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. CrunchBase profile →

Featured Picks from Danny Crichton


Latest from Danny Crichton

  • 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

  • New Study Shows The Decline Of Startups And America’s Geriatric Economy

    New Study Shows The Decline Of Startups And America’s Geriatric Economy

    A few months ago, I asked a simple question: “Can Google ever be beat?” The query was less about Google itself, and more a question about the potential of startups to disrupt the largest companies in our economy. Do we have the talent and capital infrastructure needed for nascent companies to grow and compete against mature incumbents? I argued strongly that we do not, but I based… Read More

  • With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book

    With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book

    Apple’s acquisition of BookLamp, a Boise, Idaho-based startup billed as a “Pandora for Books,” is a key move in the battle over the future of our printed-and-bound friends. When we combine this information with the rumors swirling around a potential smartwatch product from Apple, we can start to gaze into the future of publishing. Read More

  • How Can We Make Recruiting Better?

    How Can We Make Recruiting Better?

    Recruiting is broken. In fact, it is so broken that almost no one I have ever talked to about the subject has offered up a point of disagreement. Not one person has said, “I love recruiting” or “We find that recruiting works just great for us.” Among the Valley’s cognoscenti, today’s startup truism is that recruiting is the most important function of a… Read More

  • The Problem With Founders

    The Problem With Founders

    Feeling bored at work? Just go start a company. Feeling depressed about life and lack any direction? Just go start a company. Broke up recently? Just go start a company. Had a parent die and can’t move on? Just go start a company. (To be fair, I overheard that one last year. Apparently the idea is that you get so busy you can’t think about anything else. Grieving 2.0?) The irony of… Read More

  • Amazon Isn’t Killing Writing, The Market Is

    Amazon Isn’t Killing Writing, The Market Is

    Amazon’s war on publishers reached a crescendo yesterday with the leak of Kindle Unlimited, a subscription plan that would allow readers to pay $9.99 per month for unlimited access to the Kindle ebook library. No longer content with simply demanding steeper discounts from publishers like Hachette — which is locked in a bitter fight with the ecommerce giant over book prices… Read More

  • Silicon Valley’s Dilemma Over Credentials

    Silicon Valley’s Dilemma Over Credentials

    Silicon Valley has been heavily derided by the media these past few months, on everything from Google executives forcing senior citizens out of their homes and founders accused of sexually harassing women to startups stealing reservations and parking spots. Despite the shrill news around “JerkTech,” I believe that Silicon Valley on the whole is fundamentally a decent place, one… Read More

  • Our Polyglot Nightmare

    Our Polyglot Nightmare

    The diversity of human languages has been on the decline for decades. With the rise of globalized communications and business, the world has accelerated its shedding of unpopular languages, as speakers increasingly focus their efforts on those that afford them the most economic and social opportunities. The loss of these languages has even spawned efforts like the Endangered Languages Project… Read More

  • With Political Failures Left And Right, Tech Needs To Rethink Its Strategy

    With Political Failures Left And Right, Tech Needs To Rethink Its Strategy

    Politics is the bête noire of hackers and entrepreneurs. It lacks the precision and logic of a function in a computer program while being incredibly inefficient to boot. Taxi services have been bad for decades in cities like San Francisco thanks to local politics, but a dedicated technology startup managed to ameliorate the situation in just a handful of years. Read More

  • With Software Eating Hardware, Silicon Valley Enters “Hard” Times

    With Software Eating Hardware, Silicon Valley Enters “Hard” Times

    Software’s inevitable dominance is something of an axiom in Silicon Valley, where Marc Andreessen once famously wrote that it was “eating the world.” Software companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook are among the world’s most iconic and valuable, and new startups like Airbnb and Uber aim to transform traditional industries like hotels and taxis. Read More