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

  • In Ambitious Security Play, Skyport Launches The Next Generation of Secure Infrastructure

    In Ambitious Security Play, Skyport Launches The Next Generation of Secure Infrastructure

    Winter is coming to the icy land of IT departments. Ferocious cyberattacks against corporate IT infrastructures are proliferating, and it seems like every day we hear about another company experiencing a critical data breach. Sometimes those leaks are minor, but other times, the leaks are an entire company’s email archive. The threat environment for IT systems has arguably never been… Read More

  • Why Is The University Still Here?

    Why Is The University Still Here?

    Universities are supposed to be dead. These bastions of higher learning have been on Silicon Valley’s hit list for much of the past decade, and disruption phasers targeting the industry have certainly been set to kill in the years since the global financial crisis. And yet after years of efforts, we have arrived in 2015 and almost nothing seems to have changed about the way we get… Read More

  • A Mission Of Excellence

    A Mission Of Excellence

    Changing the world. You do it every time you walk on a sidewalk kicking dirt (entropy!) and every time you join a startup in San Francisco. Many of the Valley’s top companies have had such broad cri de coeurs. Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Facebook’s is to “make the world more… Read More

  • The Secret About Rich Founders And Ferraris

    The Secret About Rich Founders And Ferraris

    By now, the outrage machine is in full bore over the shutdown of Valley darling Secret. The once high-flying app, which allowed you to anonymously share details with your friends and the wider world, eventually sputtered in its growth, leading its founders to shut it down yesterday. Startups fail all the time, but what made this one special was that the founders, David Byttow and Chrys… Read More

  • You Need To Be A Billion Just To Make A Million

    You Need To Be A Billion Just To Make A Million

    I always love peering into the world of executive recruiting. As a grad student and as a writer, the thought that there are people out there chasing other people to get them to work at massive wages always seemed to me like a bounty hunter scene out of a strange science fiction movie. Sometimes the wages offered are as much as $1 million; sometimes, that’s not enough. Competition in… Read More

  • With Water Running Out, Freight Farms Launches 2015 Farm-In-A-Box

    With Water Running Out, Freight Farms Launches 2015 Farm-In-A-Box

    Climate change is real, and it is getting uglier. Global temperatures are continuing to rise, placing enormous strain on water and food supplies throughout the world. Many areas have been hit hard by the climate disruption, but none more prominently than California, where the state has entered its fourth year of drought with massively diminishing water supplies and hectares of fallow… Read More

  • Oh, The Places You Will Go With Hackers

    Oh, The Places You Will Go With Hackers

    Wanderlust in San Francisco used to mean going anywhere west of Mount Sutro to exotic locales like the Outer Sunset. But a new generation of creative worker, backed by the cloud and increasingly ubiquitous worldwide internet connectivity, is seeking to travel outside of the 7×7 to the wider world of the seven continents. Two startups, RemoteYear and Hacker Paradise, are taking… Read More

  • With Judge Analytics, Ravel Law Starts To Judge The Judges

    With Judge Analytics, Ravel Law Starts To Judge The Judges

    From murder and terrorism to patent conflicts and sexual discrimination lawsuits, courtrooms are home to some of the most important dramas in our society. While our top retailers can identify people who are pregnant weeks before even the consumer has realized it themselves, lawyers continue to argue cases before judges with data based on a handful of anecdotes from other attorneys. Ravel Law… Read More

  • The Valley Of The Sith Lords

    The Valley Of The Sith Lords

    Twitter just gave the bird to startups, and I am not talking about their logo. By now, you have probably heard that Twitter is going to cut off third-party access to its firehose of data. DataSift, one of several startups that rely on this access for their business, are now scrambling to reassure customers that their product is going to continue to work. “Blindsided” is how… Read More

  • Yahoo Answers Is Not Research, Or How Two Startups Are Fighting For The Future Of Knowledge

    Yahoo Answers Is Not Research, Or How Two Startups Are Fighting For The Future Of Knowledge

    We’re told never to forget the ultimate laziness of humans, but when it comes to research in the internet age, sometimes that laziness can shock even the most prepared of minds. Students in grade school have grown accustomed to “remixing” internet sources to create their research reports, copying a line from here and a line from there into a massive kludge of plagiarism… Read More

  • Flappy Bird, The Problem With Everyone, And My Baptism By Chauffeured Bus

    Flappy Bird, The Problem With Everyone, And My Baptism By Chauffeured Bus

    This column is my 100th for TechCrunch. Although I write weekly, I like to think that each post ages me roughly one year, or at least doubles Uber’s valuation (you’re welcome – you may send my equity check in the mail). No one ever told me that I would get grey hair from this job not from deadlines, but from writing about an industry that is at best, completely insane. Of… Read More

  • When April Fools’ Day Gets More Love Than Good Policy

    When April Fools’ Day Gets More Love Than Good Policy

    Here is something to ponder: Silicon Valley will have gotten more work done on its April Fools’ Day jokes tomorrow than Washington has gotten done in the past several years. And that’s scary, for as much as playing PacMan on Google Maps is funny and maybe even endearing, driving on bridges ready to collapse is not. Read More

  • The Most Powerful Force In The Universe

    The Most Powerful Force In The Universe

    There was an incredible media glare this week on the Kleiner Perkins sex discrimination trial and its negative outcome for Ellen Pao, but all the news about equality in tech was not nearly as negative. One of the most significant victories for women in tech came this week from Google, where Ruth Porat, the current Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley, accepted an offer to join the… Read More

  • BetterCloud Raises $25 Million From Accel To Create Universal Tools For Monitoring The Office Cloud

    BetterCloud Raises $25 Million From Accel To Create Universal Tools For Monitoring The Office Cloud

    The cloud revolution continues to gobble up old players, and none more so than in office productivity. Microsoft, once the Borg of office software with its Office and Exchange products, has faced immense competition to its Office 365 online subscription service from Google and now even from Apple, which brought its own online versions of Pages and Numbers out of beta last month. That… Read More

  • Why Don’t Makers Have Higher Social Status?

    Why Don’t Makers Have Higher Social Status?

    Matt Burns wrote about a situation at his son’s school last week that could have happened almost anywhere in the United States. The school had organized a career day, and his son, who is seven years old, told his teachers he wanted to be a video game designer one day. His teacher’s response was not to be enthusiastic, but rather to dismiss the goal, saying that his son should… Read More

  • How To Play VC Poker With Billions In The Pot

    How To Play VC Poker With Billions In The Pot

    As the ranks of super unicorns continue to grow, such as with Pinterest’s shiny new $11 billion valuation, analysts are increasingly scrutinizing these prices and whether they signal a new tech bubble. Bill Gurley, the Uber investor and partner at Benchmark, argued at SXSW this week that there will be “dead unicorns” among some of these high-priced companies. Another angle… Read More

  • On Secretly Terrible (Old) Engineers

    On Secretly Terrible (Old) Engineers

    Last week, I wrote a column on the deep fear held by many in the startup ecosystem of hiring a “Secretly Terrible Engineer.” I argued that for a variety of cultural reasons, software engineering has developed an elaborate interview system to ensure that these STEs – who seem practically mythical in reality – are caught before they can do any damage. I also heaped scorn… Read More

  • After 3 Years And $64M In Seed Funding, Onshape Launches The Mother Of All Products

    After 3 Years And $64M In Seed Funding, Onshape Launches The Mother Of All Products

    Behind every product is a product, almost invariably a computer-aided design (CAD) software package known as Solidworks. If you are a designer and want to draft a belt buckle for a new handbag, you have to use this software to carefully extrude the metal contours so that it is ready for manufacturing. Nearly every physical object we use – from our iPhones and headphones to our paper… Read More

  • On Secretly Terrible Engineers

    On Secretly Terrible Engineers

    They lurk, unnoticed in the great halls of engineering that are the office strips along Highway 101. “Programmers” not programmers, people who have cheated, stolen, and lied their way through engineering careers without anyone realizing they can’t code. They are among us, incompetent Cylons secretly plotting to undermine us at a crucial time. Secretly terrible engineers… Read More

  • BriefMe Launches Socially-Ranked News App In Latest Entrant In Front Page Revolution

    BriefMe Launches Socially-Ranked News App In Latest Entrant In Front Page Revolution

    Primacy is the most important decision facing news editors on a daily basis. What stories do they want to bring attention to? Newspapers can showcase their best content by placing it on the front page, above the fold. Television news programs can place it on the chyron at the bottom of the screen, boldly demanding the attention of viewers. And websites showcase their important stories with… Read More