Women 3.0: Heather Harde

Name: Heather Harde

Short biography: Heather Harde attended Mount Holyoke University and the Harvard University Business School. After graduating, Harde worked in investment banking at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. She began her career in technology and media at Viacom, but made a name for herself in the field through working for a decade at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. There, she held a variety of positions, and was one of the founding members of the corporation’s Fox Interactive Media. In 2007, Harde joined fledgling tech blog Tech Crunch as CEO. She currently lives in San Francisco.1

What they do: In late 2011, Harde left Tech Crunch and her position as General Manager of AOL’s technology properties (including Tech Crunch). What’s to come? “Rest and reflection,”2 and a deeper involvement with the SFCiti initiatve. SFCiti is a coalition that aims to help the city of San Francisco and tech companies work together. (This is a pretty neat idea; more information on the initiative can be found at www.sfciti.com.) “Tech is willing to be a really great corporate citizen, but tech companies need to focus on their day-to-day business,”Harde said in a December 2011 interview.2

Why they matter: Harde isn’t afraid to take risks to help companies blossom, and she understands what good can come from “crazy” ideas. “During her decade at News Corp., [Harde] had learned many of the skills and discipline needed to shepherd a scrappy group of bloggers into a media powerhouse. ‘One of the things the company took pride in was thinking big,’ she says. ‘During the annual review process, you were asked to think about the future of your business, how you would stay in the number one spot. They encouraged executives to be aggressive in their growth thinking. And they never came back and said an idea was too big or too crazy.’”3 Such important encouragement for a woman involved in the tech industry, which, by its inherent nature, is an industry with an eye toward the future (and therefore in need of crazy ideas).

Her other achievements include:

  • Being included on Fast Company’s 2011 list of Most Influential Women in Technology.
How they got where they are: Harde made her way from investment banking to media to technology in a matter of a little more than a decade. Where she’s going next is uncertain, but she’s obviously got a good head on her shoulders and a good track record of making the right decisions, which has helped her up to now. Her twitter profile4 seemingly lays out her life views quite well: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” (Words via the late, great Steve Jobs.)

References: 1, 2, 3, 4

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