Vivek Wadhwa

  Tech Entrepreneur, Academic, Researcher, and Writer

PBS Newshour: Google’s diversity record shows women and minorities left behind

In a new internal report released exclusively to the NewsHour, Google reveals that women and minorities have been largely left behind in their tech workforce. The disclosure comes amid increasing pressure for Silicon Valley companies to disclose their records on diversity. Gwen Ifill talks to Google’s Laszlo Bock, Vivek Wadhwa of Stanford University and Telle Whitney of the Anita Borg Institute. RELATED Google...

PBS Newshour: Fixing Google’s gender gap shouldn’t be so hard

“I agree we need to have a team that understands the product needs of more than just the young male user, but we just can’t find them,” said Ankur Jain at the first board meeting of his startup Humin in May 2013. This is the same explanation that all Silicon Valley companies — both large and small — provide, to justify their dearth of women technologists. RELATED CONTENT I advised the Humin...

The powerful role of incentive competitions to spur innovation

In the 1920s, New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig offered a $25,000 prize to the first person to fly non-stop between New York and Paris. Several unsuccessful attempts were made before an American airmail pilot named Charles Lindbergh won the competition in 1927 with his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh’s achievement made him a national hero and a global celebrity, but it also sparked the interest...

How the Nature of Competition Has Changed

 Not long ago, you could see your competition coming. What you had to worry about most was a new entrant within your industry that had a simpler, lower-priced product. To stay ahead, you could either improve your product’s functionality or build new products that extended the range and value of your offerings. Management guru Clayton Christensen coined the term “disruptive innovation” to describe how...

Washington Post: How technology can unleash India’s full potential

  Indians are fed up with government inaction and corruption.  They want accountability, better education for their children, improved health care, and economic prosperity.  And they want change now. Technology-led solutions may be the only way for India’s new government to rapidly uplift its population.  Large-scale government programs and social welfare will take too long. Here are seven ways technology...

Times of India: A tech manifesto for the new (Indian) government

As the Indian political upheaval shows, Indians are fed up with government inaction and corruption . They want accountability, better education and healthcare , and prosperity. And they want them now. Technology-led solutions may be the only way for India’s new government to rapidly uplift its population. Large-scale government programmes and social welfare will take too long. Take education as an example....

Large companies need to disrupt themselves or be disrupted

“If you owned Salesforce.com’s shares today would you sell them,” asked journalist Dennis Kneale.  In response, I said that if I owned the company, I would make its chief executive Marc Benioff the chief technology officer to get him back in the visionary role.  That’s because it needs someone like him driving it forward and reinventing itself — while it is in flight.  If it doesn’t disrupt itself,...

Economic Times (India): The future of medicine lies in the use of information technology

In the TV series Star Trek, Captain Kirk has a handheld device called a tricorder that can immediately assess a patient’s condition and diagnose disease. This is 300 years in the future.In real life, technology is advancing so rapidly that within a decade, Kirk’s tricorder will look primitive. Just as our bathroom scales give us instant readings of our weight, our smartphone tricorders will monitor...

Here’s what it actually takes to make it as an entrepreneur

A young male who was born to be an entrepreneur drops out from a computer-science program at a prestigious university.  He meets a powerful venture capitalist who is so enamored with his idea that he gives him millions of dollars to build his technology.  Then comes the multi-billion-dollar IPO. That’s the Hollywood version of Silicon Valley.  But it is as far from reality as is Disneyland.  Entrepreneurship...

Life and Success Require Constant Reinvention

I still remember the first time I heard about computers. They were straight out of science fiction. I began to dream about working with them. Then I got my big chance. I enrolled in one of the first courses in computer technology at what is now the University of Canberra. I couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing computer code for a living. And that is what I did for the first ten years of my career. Then...

Washington Post: The rise of big data brings tremendous possibilities and frightening perils

Debates are raging about whether big data still holds the promise that was expected or whether it was just a big bust. The failure of the much-hyped Google Flu Trends to accurately predict peak flu levels since August 2011 has heightened the concerns. In my mind, there is no doubt that data analytics will one day help to improve health care and crime detection, design better products, and improve traffic patterns...

MIT Technology Review: Laws and Ethics Can’t Keep Pace with Technology

Codes we live by, laws we follow, and computers that move too fast to care. Employers can get into legal trouble if they ask interviewees about their religion, sexual preference, or political affiliation. Yet they can use social media to filter out job applicants based on their beliefs, looks, and habits. Laws forbid lenders from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. Yet they can refuse...