Me, the “Mother of Startups” on CNN in October 2017

Dearest internet,

My 2017 can best be categorized as a year of thrills offset by torment.

TL;DR

  • Finished writing my first book. O’Reilly published it.
  • Saved UploadVR.
  • Made the NY Times, interviewed on on CNN and others.
  • I left UploadVR.
  • Picked up the pieces…
  • So, you’re becoming a Bitcoin VC???
  • Writing another book?

I wrote The SEO Battlefield in 2016, final edits were completed in January 2017 and then O’Reilly published it. Not until I saw my words printed did I fully believe it would happen! A short month later one of my clients (whom I doted on heavily) fell into ruin after a highly publicized lawsuit. Given my proximity to the company and how much I cared about the staff, I jumped in to help. Just like the most intrepid battle in Texas history, the Alamo, my rally was indubitably short-lived and harrowing. The maladroit toxicity of that startup shook me to my core. Someday I’ll possibly speak candidly about my time there, but that day is not today.

After my departure, I started asking myself, how did this situation happen? What was I missing? Then it hit me: there’s something much larger at play. This wasn’t the first time a startup had ravaged my spirit. This feeling wasn’t new. I’ve been rescuing founders in Silicon Valley for 10 years by making them profitable.

Two days after leaving Upload, the #metoo phenomenon erupted on Twitter and beyond. Grief and pain flowed like electricity. I’ve never felt such kinship with other women online. I felt alleviation at the truth finally seeing light, but at the same time it was a graceless vindication. Social media got us started on the path to justice, but it wasn’t necessarily the solution. We as women successfully shed our collective secret agreement about just moving on after an incident occurs and it being “ok.”

After taking it all in for a few days, reading story after story about harassment, I got really really really really reallyyyyyyyyy mad. I was proud of those stepping forward, of their courage. Not knowing what else to do to process it I decided to start writing. It helped! I started to feel calmer and my brain opened up with new vigor.

Then my anguish turned to dust when I concluded something quite amazing.

If harassed, it’s not the victim’s responsibility to hide or excuse it, it never was. So simple, but so powerful. We don’t have to own other people’s guilt or shame or feel that weird way anymore. Women no longer have to own the burden of shame after experiencing harassment. We’re at the part in the movie where the ‘underdog’ finally realizes they’re not.

For years I’ve attended tech conferences and watched the same diversity panels (full of older dudes) over and over again, spewing platitudes, suggesting we need more women in tech, we women have to code to really contribute and “be” in tech, etc. I’m tired of women being talked about like we’re some problem to solve, rather than us being the coolest answer to a business’s problems. What will actually change the dynamics that have formed? How do I do that? Money. Time to help ladies get money. Money = power. We have more money, we have more power. This is how I can help.

My greatest professional passion is helping elevate talented entrepreneurs. After all, that’s how I came to be known as the Mother of Startups.

This December I assembled a team of warriors, from financial experts to attorneys to writers- the troop to help me through to the next chapter of my career journey: Bitcoin VC. In January I’ll be launching several key initiatives, so stay tuned… Focus and determination along with resources to elevate female entrepreneurs is what I will bring to 2018. There will be no time for petty infighting or toxic founders.

2017 brought us sorrow, but 2018, my dear ladies, is OUR tomorrow.

As ever,

Annebot

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