Name: John McBride
City: San Francisco, CA
Current job: Founder & President, We The Future
Past job: Lyft, Obama for America, U.S. House of Representative
Launching this week! John recently left Lyft to build a startup that empowers millennial engagement in all things politics. The mission of wethefuture.org is to equip our generation with the best technology, training, and tools to reform our government. Want to get involved on the ground floor? Learn more here.
Q. Job advice in three words?
Never be complacent.
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee?
Empathy is hugely important, especially for leaders and managers, but often goes overlooked. To bring the very best out of people, you need to be able to put yourself in their shoes. The more you can understand their emotions, motivations, and perspectives, the more effective you will be working together.
Q. What can Silicon Valley teach DC?
Silicon Valley’s greatest asset isn’t technology, it’s a deeply ingrained culture of innovation. Risk-taking and bold ideas are encouraged. Experimentation and iteration drive a process of constant - and intelligent - improvement. Prioritizing speed and agility over perfection accelerates progress. DC should to start viewing the status quo as the enemy of growth.
Q. What can DC teach Silicon Valley?
DC has a strong culture of service and duty, which I wish was shared by other industries. Silicon Valley is often derided for claiming that “technology X,Y,Z is going to change the world.” And while they certainly have built some game-changing technologies, a great deal of time and resources go into mindless apps and trivial businesses. Why you build technology matters. There are probably more technologists working on mobile games than social impact. We should change that.
Q. Living person you admire?
Elon Musk. His ambition is inspiring. His companies are simultaneously leading the way in renewable energy, electric (and soon-to-be autonomous) vehicles, and space travel.