A few weeks after joining the White House, we received a challenge from President Obama. How could we turn citizen outrage about the Syrian refugee crisis into tangible action on the issue?

One of our answers was working with Kickstarter to create their first-ever charity campaign, which raised almost $2 million to build and maintain refugee camps in the Middle East. The campaign made helping refugees as easy as tweeting, demonstrating how digital technologies can be used to address civic challenges — not just make communicating with friends easier.

Later in my tenure, my colleagues from the Domestic Policy Council…

The other day, I told my father that I was amazed at how many psychics inhabit storefronts on busy streets in Lower Manhattan. How in the world do they pay their rent? And so many of them!

“Oh, I get it. Psychics are great, and Tarot Cards!”
“Tarot cards, Dad?”
“Yes, and I love horoscopes, too!”

My reaction: Utter disbelief. You see, my father is a lawyer and an agnostic — one of the most analytical and practical people that I know. Yet here he was telling me that he essentially believed in magic! I pressed him on the alarming…

Why the Seed Funding Model is Flawed

As the co-founder of Branch, I’ve raised a $2 million seed round, and grown the company from the offices of Dogpatch Labs, Obvious Corporation (during its phase of incubating products), and Betaworks — whose “studio” model is one of the more progressive in the technology industry. So while I am relatively young and inexperienced (and likely somewhat naive), I’ve been exposed to an array of opinions and approaches to product building during my short time in the startup world. …

A few months ago, my fifteen-year-old sister told me that Snapchat was going to be the next Instagram. Many months before that she told me that Instagram was being used by her peers as much as Facebook. Both times I snickered.

Learning from past mistakes, I took some time over the holiday break to ask my sister many, many questions about how she and her friends are using technology. Below I’ve shared some of the more interesting observations about Instragram, Facebook, Instant Messaging, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, and FaceTime. …

Josh Miller

Recently: Director of Product for the @WhiteHouse. Before that: Built Branch & sold to @Facebook. Always: Santa Monica High School ‘08.

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