I’m a technology entrepreneur, activist, and writer focused on making the tech world more humane and ethical. Having created Internet technologies for two decades, I’ve become obsessed with the way technology shapes and transforms society, media, government and culture. My advocacy focuses on ensuring tech benefits those who are most vulnerable and in the most need. This often involves connecting tech to policy, pop culture, urbanism, social justice and other domains that the technology industry has historically overlooked.

Here’s a bio:

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.

What I Do:

Executive

Fog Creek Software: I’m the CEO of Fog Creek Software, one of the most venerable and influential independent software companies in the world. With a track record that includes helping create Stack Overflow and inventing Trello, Fog Creek has a history of creating products that reach tens of millions of users and that help define modern coding culture. Today, Fog Creek focuses on its friendly new community Glitch, where anyone can create the app of their dreams, and FogBugz, the well-regarded suite of tools that helps any team make great software.

anildash.com: I’ve been writing and publishing this personal blog (formerly dashes.com) continuously since 1999. This site was a Webby honoree in 2010 in the Personal Blog category, and in combination with my presence on social networks such as Twitter and Medium is one of the few personal blogs that’s been cited in sources ranging from the New York Times to the BBC to TMZ as well as hundreds of academic citations.

Board Member

Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow makes the Internet better by providing the world’s largest community for programmers to learn, share their knowledge, and advance their careers. I’ve served as a member of the board since 2011.

NY Tech Alliance: The NY Tech Alliance is one of the world’s largest technology trade organizations, with over 60,000 individual and institutional members. In 2011, I became the first director to be elected to the board by its members, with a mandate to improve the tech sector’s engagement with policy and civics.

Data & Society Research Institute: Data & Society is a research institute in New York City that is focused on social, cultural, and ethical issues that arise with technology’s increasing impact on our daily lives. I have served on the board since its inception in 2013.

Lower East Side Girls Club: The Girls Club provides innovative, community-based programs and services for girls and young women that helps break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental leaders. I joined the board in 2015.

Cash Music: Cash Music is a non-profit that provides free and open tools and resources to educate and empower musicians to support themselves and grow their communities online. I joined the board in 2015.

Advisor

Medium

Medium: Medium is one of the most innovative and influential publishing platforms on the Internet today. I advise the company as it advances the state of the art in web publishing, and contribute as a writer to its featured collection, The Message.

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose: I’m a member of the National Advisory Council of respected educational nonprofit DonorsChoose, which is pioneering a fundamentally new way of engaging people in supporting classroom education to directly help students in need.

Vox Media

Vox Media: I’m a technical advisor to Vox Media, assisting in their development of a media company where passionate writers are given a platform to reach communities in an innovative new way through sites like Vox, SB Nation, and The Verge.

Disclaimer

None of the organizations mentioned here are responsible for anything you see on this site. You might get a better understanding of what I do by looking at these videos and press articles about me and my work. Or you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to this site to keep up with me online.

Selected Press/Media

Some representative videos of my work, ranging from discussions of public policy to encouraging support for clean water in rural India to entirely improvised comedic slideshows:

You can see a list of recent press mentions and quotes on Google News, see published mentions of me on this Amazon.com Search, and see academic citations of my work via Google Scholar. Some highlights:

    Previously

    Acquired by Atlassian, 2017

    Trello: Trello is a flexible and fun way to manage projects, for everything from simple todo lists to complex team efforts. I made a small angel investment because it’s a helpful tool that millions use every day. In January of 2017, Atlassian acquired Trello for $425 million.

    Makerbase: I cofounded (with Gina Trapani) and was CEO of Makerbase, a user-created directory of apps, websites, and the people who make them. Makerbase is now part of Fog Creek Software.

    Activate: I cofounded Activate, the strategy consultancy that guides the leaders of the biggest media, technology and entertainment companies in developing their strategies for growth. I led the firm’s innovation practice, advising on emerging technologies and helping grow Activate into the pre-eminent boutique strategy consulting firm. Today I remain an advisor to the firm.

    ThinkUp: ThinkUp was a pioneering social media analytics app lauded by the New York Times as “indispensable”. Built on top of one of the most inclusive and popular open source platforms of its time, ThinkUp offered a wholly unique view into the time we spend on social networks until its shutdown in 2016.

    Wired: Wired is one of the most respected and popular general interest titles in the history of magazines. As a contributing editor, my monthly opinion column covered the impact technology has on society.

    Acquired by Postlight, 2016

    Readability: I advised Readability in their mission to offer a fundamental improvement to the experience of reading, across all modern platforms from the web to mobile devices, while rewarding readers, writers and publishers. Readability was acquired by Postlight and re-released as Mercury Reader.

    Report Completed, 2014

    Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet: I was invited to be a member of this Task Force focused on the future of education and how new technologies will have an impact on the way we learn. The Task Force’s final recommendations have been shared broadly with educators, students, parents, policy makers and the private sector.

    Acquired by Facebook, 2014

    Branch: Branch built a beautiful platform to encourage civil, productive, personal conversations on the web, through their apps Branch and Potluck. I advised the team until their acquisition by Facebook.

    Acquired by Etsy, 2013

    Mixel: Mixel was one of the most innovative and expressive early apps on the iPad. I advised Lascaux, the company behind the collage app Mixel, from its inception through its team eventually joining Etsy.

    Project Completed, 2012

    In 2009, I founded Expert Labs under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and with the backing of the MacArthur Foundation.During the 3 years of our experiment, we worked closely with lawmakers from the municipal and state level all the way to the White House and members of Congress to drive direct public feedback on laws through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    Acquired by Causes, 2013

    Votizen: Votizen worked to help people campaign together for the issues and candidates they care about. I was ostensibly an advisor to Votizen, but it was acquired by Causes.com before I made any substantive contributions.

    Acquired by Google, 2012

    Oink: I advised Milk, Inc. on their effort to create Oink, an app for recording and sharing all the experiences and products you enjoy in a day. The Milk team was acquired by Google in 2012.

    Merged with Say Media, 2010

    Six Apart: Six Apart was the company that created Movable Type and TypePad as the first professional blogging tools, used to build sites from Gawker to the Huffington Post. I was the first employee, led business development and helped the company grow to over 200 employees worldwide. In 2010, Six Apart became part of Say Media.

    United Nations: The United Nations launched its Social Media Envoy program to help get the word out in the battle against malaria, and I was honored to take part as one of the first members of the program.

    Greedhead Music: Greedhead’s work in creating a new kind of record label, including their launch of the career of their flagship act, Das Racist, set a new standard in the music industry and helped give a platform to voices that had been overlooked in conventional hip hop as well as broader genres like comedy.