We have some big news: Girls in Tech founder Adriana Gascoigne has written a book.
Tech Boss Lady, out on June 4, gives a firsthand look at startup life, along with the advice from top women entrepreneurs like Julia Hartz of CEO and Co-founder of Eventbrite and recently in the New York Times, Fran Maier of Match.com and recently in The Atlantic, and Jessica Scorpio of Getaround.
The book covers issues ranging from the concrete—how much time to spend on a pitch deck? When is the right time to approach VCs?—to intangibles that, Adriana argues, are
just as important: like being friends (or not) with your co-founders, and managing the stress that inevitably comes with startup life.
Since 2007, Gascoigne has turned Girls In Tech into one of the world’s leading organizations for women, technology, and entrepreneurship.
The best part? She’s giving away 1,000 FREE copies of her new book to attendees at the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference on June 19-20 in San Francisco! Get it signed after her talk and get mentored by 30+ incredible women leaders in STEM. Snag your tickets here!
Read an excerpt from Tech Boss Lady below:
This book is meant to show the real side of start-ups; the gritty underbelly of start-ups that so many people don’t understand until they experience it themselves as first-time founders. I want to discuss topics that make even the most veteran of founders uncomfortable, like failure, insecurity, and disappointment. I want to tell you what happens behind the shiny logos and before the launch events. I want you to understand the realities of what it takes to build something from scratch, forged from willpower, iron determination, and just enough ego to see it through—because it’s going to be harder than you believe, I promise.
But I can’t just use my story—that would be a disservice. I want you to also hear it from female
leaders who have been there before us and survived—and the ones who are in the thick of it this very moment. That’s why I met with more than twenty badass female leaders in tech so I can deliver their war stories and sisterly advice straight to you. Learn from their challenges and experiences. Apply their advice to your own goals. My hope is that you close the book with a better understanding of what you’re about to get into.
Start-ups have a sexy appeal, but I want to show you what they look like in the squint of early morning light. Like what you might see after an amazing night out on the town and a one-night stand: no six-pack, off-brand briefs, back hair that would make a bear jealous. The stealth-farts infiltrating your silky bedsheets and the halitosis may make it hard to remember what was ever appealing about your choice in the first place.
Now, this isn’t to downplay the sexy side. Oh, the sexy side! I imagine it like the bright lights of a Broadway show. In fact, I often feel that way even today. Being your own boss, even being an “intrapreneur,” is the gateway drug of entrepreneurship. You’re holding the reins of your destiny, and the doors to any limitations—real or imagined—have been knocked down.
It’s you and wide-open range, baby. Do What You Please Land. There, decisions flow freely, red tape doesn’t exist, and the stakes are high.
There’s an inherent adrenaline rush in the idea of being your own boss and breaking away from the safety harness a regular office job provides. Beyond giving corporate America a solid kick in the groin, you have the satisfaction that every minute you give to your venture is for you. Your dreams, your vision, your product, your name.
Yet. Few start-ups will become the next TechCrunch darling.
Here’s what you know, or think you know: You’re probably going to fail. You may never get Funded. I know this. Of course you do.
You’ve probably also considered the huge punch in the face your personal finances are going to take. Pasta and cheap beer every night, and cut the manis and pedis, you hear me? Yeah, I’ve thought about that. Of course you have.
You’ve probably thought about the massive amounts of cash you’re going to need to make your dream happen. Taking checks from friends, family, strangers. The promise that’s made when you accept that money.
No shit, Adriana.
Well, it’s not enough. What you think you know—it’s not enough. It’s only going to take you so far before you get sucked into the start-up undertow. I want to warn you. To prepare you. I want to open your eyes so you understand what you’re walking into.
I wrote this book to tell you what it’s like to walk in a beat-up pair of start-up shoes. I wrote this book to put you inside the minds and hearts of founders, advisors, and experts across Silicon Valley, to share their stories and insights with you. This isn’t about flowery stories of inspiration (though maybe you’ll find some hope here). This isn’t about making you feel good (no one will care about your feelings).
This isn’t a book of success stories or winning (though many people we’ve spoke with have found, or are on their way to, success).
It’s the story of what it really takes to pull it off. It’s the low points and high points of many people’s journeys. It’s the insights and anecdotes from Silicon Valley insiders on what they’ve experienced and what they believe is needed to survive start-up life.
And it’s the story of Girls in Tech. My story.
I want this book to get as dirty as real start-up life. I want you to rip out pages. I want you to scrawl in the margins. I want this book to get trashed at the bottom of your hipster San Francisco messenger bag. I want this book to bear the stains of your greasy late-night taco truck run. I want you to use this book as your personal stress ball, token of hope, and punching bag.
Because this shit is hard.Tech Boss Lady, by Adriana Gascoigne