Tech companies have a reputation for pushing out big ideas and new products every year.
They don’t always get the attention they deserve.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not here to stay.
Recode senior editor Josh Zepps has spent more than a decade tracking the tech industry, and he’s been telling stories about the industry for years.
He’s also written about technology, and his stories have always been told with a lot of nuance.
Zepps talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about what it takes to be a top tech executive and what it looks like to be one.
Read moreRead moreRecode staff member David Martosko was hired to work in a technology company just a few months after the 2012 election.
He came to Recode as a software developer, but quickly learned the ins and outs of a tech company, working in the tech business from day one.
It was an entirely new experience, he says.
He spent the next six months on the job, working closely with executives from a company called Wix.
The next year, he left to work on the team at Yahoo that would later go on to launch a popular photo sharing service called Flickr.
“The biggest difference between Yahoo and Wix was how many people they hired and how much they invested in recruiting and building talent,” Martosky says.
“I worked with a team that was almost all male and the culture was almost entirely male,” he adds.
“The way that Yahoo was run was very misogynistic, and that culture of sexism and discrimination was really pervasive.
So I think the way that we as women in the company were able to change that culture and work on creating a place where everybody feels comfortable and where everyone feels safe was really important.”
That culture was so ingrained in Yahoo that Martoskey says he felt like he had to start to change the way he was working and how he was treated, too.
“My attitude toward the company was, ‘I don’t want to be this guy who is the CEO and I’m the one who has to change everything,’ ” he says, adding that the team had to be willing to work for the company in order to make that change.
“That was very, very hard.”
The company eventually moved to a new campus in Silicon Valley.
Martoskin says that was an important step for the staff, but the culture had to change.
The change took a long time.
“It’s hard to change a culture overnight,” he says of his time at Yahoo.
“I think it’s very important to try and do something as simple as you can to try to get people to be more comfortable and more accepting.”
When he was promoted to senior vice president, he got the chance to be part of a new team.
And that was where he realized what was possible.
“For the first time in my life, I felt like I was able to take the lead and lead the team, and to make a difference,” he recalls.
“It’s not just about the person that you’re working with, it’s about how they’re doing things.
The people that you work with, that’s how you do things.”
And that’s what he’s trying to do now at Twitter.
Martossk is still a senior VP, but he’s also leading a team of engineers who will be building out the new Twitter product, the product that was recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion.
He sees the new product as a step in the right direction.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for for: an open platform, an open company, an openness, a community, a culture of transparency and open collaboration,” he said.
“And that is something that Twitter has shown time and time again.
I’m really proud of what we’re building here.”