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How New York Finally Found Its Place in the Tech Boom

By Carter Dougherty // CityLab // December 29, 2016

Stephan Guarch/Shutterstock.com

Finally, New York is a bona fide technology startup hub.

It’s no longer a place with a gimmicky name—Silicon Alley—and an ephemeral tech scene that tries to be more than it is. There are venture capitalists with real money, entrepreneurs with ideas, and software developers who know the code.

Above all, New York has a corner of the vast technology world to which it can credibly lay claim as its own: fintech. This species of business, a conflation of the words “financial” and “technology,” plays to the strengths of a city that still views itself as the global center of all things money.

“The real draw is the existing financial center,” says Marco Santori, head of the fintech practice at the law firm Cooley. “There’s a lot of money in Chicago, LA and Miami. But every aspect of the financial services industry is here.”

Though it took the collapse of the internet sector from 1999 to 2001, New York has moved beyond Silicon Alley as a simple marketing tool. The revival of tech investment in the early 2000s and the global financial crisis led to the emergence of a diverse set of companies. A maturing workforce...

Silicon Valley Tech Workers Are Using Ancient Greek Philosophy as Life Hack

By Olivia Goldhill // Quartz // December 19, 2016

Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com

Stoicism is having a moment. The ancient Hellenistic philosophy, more than 2,000 years old, has recently been profiled in The New YorkerThe New York Times and the Guardian. And as these articles note, Stoicism has caught on among those pioneers of social trends: Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Ryan Holiday, who’s written several popular books with a life-hacking take on Stoicism, says the philosophy gained attention among startups after Silicon Valley guru Tim Ferriss bought the audiobook rights to his works. He’s given several talks on the subject at Google’s offices and chatted about Stoicism with such eminent figures as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, venture capitalist Brad Feld, Digg co-founder Kevin Rose and GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving.

In some ways, this makes sense. Though several Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism have a clear practical element, Stoicism is one of the most accessible and explicitly practical schools of western philosophy.

The philosophy advocates self-control and not being overly indulgent in sensual pleasures. Marcus Aurelius, one of the early Stoic thinkers, described sex as, “internal rubbing accompanied by a spasmodic ejection of mucus.” Of course such a levelheaded philosophy has appeal in the land of hacking...

The Single Best Interview Question for Pretty Much Any Job in Tech

By Quora // Quartz // December 15, 2016

Sapunkele/Shutterstock.com

This question originally appeared on QuoraWhat is the best interview question ever? Answer by Wade Myers, Inc 5000 entrepreneur and managing director of Boldmore Growth Partners.

When it came time to interview candidates for programming, development, and strategy positions, there was one question I always loved to ask: Einstein’s Riddle. This brainteaser is a fantastic way to assess interviewees whose roles would require structured thinking and rigorous mental horsepower.

“Einstein’s Riddle” is a logic puzzle whose creation is often credited to a young Albert Einstein (though there is no hard evidence to support this claim), and it demands patience and logical processing to be properly solved. I would offer interviewees the question in writing and offer them a whiteboard and marker to show me their work.

Here’s the riddle in three pieces:

Background:

  • There are five houses in five different colors
  • A person with a different nationality lives in each house
  • The five owners each drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet
  • No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage

Clues:

  1. The Brit lives in the red...

Silicon Valley’s Newest Congressman Wants Tech Giants like Apple to Move Jobs to the Midwest

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // December 14, 2016

Ro Khanna, 39, a Democrat who will represent California’s 17th district south of San Francisco.
Ro Khanna, 39, a Democrat who will represent California’s 17th district south of San Francisco. // Ben Margot/AP

Ro Khanna, a Yale law school graduate and former Commerce Department official, ran his successful campaign for the House of Representatives against incumbent Mike Honda on a quixotic appeal: deliver more tech jobs in Ohio, and everywhere across middle America.

“I care about my district, but we also have an obligation to the nation,” says Khanna, 39, a Democrat who will represent California’s 17th district south of San Francisco. “My job in Congress is going to be to connect the tech leaders with my colleagues across the Midwest, across the South. How can we work together to make sure that you can participate in the global economy, in the innovation economy.”

Khanna, boasting endorsements from Bay Area liberal leaders, as well as executives such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, says he wants to rebuild the Democrats’ message that the party can deliver jobs, a message Donald Trump used to gain the White House.

Stretching from San Jose to the middle of Silicon Valley and including the headquarters of Apple and Intel, the 17th district lies at the heart of the new economy. Khanna believes its economic survival depends on sharing its tech wealth with the rest of the U...

The Origin of Silicon Valley’s Gender Problem

By Jenny Anderson // Quartz // December 6, 2016

Robert Kneschke/shutterstock.com

Considering the ubiquity of science in our everyday lives, from understanding what we eat, to cloud-based computing, to battling global warming and understanding how life-saving drugs work, it’s not surprising kids want to know more.

According to the latest results of PISA, the Programme for International Student Assessment, a test the OECD gives to 15-year-olds around the world every three years, about 25 percent of boys and 24 percent of girls expect to be working in a science-related occupation when they are 30. That’s up from an average of around 20 percent in 2006. In most places, more kids are considering a career in science than a decade ago.

But the fields that boys and girls expect to be working in are very different.

More boys say they hope to be engineers, scientists, or architects, while more girls hope to work in health. Less than 1 percent of girls who want to pursue a science career say it will be in information technology.

This gap may offer fodder to Silicon Valley, which argues that part of its gender gap problem is that, historically, too few women study information technology compared to men (a point that was rebutted here...

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