Vivek Wadhwa

  Tech Entrepreneur, Academic, Researcher, and Writer

My Big Think Interview: Closing the Silicon Valley Gender Gap

by BIG THINK EDITORS SEPTEMBER 8, 2014, 12:00 PM Vivek Wadhwa boasts quite the résumé. He is a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and a distinguished fellow at Singularity University. Wadhwa is also the author of a new book about Silicon Valley’s glaring gender...

Innovating Women book release and a public message to the people I have been criticizing

A few years ago, if you had asked me if there was discrimination in Silicon Valley, I would have asked you what planet you were from. I believed it to be the greatest meritocracy—the most open, inclusive, and diverse place on Earth. That was until I came to the Valley and attended my first TechCrunch conference. It felt as if I had entered the “Twilight Zone”—a parallel universe with strange happenings....

It’s a beautiful time to be alive and educated

This is a commencement address I gave at Hult International Business School August 22, 2014. I grew up watching Star Trek and believing that by the time I became an adult we would all be using communicators, replicators, tricorders, and transporters. I was optimistic that the world would be a much better place: that we would have solved humanity’s problems and be exploring new worlds. That’s why my first...

Washington Post: Why teaching grandmothers to code isn’t a crazy idea

American businesses are ageing, as is the country; and this is bad for the economy, say Ian Hathaway and Robert Litan, of The Brookings Institution. They report that the share of older firms, aged 16 years or more, has increased from 23 percent in 1992 to 34 percent in 2011. Startups have become a smaller proportion of the economy, going from 15 percent to 8 percent. This is worrisome because young companies...

Wall Street Journal: Part 2, Changing Silicon Valley’s Frat Boy Culture

When I started writing about the gender disparity I saw in Silicon Valley, I took intense fire from the boys club. I received a barrage of hate mail, immature online chatter and personal attacks on me over Twitter. A handful of prominent investors called my writings garbage; one called me a loser and a fraud. They could get away with this because such frat-boy behavior was considered acceptable in Silicon Valley. But...

Wall Street Journal: Part 1, Inside Silicon Valley’s Boys Club

A few years ago, if you had asked me about Silicon Valley’s gender imbalance, I would have wondered what planet you were from. I believed it was a perfect meritocracy that was open and diverse. My research had documented that the majority of Silicon Valley’s startups were founded by immigrants and that powerful and inclusive networks gave it a global advantage. That was until I moved to Silicon Valley and...

Why we should believe the dreamers—not the experts

History is littered with the failed predictions of experts. Yet governments hire high-paid consultants to advise on policy; businesses use them to vet research and development projects; and venture capitalists have them make investment decisions.  Experts excel in looking backwards, protecting their turf, and saying what their clients want to hear. Their short-term predictions are sometimes right, but they...

We’re heading into a jobless future, no matter what the government does

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future. He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history of scarcity to an era of abundance. Then he noted that the technologies that make such abundance possible are allowing production of far more output using...

Politico Magazine: America’s Crazy, Upside-Down Immigration System

Does America’s immigration system make sense to anyone? The recent influx of thousands of migrant children from Central America has highlighted the failure of reform efforts and gripped the nation’s attention. This is a humanitarian crisis that must be resolved. But forgotten in the emotional debates over immigration are the more than one million legal, skilled immigrants who have been held hostage to...

Indian IT Is A Boys Club Like Silicon Valley–But There Is More Hope

This is a piece I wrote at for Times of India which compares and contrasts Indian IT to Silicon Valley. Sadly, Indian IT is as sexist as the Valley is. But the tide is rising in India. When I moved to Silicon Valley from Pakistan, I did not expect that people would be so surprised my cofounder Sabika Nazim is a woman” said Faizan Buzdar, CEO of Convo.  He was also in disbelief at the public battles I have...

CNN International: The Silicon Valley Frat Club

The Silicon Valley Frat Club The Silicon Valley Frat ClubQuest Means Business|  July 2, 2014 Richard Quest talks to Vivek Wadhwa about misogyny in the tech industry. ...

How today’s technology is rapidly catching up to Star Trek

In a distant part of the galaxy, 300 years in the future, Starship Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk talks to his crew via a communicator; has his medical officer assess medical conditions through a handheld device called a tricorder; synthesizes food and physical goods using his replicator; and travels short distances via a transporter. Kirk’s successors hold meetings in virtual-reality chambers, called holodecks,...