Anne Ahola Ward on SEO, Privacy and a Vindicated Science ProjectDec 7, 2020
Anne Ahola Ward may have received a C grade for a school science project when she sewed a watch onto a T-shirt but the CEO of CircleClick Media was vindicated years later when wearables entered the mainstream and boomed. That kind of forward thinking earns Anne her "calling card," as she says, as a futurist.
Anne, who has been dubbed "The Mother of Startups" by CNN and is published O'Reilly author, is a de facto ambassador for Silicon Valley. Inspired in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help educate the world about technology and its impact on the world, Anne recognizes the value in explaining technology's risks and rewards.
"I made a decision that over my dead body would certain unnamed people be the voices of Silicon Valley when there are plenty of us women there who know what's going on, who are capable and skilled but we're too busy doing all the work," she said on the latest episode of the Follow the White Rabbit podcast. She said technology should be accessible. "I don't think we do a great job in Silicon Valley explaining what's going on," Anne said. "When tech is not accessible it can be limiting and that's the opposite of what it can do."
Anne is also worried about how little understanding elected politicians have of the privacy concerns raised by technology let alone the best solutions such as decentralization.
"Our notions of privacy will change over time. It is like a pendulum and we are due for the swing back," she said. "As long as technology is based off of centralized information where a coveted few can hold the keys to the kingdom, we will have more of the same."
"Decentralization is really, truly going to be the democratization of technology and I think the only way we are going to have true change is through that."
Anne refers to herself as a "Geek's geek," something she learned about herself at a young age when she dismantled and reassembled a phone to satisfy her curiosity over how it was built. Anne is best known for her strategic growth science capabilities as an SEO for many successful startups where she combines her passion for analytics and creativity.
You can hear more of Anne's perspective on SEO as well as her predictions for 2021 trends including VR, AR and headless technology by following us down the rabbit hole: listen to the conversation here or on your favorite streaming service.