Hi, I'm Anil Dash

I’m an activist and entrepreneur focused on making technology and the tech industry more humane and ethical. Over more than two decades working in tech, I’ve become obsessed with the way technology shapes and transforms society, media, government and culture. My writing and advocacy primarily focus on ensuring tech’s effects on the world help those who most need support, though I also tend to take some fun detours into pop culture, policy, urbanism and general geeking out.

Here’s a bio:

Anil Dash is an entrepreneur, activist and advocate working to make technology and the tech industry more humane, inclusive and ethical. He is cofounder of Makerbase, an online community for people who make apps and websites, and Activate, the boutique management consultancy which defines strategies for the most important companies in media and technology.

Described as a “blogging pioneer” by the New Yorker, Dash has been blogging continuously since 1999, earning recognition as a Webby honoree. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and some of its more than half million followers agree. His Twitter account is the only one that’s been retweeted by the White House, 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, has DJed the XOXO arts festival, and co-created monegraph, the first system to use bitcoin technology to verify original digital creations.

Dash serves as a board member for a wide range of companies and non-profits: Stack Overflow, the largest community of developers in the world; Data & Society Research Institute, which is pioneering research into the impacts of tech on society and culture; NY Tech Meetup, the largest technology trade group in the United States;  Cash Music, the nonprofit platform working to support musicians online; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, which serves girls and families in New York City. He also advises key startups and non-profits including Medium and DonorsChoose.

Prior to his current roles, Dash founded the non-profit Expert Labs, backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), to collaborate with the White House and federal agencies and encourage public engagement in policy making. He also helped start Six Apart, the company that helped invent and popularize much of the early technology behind blogs and social media.

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:

Entrepreneurship

Media & the Arts

Community

Social Equity

Founder

Makerbase: I’m the cofounder (with Gina Trapani) and CEO of Makerbase, a new user-created directory of apps, websites, and the people who make them.

ThinkUp: I’m cofounder and CEO of ThinkUp, a fun and unique analytics app which offers you fun and surprising insights on your social networking activity.

Activate: I am cofounder and a managing director of Activate, the strategy consultancy that advises companies many of the biggest media companies, technology companies and consumer brands in the world. I lead the firm’s innovation practice, applying emerging technologies and new cultural trends to help reinvent established businesses.

anildash.com: I’m the publisher, editor and owner of my personal blog (formerly Dashes.com) where I’ve been publishing 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 Facebook gives me a way to share my unfiltered (and, often, completely ridiculous) thoughts directly with hundreds of thousands of people, including my friends and family.

Board Member

Stack Exchange: Stack Exchange makes the Internet better with its network of question-and-answer communities on topics ranging from computer programming to photography, while connecting people to employment opportunities in technology. I’ve served as a member of the board since 2011.

NY Tech Meetup: The NY Tech Meetup is the largest trade group advocating on behalf of the Internet startup industry, helping make New York City the most vibrant and innovative technology community in the world. In 2011, I became the first director to be elected to the NYTM board by its members.

Data & Society Research Institute: Data & Society is a research institute in New York City that is focused on social, cultural, and ethical issues arising from data-centric technological development. I have served on the board since its inception in 2013.

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.

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.

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.

Trello

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 tool I use every day.

MLKSHK

MLKSHK: MLKSHK is a warm, thoughtful community of creative people sharing images and media in a fun and delightful way, built by a mom-and-pop team. I have advised the site since its launch.

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.

monegraph

monegraph: monegraph is an experiment to help support artists by providing a way to verify that a digital artwork is unique, and to record the provenance of a piece of digital art. I co-created monegraph with Kevin McCoy at Rhizome’s Seven on Seven conference, and Kevin now leads the project.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.