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Career and Interview Tips

I Found Some Inspiration in Emily Chang's Brotopia Sex-Party Piece

My friend Emily Chang is going to drop her book Brotopia on February 6th. I haven't read it - yet. I'm excited to, especially since I'm quoted in chapter seven where Emily gets into work-family issues for founders. But in case anyone was wondering, I'm not quoted in the chapter about drug-fueled sex parties that Vanity Fair excerpted earlier this month.

About twenty people sent me the link to the Vanity Fair Brotopia piece. I didn't get to reading it until last night. After losing my appetite (the content is pretty salacious), I found one quote by an anonymous "tech bro" actually inspired me. Yes, a silver lining in a story about sex-parties from a tech bro. Lesson: inspiration is everywhere.

(Keep in mind, this is in the context of nerdy guys feeling entitled to sex parties where the double-standards between men and women abound - read the article because Emily digs into the penalties women ultimately get from attending these parties.)

Here's what Founder X said that had me thinking beyond threesomes:


"We have more cachet than a random rich dude because we make products that touch a lot of people," says Founder X. "You make a movie, and people watch it for a weekend. You make a product, and it touches people's lives for years."

Okay, so what exactly inspired me? It was this line in particular: "You make a product, and it touches people's lives for years."

Okay, so... why? Well, the answer is complicated, but some mornings when I'm grinding through a spreadsheet that needs to get done to move PowerToFly forward, I get distracted by a news article that talks about a movie, a new book, or something that seems infinitely more entertaining than what I'm working on. I then assume that because that piece of content is getting a lot of press mentions in the moment that it must be generating impact. And then, I naturally, question if all the work we are doing at PowerToFly is generating impact too.

So after reading the Brotopia quote "You make a product, and it touches people's lives for years", I've sticky-noted Founder X's words to my screen mount so I'll remember the lasting impact of good products vs. buzz-generating content. Obviously great movies, great books, great articles have tremendous impact on people's lives. Silent Spring was a book, for example, that got the EPA started! That said, toiling away on products also has a huge impact. So it's worth the Monday morning spreadsheet grind.

Thank you Founder X!

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