Girls Driving For A Difference

Given all the misunderstanding of Kickstarter expressed in the comments yesterday, I might make this Kickstarter week at AVC. But I am certainly going to talk about another Kickstarter project that is live right now.

It’s called Girls Driving For A Difference and here’s the video:

The Gotham Gal and I both backed this project yesterday and so can you.


Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    This is great and I just backed it. I really want to know where all of these beautiful, smart, educated, creative and motivated women were back when I was this age.

    1. JimHirshfield

      They were there the whole time. The real question is, why didn’t you notice them?

      1. LE

        Well first my world at the time consisted of the public high school that my sisters attended where people sat on the back steps and smoked cigarettes. My sisters had a ton of friends and I actually married one of them (my first wife that I divorced).The high school that I attended was private, Quaker, (I am not Quaker) and had 100 kids in the class. So that’s 50 women. Of those 50 women only perhaps 20 were the right religion – jewish. But it was also the type of school where the women were very “earthy” and wore birkenstocks. There were also a few “japs” (jewish american princesses). Was liberal, not engineering or business oriented at all. One day (I’ve told this story) they brought “Lesbians” in for us to learn what they were (true!)Bottom line: No internet, small world, not enough “inventory”. And I didn’t smoke pot or drink. That was important in terms of socialization back then.In college (Penn) at the time the women weren’t that attractive (that has changed). I have the yearbook to prove it. Ditto for “no pot no drinking”.Of course it’s not all about looks. But that does matter and to me at least it seems that women have gotten way more attractive and smart than I remember that being the case “back then”.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Interesting. Keep writing it down…for your kids’ sake.#Autobiography #Chapter4

          1. LE

            (Notice how I left out whether I would have even be qualified to be with a women like that, back then. You know, not being a “fun” guy. I will add that to the book that I don’t write.)

          2. JimHirshfield

            “not…a fun guy” – that’s what the Portobello mushroom told you?

          3. LE

            Not a fun guy doesn’t understand that joke, please explain.

          4. JimHirshfield

            Oh, shit. Funghi vs Fun Guy[1][1] A joke explained is funny………..never.

        2. Emily Merkle

          or maybe your perspective on beauty has evolved.

        3. Tony Salazar

          I cannot agree more, women are more prettier these days. Not sure if the beauty is artificial but, man, these girls loot me with their looks all the time

    2. pointsnfigures

      I married one.

      1. LE

        Well shit if I was tall and played basketball I would have also!(I have one now but it took years and years to get to that point..)

        1. JimHirshfield

          But you were a good dribbler, weren’t you?

          1. pointsnfigures

            You have to be able to make a pass.

          2. LE

            Wow. I’m totally corky this AM. I am not getting any of your jokes.

          3. pointsnfigures

            You can keep the shot chart then.

          4. LE

            Well the upside is I’m not suffering from any high school or college sports related injuries.

          5. JimHirshfield

            Oiy vey. Don’t make me explain this one. Just use the dictionary please.

          6. LE

            Sniff. Yeah I’m not up on all that type of lingo. My wife (who is way younger than I am) always kids me about that. I just looked it up.

          7. Jeff T

            Jim only does a lob. you have to alley-oop it 🙂

        2. pointsnfigures

          too bad I went to a football school. Being 6’5″ and 170lbs doesn’t inspire a lot of women (especially with your shirt off)

    3. ShanaC


  2. Tom Labus

    Good one. And some nuturing after they start too

  3. JimHirshfield

    This is very cool and a must show to my daughter this evening. I’m wondering – since this is a summer road trip for the 4 organizers – how they’re going to get girls together in communities. I mean, kids “disperse” in the summer.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Snapchat, Meerkat, WhatsApp

  4. kirklove

    I don’t think it was a misunderstanding, rather a difference of opinion on the use of the platform, which folks are certainly entitled to have and knowing you, you wouldn’t argue.Kickstarter is the most amazing platform. I’ve said that over and over again. Though there was certainly an inflection point where smaller (and fantastic) projects like this had to begin to coexist and compete with more popular people possibly gaming the platform for exposure (right around when Zach Braff and Spike Lee jumped on the bandwagon) That’s fine. It happens as a platform matures and in the long run helps expose it to more people. So it’s a good thing IMO.The folks yesterday just seemed to be lashing out against using KS as pure marketing. As if some people weren’t using KS “right”. That’s silly of course as there is no right or wrong way to use it. Backers decide. That’s always been the beauty of KS.Do certain projects “need” to be on KS. Absolutely not. Though that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to be on KS./fin

    1. andyswan

      Totally agree. I was unaware until yeaterday that so many people felt Kickstarter projects should be required to have a charity component.

      1. LE

        That probably follows some predictable “curve of internet backlash” that has probably been studied, noted and talked about by analysts.There is a similar phenomenon with news. After the story dies they talk about how the story wasn’t reported correctly and start to criticize news operations.

      2. JimHirshfield

        I don’t think it was a charitable expectation, as much as it came across as gratuitous self-promotion of something that didn’t genuinely need funds. But hey, I get it if people want to give their money, hot dam, it’s ‘merica – go for it.

        1. LE

          Think of it as a kickstarter loss leader. Like if Barbra Streisand did a kickstarter think of how many single aunts without children living in rent controlled NYC apartments with their cats and those ubiquitous shopping carts (what are they called) would then return to kickstarter and back other projects?

          1. JimHirshfield

            I don’t think those cat ladies know what the internet is.

          2. Emily Merkle

            single, cats, no chikdren, I take umbrance!

          3. JimHirshfield

            I don’t think @domainregistry:disqus was referring to people like you.

          4. Emily Merkle

            oh wait I am an aunt too. but no shopping carts 🙂

          5. JimHirshfield

            Oh dear.

          6. Emily Merkle


          7. LE

            Here is exhibit A from a recent NY Times article.

          8. Emily Merkle

            no link

          9. LE

            After hearing what happened to Dolce and Gabanna the other day re: IVF I’ve decided that the world has unfortunately come to a place where people who use Twitter and Social media have taken us to a point where everyone (who uses those services) votes on every issue and decides what is right and what is wrong.. That, in my mind, is a big problem. Freedom of speech has gone out the window.Imagine calling for a boycott of a company that employs thousands of people and has a huge economic impact as a result of the statements by the companies leaders.

        2. andyswan

          “Didn’t genuinely need funds””Not a charitable expectation”Does not compute._____________________________

          1. JimHirshfield

            I don’t think people in the comments yesterday had a charitable expectation with regard to Kickstarter.I don’t think someone who is an accomplished writer with a publisher deal genuinely needs funds to publish and publicize his book.

          2. andyswan

            If charity isn’t the goal then who cares about “need”?

          3. JimHirshfield

            Yeah, sounds like my dating life in college….I needed a date, got some ’cause the gals were being charitable? No, not really.

        3. fredwilson

          The project was almost fully funded yesterday which was its first day

          1. JimHirshfield

            Lotsa mazel for Eric.I really liked his Lean Startup book a lot.

        4. Anne Libby

          I also thought it was fascinating that regulars in this crew judged and begrudged.a) None of us know what Eric really “needs.” b) There are capitalists around here, aren’t there?

          1. JimHirshfield

            This is true

          2. LE

            Exactly. And although I often point out things that I find ironic or atypical I always try to append “I’d do it if I could as well” or something that indicates an approach is “smart” if someone gamed or took advantage of some system.Look, people also complain from time to time and use the word “pimp” to describe Fred’s mention of his companies. As if to imply something negative like he is the Church pastor and lives by the good book or something like that. Perhaps they don’t understand what business is all about at the core.

          3. Emily Merkle

            silly. it’s rather kind of his responsibility.

          4. Anne Libby

            And, even the Pastor gets paid!

        5. John Revay


      3. Emily Merkle

        I fall into that camp. I do not understand why they do not; one day an exec from Kickstarter was here and I asked him. He said “oh, there are plenty of ways to donate money”. No, there can never be too many, in my opinion.

    2. LE

      more popular people possibly gaming the platform for exposureThat’s not a negative it’s a positive as it results in widespread mainstream publicity for the platform. Mixed in, in the proper amount, it’s a win.That’s a case of people who complain about things like that (I am not saying you are to be clear) not knowing enough to understand the process of why that is actually beneficial, in the proper quantity (like anything).

      1. kirklove

        Yeah, that’s what I said 😉

    3. fredwilson

      /fin – love it

    4. laurie kalmanson

      it’s not a zero sum game; bringing your own audience and building it doesn’t hurt anyone else’s audience; it might even build it — your audience, once there, might explore other things

      1. Emily Merkle

        I think a great idea would be simpatico project cross-promotion, share those audiences

        1. laurie kalmanson

          YESBy users, and by bots; Amazon style, “People who supported this also supported this”

          1. Emily Merkle

            and cross-ref to the Amazon sales page, just a rev share btw Kick and AMZ

          2. laurie kalmanson

            WE ARE GENIUSES

          3. Emily Merkle

            nah it’s kinda basic.

          4. ShanaC

            And awesome

          5. laurie kalmanson


    5. William Mougayar

      Well said Kirk.

    6. ShanaC

      It’s a brand backlash in real-time

    7. Douglas Crets

      When we talk about platforms in tech, we are also talking about marketing. It’s AND not Either/Or. I just had this conversation with someone about building a media incubator. I said, the purpose of having a media-focused incubator is that the work ends up being the marketing, and the marketing ends up being the work, for every startup. Marketing is so expensive for startups, but bringing them in, for free, to engage in a highly-networked incubator experience that is primarily meta would mean they get so much exposure that they can’t get from sporadic opportunities that randomly happen when parts of the network direct them to the press or blogs.

  5. JLM

    .They should consider partnering with the Girl Scouts who run camps all over the country and have the organizational infrastructure to deliver an audience wherever they exist.A very worthwhile grass roots effort.What is the follow up? [That’s why the Girl Scouts could be such a great partner. They have the infrastructure to follow up automatically.]JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. mikenolan99

      Also the YWCA – we work with them on girls and women leadership projects. And, Junior Achievement is doing awesome work here in the mid west…

      1. JLM

        .Yes, I agree with you more than you agree with yourself. I picked the Girl Scouts as they actually have facilities and camps — thinking summer.The YWCA also has facilities. Good get.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. andyswan

    There’s just something awesome about a woman that wants to drive an RV across country. Total win.

    1. JimHirshfield

      And to think I took you for a “Jeep with the top” kinda guy.

      1. andyswan

        My wife drives a black rubicon like a bosssss

        1. JimHirshfield

          Nailed it!

  7. JamesHRH

    Man, is Gary V ever right……everything is ‘a media business in front of a __________’.As an ex-media guy, I find myself surprisingly burnt out on all the glossy production. I think it is the 21st century version of hard sell advertising burn out.I think I will call it ‘super glossy earnestness’ burn out.

    1. LE

      Well, not to be negative, but I reacted negatively to the “glossy production” of the video as well as the style. But then again I’m not the audience for the video either. So if it works for that age group then it was done correctly. Note to Eric Ries: When you read the teleprompter make sure to turn your head a bit side to side just a tad. Don’t keep it fixed in only one position – watch what the pros do and learn from that. In fact you can add that to LEAN – part of being an entrepreneur is being able to reverse engineer what others do. Even video production.

    2. Matt Zagaja

      Cost of doing quality video is going way down. Couple years ago I filmed a campaign commercial on my iPhone 4S using a $60 adapter and borrow Shure SM48 (the trick to quality video is good audio). Edited on iMovie that came for free on my MacBook Pro and posted to YouTube. Bought the ad using their self-service platform and for about $1500 got 6500 geo-targeted views.Recently upped my game by purchasing a Sony a6000 with a nice lens and a tripod, total cost under $2000. Technology has really democratized this field.

      1. LE

        Cool give links to some of your work.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          This was the iPhone filmed campaign commercial:…The more recent one was the one with more views (mixed them up), but less interesting because it’s just people saying they support my rep and since I didn’t have an external audio source for the new camera yet doesn’t sound the greatest. It worked though because people recognized their neighbors in the video when they were browsing YouTube and then would ask us for signs, absentee ballots, make donations, etc.Nothing super fancy or overproduced. It tends to ruin how authentic people view it as being. Also helped a friend film a bunch of videos for his YouTube channel at CES in January (usually he does it solo in his house).

      2. JamesHRH

        This is awesome input / perspective Matt.And it is absolutely a cranky old guy thing (‘ I remember the days when it was HARD to get glossy production values…..we had to walk uphill to the shoot and then uphill coming back to the editing suite…….).But, its still true. I am kinda bummed that any goober can be this good now. It used to be hard to do, which is some weird way was better.

      3. pointsnfigures

        that’s so cool. imagine using meerkat for in the moment news story production.

      4. LE

        I shot a wedding with a small Sony Rx100. Put it up on Vimeo. I was really proud of it but then my brother in law (his wedding) told me he didn’t want it public. Which is screwed up since he’s an opera singer (as is his wife) and they need publicity and his wife is beautiful and there is nothing not to like about his wedding (and the videos were awesome that I shot and edited). This is an example of an artist not knowing how to use any method possible to get gigs.I didn’t charge him anything and even spent a bit to get the better vimeo package because I wanted to look as good as possible. Spent a great deal of time on this.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Professional musicians nowadays closely guard their web presence. I did something similar a few years ago at a relative’s masters degree concert. I recorded one of her beautiful arias and posted it to SoundCloud (first time using SC). A few months later, she discovered it thru a Google search and asked me to take it down. She didn’t want it to be part of her unofficial portfolio, as it were. I totally understood.

          1. LE

            I love personal perspective like that.Separately, what would be good for disqus is if you could somehow package anecdotes to reporters writing stories and for TV.Similar to the way they use twitter (it’s on the nightly news all the time). Almost every night.The question is how do you gather and highlight the proper info from the firehose?There is an opportunity here for disqus. Would take a bit of work but seems like a way to monetize content that just sits for a few people to read.

          2. Emily Merkle

            careful curation

          3. JimHirshfield

            “I love personal perspective like that.”I was channeling you.I think what you’re proposing covers a bunch of ideas:- embeddable comments, which is a way to reference specific comments that are germane to someone else’s post or broadcast.- referencing comments in the original post, which is done all the time when writers ask a question or solicit feedback by asking readers to leave it in the comments.- Follow me on Disqus if you’re interested in my POV, or what I’m reading (similar to the guy on the news saying, follow us on Twitter).

        2. Matt Zagaja

          Neat. I have learned people are really self-conscious. I can understand it, but the irritating part is they also do not realize that with video and photography you can and often do scrap the bad stuff in post production. Take a good camera somewhere and everyone demands they be allowed to “pose” for their pictures, when the good stuff is almost always candid. One of the huge advantages of phones is people feel less pressure..

          1. Emily Merkle

            I am paralyzed by video

    3. ShanaC

      Yes. I desire gritty realness recently

  8. pointsnfigures

    This is cool. Glad they are doing it. Hopefully they learn a lot. One thing that struck me early in the video was the power individual stay at home moms had to make a difference with their own kids. All the individual stay at home moms together make a gigantic cohort. Respek.

  9. laurie kalmanson

    bring your audience, then amplify it.

  10. Twain Twain

    I LOVE this project. The female parts of our minds design solutions and solve problems differently.The other night I was at Groupon where their Data guy talked about how their product people wouldn’t want to put in a mechanism that surveys for consumer feedback at Point of Purchase. He and his male colleague launched into “Users would have to click through to another page to complete the survey”, “Amazon worked so hard to make it a simple one-click”, “There’s more friction for the user” etcetcetc.Instead of telling, I showed them a bit of my system and said how, “Everything smart and simple can be designed and engineered. Just don’t use out-dated assumptions.”Their immediate feedback: “Wow, that’s COOL.”Product design matters and enabling young girls with this knowhow is something worth backing on KS.

  11. Brandon Burns

    I read through the comments, and I don’t really see your “people don’t understand Kickstarter” explained with any specifics. Eric states his point of view on his individual project, but that doesn’t mean its a “right” or “wrong’ use of Kickstarter in general.William’s top voted comment lays out why he thinks Eric’s use of Kickstarter is “wrong,” and most folks seem to echo his sentiment. If William (and everyone else) has it wrong, let’s hear the rebuttal!

    1. Emily Merkle

      I did not see a “right” or “wrong”. The judge of that is Kickstarter, not us.

      1. Brandon Burns

        Personally, I don’t have a strong point of view. But clearly Fred does see a right and a wrong, and thinks most of the commenters have it “wrong.” As such, I’d like to hear the specifics for why that is.

        1. Emily Merkle

          not exactly what I was saying. I mean, Kickstarter has T&Cs. Within those parameters it’sn fair game.

          1. Brandon Burns

            I agree with ya, though I think others don’t quite see it that way. “Right” or “wrong,” there seems to be a feeling that “if you don’t need the money, you shouldn’t use Kickstarter to raise any.”If enough people feel that way, and Kickstarter doesn’t course correct its brand image and the expectations of the public, its going to run into trouble. But if its an edge case, it probably doesn’t really matter. But Kickstarter should dig into that to find out either way.

          2. Emily Merkle

            assuming they have not already.

        2. LE

          Most likely a topic for a future post as opposed to a lengthy comment reply which Fred rarely does.My feeling is Fred was very happy and enthusiastic to feature Eric (and said “my friend” iirc) and was reacting in part to what he felt (righly or wrongly) was an attack on a friend and for that matter one of his investments. Perhaps emotion got into this a bit and/or Fred was on edge for an unrelated reason.

          1. Brandon Burns

            *nods head*

    2. Dave Pinsen

      I think it’s kind of like anything else online. At first, it’s like a new frontier, and a handful of previously unknown pioneers become Internet famous/successful. And then those who are already famous/successful in RL come in and take it over.

  12. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Maybe for Fun Friday we can all share Kickstarters that we think are awesome and worthy of a donation 🙂

    1. Emily Merkle

      I would humbly ask for your consideration. Working on my first just now,. Would love feedback/.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Please do share! Anything I can look at now?

        1. Emily Merkle

 in preview mode as I need a new bank account, but all set. would love your feedback. go ahead rip it up.

        2. Emily Merkle

          if you’d be willing to engage and give feedback I would appreciate it. we can take it offline – [email protected]. I respect your opinion.

  13. Emily Merkle

    QQ: what’s the best video app?

    1. Rick


  14. Matt Zagaja

    I remember going to a computer camp in Hartford the summer before entering high school. There I learned C++ from a Stanford student. Not sure what’s in the water at that school, but they do a great job of evangelizing technology.

    1. Zulfiqar S

      Learnt C++ from a white guy. as tough as it you regret now ?

  15. awaldstein

    Good stuff.Been involved with number of very high dollar KS raises in the gaming world and a handful of small events that just matter.Books. Projects like this one. Things that couldn’t exist otherwise.I love to work on both. The world is a better and different place cause of the latter type.

  16. mikenolan99

    1st. Sent to my daughter. 2nd. Sent to my Entrepreneurship team. 3rd. Backed…. Simply Awesome.

  17. Douglas Crets

    Pretty cool.

  18. Marissa_NYx

    Love it !! Thanks for sharing the video.

  19. JimHirshfield

    No doubt.

  20. Anne Libby

    Charlie, with the two of us among the big defenders of capitalism here yesterday — did Hell freeze over?

  21. Cam MacRae

    More fascinating that disappointing, Charlie. It reflects the fact that kickstarter are either at dire risk of painting themselves into a corner or have already done so.

  22. awaldstein

    didn’t tune in so missed the drama i guess.intentionally decided not to connect while flying to do other stuff with my time.

  23. Brandon Burns

    Really? I’m not sure about that.Gorbachev’s top voted reply to William claims that Reis is using Kickstarter for viral advertising, and quickly follows it up with, “this sort of stuff makes me avoid the Kickstarter campaign entirely.”So, is viral advertising one of the “right” ways to use Kickstarter? And is it a tool not just for those without the means to get their project started themselves, but for everyone to use as a advertising / distribution channel, even if they don’t need the crowd’s funds? Is Fred basically saying that Gorbachev and everyone else who doesn’t see it from that angle are wrong?I don’t see that argument addressed by Fred or anyone from Kickstarter. And I think its an important issue for the crowdfunding community to clarify — when how the public sees your industry is different from how you see it, it only leads to trouble.

  24. Brandon Burns

    I wish you did, too. Hope you find the time later on!

  25. fredwilson

    you gotta be kidding me

  26. Cam MacRae

    Yes, and the comments reflect that some [most?] people consider kickstarter as either a megaphone for the rich and famous, a mediocre shop front designed to transfer wealth to Californian kids, or a charity fundraising platform instead of all three simultaneously.That *is* fascinating. It is also kickstarter’s fault.

  27. fredwilson

    If it’s not a joke then you should take your nonsense somewhere else.

  28. Akhtar Khan

    I saw your other posts. I question your identity in the first place

  29. awaldstein

    Oh so not true in my world where I’ve done campaigns that have raised $3-5M and now almost a dozen of less than $25K for books and small projects.To be certain, this blog community is wonderful. For absolutely certain it is not the broader market in any stretch of the word.

  30. Cam MacRae

    Not sure I understand.Are you saying none of those campaigns was marketing, or a product launch, or a charity drive and that there is a 4th, 5th,…, nth category?Or are you disputing that some (or most) people are unable to grasp the notion that kickstarter might be all n?

  31. awaldstein

    Saying that this statement:” people consider kickstarter as either a megaphone for the rich and famous’Is not the view of KS in any stretch of either this community nor the market at large.Nor does the consumer market view this idea of ‘marketing’ with the pejorative connotations that you seem to imply.Just my view and the market I work in.

  32. Cam MacRae

    The consumer market seldom considers the idea of marketing at all. In any event I was being melodramatic. Sorry to strike a nerve — if it were in any way possible I’d pour you glass of this excellent verger lacroix cidre da glace.I’m yet to encounter anyone who doesn’t consider kickstarter at least one of those three things, but can count on one hand those who regard it as all three.The denunciation of the “other” as heresy is absolutely fascinating, but it isn’t disappointing in the sense used above.

  33. Brandon Burns

    I agree with those points. Now I even wonder if they’re worth Kickstarter addressing. They get so much benefit from their “all about the art” brand image, but it’s really such a survival of the (creatively) fittest experience.Either way, thanks for the compliment that you later edited out. 🙂