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!
I thought about writing this blog piece like one of those quizzes that used to be on the back pages of Seventeen and Cosmo where each question would offer several answers of varying point levels and you'd pick one answer per question, tally up your points at the end, and match your score to one of several possible results.
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