Friday, August 20, 2004

In The Evening Air

The other night I had a lovely dinner with Lucy Sanders from NCWIT at the Legal Seafoods in Harvard Square. There was a light wind, a flirty thing full with sexy warm summer air and night murmuring sounds, blowing up gracefully and it was just a lovely evening.

Funny how it felt rather romantic and I saw couples out and about, but Lucy and I are all business and busy changing the world. A dreamy night for lovers perhaps, but our significant others were home and busy -- meanwhile, we were dreaming up something else entirely -- a whole new world of high-tech opportunity.

On the table there were paper placemats loaded with pretty pictures of sexy salmon and not just any salmon, but Wild Alaska Salmon and Legal's was singing the praises of these fine fish. I love salmon and the placemats got me so excited, I had to call Brad Feld just to say hi, since he's in Alaska and it just seemed right.

But again, it's all serious business, since Brad is on the board of NCWIT. NCWIT is the National Center for Women and Information Technology and our aim is simple -- get more women into IT because we love it and we know our sisters, daughters, moms, friends and all the other women we know will love it too.

We were chatting about how a number of men on our board (especially the ones with daughters) are so keen on making these new initiatives happen. We go to meetings with them and we have to reign THEM in when they start getting hot and bothered about how we need many more women in IT.

And of course, Tom Peters knows the bottom line on the whole issue. It's not a feminist rant, it's an innovator's dilemma -- adding diversity to your high-tech company adds depth and innovation to your products and who doesn't want that?

In my bright pink jelly purse, there was a torn-out copy of Clay Shirky's article from Wired called "Why Oprah Will Never Talk To You. Ever." about weblogging. (Great piece btw.) Clay argues that famous people have so many people wanting to interact with them, they just can't connect with them all, so they become a "broadcaster" whether they want to or not.

Ironically, Lucy and I decided we need to talk to Oprah about hosting a team of girl geeks on her show, following their progress, showing how fun technology is -- maybe ask the Girl Scouts to get behind it. And I have talked to Oprah before, so I sure hope she will talk to me again. Need her help. Need to meet her tech guy, Omar Wasow. Just did a Google on the guy -- oh hell -- People Magazine named him the Sexiest Internet Executive alive it seems -- that should make it 100X more difficult to get in touch with him. Yikes. Well, I always find a way. Watch out, Omar, heading your way man.