Learning From My Failure

At a recent HYPERGROWTH event in Boston, I failed in choosing the speakers I allowed into our community. I apologize to those of you who joined us, to our team, and to the larger community for my failure. Let me clearly say, that the comments made by Grant Cardone about Elena Cardone who was in the audience were disgusting, reprehensible, a violation of our values at Drift and my own personal values.

Not having a proper vetting process for our speakers and not monitoring the talks in real-time was my failure. I own it. I’m disappointed in myself for letting this happen. I am going to learn from this and we will be better for it.

At the event, I got on stage to apologize to the entire audience and to own my failure publicly. That was not enough because this is an issue that is bigger than one rogue speaker, this is an issue that is real and that affects women daily. As members of the tech industry, we need to do better. I need to do better. The fight for diversity has been a life-long fight for me, one that I had to deal with from an early age and because of that I should have made sure that every speaker we brought to the event shared our vision of equality.

We have the opportunity to change the dangerous attitudes that exist in tech and in our society, and I take this mission seriously. Now it’s been made even more urgent by the distasteful words of Grant Cardone last week, and the impact those words had on our audience, team, and community.

Moving forward, we will have a diverse committee at Drift that will be responsible for vetting speakers for our events and improving on that process to prevent this from happening at any future events.

We’re also doubling our efforts to ensure all voices at Drift and in the community are heard and to listen when people voice concerns, no matter how loudly, about a speaker, an initiative, or anything we put our name to.

I am committed to being part of the solution and committed to building a community of innovation that is built on respect.

Thank you for holding us to our core values. And thank you for speaking up.

Finally, to our community, team, and customers: You can and should expect more from us. We will learn from this and be better.

David Cancel

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