TC’s Greg Epstein and Kate Clark talk mental health startups and the ‘Cult of the Founder’

by admin October 1, 2019 at 8:13 am
TC’s Greg Epstein and Kate Clark talk mental health startups and the ‘Cult of the Founder’ – TechCrunch

TechCrunch ethics columnist and its VC reporter dive into this week’s tech ethics news

Some weeks, tech ethics is in the news. And some weeks, it IS the news. This week was one of the latter.

There were so many ethically fraught news stories about technology companies over these past few days, I had trouble keeping track of them all. So I’m delighted that my latest interviewee for this series on ethics and technology is TechCrunch’s own Kate Clark, a reporter covering startups and venture capital.

Kate is one of the tech reporters on whom I rely most heavily for insight into what the hell is going on in Silicon Valley, and not just because she’s prolific, a fine writer, and so hardworking she seems to attend every VC dinner and startup product launch in Northern California (though she is all of those things).

I also turn to her (well actually, I turn to her Twitter — we’ve never met in person) because, though she would never claim to have any special training or authority in ethics, she has three of the top qualities I look for in an ethical leader: a passion for equitable inclusion; a well-modulated bullshit detector; and enough compassion for humanity to expect better of us all.

When Kate and I spoke on Wednesday afternoon, she was as harried as you might expect, at least based on her tweets.

image1 1

Image via Twitter / Kate Clark / @KateClarkTweets

Greg Epstein: I’ve been looking forward to talking to you for a while now, and I certainly picked a busy day.

Kate Clark: Not as bad as yesterday.

Epstein: I follow your work closely; it informs mine. I’m sitting here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I work, and I’m thinking about the ethics of technology.

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Cars might still reign supreme, but things they are a changin’. And companies are lining up to provide new ways u2014 and some recycled ones u2014 for people to get from Point A to Point B. The past several years have seen an explosion in startups, automakers and tech companies launching and testing products from […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:133574188,”featured_media”:1888222,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:”Everything you can learn about mobility at Disrupt SF https://tcrn.ch/2o2wvDl by @kirstenkorosec”,”categories”:[449557096,20429,2401],”tags”:[576630263],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[576608002],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/disrupt-mobility-roundup.png”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2o2wvDl”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[],”associatedEvent”:”ad”:”display”:true,”title”:”It’s not too late to grab your pass to Disrupt SF – Save $600 now”,”override_link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2019/tickets?ref=eventarticlebar&unii-trigger-open=MJ9SC8″,”date”:1569974400,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2019/”,”status”:”pre”,”title”:”Disrupt SF 2019″,”termID”:576608002,”event”:1696184,”authors”:[133574188],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1881519″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”version-history”:[“count”:13,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1881519/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:1888487,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1881519/revisions/1888487″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574188″],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”count”:1,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1881519&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1881519&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574188″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1888222″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1881519″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1881519″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1881519″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1881519″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1881519″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1881519″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:133574188,”name”:”Kirsten Korosec”,”url”:””,”description”:”Senior reporter and editor at TechCrunch.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/kirsten-korosec/”,”slug”:”kirsten-korosec”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/kirstenkorosec”,”position”:””,”cbDescription”:””,”cbAvatar”:””,”twitter”:”kirstenkorosec”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574188″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”]],”replies”:[[“id”:674159,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Rashaverick Overlord”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-09-29T19:38:26″,”content”:”rendered”:”

Read online independently reviewed on the global award winning leader in customized wifi voice in any language at lowest cost and highest quality in real time, from cmsvoice.com on August 6th, 2029, SPEECH MORPHING, “ERADICATING ILLITERACY(TM)”.n”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/28/everything-you-can-learn-about-mobility-at-disrupt-sf/#comment-674159″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b754eef8128d0724750c038787218fa9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”techcrunch”:”avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”UOOL2VXXPCWW63JIKYIHZUPO4Q”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/674159″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”],”up”:[“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1881519″]]],”author”:[“id”:133574188,”name”:”Kirsten Korosec”,”url”:””,”description”:”Senior reporter and editor at TechCrunch.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/kirsten-korosec/”,”slug”:”kirsten-korosec”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/110316be2cb39b80200a29351af7532b?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/kirstenkorosec”,”position”:””,”cbDescription”:””,”cbAvatar”:””,”twitter”:”kirstenkorosec”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574188″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”]],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“id”:1888222,”date”:”2019-09-27T14:02:31″,”slug”:”disrupt-mobility-roundup”,”type”:”attachment”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/28/everything-you-can-learn-about-mobility-at-disrupt-sf/disrupt-mobility-roundup/”,”title”:”rendered”:”disrupt-mobility-roundup”,”author”:24893112,”license”:””,”authors”:[24893112],”caption”:”rendered”:”

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According to Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, 80% of the product’s users rely on it, at least partially, for work.n

It makes sense, then, that the company is refocusing to try and cement its spot in the workplace; to shed its image as “just” a file storage company (in a time when just about every big company has its own cloud storage offering) and evolve into something more immutably core to daily operations.n

Earlier this week, Dropbox announced that the “new Dropbox” would be rolling out to all users. It takes the simple, shared folders that Dropbox is known for and turns them into what the company calls “Spaces” u2014 little mini collaboration hubs for your team, complete with comment streams, AI for highlighting files you might need mid-meeting, and integrations into things like Slack, Trello and G Suite. With an overhauled interface that brings much of Dropbox’s functionality out of the OS and into its own dedicated app, it’s by far the biggest user-facing change the product has seen since launching 12 years ago.n

Shortly after the announcement, I sat down with Dropbox VP of Product Adam Nash and CTO Quentin Clark . We chatted about why the company is changing things up, why they’re building this on top of the existing Dropbox product, and the things they know they just can’t change.n

You can find these interviews below, edited for brevity and clarity.n

Greg Kumparak: Can you explain the new focus a bit?n

Adam Nash: Sure! I think you know this already, but I run products and growth, so I’m gonna have a bit of a product bias to this whole thing. But Dropbox… one of its differentiating characteristics is really that when we built this utility, this “magic folder”, it kind of went everywhere.n

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