Want to know the future? Anil Dash’s approach is simply to listen. But listen really hard. Enough that it makes you uncomfortable or reconsider some deeply held notion. The head of Fog Creek Software has played a role in an incredible number of online platforms, from tools to help the government better interact with citizens to huge blogging communities and software that powered many of the earliest social platforms.
Anil Dash is an entrepreneur, activist and writer recognized as one of the most prominent voices advocating for a more humane, inclusive and ethical technology industry. He is the CEO of Fog Creek Software, the independent New York City tech company that incubated landmark startups like Trello and Stack Overflow, and created Glitch, the friendly new community that helps anyone make the app of their dreams.
Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, and today advises major startups and non-profits including Medium and DonorsChoose. He also serves as a board member for companies like Stack Overflow, the world’s largest community for computer programmers, and non-profits like the Data & Society Research Institute, whose research examines the impact of tech on society and culture; the NY Tech Alliance, America’s largest tech trade organization; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, which serves girls and families in need in New York City.
Described as a “blogging pioneer” by the New Yorker, Dash has a unique presence on social media, where he’s been maintaining his Webby-recognized personal website since 1999, with its analysis of the technology industry and its impact on culture earning recognition and citations in sources ranging from the New York Times to the BBC to TMZ, as well as hundreds of academic papers. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and it is the only account ever retweeted by both Bill Gates and Prince, a succinct summarization of Dash’s interests. As a writer and artist, Dash has been a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Wired, has had his works exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and DJed the XOXO arts festival.
Prior to joining Fog Creek, Dash cofounded Makerbase, an online community for people who make apps and websites, and Activate, the boutique management consultancy which defines strategies for many of the most important companies in media and technology.
Earlier in his career, Dash founded the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which studied online public engagement in policy making. He also helped start Six Apart, the seminal social media company that invented the technology behind many of the earliest and most influential social media sites on the Internet.
Dash is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm. Dash has never played a round of golf, drank a cup of coffee, or graduated from college.