Dream, Girl

For the past four years, The Gotham Gal and her friend Nancy Hechinger have been running a conference called The Women’s Entrepreneur Festival. The goal of the conference is to showcase successful women entrepreneurs to other women. As Marian Wright Edelman famously said, “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See.”

But even as The Women’s Entrepreneur Festival gets bigger and bigger each year, it can never scale to reach all women who might want to be an entrepreneur and it certainly can’t reach young girls who might be inspired to become entrepreneurs.

So that’s why I backed Dream, Girl this morning after seeing this Gotham Gal tweet:

Here’s the Kickstarter video:

I hope you’ll be inclined to back this project as well after reading this blog post.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    It’s fundraising week at AVC :)It started with CSNYU, then ALS, now DG.All are great causes. The “role model” angle for women is a good one. But I’m curious- Why do women identify more with women role models, and men with men role models? Has someone studied or analyzed what’s really different and what’s common to business leadership and entrepreneurship between women / men? Does it really start at the girl / boy stage, or does it develop further in life?

    1. fredwilson

      these are the native advertisements that work on AVCbuzzfeed has their versiontwitter has theirsand AVC has these

      1. William Mougayar

        Ha ha…you fooled me (rightfully so)

      2. Ana Milicevic

        Touche on the native ads. You also apparently have my wallet.

    2. Laura Yecies

      Having role models of one’s demographic in leadership positions leads to higher aspirations – lots of research on this including this recent MIT study.Female Leadership Raises Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Girls: A Policy Experiment in India – http://www.sciencemag.org/c…. It makes sense that if we see people similar to us doing something we are more likely to believe it’s possible.

      1. William Mougayar


      2. Erin Bagwell

        Couldn’t agree more Laura. We can’t be what we can’t see. We need a flood of new imagery and media to inspire girls and women alike!- Erin Bagwell, Executive Producer/Director of Dream, Girl

    3. LE

      Why do women identify more with women role models, and men with men role models?Not sure this answers your question but I think part of it is having an example of someone that is similar (even if just by sex) that shows that something can be done.If your mother is a nuclear physicist, but she is still your mother, you don’t hold out that it’s something that is unattainable because you are familiar with your mother and her not being perfect in every way. People tend to bestow unknown powers or something that they don’t have 24×7 or even somewhat close contact with. It tends to seem much for special than it is in other words. [1] Along those lines of course even having a father would be a close 2nd.Look, my dad was in business and I grew up being around and working in the business. No question that exposure allowed me to have no fear (and feeling I had all the answers) of running my own business as a result of observing the day to day and back and forth. Otoh I’ve seen people who haven’t grown up in business families totally paralyzed by the lack of seat of the pants feel for the “what if’s” more or less the same way I might in something that I wasn’t raised in.Everything starts when someone is young and impressionable what I will call “drop something into their head”. I am doing it now with my stepdaughter who is 10. When she plays with her friends they do lego league and I don’t even think she has ever even had any dolls that she plays with. She will (as I’ve said) be interested in mechanical things that I show her. (My stepson isn’t in any way shape or form he likes sports, wrong step dad unfortunately for that..)That said all young girls or women are not the same. I definitely don’t think you can take someone without a knack to be a female anything and just make it so. But you can allow and definitely encourage those who would not be able to do it if not given the chance. I think that’s what the film is really all about. My niece is into beauty and makeup while her mom is a professional. No way you are going to make my niece an engineer or even a business owner (I’ve tried.) Even though it’s not because her mother wouldn’t want her to.[1] Famous scene in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” people thought that the Forrest Whitaker character wasn’t even a student that “he just shows up on game day”.

      1. Twain Twain

        It’s sounds like you’re a great stepfather!Plus it’s true kids have their own subject preferences and orientations. Some girls — even when we’re 5 and role-playing Doctors, Nurses & Patients — want to be the doctors, and our parents don’t even have to be doctors to provide us with those cues.Meanwhile, some boys HATE sports and would much rather express their identities through creative subjects.

    4. Ana Milicevic

      It’s not so much identifying with someone in particular as it is seeing what’s possible and attainable for people who look like you, think like you, act like you, etc. Having dealt with people trying to tell me what is and isn’t for women for the majority of my life, I’d like to think that having more people to point to as role models would have hushed a lot of that chatter outright.

    5. Twain Twain

      It starts when we’re toddlers; this was a discussion I had with a former bank colleague whose wife works in education and did her thesis on this very subject matter.In my case, I’ve been inspired by male and female role models from the very beginning.

  2. JimHirshfield

    My first boss was a woman (other than my mom). I learned a lot from her and helped me immensely.

    1. William Mougayar

      I also had a woman boss back at HP who I learned a lot from in marketing and sales.

  3. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Loved the WEF when I attended. Really we’ll done.As I’ve mentioned before, now that I have a daughter I’m acutely aware of the need for this kind of project.

    1. Erin Bagwell

      It’s definitely a film we need for our daughters AND sons! We need to create a cultural shift that not only allows women to view themselves as leaders, but also encourages their peers to do the same. Thanks so much for your support, Kirsten!- Erin Bagwell, Executive Producer/Director of Dream, Girl

      1. Twain Twain

        Girls can now dream of winning the “Nobel” in Mathematics too.In 2014, the first-ever woman to win the Fields Prize happened:* http://www.wired.com/2014/0

      2. awaldstein

        I’m going to support but think of this slightly differently.A career in tech and no doubt the gender issue is a reality.A series of investment in the wellness space and the majority of entrepreneurs are women and an amazing group.The courses of capital are not. That’s still a huge gap.

      3. Ruth BT

        Hey Erin, love to support and promote this however there is no love for people outside the US. Would you consider changing the pledges and do what others do? IE Add $ for shipping outside the US? Thanks!

        1. Erin Bagwell

          I will look into it for sure! Right now the best pledges for those outside the U.S. is the digital download to see the feature film.

  4. awaldstein

    Good stuff.Need to say I’ve been fortunate having early met amazingly inspiring women in tech, always hired mixed teams and now, getting involved in the wellness space, the majority of founders cross fitness, nutrition, coaching and apparel are women.I’m contributing but I also supported it personally with my actions every day.

  5. Susan Rubinsky

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that they had a woman working with a baby in this video! That is NOT supported in many, many workplaces and is why many women choose to set out on their own.

    1. Erin Bagwell

      Thanks, Susan! The Dream, Girl team loves showcasing the stories of strong, inspiring women, mothers included!-Erin Bagwell, Executive Producer/Director of Dream, Girl

  6. LE

    Just did this (got the 2 premiere tickets) and encourage others to do the same.Separately I’ve always thought that smart women doing things are hot and all of those other images images of women in the media are not.Also the promo was very well made.

  7. Russell


  8. Twain Twain

    fredwilson — Much respect to you both for DOING something about this issue and showing commitment (not just lip service).Did you read this perceptive TC article on the pipeline and trapdoor problem in SV written by a male journalist?* http://techcrunch.com/2014/…It’s great and encouraging both genders are now involved in openly discussing and frameworking how we can change it for the better.

  9. kirklove

    Bean is already boss of our house ;)Great project. Happy to back. Sad this only has 14 comments here. C’mon people.#GirlPower

  10. Scneni

    No i am not inclined to back the project

  11. LE

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, yesterday I’m reading, was go topless day and there is a large quantity of photos of topless women parading around NYC.I’m not sure I get the message being sent by events like that.But it does show that you can’t control what others or the crowd do (much less advertisers) and there is no such thing as thinking that certain portrayals will go away just because some people want them to go away.

  12. mikenolan99

    Love this! Immediately texted to my daughter (our future Federal Reserve Chair.)This helps me articulates something I’ve been thinking about around women’s entrepreneurship: Women are not fragile flowers that will only thrive with special care, but instead are powerful forces that need a culture of confidence and empowerment to get started.Awesome…

    1. Erin Bagwell

      The Dream, Girl team couldn’t agree more! I’m not sure where the whole “fragile flower” idea came from, but the women who we’ve been interviewing for the film are anything but.- Erin Bagwell, Executive Producer/Director of Dream, Girl

      1. mikenolan99

        Right on! Change the culture/change the world!

      2. mikenolan99

        I run into well meaning groups who want to help immigrant/minority/women/GLBT entrepreneurs – and I applaud the efforts. I get frustrated, though, if the conversation subtly perpetuates this thinking that “they” are somehow less – and need special care.Successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life need opportunity and access – exactly the role models and vision that your project will produce.I grew up in a family where entrepreneurship was a modeled behavior – I had strong role models that helped me shape a vision for myself and my family. I hope all my children, and everyones children, grow up with the same opportunity.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Women are not fragile flowers that will only thrive with special care, but instead are powerful forces that need a culture of confidence and empowerment to get started. Careful there. Quite similar to what you just wrote, once a college sophomore said about herself,”Women don’t have just to be cared for. Women can do things, too. I want a career.”She had a lot of capabilities: She’d starred in the senior class play as a junior, directed the senior class play as a senior, edited the Annual, and was Valedictorian. As a college sophomore, she was on her way to PBK, Summa Cum Laude, Woodrow Wilson, two years of NSF in one award, all of which she did. She was also brilliant, e.g., just for fun audited a course in European history where the prof did want audits also to take the tests. She made the best score in the class, of 300 students, and would have made an A.She tried with all her strength to follow her description of herself. She had no children. Her efforts were fatal.Her mother and two sisters were quite similar but all had children and all lived.Lesson: Kids first; career later or not at all.Why: Since Darwin has long said that it’s necessary and sufficient for women to be good as mommies, from necessary don’t expect much less, and from sufficient don’t expect much more.Or, apparently as in the Indiana Jones movie character Marcus Brody’s “You are meddling with forces you cannot possibly comprehend.”. Or, Mother Nature and Darwin were there long before the idea that women should have careers, and way back there there were some women able to do men’s work but were weak, sick, or dead limbs on the tree and filtered out of the gene pool.We can guess that Darwin has multiple layers of defenses to make sure women pursue motherhood instead of men’s work. Such as? If a woman in her main childbearing years is not having children, then have her psychology incapacitate her, e.g., via some case of anxiety disease, four times more common in women than men, to make her incompetent, desperate, dependent, and, thus, more likely pregnant. This might be one of the defenses. No joke. Or it’s as if Darwin wants woman on the mommy track and otherwise gets her into horrendous trouble.Not a lot of women have been successful with men’s work, and maybe there is a good reason.Can some women be successful entrepreneurs? Yes. Can all women who are highly determined, work hard, and are very capable? Nope.For this lesson, it’s better not to pay full tuition.Be careful.

      1. mikenolan99

        I don’t even now where to start…. Is your argument really that women are somehow genetically inferior when it comes to business?Replace the word “women” with “black” or “asian” or “Irish” and you would be run out of town as a racist.It is exactly this kind of thinking that perpetuates the mindset of young girls that this project hopes to overcome.Not all PEOPLE will succeed at entrepreneurship – gender, race and personal identity are barriers created by society that limit opportunity and access. Once those barriers are smashed – more PEOPLE will have a chance to realize their dreams.And the whole world benefits.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I don’t even now where to start. Mostly that’s inevitable because we have a difficult subject.Here I strongly encourage you to read what I’ve written, to read it with thought and understanding, and to take it seriously. For what is here, I paid full tuition, and you don’t want to do that.From what you have written, you are, as I once was, very vulnerable to getting a very expensive grade of F in this material.With your barriers created by society that limit opportunity and access. Once those barriers are smashed – more PEOPLE will have a chance to realize their dreams. you seem to assume and/or believe that any difficulties of entrepreneurship particular to females are from “society” and can and should be “smashed”.And you seem to be going along with much of US society eager to assume, even insist, on essentially the Axiom. Men and women are just the same in all respects except the most obvious anatomical differences. Moreover, any suggestion of any additional differences is similar to contemptible racism. While in many respects we might like this axiom, obviously it seems to be asking a lot, and there is too little solid evidence really to believe it. E.g., as in E. Fromm, The Art of Loving, “Men and women deserve equal respect as persons but are not the same.”.Further in Fromm, he tries to explain where thinking as in the axiom came from: The French Revolution gave Western Civilization the idea that any claim of differences in gender was potentially a threat of unfairness.The really surprising situation would be that the differences were so few, small, minor, and inconsequential to, say, entrepreneurship. This claim would need a lot of strong support, and, of course, we don’t have such support. Indeed, the best support we have is just to notice that human males and females share two each of feet, legs, hands, arms, eyes, and ears and can learn walking, language, arithmetic, HTML, and CSS and then just assume that any additional differences are trivial. Uninformed, wildly wrong, dangerous. For all females? No. For too many females? Yes.Yes, as in the video clip, and in line with this axiom, we can go to girls of age, say, 6-10, encourage them to pursue their dreams, including in entrepreneurship, and have the girls be enthusiastic and optimistic and start to pursue. That is, in part, we have a shot at getting girls 6-10 to accept the axiom.No doubt we could also get a lot of such girls to accept the tooth fairy. In addition to being able to get the girls to accept, we need to ask if we should work to get the girls to accept. While accepting the tooth fairy seems harmless enough, I can assure you that accepting this axiom, apparently in particular in ages 6-10, later in life, in particular for females, especially starting near age 22, can be, and too often is, dangerous and even fatal. I’m not joking.Here’s a little more on the danger: Convince some girl 6-10 implicitly on the axiom and explicitly on following her “dreams” of, say, entrepreneurship. Then, through grade, middle, and high school, guide and encourage her. Help her. When she has successes, strongly praise her. Basically have her working and even living for the praise. Have her go to college continuing to follow both the axiom and her dreams.As along the way she sees other girls give up on the axiom and such dreams and bend to more traditional female roles, further encourage her to stay with her dreams. Have her invest much of her life, values, self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, time, and energy in her direction. Then, near age 22, for reasons that are unexpected and not well understood, she encounters some serious problems that cause her to do poorly at her dreams. Too soon her dreams, accomplishments, source of praise and emotional security, self-esteem, etc. can all turn to dust leaving her with nothing. This is terrible and dangerous; to lead a girl on this direction is short sighted, risky, and cruel.My experience, for which I paid full tuition, is that you will be very concerned about this subject, which I assure you is not easy to understand, working very hard to understand it, and plenty eager to set aside the axiom and look for the truth once your sister, mother, wife, or daughter, whom you very much love, and who, believing something like this axiom, pursues her dreams, encounters serious, unexpected problems not at all from “society” and apparently essentially impossible to “smash”, and is seriously hurt for life and maybe killed. I’m not joking. The chances of such disaster particular to females is far too high.Two points: For (1), the axiom is asking so much that there is essentially no chance it is really correct; for (2), a more, indeed, very, serious and difficult question is, how dangerous is the axiom and just in what ways and how badly is it wrong? While we can be sure about (1), we do not have nearly as much solid information as we would like about (2). Sorry ’bout that — wanting’s not always the same as getting. But, that we don’t have something as solid as mathematical physics for (2) should not have us be in doubt about (1) or accept the axiom. Or, mere absence of good evidence of danger is not good evidence of absence of danger. The danger is grim; if are willing to approach this danger, then definitely have a solid plan of retreat and be plenty willing to use it.Given our relative ignorance, again I urge as in the Indiana Jones movie character Marcus Brody’s “You are meddling with forces you cannot possibly comprehend.”.As we work to understand, along the way, we will also ask if the problems really are from nature, that is, genetic, or just from nurture. While separating the effects of nature and nurture commonly is difficult, if you wish, here we can jump ahead so that I can give you some expert opinion right away: It’s nature and, so far, very difficult, really essentially impossible, to overcome. In particular, that the problems are just “society” and possible to “smash” is dangerous nonsense. For now, I urge you, put the axiom on the shelf labeled “Future Dreams and Fantasy — Currently Dangerous in Practice”.Taking that axiom to girls 6-10 will lead to some really sad results. For all the girls? No. For too many girls who make big efforts to pursue the axiom? Yes.Actually, Darwin has been there long before the axiom and has some fairly strong defenses: As we well know, soon after the girls are past age 10 we will have much more difficulty selling the axiom because then the girls will be in puberty which is a collection of forces difficult to control so that the girls will get very, nearly irresistibly, interested in being girls in a fairly traditional sense, and then the axiom, STEM subjects, pursuing men’s work, entrepreneurship, etc. mostly will be set aside. I say, mostly “good”. Whew, ducked that bullet.Yes, it will be easy enough to get the girls interested in money, but, in simple terms that just will not go away, nearly all the girls will understand that “A girl being pretty is like a boy being rich.” and that for the needed money a girl needs to attract a boy who has money. She will want to be a fairly traditional girl, not a girl trying to be “more like a man”.So, I’m urging you to be very careful and, in particular, to regard the axiom as too often, in particular for females, dangerous, life threatening.I would like to give you full details, but no one really has that information yet.Here is one point: There is some recent research (I apologize for not having kept the reference, but my entrepreneurship project does not need it) that shows that already in the crib (1) girls concentrate on eye contact, facial expressions, and tones of voice, that is, on people, and (2) boys concentrate on things. Or for a simple view, a girl is trying to elicit support from Daddy, and a boy is trying to hack the latch and get to the toy firetruck on the floor. Commonly this difference remains at least through college: The girls are much better socially and with people, and the boys are much better with things.Then in the world of men’s work, the emphasis will be where men are good, e.g., things, and women will have a difficult time fitting in. Of course, in some parts of entrepreneurship, that women are better with people can be a huge advantage. But quite commonly people understand these differences, reject the axiom, and conform to, make use of, don’t fight, the differences. And we know that the roles women fall into are not very promising for entrepreneurship. I urge you to reject the idea that these differences are just from “society” and can be “smashed” and, instead, at least to entertain that the differences have deep origins and so far are essentially impossible to change.For more, as we know well, girls 6-10 can be interested in STEM fields and entrepreneurship but over the years, through high school and college and into the world of work, give up on these fields and move to more traditional careers, say, in K-12 teaching, nursing, customer service, secretarial, HR, etc. So, why the movement? I urge you not to assume the axiom or that the cause is just something about “society” that is possible to “smash” and, instead, to entertain that there may be some deep causes for now essentially impossible to overcome.Again, to be more clear, can some women do well in STEM subjects, men’s work, and entrepreneurship? Definitely, yes. But, at least so far, from what we clearly see in practice, such women are rare.Part of the danger of the axiom is that a woman will follow the axiom, try and try, try with iron determination, keep believing that axiom, have nearly all her life and self-image invested in the pursuit of the axiom, just refuse to drift into more traditional women’s roles, get hurt, and die trying. The mother, believing in the axiom and bitter about not being equal, can have pushed her daughter this way strongly everyday from the crib to her daughter’s death. It can happen. I’m not joking.Indeed, the axiom applies to so few women and, otherwise, is so pernicious and dangerous that especially determined women who invest all they have and refuse to bend are in line to break and either be seriously injured for life or die. For such a female, selling her on the axiom, say, at age 6-10, and, then, encouraging her to follow her dreams can be especially cruel and ugly.Can she be so determined and not “bend”? Yup: She need only mis-allocate some of the standard determination she has for being successful as a mother; such determination is nearly universal in mammalian females going way back. Difficult to understand? Nope: As in the movie Jurassic Park, as the character Ellie was working with great determination and concentration to understand the cause of a sick dinosaur,Dr. Ian Malcolm: [about Ellie] She’s, uh… tenacious.With great frustration,Dr. Alan Grant: You have no idea.Movie audiences understood quickly. It’s real.Or there was the case on Long Island of a mother kitty cat and a burning building. For each of her kittens, the mother went back into the fire and carried out the kitten. The mother suffered severe burns in her fur and ears. From the news, she got a lot of adoption offers! Such dedication across mammalian females indicates that the origin of the dedication goes way back in the tree and, thus, is not to be changed easily.Really, when selling a girl of 6-10 on the axiom and encouraging her to pursue her dreams, the main hope has to be that she will not have iron determination, will fall in love with a good man and not the axiom or entrepreneurship, be a mother, and give up high dedication to anything else. The intended success has to be so rare that the main activity and hope has to be failure and giving up without serious harm.In more detail, what can go so seriously wrong?There is David V. Sheehan, M.D., The Anxiety Disease,, ISBN 0-553-25568-1. with in part Chapter 3: Who it Strikes and WhenWho Does it Strike?The anxiety disease affects almost 5 percent of the population at a given time. Approximately 1 percent have it to a disabling degree. The majority (80 percent) of its victims are women, most of whom are in their childbearing years.The relatively high frequency of the disease among women compared to men has been attributed to a variety of stresses unique to women in our society. Some observers have gone so far as to suggest that the high frequency of the condition among women is directly related to the stress created by women’s second-class status in our culture. These theories, while interesting in themselves, fail to explain the remarkable statistical persistence of a predominantly female distribution of the condition over time and space. In all of the countries where the disorder has been studied over the past century, the percentage of women affected compared to men has remained the same. One might expect that wide disparities in women’s rights and women’s roles would alter this ratio, but such is not the case. And, the condition appears to strike equally at women in traditional “homemaker” roles and professional or career women.When Does it Start?If stress alone were the major cause of the anxiety disease, one would expect it to start at any age. After all, stress doesn’t appear to pick on any one age group or spare others; each age has its own stresses. So if we examine most conditions in which stress is the primary cause, we find that they can start at any phase in life. But if we look at the age of first onset of this disease, we do not find it is spreading itself over all ages. Instead, the majority of cases start in the late teens and early twenties (see Figure 1). It is relatively rare for it to start before the age of fifteen or after the age of thirty-five.Many diseases have this particular attraction to certain age groups. Measles and chicken pox pick on children; high blood pressure usually starts in middle life; strokes and Alzheimer’s disease appear somewhat later in life. These peculiar age-of-onset distributions are usually based on some concrete chemical or biological process that permits the disease to favor one age group over others. This is only one of many pieces of evidence that suggest there may be some underlying biological basis to the anxiety disease. Such evidence indicates that although stress plays an aggravating role, as it does in many diseases, biological factors may have a more important role in this disorder than stress alone. (A more detailed discussion of the evidence supporting the metabolic basis of the disease is presented in Chapter 14.)Normal anxiety displays quite a different distribution. Consider a group of otherwise normal people who have an isolated phobia, for example, a fear of dogs or snakes, or of flying in a plane. These people can usually pinpoint a stress or an upsetting, frightening experience that started the fear. Perhaps they were bitten by a dog, or a close friend died in an air crash. Since these phobias are stress-induced, and stress affects all ages and both sexes more or less equally, we would expect that the onset of these single phobias would be evenly distributed over all ages (Figure 2) and both sexes. This is indeed the case.The statistics pertaining to endogenous anxiety suggest that nature is at fault in some way. When we find a disease this common that evolution has not extinguished, we have to wonder whether having it confers certain benefits, especially in its mild or attenuated forms. In ways and under circumstances we have not yet discovered, it is possible that having the genetic makeup for this disease may confer some advantage even as it creates misery. From my experience, the women he describes are especially common among highly determined women who buy into the axiom and strongly pursue their dreams.Yes, Sheehan is talking about 5% or 1%, but my guess is that his 80% applies somewhat more broadly. Or, once an expert explained to me, “Of course women are much more emotional than men. That is the cause of all the problems between men and women.”. No doubt in some parts of entrepreneurship the emotions of women can be a great advantage, but, in information technology startups so far dominated by nerd males with only adolescent maturity, women might find that their emotions are a handicap.My experience is that women are much more social than men, very much want security from a group where they fit in. While maybe there can be some advantages for entrepreneurship here, I have to believe that a woman will have a more difficult time being a CEO such as Gates, Jobs, or Zuckerberg strongly pursuing ideas of their own.A common claim is that being a founder of an information technology startup is stressful, say, like being in a WWII Pacific foxhole with bullets flying six inches overhead and, thus, requiring cold, calculating rationality and suppression of emotions. My experience with women tells me that usually such stress will be much more difficult for women than men.From my experience, this Sheehan quote is a little too simplistic: Instead, for a woman such as he describes, accepting the axiom, strongly pursuing the dreams, men’s work, and/or entrepreneurship makes the basic problem he describes much worse and much more dangerous. E.g., when otherwise she might be just an especially nervous and perfectionistic mother, she can have difficulty in the daily work of her dream career, raise her levels of stress and anxiety, as a consequence encounter more difficulty with the work itself, get a torpedo to her self-esteem and self-image, from the stress fall into depression, start on a self-reinforcing, downward spiral, from the resulting incapacitation, encounter more stress and anxiety, fall into clinical depression, and die. As in Sheehan’s 80% figure, this spiral is particular to women and dangerous. I’m not joking.Again, for this lesson, I urge you not to pay full tuition.I very much wish the girls and women well, hope that they are successful in anything they want to do, including entrepreneurship. but from my experience I also fear that they might get hurt and hope that doesn’t happen.I’m not suggesting that women should be held back. Instead, for suggestions:Rule: First, do no harm.Then, be careful, very careful. Suspect that the axiom is significantly false. On strongly pursuing such new goals, realize that there can be dangers and, thus, be fully prepared to back out with little harm or regret.Net, I urge caution.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          For your I don’t even now where to start…. Is your argument really that women are somehow genetically inferior when it comes to business? here I will give a short answer. But my other posts in this thread, especially, http://avc.com/2014/08/drea…remain relevant.As I have explained, human males and females are different. Then we have to expect (especially if one likes some of the classic ‘separation’ theorems in the mathematics of functional analysis) there will be activities where the males are better than the females and some other activities where the females are better than the males. So, it will not be possible to claim that males and females are really equal or that one is better than the other.For information technology entrepreneurship, just empirically at present it looks like the males do better.I outlined that from the crib males are more interested in things; from that we can guess that for current information technology entrepreneurship the males will be better. Or, more generally, in any field that currently is run mostly by males, we have to expect that for now that field has been constructed in ways more convenient for males; then males will have an advantage. No big surprise, or what are the chances of females in the NFL or NBA?Likely now there are fields where females are better at entrepreneurship, and it may be that in the future there will be many important fields where females are better. It may be that in entrepreneurship eventually females will be better on average; I can see some reasons that might happen and can’t rule it out.That males or females are better, either in a particular field or more generally, need not be very important for anyone. Instead, each person can attempt to achieve whatever goals they have. If a female can make $10 billion writing C++ code and being a Silicon Valley, venture funded CEO and doesn’t get hurt, then fine. If she makes $10 billion in some other field and doesn’t get hurt, then also fine.As I discussed, there are dangers, some particular to females, e.g., Sheehan’s 80% figure, in pursuing goals in men’s work, and there females can get hurt, from a little down to badly down to dead.My main motivation in my posts to this thread is to help females not get hurt.Thus, I urge females charging off in directions new for females to be careful; in particular, be both well prepared and quite willing at the first significant signs of danger to back out without harm or regret.In particular, for girls 6-10, please, please, don’t sell them a collection of ideas and push on them with a lot of influences that, soon or in 20+ years, might get them hurt. Please don’t do that.My shorter advice is to be careful.

  13. Mariah Lichtenstern

    I have one problem with Kickstarter, and that is the integration with Amazon. Last time I tried to back a project, there was some glitch due to my Amazon payments being set up as a business account. After nearly an hour with tech support, the customer service rep acknowledged I set it up correctly, had the EIN and bank info correct, but the system was still glitch-ing. He advanced it to tech support and told me to call back in 48 hours. But I have not desire to spend another hour on the phone with tech support figuring out what’s wrong with their system…The alternative is to set up a new Amazon account just for Kickstarter…ummm…no. So, because of this friction, that’s been the excuse for not supporting Kickstarter campaigns. If I could gripe about this to anyone who might influence change, it is likely you.

    1. Ruth BT

      Try living in another country- campaigns you want to support don’t allow you to because you don’t live in the USA. This project – which I would love to support doesn’t allow me to because there is a t-shirt/tote in the mix which doesn’t ship outside the US. So frustrating!

      1. Erin Bagwell

        Hi Ruth! Erin Bagwell, Exec. Producer of Dream, Girl here. Unfortunately shipping outside the US is cost prohibitive for us right now. If you back the film at the $20 & up level you can select an “Exclusive First Look” reward, which will give you access to a digital download of the film from any computer with an internet connection. Thanks for your support!

  14. LE

    Every time the name “Hechinger” is mentioned (by GG) I think of Hechinger’s a store we grew up with that was the go to place for hardware and home improvements. Founded in 1911.John Hechinger, Sr. helped pioneer the do-it-yourself industry; from a single hardware store established by his father (Sidney) in 1911, Hechinger grew to a 64-store chain by the time it acquired Virginia Beach, Virginia-based HQ Home Quarters Warehouse in December 1987 for $66 million.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

    1. fredwilson

      that’s Nancy’s family’s business

  15. pointsnfigures

    Was listening to a female do a pitch the other day. In the Q+A, she said something that made me think she wasn’t confident-something self depreciating that a male would never say. I raised my hand and told her that she did awesome. Then afterward, I pulled her aside and quietly spoke with her about that. I told her I noticed women would do things that men would never do-and that was one of them (I have two daughters, and try to interact with female entrepreneurs). We chatted more, and she wasn’t aware-but now that she was aware she wouldn’t do it again. Becoming aware empowers people.She had no reason not to lack confidence-she had a great startup with traction and she was doing a really good job pitching.

  16. jason wright

    the way the world is headed i doubt there will be too many people to boss within the time frame it will take to get enough woman in position for this to have made a meaningful difference.gender is but one distinction.

  17. sigmaalgebra

    I hate to see girls, young women, or any women or human females get hurt, and I’ve seen way too many get hurt way too much.Yes, if those females follow past patterns, then too many will get hurt. But, if they follow some relatively new, unproven, and poorly understood patterns, then, from what I’ve seen and a common sense, first cut guess, is that the chances of their getting hurt will increase. Bummer. We should try to avoid those chances.Or, back in a college English class, the prof talked about the role of “the great natural order”. I objected based on a belief that for new things we could analyze, plan, and, then, execute successfully — there are plenty of examples in science and engineering.For> As Marian Wright Edelman famously said, “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See.”Let’s see: Take the set of all cases of the “what”. Then in that set there has to be a first case, and that case contradicts the claim. So, sure, at times it’s it possible to be what can’t see.Further, there actually has been a good history of a lot of rapid, successful change withProof: Assume a generation is 20 years and go back 10 generations, 200 years, to 1814, see the changes since then, and there have been a lot, and allocate all of them among the 10 generations. Then at least one generation, and really all of them, saw a lot of change. So, each generation can stand to see a lot of change. QED.Example now? Sure, Moore’s law and the Internet. Big changes.But, bluntly, these changes have been mostly by men, mostly for the work of men, in ways convenient for men, and human females have been affected by some of the results, e.g., use cell phones for gossip or not be able to get jobs as typists, and otherwise have been relatively uninvolved.So, there has been lots of change but not so much directly for the females.Or, sadly, it does appear that in part the English prof was correct: Life’s often too complicated for solid analysis from ‘first principles’ — we’re often missing both the ‘principles’ and the data we need. Or, if we try to do something different, we can conclude that the Indiana Jones movie character Marcus Brody’s “You are meddling with forces you cannot possibly comprehend.” at times could be correct. That is, the great natural order was working for reasons we did not see, and our effort at something different and even better encountered those unseen forces.So, maybe females are heavily constrained by some case of “the great natural order”, and, since I’ve seen too much hurt, I see dangers and urge caution.Still, there are some strong reasons for women to pursue entrepreneurship: She can go to college, graduate, get married at 22, and by 30 have 2-3 children all in pre-school, kindergarten, or grade school and, thus, suddenly have less to do than she did back to, say, middle school. But also she’s got another 30+ years of good health and potential productivity. Shame to waste it, and I’ve seen it wasted, and worse, too often.The waste I’m describing is a well-known situation, that is, easily recognized as realistic by wide audiences. E.g., for people interested in US military and ‘cultural’ history, now on YouTube are all the parts of the two, long TV mini-series ‘Winds of War’, say, starting at https://www.youtube.com/wat…and ‘War and Remembrance’, starting athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…Yes, maybe some of the military history there is not correct, e.g., in ‘Remembrance’ the arguments with Admiral Spruance near the end of the battle of Midway.In those dramas, of course, the main wife, Rhoda Henry, of the main character Victor Henry, while her husband is busy defeating Germany and Japan, is busy with cigarettes, alcohol, being entertained in expensive restaurants, eager to dress overly ‘dramatically’, and eager go to ‘prestigious’ parties, e.g., at embassies, and never pass up an opportunity for an ‘affair’. Basically, for the life ‘pattern’ she was led, by nature and/or nurture, to follow, now that her children were grown, she had just nothing productive to do. Or, “Idle hands do devil’s work.”. Millions of TV viewers were prepared to see this character as realistic, and they were correct.Well, a traditional approach was for her to devote herself to ‘volunteer work’. Otherwise traditional approaches were K-12 teaching, nursing, bookkeeping, secretarial, customer service, or retail clerking. In some cases, she could help her husband in a good family business (which I regard as one of the best currently, commonly available options). As in E. Fromm, one of the worst things that can happen to a person is to feel unproductive. Then one too common result can be that she becomes really good friends with Jack Daniels Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker, etc.Of course now, especially for a mother with a college education, far and away one of the best things she can do is to direct the educations of her children, that is, ‘home schooling’, doing the teaching herself and/or with input from some experts in education, child development, and subject matter.In this way, her children should be able to do well on the SATs by age 12, the GREs by age 15, also do well in selected directions in art, science, engineering, computing, technology, business, athletics, etc., and, then, get on with the rest of their lives without all that wasteful, harmful nonsense in K-12 and much of college. It’s horrible to waste those years in K-12 in low grade, pass the time, waste the time baby sitting. Still, home schooling can involve giving up some significant family income, e.g., what the mother might make in nursing.But for women in entrepreneurship, it appears that from nature and/or nurture there are some possibly severe obstacles: She can be quite nervous, that is, easily scared. Then, for some ‘security’, she can play a role of being subservient, self-effacing, sympathetic, empathetic, wanting to help others, etc. and, thus, needing and deserving to be cared for. Of course this role fits closely with what is traditionally important in the early years of motherhood. But this role can conflict with her being successful at entrepreneurship: She can fear that just by pursuing entrepreneurship she can lose more security from even just the image of abandoning that traditional role and the presumption of needing and deserving to be cared for than she can gain from bottom line business success.For now, if women try to pursue entrepreneurship, then I see no alternative but that a major fraction of those women will, net, be less secure than they would have been with a more traditional role. I.e., they will get hurt, sometimes badly, sometimes fatally. I urge caution.One ‘constraint’ to keep solidly in mind: Darwin will not be fooled for long. Or, any directions for women that have them significantly more likely to be weak, sick, or dead limbs on the tree will be at most only one year, mutant ‘annuals’ and not healthy ‘perennials’. Or, we’re talking major ‘changes’ in the roles of woman; I’m all for change, with careful planning, heading out for the first time into new territory, but from too much history fear to see women do such things.Here’s a simple test: Do women want to see each girl, e.g., their daughter, of 3-8, as I saw so often when I was that age, wearing pretty dresses, delicate, impractical, white, pink, or pastel, with absurdly full skirts, with ribbons and bows, puff sleeves, long ponytails held with pretty, decorative ties, hair barrettes, pretty, delicate shoes no good in mud, snow, or rain, wrapping their daddy around their little finger, being their daddy’s little princess he can never say “No” to, and concentrating people, eye contact, facial expressions, the emotions and personalities of others, eliciting support and affection, and being protected and cared for or concentrating on things and STEM subjects?Do you want her (1) learning about household electricity, wiring, soldering, wire strippers, basic electronics, hammers and nails, screwdrivers and wrenches, metal sanding, drilling, tapping, threading, filing, and cutting, grass mowing, hedge trimming, carpentry, plumbing, jacking up a car, using a lug wrench, and changing a tire, evaluating brake wear, adding air to a tire, changing an air filter, replacing a fan belt, checking fluid levels in power steering, transmission, engine oil, and the windshield washer, using a drill pump and HCl to remove CaCO3 from hot water coils, installing an operating system, learning programming languages, installing and using the Microsoft .NET Framework, knowing the role of the CAP theorem in RDBM, the Gleason bound in sorting, JPG, GIF, PNG, and BIN image file formats or (2) being good fitting in socially with other girls, gossiping, being attractive to boys, interacting socially both safely and effectively, etc.? Want her to major in (1) a STEM field or (2) art history, French or English literature, or a social science? Which would you rather she do, (1) learn to program in, say, Python or (2) play the Mozart ‘Rondo Alla Turca’https://www.youtube.com/wat…or the Bach Prelude in C majorhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…or with a less trivial performance (Vladimir Ashkenazy)https://www.youtube.com/wat…or (Sviatoslav Richter)https://www.youtube.com/wat…on piano. Or closely related have her sing, as inhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…Want to keep her REALLY busy, try to have her be likehttp://www.youtube.com/watc…(Bach,-‘Chaconne’, Hilary Hahn)orhttp://www.youtube.com/watc…(Alina Ibragimova), Castelnuovo-Tedesco, “greatest piece of music ever written”.How about writing a Visual Basic .NET program to write a WAV file with Beethoven’s 5th symphony?Okay, ‘encourage’ her, i.e., beat on her psychologically like a “rented mule” (@JLM). Have her do really, really well, just ‘perfect’, i.e., terrified out of her skin at any hint of anything less than perfect? That should have good results, the ones you want, right?Sure you don’t want her to be like a woman trying to look like a man trying to be like a woman trying to look like a man trying to be a woman being a man? Sure about that, right? Ah, get the poor thing totally mixed up and confused. I mean, really wreck her life! I mean, those hair barrettes are so EVIL!Just what is it we have to hate so much about motherhood? Hint: Darwin will have last word here.First rule: Do no harm.Net, be careful.

  18. Peter Gasca

    That is awesome! As the dad of a sassy and “bossy” 3-year old little girl, I want her to grow up with role models that destroy the cultural paradox that confidence = bossy = shameful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. LaMarEstaba

    I love it. I backed it. I’m a female entrepreneur just starting out (first check arrived in the mail today!), and this is the kind of documentary I need to see and needed to see as a kid.

  20. Nancy Vega

    Backed. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. These women are doing something truly phenomenal here.