Danny Crichton

Danny Crichton

Danny Crichton is an award-winning researcher and writer on regional innovation hubs with an intense passion for building companies and building nations. He is currently a doctoral student at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a contributing writer for TechCrunch.

Founding his first company in high school, Danny was formerly an investor at General Catalyst Partners, where he engaged companies in the mobile, labor, defense and security spaces. He led the technical infrastructure for SignalFire, a data-driven talent firm, and worked on several of the firm's investments.

In 2011-2012, Danny was a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea, where he was a visiting researcher at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon. His research investigated the impact of Korean government policy on the engineering pipeline of new graduates between high school and the workforce, as well as the individuals and groups that have formed in the Seoul regional innovation hub. He presented his research at KAIST, the Korean-American Education Commission (KAEC), Samsung's Global Strategy Group, and on the Korean radio station Arirang.

Before leaving the United States, he worked in product management at Google, where he conceived and launched Google+ Search.

While at Stanford University in California, Danny wrote an award-winning thesis on the history of Silicon Valley and Stanford's Department of Computer Science, developing a novel ecosystem-based model to analyze the unique development of the world's most recognized regional innovation hub. He presented the paper at the Triple Helix Conference, one of the largest research organizations devoted to building regional innovation throughout the world.

He has been quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, New York Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, BusinessInsider, as well as by the National Academies of Science.

Danny graduated with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science.

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Latest from Danny Crichton

  • After Sony, Every Startup Should Prepare For War

    After Sony, Every Startup Should Prepare For War

    The battle between Sony and what the FBI believes are North Korean hackers may be at its end, but the war for the security of the enterprise is just getting started. Companies have been rapidly transitioning their legacy systems to modern IT technology like cloud services, hoping to save money and improve performance in an increasingly competitive world. And while security has always been one… Read More

  • The Algorithm Economy Heads To Amazon

    The Algorithm Economy Heads To Amazon

    Holidays are a time for families to come together, catch up over great food and drinks, and determine all the technical problems that need solving throughout the house. Indeed, for children growing up in the digital age, the holidays ultimately boil down to free (or more accurately, meal-subsidized) technical support for our most cherished loved ones. Kids: Amazon has you covered. Well, almost. Read More

  • SF Has An S&M Problem

    SF Has An S&M Problem

    It’s a Friday night, and I am on the prowl. I’m with my friend Edgar, and we are looking for evidence of the increasing S&M problem among the denizens of America’s startup capital. We all know the story the past few months: it’s really bad right now, but don’t worry, everything will get better in time. But it is not getting better, and it’s time to call… Read More

  • Meet Your New Boss, Mr. Algorithm

    Meet Your New Boss, Mr. Algorithm

    Meet Algo, your new boss. It’s flexible, willing to change work schedules so you can work when you want, and not when you don’t. It’s reasonable, providing you honest feedback without the politics of your last human boss. And Algo will find new projects for you to complete, so you always have something interesting to work on while receiving a paycheck. The best part is… Read More

  • The MBAs Are Fleeing, Should SF Be Worried?

    The MBAs Are Fleeing, Should SF Be Worried?

    Bubble, bubble, bubble. Are we in one, are we already done with one, are we getting closer to one? These questions have the dual benefit of being completely impossible to answer while having a high enough salience to tech readers to ensure that the almighty advertising machine gets stoked for another cycle. Let’s throw some more coal into the fire. We already had our massive discussion… Read More

  • Fundraising Acceleration Is The New VC Investment Thesis

    Fundraising Acceleration Is The New VC Investment Thesis

    There was a quite a jolt on Friday from the news that Slack, a company whose eponymous enterprise communications platform was first publicly launched this year, raised $120 million in new venture funding from KPCB and Google Ventures. Even more eye-popping was the valuation: $1.12 billion. Although Slack pivoted from an earlier incarnation as a games company called Tiny Speck, such a growth… Read More

  • Are American Tech Companies Disloyal?

    Are American Tech Companies Disloyal?

    FBI Director James Comey had some choice words this week for startups and technology companies about their increasing use of encryption and their responsibilities to law enforcement. Speaking at Brookings, Comey argued that “…if the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place.” He… Read More

  • The Year Of The Corporate Divorce

    The Year Of The Corporate Divorce

    It’s been a good time to be a corporate marriage counselor, and an even better time to be a corporate divorce attorney. Just in the last two weeks, we learned that eBay was spinning off PayPal into its own company, HP is going to split up its consumer hardware and corporate services into separate companies, and Symantec will cut itself in half as well. Like two embittered high school… Read More

  • As The Valley Burns Up, Boston Readies Its Next Act

    As The Valley Burns Up, Boston Readies Its Next Act

    You wouldn’t think that you could fix the bicycle. It’s just two wheels, a seat, and a set of pedals, plus or minus some fancy materials and high-quality tuning. But for the engineers and designers at Cambridge-based Superpedestrian, that base is just the start for what they hope will be the next generation of urban transit. Reinventing the bike may be good business, but it is also… Read More

  • What $1 Million Won’t Buy You

    What $1 Million Won’t Buy You

    What’s the value of talent today in Silicon Valley? This year, a startup with revenues of $10 million wanted to find a new chief executive following its Series B raise and offered $450,000 in compensation (5% of revenues). Another startup, quickly growing and approaching an IPO, did a search for a CEO to lead it onto the public markets. In addition to a hefty compensation package, the… Read More

  • The Best Of Times …

    The Best Of Times …

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Minecraft, it was the age of Square, it was the epoch of burn, it was the epoch of crash, it was the season of growth and it was the season of collapse. Or so Dickens might have written if he had lived in San Francisco. The Bubble is back in the news again following comments made by Bill Gurley, the well-known Benchmark… Read More

  • Putting Smartphone Zombies In Their Place

    Putting Smartphone Zombies In Their Place

    City planners are charged with designing cities for residents, from developing spaces for popular activities to balancing the needs of different constituencies. For planners in Chongqing, China, one of those constituencies are people absorbed in their smartphones, who have come into conflict with another group, often called human beings. So the city has done the obvious thing when two… Read More

  • It’s Time For VCs To Run To Their Bubble Bunkers

    It’s Time For VCs To Run To Their Bubble Bunkers

    Techstars, one of the most prominent accelerators in the world, announced yesterday that it was introducing what it called “an equity back guarantee.” The idea is that founders who join the program can ask for their equity to be returned (or a percentage of it) shortly after their Techstars batch ends if they feel that the accelerator didn’t provide them with sufficient… Read More

  • This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future

    This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future

    2014 is the year that work became a central point of discussion in Silicon Valley. For the engineers and knowledge workers in the region, issues of diversity and inclusion finally got their turn in the limelight, forcing us to question our deeply-held views about the meritocracy of Silicon Valley. We also had to confront news that several of our most iconic technology companies conspired to… Read More

  • As Samsung Falters, An Opening For Startups

    As Samsung Falters, An Opening For Startups

    In the smash-hit movie Roaring Currents, Korea’s naval hero Admiral Yi-Sun Sin defends Korea from an invading Japanese imperial navy, single-handedly using his ship to hold off their advance in a treacherous current that today is considered one of the great naval battles of all time. Read More

  • Corporate Accelerators Are An Oxymoron

    Corporate Accelerators Are An Oxymoron

    Building a corporate accelerator is certainly in vogue these days. Wells Fargo launched a new accelerator program last week targeting financial services startups and has already unveiled its first class of three participants. The program follows the general recipe these days for corporate accelerators, providing some cash, mentoring, and networking to young startups interested in the industry. Read More

  • Will Developer Tools Startups Ever Find Investors?

    Will Developer Tools Startups Ever Find Investors?

    Venture capital is an industry in which the exceptions are often more important than the rules. For many years, investors believed in a golden rule that software was the key to minting returns, leaving hardware as one of the most underinvested areas of venture. Then things changed as new technologies like 3D printing allowed hardware startups to accelerate their product design, and several… Read More

  • Algorithms Are Replacing Unions As The Champions of Workers

    Algorithms Are Replacing Unions As The Champions of Workers

    So when I look around the world today and observe who are the next champions of workers, I surprisingly don’t see them where you would normally expect. Unions were once the bastions of progressive improvements for labor, but they have been relegated to defending the status quo and are facing serious irrelevance in the United States today. Politicians as well seem almost ignorant of… Read More

  • The Logic Of Crazy Valuations

    The Logic Of Crazy Valuations

    August is the traditional vacation month for venture capitalists, who stream out of their Sand Hill Road offices to quieter points, ostensibly to reflect on the year so far and prepare for the heavy fall fundraising season. And what a year it has been! We now have several companies valued at around $10 billion and above, including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Uber. Those valuations seem tame compared… Read More

  • Stellar, Uber, And The Rise Of Computational Trust

    Stellar, Uber, And The Rise Of Computational Trust

    How do you feel about letting strangers into your home? Our homes act as a kind of sanctuary from the outside world, a highly personal and exclusive refuge. They should be safe. While it is a commonplace in cultures throughout the world to be gracious hosts to guests, such warmth rarely extends to complete strangers at the door. Read More

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