After Dark V - We Left Our Hearts in San Francisco

Dhanum Nursigadoo
5min read

Taking us back to the bay of San Francisco, I’m recapping the hippest edition of After Dark we’ve ever done. Listen back here or stream below as Sam and Doug are joined by a panel of special guests for insights into some of the most surprising and interesting stories of the week and a look into the Bay area.

Sat in surprisingly comfy seats, with good drinks, amazing guests, and an even better audience we’re ready to start the show.

Live from the beautiful Institute of Possibility in an uncharacteristically wet San Francisco, Sam and Doug set off on the second half of our most ambitious show. Shooting the same day as our London event, After Dark - San Francisco! Over 200 tickets sold and an audience keen to prove they’re better than London. The inimitable Sam introduced six amazing guests in two rounds, first up: Kate Adamson, Head of Mortgage at Plaid, Tony Morosini, VP Banking at Sofi, and Anatoly Kvitnitsky, Head of Growth at Trulioo. Our next group of guests are just as brilliant: Mike Sigal, VC at 500 Startups, Lisa Gansky, VC at Mosaic, and Mark Jamison, Head of Innovation and Design at Visa.

Zuckerberg Suits Up for Congress

America doesn't value privacy - Kate Adamson
Setting off into the US news, the panel tackles Facebook’s data scandal with Cambridge Analytica. Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress and explained to some of the most powerful people in the nation what the company actually does. In a surprise to almost no-one, Zuckerberg told Congress Facebook makes their money selling ads. Some people are deleting their Facebook accounts, including one on the panel. But Zuckerberg has stated that the scandal hasn’t cost the company any noticeable number of users at all. Kate has a few apt words to say on that, and the panel as a whole doesn’t seem to think that people care about their privacy. A sentiment reflected by Facebook’s stock price going up since the scandal broke. Somehow the tech giant managed to come out of the whole situation looking better than Congress but that might be more of an indictment of US politics than anything else. However, Facebook is the least trusted of all the major tech companies, 56% of people distrust them compared to Google the next highest at 5%.

Equal Pay Day

If your board doesn’t reflect your target customer base you’re doing something wrong - Sam Maule
It’s been around since 1996 but Equal Pay Day hasn’t had a lot of recognition until recently. The obvious idea behind the day is to push and celebrate equality among the sexes in the form of equal pay. But at one recent event, Code Europe, there were 90 speakers, 89 were male. It’s not the most equal situation. Investment differences between men and women remain at 32%, even when dollar adjusted for the pay gap. The understanding is that fear is a huge reason why women aren’t investing at the same rate. There’s undoubtedly an untapped market there that a company could target. Women from the audience and Kate share a brief bit of their experience of what it’s like to be a woman in the tech industry. Focusing on the need to insist on morning coffee meetings over drinks at 10/11pm and fending off questions about their personal lives and baby plans. It’s a stark contrast to the men in the audience who say they only ever have to talk numbers. Kate informs us that due to too many bad experiences she’s taken to wearing a fake engagement ring at conferences if only to dissuade ‘old balding men’ (Sam’s words) from mentoring her with all the implication that brings.

Where’s the Heat in San Francisco's Silicon Valley?

Our first panel bows out to make way for the second group. We take a look at Silicon Valley and what’s necessary to thrive in the most competitive tech market on the planet. We also have a few spectacular rants on housing in San Francisco and AI. But you'll have to listen to the podcast to get those.
What's hot is a smart entrepreneur - Mike Sigal
Blind ambition isn’t enough, and VC firms don’t know what’s going to be great. VCs invest in what entrepreneurs think will change the world and bet on that drive. There are benefits to the Bay area for tech companies, but it’s looking more and more like Silicon Valley is a training ground to learn how to scale up before moving on. There are tech hubs at Jacksonville in Florida, Austin in Texas, and elsewhere which are just much cheaper for people to live. Thanks to all of our guests on the show, and to everyone who came to watch the show live, we couldn’t do any of it without you. Stay tuned for After Dark VI! Listen back to the episode in full here. To ensure you never miss an episode, subscribe to Fintech Insider now! Come talk to us @11FSTeam or @FintechInsiders on Twitter or if you want to send us an email.