Let’s face it, the tech industry is dominated by male geeks and alpha dog VCs. It’s not easy being a female founder in that environment. But as Foodspotting co-founder Soraya Darabi tells Chris Dixon in Part II of her Founder Stories interview, “If you are smart and articulate and know your product, nobody can argue with that.” And, she adds in the video above, “It’s probably a lot easier . . . now than it was ten years ago.”
Dixon thinks the problem is that VCs keep looking for the same patterns, They think the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg will be a young, male, alpha geek. He also notes that pitching your startup idea in the country-club atmosphere of many VC firms can be both intimidating and counterproductive. “I am not sure presenting well to 40 grumpy people correlates to building a great product,” he quips.
But gender issues is not all the two talked about. In the first video below, Dixon puts Darabi through a rapid-fire Q&A, asking her what she would do if her company folded (“I’d go to culinary school”), what advice she has for other startup founders, who are her female mentors, and—my favorite question—”Can you beat people up?” (It turns out she can). And Dixon let’s loose that he was actually a philosophy major in college, which he describes as “the best seven years of my life.” (Insert your own joke here).
Be sure to watch Part I of this interview, where Darabi discusses how Foodspotting began and her previous job as social media manager of the New York Times. The full interview is also in the second video below, and you can catch up with more episodes of Founder Stories on iTunes.
Foodspotting is visual guide to good food and where to find it: Instead of reading and writing restaurant reviews, you can find and share great dishes.
Soraya Darabi has her finger firmly on the pulse of today’s changing media landscape. Featured on the cover of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” issue, named one of Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” and included in AdAge Magazine’s “25 People in Media to Follow on Twitter,” Darabi began her career as Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media at The New York Times. While there, she positioned the Times on such networks as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter; partnered...
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...