We need more pop culture that show how strong men can be attracted to powerful, smart, technical women. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the rise in hacker love songs being a positive trend for women in computing. Today I saw Silicon Valley Ryan Gosling.
I can’t count the number of times my sweetheart stayed up late with me and edited yet one more draft of an important proposal or word-smithed my bio to make me sound more impressive than I thought I was. We need new media portrayals of what it means to be loved in an honest and meaningful way.
I’m thrilled to be part of the Women 2.0 Startup Weekend Documentary: Start Something. Filmed as a student project with San Francisco State University’s Digital Video Intensive program, Start Something follows three groups of entrepreneurs as they navigate Startup Weekend, a three day event where entrepreneurs come together to share ideas, form teams and launch startups.
Produced by Dave Kochbeck, directed by Doug Latimer, and edited by Joseph McDonald, this film captures the excitement, frustration and serendipity of the startup experience which is the essence of Startup Weekend. In these 54-hour events, developers, coders, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups! While most startups created at these weekend events don’t continue, the people at the events often go on to create or join other startup companies — or take their startup skills to fuel innovation in their day jobs.
I do my best work when I also have time away to clear my head and reinvigorate my spirit.
People are more important than software. Software is made for people by people. Also, the people that I love who are outside of my little startup world are way more important than my startup, but I also am driven to create something awesome in the time I spend making a living which takes me away from them — often that doesn’t fit into a little 9-5 box, but 24×7 is also the wrong answer.
People are more important than profit. But if you don’t make payroll, it’s hard to keep working with the people you want to work with, so we need to balance that.
We need to trust each other. In addition to choosing to work with people who you can trust to work hard, communicate well and treat each other kindly, we also need to trust that people will make mistakes and everyone will mostly do what is their own best interests. When everyone’s interests are aligned, everyone wins. If everyone isn’t winning, we need to change the rules or move on.
I know I am a hypocrite. Every day I fail to live my life according to my beliefs in small and large ways. Sometimes I get angry when people fail, instead of creating a wonderful, supportive environment where failure is a part of the learning process. I often forget that being home for dinner is more important to me than getting one more thing done. Sometimes I watch stupid TV shows on Netflix instead of having a conversation with my husband, or playing a game with my son, or calling my best friend because I’m worn out and frustrated and I forget that sitting in front of a screen for one more hour may feel easier but doesn’t really make me happy.
I also agree with poet Ralph Hodgson who said that “some things have to be believed to be seen.” One of the unique aspects of a founder is the creation of a “reality distortion field” that causes other people to participate in a shared belief thereby causing it to become reality. So, even though I fail every day to turn my beliefs into reality, I nonetheless hold them to be true. And everyday I work to create a wonderful, supportive learning environment where I can use that failure to change the reality of my life to reflect my beliefs along with a small part of the rest of reality through the software created by my team.