Category: General (page 1 of 37)

Himpathy everywhere

Monday morning I awoke in Palm Springs after a weekend of heady Chairman Mom product brainstorming. (I have so much to tell you all in a few months!) My skin smelled of chlorine from a late swim the night before, the mountains soared outside my window, and coffee was a short walk to the kitchen away. What could be better?

And then I opened Feedly…and just ughhhhhhhhhhhh. There was that old familiar feeling like a ton of bricks landing on my gut: “Uber CEO calls slaying of Jamal Khashoggi ‘a mistake’ and compares it to a self-driving car crash.” Read more...

ICYMI: Evie = MiniMe

When Evie was a small child, she’d be strapped into her high chair and I’d ask her if she’d like another snack. She’d nod and immediately start unbuckling her straps. 

“Evie! What are you doing? I’m happy to get it for you, just tell me what you want!” I’d say. 

She would turn to me and in her baby insistent voice utter her catchphrase of that era: “I DO IT MYSELF! I DO IT MYSELF!”

Whenever I used to tell stories of badass 18-month-old, 2-year-old, 3-year-old Evie at work events, Valley insiders would roll their eyes and say something like, “Oh I wonder where she gets that from…” Read more...

Oops, I did it

Newsletter editor Lily here.

So, continuing my very self-reflective and introspective newsletter from Monday, I did something: I finally found a marathon to sign up for.

In June.

In Utah.

At 5,000 feet of elevation.

With a starting line in a town that has a population of just 250 people.

Everyone I’ve told has sort of oscillated between going wide-eyed (“You know 5,000 feet is high up, right?!”) and bursting out laughing (not because they don’t think I can do it, but because it’s…a Very Lily Herman Idea™). Read more...

Yeah, we’re compelling and interesting enough

Editor’s note: Today’s newsletter intro is by Katherine Goldstein, creator and host of the popular reported narrative podcast The Double Shift. The Double Shift’s second season just launched this week.

“We don’t think there’s enough that’s interesting or compelling about being a working mother to make a whole show about it.”  

This was the reason a big money podcast executive gave me for why they were declining to develop The Double Shift, my podcast idea I’d piloted with them, into a full show.  Read more...

“Sign up for a marathon” energy

Newsletter editor Lily here.

Have you ever had a moment where you ask yourself, “When did I get so complacent in my life?”

I had that realization when I was watching the New York City marathon a week ago. When I was a senior in high school, I set my sights on running a marathon and started training for it. Unfortunately, a month before the marathon I’d signed up for, I got sick, and it was recommended I shouldn’t push myself past a half marathon. That dream of the full 26.2 miles was never realized and still hasn’t been since, even eight years later. Read more...

Yes, women have dramatically less equity at startups. The sky is also blue.

Have you seen the latest “women are getting hosed” data from Carta this week? If you are a female founder, you better sit down. It turns out women get dramatically less equity in startups. 

Here are the facts, per the study: 

  • Women make up 35% of equity-holding employees, but hold only 20% of employee equity.
  • Female equity-holding employees own just 47 cents for every dollar male employees own.
  • Women represent 29% of employees at companies with up to 10 employees. Female representation doesn’t exceed 40% until companies approach 400 employees.
  • Women make up 13% of founders, but hold 6% of founder equity.
  • Female founders own just 39 cents for every dollar of equity male founders own

I’m always grateful for more data, but this shouldn’t come as a shock to any women who work at startups. But, as someone in the trenches, the explanations why are more complex than most of the thought pieces I’ve read on the study this week. 

Yes, as most people know, founders don’t get equal equity. The role you have at the company matters, which is why I have long argued that focusing on comparatively “feel good” numbers about how much money goes to female founders versus how much money goes to female CEOs clouds how well women are actually doing in tech.  Read more...

Badass alert: We’re coming to Austin!

If you’ve followed this newsletter for a while, you know that one of our favorite things is to get out of San Francisco and meet up with phenomenal badasses all over the country. 

Good news! Catherine Connors will be in Austin for a Box benefits fair next week, and we want to buy any amazing Chairman Mom members or Mama Bear readers a drink on Monday night. This will be a casual meet up. We don’t know if one person or 5,000 people will show up, but even if you are the only one there, trust me: A night deep in conversation with Catherine will leave you inspired. (Her keynote on “How to raise an a$$hole” at the Chairman Mom Flee was a conference highlight…And yes, I’m jealous that I can’t make it this time.) Read more...

Should we fear TikTok?

I’ve been annoyed reading the daily hot takes for the last few weeks on the shock and nationalistic handwringing about the rise of teen sensation TikTok. 

First off, anyone in tech shocked by the rise of TikTok had their heads in the sand. I wrote a book on emerging markets in 2011. Before I spent some 40 weeks doing on the ground reporting in a dozen countries, I, too, bought the Silicon Valley talking points common back then that Chinese founders lacked originality and were just a bunch of copycats. Read more...

Your presence is your present

“Well, you wanted more mama time. Careful what you wish for,” sighed Paul last Friday to Evie. 

Evie has spent roughly a year complaining that she doesn’t have enough “mama time.” (For the record: I never have enough Evie time, which I have spent six years complaining about…) 

Late on Halloween night, someone accidentally slammed her thumb in a door jamb and blood was everywhere. I’ve never seen either of my kids injured that badly. I opted not to take her to the emergency room because 10pm on Halloween seems like greater torture than the possibility of a scar because your mom should have got you stitches. I let her crash instead.  Read more...

Amazon has Wal-Mart’d the on-demand economy

Did you guys see the news last week that Amazon Fresh is now FREE with Amazon Prime

The game has been completely changed.

I’m going to talk as a busy mom first, business reporter (former!) second, and a concerned citizen of the world third. (Imagine this like those old Frosted Mini-Wheat commercials.)

Mom me: Grocery delivery as it’s been done so far has been unsatisfying for a lot of reasons. Services like Postmates are expensive and annoying because people keep calling you to ask about substitutes. Services like are annoying because they can’t deliver the same day and the software feels like it’s from the 1970s. Instacart is annoying (or was last time I used it) because you have to go store-by-store.  Read more...