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

  • 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

  • It’s Well Past Time VCs Hired HR Directors

    It’s Well Past Time VCs Hired HR Directors

    Those following the Pao/KPCB saga in court yesterday were treated to the testimony of Trae Vassallo, a former Kleiner partner, who claimed on the witness stand that she too was uncomfortably propositioned by Ajit Nazre. Nazre was the Kleiner partner who Pao claims in her lawsuit harassed her after the two had a falling out. Vassallo said in court that when she brought this to the attention of… Read More

  • Armed With $2M, Fedora Hopes To Create The Next Million Dollar Teachers

    Armed With $2M, Fedora Hopes To Create The Next Million Dollar Teachers

    For years, the formula for teaching has been simple in the United States. Get a license from a local college, join a public school, and teach several groups of kids a day for the next several decades. Pay for the profession remains low, but is mostly consistent. To increase earnings, teachers can take additional classes toward master’s and doctoral degrees, or just wait their turn… Read More

  • How 51 Shades Of Licensing Is Killing Our Economy

    How 51 Shades Of Licensing Is Killing Our Economy

    Who should live and who should die? Every day, thousands of patients across the United States put their lives into the hands of trained medical professionals, relying on the skill, experience, and intuition of these experts to safely regain their health. Medical doctors are strictly licensed, required to go through years of rigorous academic training and apprenticeships before they are allowed… Read More

  • Harvard Innovation Challenge Winner Quorum Hopes To Replace Gaggles Of Interns In DC With Data-Driven Policy

    Harvard Innovation Challenge Winner Quorum Hopes To Replace Gaggles Of Interns In DC With Data-Driven Policy

    Every summer, thousands of mostly unpaid interns flood the nation’s capital to learn the intricacies of passing legislation (read: making coffee). All of those projects like “who voted for us?” and “what should we do next?” that have been on the office back burner since they just aren’t important to anyone now have a chance to grab the limelight. Few… Read More

  • Startups, A Rich Man’s Game

    Startups, A Rich Man’s Game

    Despite the Silicon Valley echo chamber, starting a company remains easily among the most risky career moves for workers. The stress of the job can easily lead to burnout or long-lasting mental health issues. Failures, despite being lauded in some corners, still too often harm a founder’s future career prospects. But the greatest risk of building a new company is almost certainly financial. Read More

  • MIT Alums Launch Beansprock, An AI-Based Job Platform For Finding Your Best Employer

    MIT Alums Launch Beansprock, An AI-Based Job Platform For Finding Your Best Employer

    When we think of employment, we think of jobs. We have job boards, job searches, and job listings, and yet what most of us actually care about when we change positions is the context of our new employment. Who will be our coworkers? What will the company be like? How large is it? What will be our role? Read More

  • Silicon Valley Reinvents The Invisible Hand

    Silicon Valley Reinvents The Invisible Hand

    Jobs are the lifeblood of the economy. Whether self-employed or company-employed, workers rely on steady incomes to consume goods and pay for all of the necessities of life. When jobs are plentiful, friction decreases between job applicants and employers, ensuring that income is earned earlier and more frequently. Read More

  • With Mimo, MIT Alums Are Disrupting The Baby Nursery, Onesie At A Time

    With Mimo, MIT Alums Are Disrupting The Baby Nursery, Onesie At A Time

    For all the innovation that has come out of startups, few have addressed one of the hardest tasks in the world: caring for a newborn infant. Whether it is providing milk at 3 a.m. or ensuring that the baby is exposed to the right shapes and sounds appropriate for its age, parents are faced with a near-constant barrage of challenges, often under incredible pressure and stress. Read More

  • Rebuilding VC, And Saving Boston Too

    Rebuilding VC, And Saving Boston Too

    There is a tension at the heart of the startup ecosystem in Boston between glorifying the city’s past as a leader in the Industrial Revolution and acknowledging the city’s current status in the tech world behind Silicon Valley and New York City. No where is that tension more visible than in the relationships between founders and venture capitalists. Founders frequently complain… Read More

  • How Yello Mobile Ate 61 Startups In One Year

    How Yello Mobile Ate 61 Startups In One Year

    So many eyeballs, so little growth. Or so Yahoo’s recent performance under Marissa Mayer could be summarized. Joining Yahoo as its head in 2012, Mayer quickly made a splash with a rapid series of acquisitions, from the billion dollar purchase of Tumblr to the $30 million acquisition of Summly. The performance of that strategy has been lackluster. While Yahoo has acquired nearly 50… Read More

  • The Hypocrisy of U.S. Cyber Policy

    The Hypocrisy of U.S. Cyber Policy

    The breakneck growth in internet usage over the past two decades has forced policymakers to confront a host of challenges, from how to regulate the sharing economy to who owns the infrastructure behind the “tubes” themselves. While tempers have flared on a number of these issues, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to policymakers. The transformation of our society has been… Read More

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