Anon1 brought this story to our attention about a single mother in Silicon Valley who has supposedly experienced “discrimination” in trying to form a startup. Here is the “discrimination” she has supposedly experienced:
She’s faced prejudice in the Valley. “I don’t have an Ivy League education; I didn’t just graduate college. I have over 10 years of business experience, and I thought all of those things actually would be positives,” said Atwood. “But unfortunately, there are a lot of investors that are looking for the young 21-year-old, just-graduated-Stanford type of entrepreneur.”
Indeed, she said one VC firm suggested she ought to find that “white 21-year-old guy” to come with her on her roadshow, while another told her that she ought to dye her blond hair darker to be taken seriously in the tech community.
And one potential angel investor even asked her, “Are you sure you can do this as a single mom?”
I know lots of successful people in Silicon Valley that didn’t graduate from college or graduated from a non-Ivy League institution so that discrimination doesn’t exist. Wanting to make sure that a potential startup has sufficient technical resources (what the 21 year old guy comment really means) isn’t discrimination either. It’s also not discrimination to ask if this woman will be able to devote sufficient time to her startup because she’s a single mom. A startup particularly in its initial stages requires a time commitment way beyond a normal 40 hour work week. It’s a valid question for a venture capitalist to ask if someone has other responsibilities that might distract them from developing their startup. Venture capitalists are in the business of making sure they get a return on their investments, not subsidizing single mothers.
It is likely that venture capitalists also have valid issues with the single mom’s business plan that she would call “discrimination”. Her startup is about developing an app to help divorced parents keep track of child care costs. Anyone reading this can see the myriad of problems here. There are already many budgeting apps out there. There’s nothing special about “child care expenses”. Also, don’t married people need to keep track of child care expenses too? It’s not like child care expenses are different if you’re married or divorced. This woman has questionable business skills if she can’t see that. There’s only one possible thing this app could do that’s different, and that’s provide reports of child care expenses to non-custodial parents to see if they match up with child support. Yet, that’s not in her business plan, and any cloud based budgeting app could do that too. More importantly, that’s a legal problem not a technological one so that’s not even a possible benefit to this app.
In other words, this single mom has come up with an app that does what many other apps do but worse. This is another example of vagina software like the “girl power android apps” and text based video games about abortion that we have seen in the past. Like all other vagina software, it’s a pale imitation of real software applications.