Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley

Jesus. Jesus, Jesus Christ.

Ladies of Silicon Valley: Lean Back

Confucius say: Glass ceiling beautiful on day one… covered in bird shit within month. 

So everyone — by which I mean slightly above “no one” in the Valley, and slightly below that outside it — is talking — by which I mean “once skimmed a blog post because Zuck shared it”— about Lean In, the awkwardly-named movement encouraging women to get themselves into positions of power.

(At first I assumed “leaning in” referred to a 30-day juice cleanse and was excited we might get some more hotties around here, but no such luck.)

Lean In is the latch-key brainchild of Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook billionaire who isn’t afraid to sell other women a book telling them: “I’ve made it. You might enjoy a fraction of my success if only you’d goddamn try. And of course mostly if I help make it way easier for you than it was for me, lazy bitches.”

I’m just kidding, she doesn’t say lazy. But Sheryl does refer to women as “bitches” or “hoes” 133 times in the book, and twice as “my skanky, skanky sistas.”

Whatever it takes, I guess.

My favorite part of Lean In is that Sheryl “co-wrote” it with a lady-writer named Nell Scovell. (That’s not the good part. I mean, fine, Sheryl’s a busy gal, whatever, hire a “co-writer.” 90% of this blog is “co-written” by dudes in India with twice the education and 100% more cholera than me.) No, the good part is that Nell appears nowhere on the cover: the goddamn co-writer’s only attribution is buried in the acknowledgments — along with 140 other people, none of whom wrote the actual fucking book.

Nell, Nell, Nell: How disappointingly leaned-out. Was this some sort of sick test Sheryl subjected you to? It feels suddenly inappropriately “masculating” for me to tell you this, but next time you write someone else’s book, take your own advice from Chapter Two’s title and find a way to “Sit at the Table.”

Sheryl: Brava.


"Nell… we’re gonna need to go ahead and move you into the Acknowledgments section. Mmm-kay?"

Anyway, spending all this time skimming the chapter names of Lean In got me thinking about Silicon Valley women. Not in a hot way, but in a mature, loving way. (Then I thought about HP’s Meg Whitman and it got all hot again.)

So I rubbed one out and suddenly, there in the men’s restroom at LYFE Kitchen, I finally cracked it:

If women of the Valley really want to have it all, they shouldn’t be leaning IN. They should be leaning BACK. Taking it easy. “Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool. Working three hours a week and routinely sounding like a tool.”

That’s right: The women of Silicon Valley should all just become VCs.

VCs are important, motherfuckers.

According to VCs, without VCs we wouldn’t have Silicon Valley.

Venture capital is the lifeblood of our industry; the jet fuel in our Gulfstream; the saliva in our 23andme test. If it weren’t for free and easy capital, Instagram and Tumblr and {insert your employer’s name here, you unit-test-skipping, standup-meeting-lying bullshit artist} would have had to come up with a pesky business model. Instead, they were able to spend other people’s money to get huge fast and then fuel their continued efforts with the cold-fusion magic and rock-solid value of Big Data.

So, first and foremost, as venture capitalists women will feel empowered.

Feelings and shit are a really big deal to women.

The VC Job Description: Spend other people’s money.

VCs exploit an inefficiency in the capitalist system, namely the capitalist system. Here’s how it works:

  1. VCs collect money from the super-rich and large funds (“limited partners,” aka “thanks for the cash, now go fuck yourselves”).
  2. VCs allocate this money to startups based on who else they know has invested in said startups. 
  3. VCs collect a management fee for having disbursed this money so appropriately. This management fee covers disgusting salaries, plush offices, daily crudité delivery and other items worthy of a boy-band contract rider.
  4. Then when Yahoo! or another public company acquires one of these startups, everyone wins with the probable exception of YHOO shareholders. (But that’s only people who work at YHOO or live in the rust belt, so they’re dead inside anyway.)
  5. VCs take a sizable portion of this windfall, naturally. All that advice doesn’t just ignore itself.
  6. Everyone forgets the countless losing investments made by our VCs. This is America, bitch, where the wins are outsized and privatized, and the losses absorbed by the Wisconsin Teachers’ Union Pension Fund.

I’m pretty sure I had the ladies at “spend other people’s money.”

VCs have this ‘have it all’ thing already wrapped up.

No one works harder at working harder like a VC. The typical one or two days a week in the office for a VC:

  • Sit-in on (half of) a pitch meeting, adding value with every value-adding breath. Also: enjoying a chorizo omelet.
  • Devour daily Flipboard to maintain finger on the Fucking Pulse.
  • Publicly Tweet other Valley ‘made men.’ Tally Favorites and Retweets to determine daily self-worth.
  • Lunch with some founder. Rule: if founder is rich enough to not need venture capital, do whatever you can to get in the round. “Chad Hurley’s doing online taxidermy? I’m in.”
  • Phone wife to say you are too busy to make it home by bedtime — gotta work a “deal” at the Rosewood — gently shutting her up by reminding her about hybrid Lexus SUV, second home in Tahoe and Carmelita the housekeeper/nanny/chef. (Note: Carmelita is also leaning in… on her fucking mop, that is, so she can keep her kids barely housed in a market that caters to the pedantic concerns of the wealthy while zoning-out every possible lower-class incursion. But they can still watch our kids and shit, you know, so long as they don’t qualify for benefits.)
  • Tweet a couple of links to portfolio companies’ products that you have’t tried, but must be absolutely killing it because the number of registered users doesn’t lie.
  • Read the week’s most-heavily tweeted HBR article. Continuing education is a bitch!
  • Use Retina Macbook’s spacebar to Quick-Look three pitch decks. 
  • (Triennially:) Week-long capital call / limited-partner bacchanal to raise the next fund.

Venture capital firms are already full of women.

Aside from Merry Maids and whatever type of company it is that plans stupid startup launch parties, VCs have more females per capita than any other workplace. Entering a VC firm is like being Robert Palmer in his “Simply Irresistible” music video (that sound you just heard was the collective whoosh from every YC “founder”). Within seconds you’re surrounded by women offering you water, validating your parking, getting the appropriate laptop dongle from the dongle drawer, wiping away your chorizo remains.

It’s a veritable Taco Town. A perennial pita party. A Tangtastic Voyage.

The menstrual supply closet is already fully stocked, is what I’m getting at.

(Note: none of these women are in actual meetings, of course. In the rare occasion when they are, it’s primarily so the partners have some T&A to ogle instead of the BS — balls and sack — of the brogrammer giving the presentation. Take KP, where apparently every single partner — even Kleiner, the dead one — tried to nail, or successfully nailed, Ellen Pao. What must KP stand for? Ka-Pao!)

Anyway, I’m sure Sheryl will agree when she gets around to reading what she thinks: Gals, it’s high time to grab that chorizo and stick it where it belongs.

So, ladies (Yeah?), ladies (Yeah?): Do you wanna cake-walk “job” that leaves you plenty of time to raise a Mormon-esque number of babies? (Yeah!)

Well, turn around, log on out (from your program management job). Even white boys (currently ensconced on Sand Hill Road) got to shout:

Baby, lean back.

Acknowledgments: This post would not be the fully-realized slice of brilliance it is without help from Aditya, Munjal, Krithika, Aditya 2 or Sanjay. My skanky sista Carmelita, of course, who kept the kids shut-up. And Nell what’s-her-name, who wrote it: fuck you.

  1. thelazytangent reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  2. omg-photo reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  3. t324blog reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  4. bkiran reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  5. ytnon reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  6. bettiwettiwoo reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley and added:
    '… the good part is that Nell appears nowhere on the cover: the goddamn co-writer’s only attribution is buried in the...
  7. babciasgirl reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley
  8. ac0derscognition reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley and added:
    Fan. Tastic.
  9. letsbefitfriends reblogged this from jesuschristsiliconvalley and added:
    ^^^ I should probably just add this as my job description on LinkedIn. Also, this is the reason I’m thinking of ending...