It’s an exciting day for us at Chairman Mom. OK, everyday is an exciting day for us at Chairman Mom. (Read to the end of this thread or this thread to know why we wake up every morning thrilled to work on this company!)
But today is extra exciting. We’ve unveiled to the world something we’ve been working on for the last six months: Chairman Mom corporate memberships. Our first customers is Box, who rolled it out to its global workforce officially on January 1. But a few months earlier than that we set up some card tables in Box’s SF and Redwood City offices and manually signed up 10% of the company in one afternoon.
Forbes’ Bérénice Magistretti got the exclusive on the announcement. From her amazing piece: “Lacy’s solution to creating a private, troll-free environment was simple: paid subscription.
‘Paid subscription is a religion at our company. It is the core underpinning of every single thing we do, and it is the only way that you can make a promise to your users that their data and security is your number one priority. Because if you’re selling to advertiser, it isn’t. Silicon Valley is littered with companies that are spending all of this venture capital money chasing around their target audience on social media, trying to convert them. And you know, I think we’ve all grown a little queasy with all the data targeting opportunities that Facebook gives us in order to do that.’
Ironically, Chairman Mom launched while the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal was going on last April, so Lacy says she didn’t get any questions about why she opted for a paid subscription model.”
Magistretti has long fought to cover these issues in the tech press before it was cool or popular, and I’m so grateful she took the time to learn about our company and write such a thoughtful piece. I’d be hugely grateful if any of you felt like sharing it on social media…Or with your employers!
But why I’m so excited about this move goes even beyond all the things she wrote about. We met with Box’s “Families at Box” team yesterday and planned a series of events we are going to do with them to help families and women at Box, and, of course, help drive sign-ups for us.
One thing I’ve learned traveling all over the US doing book events in the last year is how powerful women’s and families groups within large companies are. And yet, almost all of them—even those like Microsoft Women which has a staggering 40,000 members—are organized on a purely volunteer basis by women within those companies who already have demanding day jobs.
This is something I’ve become really passionate about as I’ve gotten to know the women who run these groups. It’s an extra tax on women who are already struggling for parity, and working moms already struggling for balance. They should be paid for this work. This work is making these companies more inclusive, in some cases they are the biggest internal forces tackling issues like returning to work and retention of moms. It’s BS.
But I can’t control that. What I can control is making their unpaid labor a hell of a lot easier. Chairman Mom can easily put together programming for these groups’ members, whether it’s brown bag sessions with an expert or bringing in authors that we’re also featuring at our monthly meet ups.
This method of growing our user base is so much more appealing than spending money chasing women around Facebook and trying to lure them from a site that is toxic to a site that isn’t toxic; leveraging Facebook’s exploitation of data to target ads at the right women, when we ourselves have such a commitment to not exploiting your data. As one of our investors recently put it, “Instead of trying to find working women all over social media, you are going to the place you know they spend the most of their time: WORK.”
I’m so hugely grateful to Box’s Aaron Levie not only for becoming our first customer, but really for inspiring this entire direction of our business. The day we launched out of private beta he reached out to me about this, and his HR team has been phenomenal to work with. We have half a dozen companies in various stages of getting signed up to Chairman Mom (not all in tech!). So expect a big influx of new members in coming weeks and months!
And to any Box employees—thanks for signing up! We are so glad you are here!