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Author of Fabric Blooms.

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How long until women don’t need to marry a technical cofounder?

Right now I’m listening to founders Susan Koger (Modcloth), Susan Feldman (One Kings Lane), and Julia Hartz (Eventbrite) on the Commonwealth Club on NPR. As I’m hearing them speak, I’m noticing a very common pattern between their stories that I have not recognized before.

I wonder about the ratio of female to male startup founders who are married to their business partners. A husband-partner seems like a huge advantage to female founders, as typically the man is the technical co-founder. If you don’t have the coding know-how, that stuff has to be hired out, which can drastically slow the pace of growth and dilute the strategic vision. As I considered this I was surprised to realize that most of my personal women heroes in tech are partnered with their (independently successful) male spouses. This is good, this is still progress and I’ll take it, but it also feels vestigial of the women working revolution in the 70s/80s–a bit limiting. A little exclusive, putting women in a very comfortable and familiar pigeonhole.

That’s not to diminish the amazing accomplishments and leadership of the three women on this panel, or the importance of a supportive spouse. But isn’t that an interesting pattern in female founder origin stories?

How long until we don’t need to marry a programmer or VC to launch successfully?

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Five things I’ve learned as a full-time Airbnb host

1. Airbnb is actually about entrepreneurship (which can kind of sneak up on you).
When I started hosting, it was truly out of desperation because I needed a way to fund the new company I was building. When I made my first few hundred dollars in a month with seemingly little effort, I realized that by taking hosting more seriously I could avoid what I thought was the inevitability of needing a part-time job (in addition to my 60-hour/week at Hello Holiday plus parenting my daughter). As my personal finances were dwindling, I could never have stomached the idea that starting a second business would be the solution, which is why the possibility of so much hosting success surprised me.

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