Bo Ren Profile picture
Director of Early Stage Startups @SVB_Financial. Writer. Advisor. Janitor. Formerly @facebook @instagram @tumblr
20 Dec 20
Finished Ted Lasso. Man, what a great show. Looking forward to the Medium thought piece about his positive coaching style and how that translates to leadership in corporate America.
1. Love how he individualizes each player's strengths and weaknesses. He makes sure each player reaches their unique potential.
2. His optimism and earnestness really creates a reality distortion field for others. He embodies "kill them with kindness" and it only works b/c he's 100% genuine.
Read 6 tweets
1 Oct 20
One thing I'm learning is rewiring my brain to move away from obstacles and risk mitigation mindset to risk-taking. As a 1st gen immigrant, I have internalized a lot of limiting beliefs. I am indeed capable of more risk than I believe. I am capable of doing more than I perceive.
When perceiving obstacles you search for ways something *can't* work so you're not seeking opportunities. It's all about shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. There are limitless opportunities in this world.
Scarcity mindset means you're always proving yourself, proving your work, proving your worth. Abundance mindset means you instantiate your worth, bet on yourself, and find people who truly *see* you to rally around you.
Read 4 tweets
26 Sep 20
The “substackification” of knowledge workers is happening bc people are increasingly becoming freelancers. Bc you don’t own your own patents or IP working for institutions knowledge workers are looking for ways to create a portfolio of thoughts, opinions, and unique perspective.
When people hire for non-task oriented roles like PM, VC, and consulting they are evaluating candidates on their taste, thoughts, and intellectual palette. Hence, why writing and sharing your ideas openly is so important.
As industries and labor markets become outsourced and overtaken by AI and automation, knowledge work becomes more abstracted and less task-oriented. People will start to hiring more for your opinions, cognitions, and world view.
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep 20
Something I'm learning the hard way in this world is that being a substantive thinker and value creator is a downside in a world that runs on nepotism, incompetence, and personal relationships. This has been one of the hardest lessons to learn as an operator turned investor.
As an immigrant and daughter of a scientist, I was taught to show "proof points" of my worth, show people work in advance, instead of selling them on the dream. What I had to learn is the power of reality creation and selling people on you --betting on you, not your work.
I'm still wrapping my head around this as I dive deeper into the venture world, wanting to prove myself to founders and LPs. I guess you could say this evidence-based thinking is a symptom of the "Model Minority" myth. I need to do less proving & more selling on the Bo Ren DREAM.
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep 20
Apple should take a stance against this to embolden their privacy value prop. The Appstore should not be censored. It’s infringing on the rights of app creators and sets a negative precedent for a slippery slow of govt censorship and free market intervention.
This is devastating on so many levels. I echo @katherineykwu’s sentiments. This will further estrange US-China relations in an already codependent economic relationship. Our fates are tied.
I’ve learned more knowledge from TikTok than IG and FB combined. TikTok breaks the filter bubble and forces you to think and learn from creators from ALL walks of life. It’s a cross section of humanity the other platforms don’t offer.
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep 20
People come and go in your life. Great mentors are rare to come by. The difference between a good mentor and a great mentor:
An good mentor advises you based on their past experiences and projections.
A great mentor empowers you to navigate the unknown without being prescriptive.
Read 8 tweets
23 Aug 20
@AOC is a loud and proud beauty/skincare junkie and so am I. Beauty is not frivolous. We can love skincare and makeup AND be smart, talented, and taken seriously. Beauty comes from within but also do what you need to feel confident:
I’ve wondered if tweeting about my love for skincare on this platform would diminish my credibility as a woman in tech. Now I realize it’s really the patriarchy making me want to justify my hobby, passion, and expertise. Beauty and substance are NOT mutually exclusive.
Society diminishes women’s self worth and confidence on a daily basis. You loving yourself and instantiating your value is an act of resistance. If you need products to help you take up more space and fight the patriarchy do it.
Read 4 tweets
3 Aug 20
Had a chat with an old coworker today and we both agreed creating culture change is harder than shipping product. Why? Culture change is shifting the hearts and minds of ppl rewarded by an incentives structure. You are changing the moral ecology of an environment.
The insidious force is often the ppl in orgs who are trying to change culture are women and BIPOCs who get “managed out” for speaking truth to power. Everyone loves Joan of Arc but no one wants to be her burning at the stake.
So for there to be *real* culture change you need to grant immunity to the people who speak up with the same immunity white men are given in orgs. Stop attacking women and BIPOCs for using their voices if you’re asking for culture change and changing toxic behaviors.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul 20
Honored to be on this women in product list with @merci @joulee @ellenchisa productplan.com/women-in-produ… I owe these women A LOT.
@joulee encouraged me to write without asking for permission when I was a baby RPM at FB. She gave me the courage to publish.
@ellenchisa helped me with finding my voice on the internet as liberal arts thinker. She helped me overcome and debunk the bias "you're not technical enough".
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul 20
Sometimes it's really hard to be a woman on the internet. You'll be critiqued, negged, and dragged for well, being you. Sometimes I think about quitting Twitter completely. Is it worth it to expose myself and be vulnerable to attacks?
As a visible BIPOC woman, you will be held to a higher standard of scrutiny, accountability, and representation than white men. Then I look to women like @ArlanWasHere @lolitataub @TaylorLorenz @timnitGebru and find strength in their courage and resilience.
I've been accommodating and shape shifting for people my entire life. I've tried to make myself smaller to make others more comfortable. Bend, contort, and negotiate my own identity to please others. I belong here nor there b/c I'm a perpetual foreigner in this country.
Read 5 tweets
22 Jun 20
1/ My favorite story about my dad is he got into Peking University (the Harvard of China) but a corrupt communist official swapped his admission ticket w/ his daughter's admission ticket.
2/ My dad was sent to the state medical university instead, cashing his dreams of studying physics at Peking. The corrupt bureaucrat didn't even try to cover up the scandal and sent him to the women's dorm room originally assigned to his daughter.
3/ Faced with this crushing disappointment he could have either stayed in his poor countryside farming village and wait another 2 years to retake his college entrance exams. His brother had given up his spot to go to college to my dad so he felt obligated to take the offer.
Read 10 tweets
17 Jun 20
1/ I just had an enlightening convo Jim Waldo Professor of CS at Harvard SEAS department that made me question everything I know about data privacy 🤯. He made me realize tech's definition of data privacy is short-sighted and narrow.
2/ He defines data privacy not as ownership or control of data but rather as our trust and use of data. Privacy is really trust and relationship to data.
3/ "My data" doesn't really apply if it includes relational data like your social graph and DNA. For example, your DNA contains data about our brother, mom, and relatives so it's not just your data anymore.
Read 6 tweets
14 Jun 20
My Saturday night reading is @carolinesinders's Feminist Data Set Project. This fuses my love for intersectional feminism, design thinking, AI, and interrogating outdated systems. I'm in heaven. How we collect, train, label, and use data for algorithms is an act of resistance. ImageImage
The data models we train our AIs are biased (mainly cis-gender white men and women) which then creates error propagation overtime. To achieve social equity in our data sets and models we need to collect data from marginalized communities and diverse sample pools.
There's also model shifts that happen overtime as we feed more biased data which is why court systems relying on COMPAS software for sentencing give black men more severe sentences than white men. This is simply fucked up and we can solve it with more diverse data sets.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun 20
This Gartner's hype report about emerging AI trends is on point: towardsdatascience.com/gartner-2019-h…
1/ Edge AI is going to help cut costs, latency, and high volume ingestion in iOT infrastructure.
2/ Explainable AI helps ensure ethics and regulation compliance. It opens up the AI algorithm black box and helps regulators and AI builders understand biases.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun 20
1/ In light of the current events this week, I'm breaking my silence about offer negotiations was a WOC in tech. My DMs are open to all POCs and black operators who would like advice on offer negotiations b/c this is an area we are woefully disadvantaged in.
2/ My Chinese immigrant parents raised me to be grateful for any offer I got. When I received my FB RPM offer I was ecstatic and grateful! Omg an offer with a signing bonus and equity! Something I had never imagined from my humble beginnings in customer service to product.
3/ A year into working at FB some inconsistencies started to arise. Through grassroots data gathering a few RPMs (rotating PMs) found out that we were paid differently. We started pooling our data together on a spreadsheet and realized a glaring trend.
Read 18 tweets
3 Jun 20
Growing up I wondered why is Oregon so white? Why are there only black people living on the East side? Why am I the only token Asian at my SW Portland public school? Below is a history of Oregon's black exclusion laws they didn't teach us in history.
1/ White people have financially benefited from the whiteness of Oregon for so long by prohibitive laws keeping out black people. Oregon prohibited blacks from moving there with the last laws only repeated in 1920s as part of the "Black Exclusion Laws."
2/ When blacks were allowed to come into Oregon, they were only allowed to buy property below the flood plane (shocking it flooded!). We all know how much Oregon rains and floods! So we gave black people the WORST places to live.
Read 7 tweets
13 May 20
This weekend I had a couple of hard convos with my friends with the Alison Roman ordeal. It was hard b/c some of the closest people to me couldn't see what was wrong with her statement taking down two successful Asian women.
I felt helpless, hopeless, and alone that I had to explain myself to my oppressors. I thought it was emotional labor to educate someone privileged on the tough issues on race when they can't see what's wrong. It's not emotional labor. It's shared humanity. I will never give up.
It's painful for WOCs to explain to others especially people who have directly and indirectly oppressed us why something is hurtful or unjust. But the minute we stop having these hard conversations and breaking it down for others we become complicit to the systematic biases.
Read 4 tweets
3 May 20
Only build with value-aligned investors and partners. Life is too short to compromise your own morals for momentary gains. Today I had a moral crisis when someone who was very powerful had fallen from grace in the SV #metoo movement reach out to me.
For a moment, I felt obligated to engage but then I realized this man was no longer powerful anymore. I *had* the power to let him into my life again and endorse him for his "second act". I refuse to give tacit consent to predators searching for redemption.
You have power and agency to either keep sponsoring bad actors in this industry or to take the long game and build with values-aligned partners who share a vision and passion. We no longer need to tolerate the old guard. We are the face of the new guard.
Read 4 tweets
10 Apr 20
I’m all for this 2008 real authenticity Twitter throwback! I’m sick and tired of people curating their images online. When I worked on creative sharing tools at FB we did a lot of experiments on how to get people to “fast publish” w/o too much fear or overthinking.
The reality is people have become too self-conscious about posting online bc you’re afraid of your boss, mom, neighbor, and grandma seeing it. You can’t mass broadcast without censoring yourself. This is something I struggle with A LOT as my audience has grown.
How do I post authentically and vulnerably? Do people want to see skincare posts who follow me for tech/VC thoughts? Can I share the REAL me without all the trolls/reply guys coming after me? As a result, I feel muffled and suppressed by these online dynamics 😩
Read 4 tweets
14 Mar 20
1/ So much of my life has been trying to navigate two cultures and balance individualism with communalism. I feel like I’m playing on both teams (US vs China). Seeing China villainized and attacked by Western media has bothered me a lot.
2/ As a critical thinker who reads both Chinese and Western media I see the misinformation out there about my motherland. Seeing these Wuhan doctors leave to help aid Italy’s outbreak gives me an upswelling of China pride.
3/ It’s really not about race anymore but rather embracing shared humanity. We are ALL human and this virus knows no race or borders. ❤️💛❤️💛 Source: straitstimes.com/world/europe/c…
Read 4 tweets
8 Mar 20
For International Women's Day, I'd like practice the ✨SHINE✨ theory and showcase women I admire and respect A LOT:
I love how @najjmahal has built @ethelsclub in such a mindful and intentional way. Instead of raising a bunch of VC money, she has raised patient capital to build a safe space for ALL POCs. This is the kind of long term mindset I admire in a founder who's driven from the heart 💕
I love how @LeahFessler has utilized her background in journalism and VC to build chief.com. She's a kind heart who cares about supporting women like @najjmahal in building @ethelsclub.
Read 13 tweets