Date:Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Author:Christian Ward

Paul Carr – tech journalist, author, and co-founder of Chairman Mom, an online community for working women – gets real about the state of Silicon Valley and tells us why and how we need to combat the problem of toxic tech. We also talk to gender-free fashion platform The Phluid Project and identify this week's next big consumer opportunity for brands.

Guests on This Episode

Paul Carr is a tech journalist – with bylines including Techcrunch, The Guardian and Pando – and author, whose latest book is the novel 1414º, published this month. Paul is also co-founder, alongside Sarah Lacy, of Chairman Mom, an online community for working women.

Rob Smith is chief executive and founder of The Phluid Project, a gender-free fashion platform and one of our Stylus Changemakers. In his own words, "I was inspired by my heritage as a third-generation Native American from the Ojibwa tribe to create The Phluid Project, as a way to honour the Two Spirit indigenous leaders of the past and present. I created a place where I could leverage 30 years of fashion, leading multi-billion-dollar brands from Macy's, Levi's, Nike, and Victoria's Secret, coupling decades of work fighting for human rights and social equality."

Contributing from Stylus:

  • Emilia Morano-Williams, US editor, Stylus
  • Alex Hawkins, senior editor – Pop Culture & Media, Stylus
  • Hosted by Christian Ward, Head of Multimedia, Stylus

Episode Features

[1:04] Innovation of the Week: Chocolate-less chocolate
[3:05] Interview with Paul Carr
[10:01] Stylus Changemaker: The Phluid Project
[12:51] The Next Big Opportunity

Key Quotes

Paul Carr

"You have to build companies that are better. You can't just complain about the ones that exist."

"How can we build companies that have female leadership, and people of colour leading them, so that when those companies get huge, the money that the people who founded them make gets invested back into companies like that? There's just such an institutional change that has to happen."

"Not to be too melodramatic, but it is a battle of good versus evil. And unfortunately, the evil ones have all the money."

"I am so bullish on the power of technology – of even Silicon Valley – to change the world. And this is why it's so frustrating to see it not happen."

"This is why we need institutional change: because anything good that comes up and becomes his answer [or] reaction to big tech surveillance, Big Tech just buys it. And I'm sorry, but it's hard for a 27-year-old who's built this thing, to resist the call of Mark Zuckerberg. They have principals until a billion dollars is on the line."

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