Foursquare Day - biggest usage day ever

Yesterday was Foursquare Day (4/16/11) and it was our biggest usage day ever - breaking 3M in 24 hours! Thanks from the foursquare team.

And also, thanks for the cake! (from http://palermobakery.com/)



Goodbye Zoe

You were full of life, joy, and love. We talked about changing the world, but the light you brought to it already had. We will miss you.


The Women (I know) in Tech

Over the last few months there's been a lot of public discussion / accusation / explanation around why there are few women working at technology startups.

Silicon Alley Insider pointed out the lack of women applying to "maker" (engineers, product managers, and designers) positions at small tech companies. TechCrunch asked everyone to stop blamming men (I agree with their argument), but then also published a fairly upsetting post by a guest blogger explaining that women would rather have children than run startups.

All of this discussion around the "mythical" woman in tech confounds me. I know a number of smart, ambitious women in technology. So I wonder, why doesn't tech press doesn't notice them as well?

My opinion is that women in tech (at least the ones I know) focus on Getting Things Done more than talking about Getting Things Done, and therefore don't build as strong of a public reputation as our male counterparts... but that's just one explanation ;)

Anyways, to dispel the myth and prove that we do exist, I thought I'd shine the spotlight on the awesome women engineers, product managers, and designers (aka: "makers") that I've worked with. Not all of them are in startups, but they are all fantastic.

Here we go... 
(Bold indicates they are at a startup, or were early enough at their company that it was a startup when they joined.)
(Also note, these are only the Engineers, Product Managers, and Designers I know... I should likely add women in other fields. But this list is in response to SAI's article which specifically spoke of women "makers", and other fields are generally more gender-balanced). 
  1. Amanda Peyton (Co-Founder, MessageParty)
  2. Amy Chang (Director of Product Management, Google)
  3. Amy Wu (Product Manager, Google)
  4. Andrea Sharfin (Product Manager, Flixster)
  5. Ashley Granata (Co-founder, Fashism)
  6. Avni Shah (Product Manager, Google)
  7. Beth Liebert (Product Manager, Google; Product Manager, Ideo)
  8. Bhanu Narasimhan (Product Manager, Google)
  9. Bindu Reddy (Co-founder, MyLikes, Product Manager, Google)
  10. Brooke Moreland (Co-founder, Fashism)
  11. Daisy Stanton (Software Engineer, Google)
  12. Elaine Montgomery (Head of User Experience Client Access, Deutsche Bank; UX Designer & Manager, Google) 
  13. Ellen Beldner (Principle Designer, LinkedIn; Director of User Experience, ChoiceVendor; Designer, Google) 
  14. Hannah Tang (Software Engineer, Google)
  15. Hayley Barna (Co-founder, Birchbox) 
  16. Heike Schmitz (Former Engineering Manager at Google)
  17. Hilary Mason (Scientist, Bit.ly; Co-Founder, HackNY.org)
  18. Irene Au (Head of User Experience, Google; VP of User Experience, Yahoo) 
  19. Jen Fitzpatrick (VP of Engineering, Google)
  20. Jenna Bilotta (Senior UX Designer, Google)
  21. Jessica Cheng (Co-founder, Color; Software Engineer, Google)
  22. Johanna Wright (Director of Product Management on Search at Google) 
  23. Julie Jalalpour (CRM Project Manager, Twitter) 
  24. Julie Parent (Software Engineer, Google)
  25. Katie Jacobs Stanton (VP, Twitter; Product Manager, Google)
  26. Kerah Cottrell (Web Designer; Senior UI Designer, Google)
  27. Kristina Holst (Engineering Manager, Facebook; Software Engineer, Google)
  28. Laura Granka (User Experience Researcher, Google)
  29. Leslie Yeh Johnson (Product Manager, Google)
  30. Lori Park (Software Engineer & Product Manager, Google) 
  31. Lucy Zhang (Co-founder, Beluga; Software Engineer, Google) 
  32. Mari Sheibley (Lead Visual Designer, foursquare) 
  33. Marisa Bauer (Software Engineer, Google)
  34. Marissa Evans (Founder, Go Try It On)
  35. Marissa Mayer (VP of Location & Local Services, Google; VP of Search Product and User Experience, Google) 
  36. Maryam Kamvar Garrett (Senior Software Engineer, Google)
  37. Maureen Heymans (Senior Staff Software Engineer, Google) 
  38. Mina Radhakrishnan (Product Manager, ModCloth; Product Manager, Google) 
  39. Minnie Ingersoll (Product Manager, Google)
  40. Mira Dontcheva (Research Scientist, Adobe) 
  41. Mizuki McGrath (Engineering Director, Search & Ads)
  42. Natala Menezes (Senior Product Manager, Amazon)
  43. Neha Narula (PhD Candidate MIT, Software Engineer, Google)
  44. Niniane Wang (CTO, Minted; Engineering Manager, Google; Engineering Manager, Microsoft) 
  45. Nori Heikkinen (Software Engineer, Google)
  46. Radha Chandika (Software Engineer, Google) 
  47. Renee Levie Budak (Founder, The Testing Team; Director of Product Management and Quality Assurance, MyLawsuit.com) 
  48. Rose Yao (Product Manager, Facebook; Senior Product Manager, Google) 
  49. Roseanne Marie DeHaven Wincek (Cofounder, ImTheMusic) 
  50. Ruchira S. Datta (Software Engineer, Google)
  51. Sha-Mayn Teh (Staff Software Engineer/Engineering Manager, Google)
  52. Sheridan Kates (Product Manager, Google)
  53. Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook; VP, Global Online Sales & Operations, Google)
  54. Shimrit Ben-Yair (Product Manager, Google; Software Engineer, Actimize & Nice Systems)
  55. Shirin Oskooi (Director of Product Management at DriverSide, Product Manager, Google)
  56. Siobhan Quinn (myself - Product Manager, foursquare; Product Manager & Software Engineer @ Google)
  57. Soraya Darabi (Co-founder, Foodspotting)
  58. Steph Hannon (Product Manager, Google; Software Engineer, Cisco)
  59. Susan Wojcicki (VP of Product, Adwords & AdSense at Google) 
  60. Tammy Camp (CEO at ComCorp, Inc)
  61. Tessa MacDuff (Senior Software Engineer, Google) 
  62. Tina Chen (Designer, Google) 
  63. Tina Huang (Software Engineer, Twitter; Software Engineer, Google) 
  64. Yael Shacham Shazeer (Senior Product Manager, Google)
 ... and these are only the women I know directly. There's tons more of amazing tech women building great, impactful products. I hope this little post helps them get the recognition they deserve!

And if you know any great female Product Managers, Engineers, or Designers, please add them in the comments. Would love this list to grow!


Google Web Fonts: Bringing Typography to the Web

Designers and developers have aspired to use rich typography on the web for a long time, but it has been an elusive goal until now. In the past few months, all modern browsers have begun supporting the CSS3 @font-face standard, and this support has created the potential for a rich visual experience online.

I am excited to share that last week, at Google IO, we launched the Google Font Directory and API,  which brings a diverse collection of high quality web fonts to everyone, for the first time. 

Typography on the Web is here!

With a couple lines of HTML and CSS, designers can safely create web pages using a choice of fonts (as opposed to the standard 9 “web safe” fonts that can be expected on all browsers), preserving all the advantages of true text over images or proprietary rich media plugins: real text is searchable, accessible through screenreaders, zooms crisply, and can be translated.

There are several components to the launch:

1. The Google Font Directory : a collection of high quality open source web fonts

2. The Google Font API: a simple, cross-browser method for using web fonts, that:
  • hides browser complexity by converting the font into a format compatible with any modern desktop browser
  • serves font files and CSS that are tuned and optimized for web serving
  • works well with CSS3 and HTML5 styling, including drop shadows and rotation. You can see many sites using the Font API today. 
Here’s a few cool examples: Smashing Magazine, Little Bird LLC, and the new Google Docs Form Themes. Note: see how Little Bird LLC web fonts can be translated by Google's translation tool.

3. Open Source WebFont Loader API (in collaboration with Typekit) that lets developers control how browsers treat fonts by triggering JavaScript events and preventing content reflow after the font downloads.

Congrats to the passionate team that made this happen, especially David Kuettel, Raph Levien, Jeremie Lenfant-Engelmann and Marc Tobias Kunisch!


What should come first for Bump Technologies? Product or Platform?

A few days ago I sat down with Jake Mintz and David Lieb to chat about their startup Bump Technologies.

For those of you that don't know Bump, Bump is a mobile application (available in your iPhone or Android app store) that lets you exchange contact information with another person by "bumping" your phones. Download it, make a friend download it too, hold your phones and fist bump.

Lieb explained that he got the idea for bump because he was frustrated by typing phone numbers into his cell phone. This frustration led Jake and David to leave the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and become members of Y-combinator's Summer class of 2009.

Will Bump replace business cards? Maybe... but not quiet yet. Bump's traffic patterns show that most users are using Bump on the weekends and around holidays: in casual settings with friends and family. This makes sense: since two people need to install bump in order to exchange information, most users hear about bump through friends that want to show off the cool new app. Unless you're at South By Southwest, it's unlikely you'll offer to "bump" someone to exchange contact information at a business conference or meeting.

But through these social meetups, Bump is spreading fast. In early March, Venture Beat reported that Bump had close to 10 million downloads, which puts Bump on approximately 10% of Apple's phones.


Ergo: The game that proves your existance while disproving the existance of your friends

My friend Brian Knudson (and his brother Brent) collaborated to create the game Ergo, a logic game perfect for philosophers & logic nuts alike.

Each player is assigned a variable and receive 5 cards representing a variable or a logical operator. During each rounder, players attempt to collectively build a Proof that proves their existence, while disproving the existence of any other player.

Here's an a sneak peak at the instructions (click image to read):

Congrats Brian on your first game to market! Now where's the mobile social version so I can play on my iPhone with my Facebook friends? Get on that! Can't wait to see the games you develop next.