A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride: Every once in a while, you hear an old reporter say, “I’m gathering string,” which is an idiom that means “reporting.”
Not many people use the idiom anymore, and not many reporters report anymore, which is too bad. If you’re going to weave a true narrative, you need a big fat ball of string.
I’ve been gathering string about AI and the people at the core of the movement to use data ethically. One of them is David Magerman, the brilliant former hedge fund trader who first made headlines for publicly criticizing his billionaire boss, Robert Mercer. The two worked at Renaissance Technologies; Mercer was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and an investor in Cambridge Analytica.
After a turn as an anti-big-tech/pro-privacy philanthropist (he was one of the funders of Social Dilemma through the Center for Humane Technology, he told me), Magerman is now a venture capitalists. His firm invests in AI-driven companies. Interesting, right? Everybody claims the moral high ground these days, from fashion executives to gaming companies to Andreessen-Horowitz-backed big-platform plays. But few people demonstrate real courage or have the tenacity to be ethical on a day-to-day basis, when it counts most. That’s what David and I talked about: the day-to-day business of ethical capitalism. I’ll have that interview next week.
We launched a feature on our home page that allows you to support Times of E and receive, for free, one of three resources: Our 7 Deadly Sins For Founders Trying Engage the Media; Times of E’s working list of 100 philanthropists in the entrepreneurship space, or The New Builders, the book, I co-wrote with Seth Levine. If today’s not the day to support Times of E, you can click through. Times of E covers the emerging ecosystem of diverse founders. One of our discoveries as we gathered string on this hitherto under-covered world: diverse founders care a lot about ethics and doing right by their communities and employees. Please consider supporting our small team, these founders and their stories by making a gift.
Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week
From a Tavern in Chattanooga, to a Family-Owned NOLA Restaurant, Owners Struggle to Keep Businesses—And Customers—Alive.
Restaurateurs across the U.S. weigh tough vaccine decisions. No matter what they decide, the trolls come for them.
Read the Story » Report: Black Americans More Likely to Start A Business Than White Americans
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor also found women entrepreneurs were more likely to stick it out during the pandemic.
Read the Story » This Couple Bought A Kayaking Business During the Pandemic. They Couldn’t Be Happier.
Plus: London Is Better for Women Entrepreneurs, and $4M for education innovators.
Read the Story » Small Is Big
An excerpt in the Stanford Social Innovation Review from The New Builders, co-authored by Seth Levine and Elizabeth MacBride. How do you balance scale with innovation and recognize the vital role played by small businesses?
Note: Entrepreneur Dawn Higgins came to The New Builders book signing in Alexandria, Va., and mentioned she needs a manufacturer who can help with prototypes and small batches for a fabric bag for dog necessities — she’s already digitized the pattern. “I’m exploring this phase of bringing my idea to life,” she said. If you have any ideas for her, let me know at [email protected]
You may have missed: $10B Barrels Toward State Programs for Entrepreneurs. But Who Will Benefit? A new report suggests a haphazard system of incentive programs for tech companies seems to leave small businesses out of the picture. Read it here.
You may have missed: Billionaire Hobby Lobby Family Backs a New Accelerator in Oklahoma City Redemptive entrepreneurship has found footing in the evangelical community. Read it here.
You may have missed: An Afghani Immigrant Had Some Clout in his Adopted State, Arkansas. Was it Enough? The untold story of the evacuations: Many lives and deaths were decided on the old rubric of its-who-you-know. Read it here.
Living the Dream
Best Practices: A Pitchbook Analyst’s Note shows half of all US VC deal activity takes place in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco area—but smaller markets such as Denver and Philadelphia are seeing increased activity. What’s holding the rest of the US back from growth is the lack of a local funding ecosystem, the report’s authors contend. Emerging fund managers could seize the moment to pioneer new ecoysystems.
Buzzworthy: Why are so many people miserable when they live in relative wealth and comfort? In A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Brent Weinstein, a married couple, argue that the modern world is out of sync with the way our brains and bodies are wired—and show how this is contributing to the polarization of society.
The 4.5 hour workweek: A productivity hack Apple has encouraged all users to update their phones following a scary hack that allows spyware to easily take over any Apple computer, watch or iPhone (even if you haven’t clicked on a suspicious link). The Citizen Lab discovered it and reported it to Apple. Put this in your calendar so you don’t forget.
Made in the USA Heidi Barr used to create disposable costumes for film and television productions. Then she decided to switch from synthetics to natural fibers. When she discovered most linen is imported from overseas, she started the Flax Project, to create a base of U.S.-grown flax for linen supply. She now sells her wares through Kitchen Garden Textiles, a line of sustainable organic linen home textiles. You can buy a reusable coffee filter for $24 or tea bag for $7.50.
Wanderlust : a restaurant or activity from our Top Ecosystems list If you’re back to business travel and are heading toward Indianapolis, splurge on the Chef’s Tasting Menu at Vida ($95 per person). Currently the six-course meal includes yellowfin tuna, pork belly, roasted maitake with salmon roe, corn agnolotti, Wagyu ribeye, and a lime-pepita crumble with marshmallow meringue.
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