Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Techies Pause Long Hours for Long Weekend of Snow Kiting in Utah

It’s a good time to be an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and not just because the parties are getting swankier. More than 30 techies went snow kiting in Park City, Utah, over MLK weekend on a trip organized and funded by the venture capital firm Charles River Ventures.

Snow kiting is the winter and land equivalent of kite surfing (which has been the hot new thing for some five years or so), and it looks insanely fun. Forbes video anchor Kym McNicholas got to go along last weekend, and posted this video report:

CRV partner Bill Tai (pictured) is well known in Silicon Valley as a kiting ambassador and enthusiast, and has been organizing such trips for the past four years, with the group size growing each time. Many of the invite-only Utah participants, including McNicholas, had been to previous editions in Maui, though many were snow kiting for the first time.

This year’s snow-kiting participants included Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Tango CTO Eric Setton, Twitter Director of Search and Geo Othman Laraki, Apple Engineering Director Andy Belk, Speechpad CEO Konstantin Othmer, Triggit COO Susan Coelius Keplinger and Threadsy founder Rob Goldman. Co-organizer and CRV partner Saar Gur said via email that CRV “picked friends and techies who bring an awesome attitude to try the sport.”

The trip seems to function as a marketing event for CRV and a fun boondoggle for everyone involved. One repeat participant told me the trip only increased his positive impressions of Charles River Ventures, but that it didn’t necessarily mean he would take its money. He did say he’d be less likely to go to events that made him pay to attend.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald