip-Hop tracks.

Google Doodle storyboardThe team behind the new logo spent time researching and talking to early pioneers of Hip-Hop to narrow down which artists to include. Fab 5 Freddy, the former host of the ’90s era show “Yo! MTV Raps,” narrates the whole experience, interweaving history and culture into the design.

Perla Campos, one of the Googlers who worked on the Doodle, said it was one of the most technologically challenging designs she and her team have worked on because of all the voices and collaborators they wanted to include. The engineers wanted to do justice to the important role hip-hop plays in people’s lives while shedding light on the genre’s diversity. 

Adams’ goal with the design was to give visitors to the Google homepage a sort of hip-hop education. He also wanted to shed light on some of the historical and cultural aspects of the music that often get ignored in the face of more negative stereotypes.

Head over to the Google homepage and click the turntables to try it out for yourself. 

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SEE ALSO: Google’s latest doodle honors Fred Korematsu, the activist who fought against Japanese internment camps

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Elon Musk responds to story of him putting his assistant through a 2-week test

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a few words for the author who retold the story of his longtime assistant, Mary Beth Brown, a woman who quit working for Musk after 12 years, in 2014.

Ashlee Vance shared the anecdote in his biography of Musk, titled Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

According to Vance, Brown asked Musk for a significant raise after working for him for more than a decade. In response, Musk reportedly told Brown to take two weeks off, during which he would assume her responsibilities and see whether she was critical to his success.

When Brown returned, Musk told her he didn’t need her anymore, according to the book’s account.

Musk took issue with that, saying “Of all the bogus anecdotes, this one troubles me the most. Ashlee never actually ran this story by me or my assistant. It is total nonsense,Musk tweeted Thursday night.

He continued: “Mary Beth was an amazing assistant for over 10 yrs, but as company complexity grew, the role required several specialists vs one generalist.

MB was given 52 weeks of salary & stock in appreciation for her great contribution & left to join a small firm, once again as a generalist,” Musk said.

However, Musk conceded that the biography overall was not entirely flawed, calling it “mostly correct,” but saying that the story was “rife with errors and never independently fact-checked” despite his request for that. The book was originally published in May 2015.

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