188: Ann Miura Ko Most Powerful Women in Startups

Saturday 23rd March 2019

Why is voice an important part of one’s future? How do we develop a sense of both individuality and community? In today’s episode, Ann Miura Ko joins Christopher Lochhead to have a free-ranging conversation from being a mom, growing up an immigrant, and her eventual success that started with being a loser.

“I don’t know which end I value more, but ultimately I love the creativity of a society like ours more than having people look over my shoulder all the time.” – Ann Miura Ko

Three Things We Learned

    Most public goods are things we don’t enjoy

This is mostly thanks to how humans treat public property. There’s a view that when autonomous vehicles become a hit, people wouldn’t have any real need to own private cars anymore. This leads to the question of whether we as humans would be able to stick to the moral duty of maintaining public goods without an actual, breathing person in the loop.

    Japan is the prime example of living as a community

Ann is the daughter of two Japanese immigrants. Growing up, she would come to Japan and every single time, she ended up struck by the strong sense of community of the Japanese. People take care of public property and keep things clean and orderly for everyone’s benefit and make sure everyone hold the same standards of living.

    Community or individuality

Having someone watch your every move and breathe down your neck can be very oppressive in a sense, but so is the strong pursuit for freedom and freedom only. A strong sense of community can prevent people from doing something detrimental to the larger populace. But people also achieve happiness by embracing their individuality.

Striking the balance of a sense of both community and individuality can be a quite the challenge. We have our social obligations to fulfill and we also have the personal mission to seek self-improvement in order to become successful at what we do. In fulfilling both our social and personal duties, however, we must remember that we can only truly develop character when no one is watching.


Ann Miura-Ko has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford.  

She’s the child of a rocket scientist at NASA, Ann is a Palo Alto native and has been steeped in technology startups from when she was a teenager. Prior to co-founding FLOODGATE, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company.

Some of Ann’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth.

Ann is known for her debate skills  

She lives with her husband and 3 kids ages 8, 5 and 3.

Education: BS, Yale University (EE); PhD Stanford University (Math Modeling of Computer Security.)




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