Father's Day Ode and June Ifs


It takes a man to make a businesswoman

Happy Father’s Day, Brent Stromberg. 

LawnLife was my father’s lawn-care business. The image above is from an outdoor campaign he ran in 1984. It’s noteworthy that this message stood high above Main Street in Layton, Utah, a conservative Mormon suburb of Salt Lake City. 

Strong words for a man who didn’t say much. 

Brent is a Vietnam veteran and a serial entrepreneur. He witnessed the horrors of what humans can do to one another, surviving the twin scenarios of war and business. Those experiences keep us mute, until we can’t take it anymore.

I bury my feelings like he does. 

I prefer to roam the edges, observing the pack from beyond the fire circle, stalking the perimeter where the dark meets the light. For too long I was ok with just warm enough. 

Until now. Until this venture called Underwire. 

I want all in, to be the one dropping another log and chanting burn-baby-burn while I whirl around the bonfire. 

I want a female president of the United States. I want 50% of CEOs to be women. I want 50% of the money to go to female-led companies. I want every girl on the planet to understand a balance sheet and the cost of goods sold and where every cent they earn goes and what it can yield, and that when our economic system works for women and men equally, the balance of power will tip. 

I could incinerate the status quo with all my wanting. Burn the trash and start over with women in charge. 

I have no traditional reason to rage against the patriarchy. I experienced no major violation, mental or physical. I had close calls and pervy situations happen to me, outmaneuvered by my inherent privilege and overflowing luck. Frankly, I would not be where I am today without a handful of men who lifted me into situations that advanced my career and guided me to where I am today. 

We're not all so fortunate. I get that. I struggle with the overwhelming inequality in our world. It breaks my heart that the situation we are born into dictates the trajectory of our lives. Alas, here we are, confronted with the biological fact that for every woman, there is a man out there who plays a role in the drama of who we become. 

Dad, thanks for the fighting words. I love you. 

Now ladies, go up your fucking grass.

If Mary Meeker isn't on your radar

She is now, happily ever after. Ms. Meeker writes the influential "Future of the Internet" report. She's also a legendary venture capitalist, and the founder of a new $1.2 billion fund at Bond Capital. Use her insights to inform your market focus, double down on Instagram and YouTube, or validate your vision in a pitch deck. 

Here are highlights of the report, thanks to CNBC: 

  • More than half of the human population is online.

  • Public and private investments into tech companies are at a two-decade high, nearing $200 billion last year.

  • Wearable technology is booming, and users have doubled in the past four years.

  • E-commerce and ride-share driven digital payments are rising.

  • Image-based communication like Instagram, is on the rise. YouTube and Instagram are gaining the most for time spent on online platforms.

  • Interactive games like Fortnite are gaining ground. Total players have accelerated at 2.4 billion, up 6% this year.

  • Media time spent on mobile hit “equilibrium.”

  • China makes up 21% of total global internet users vs. 8% in the United States.

Read the entire 2019 report here

If you declared bankruptcy, so did one of the world's richest women 

Take 30 minutes and flip through the Forbes Richest Self-Made Women of 2019 list. These are fascinating stories from a diverse group of women and a necessary reminder that you will have to work your ass off, but yes, YOU CAN DO THIS. Some highlights: 

  • Jessica Iclisoy of California Baby vertically integrated her company and never brought in investors.

  • Number 5 on the list, Thai Lee, spoke at this year's Women in Cloud Summit, yet another reason to get involved with this powerful group.

  • Suzy Batiz went bankrupt twice before building Poo-pouri, known for their hilarious marketing videos and now distributed through major retailers. 

  • Serena Williams has invested in 34 startups founded by women and minorities through Serena Ventures. 

If you grapple with what to wear 

This article from Fast Company details the effects of two female editors who wear the same clothing for two weeks. Thanks to MM.LaFleur's excellent email newsletter for the recommend.