In case you hadn’t heard, we are pretty obsessed with the new Bravo reality show, Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. We are especially obsessed with the three women on the show: Sarah Austin, Hermione Way and Kim Taylor. They have definitely given us some colorful plotlines so far from catfights at toga parties, to catnaps at meetings and sexist conversations with your boss. One thing for sure is, these three ambitious women are all going amazing places in their careers. We got to chat with each one about why they decided to do a reality show, being a woman in tech in Silicon Valley and live blogging dates.
Sarah Austin, creator and host of Pop17.com claims to be the Internet’s first “life-caster” by broadcasting her every move for the world to see. Ignite Social Media included her in their ranking of five women covering New Media on the Internet and in 2008, she was named one of the 50 most influential female bloggers by North X East. Sarah has found herself in the middle of drama with her former close friend Hermione which the cameras have been more than happy to highlight.
Why did you decide to do this show? What did you want to get out of it?
Sarah Austin: It was less about trying to get something out of it and more that I don’t want to have any regrets. I just thought if I don’t do it people will ask why. I was definitely on the fence for a bit and then I just thought, why not?
How has the show helped your business?
Sarah Austin: I definitely have more mom fans, which is a target audience I’m really trying to connect with so that has been great. The mom come to Pop 17 and then they tell their kids to come to the site so that has been really good.
Are you happy with how you have been portrayed on the show?
Sarah Austin: I’ve been pretty upset but I think the editors could have actually made it a lot worse, so I am grateful for that. But it has been hard. I’m trying to stay positive.
At the same time, it is entertainment television. I’m pretty positive that Hermione wouldn’t take a power nap under the desk of an investor she was going to meet with. That seems a little dramatized. Maybe she would doze off at the desk accidentally but not a nap under it. In the first episode, you see Kim and Hermione laughing at me and giving me backhanded compliments and really being mean girls and then it cuts to me and Hermione talking in the room. It was never my intention to present to the world that women in tech are catty and uncooperative. I have so many female friends that have helped me along the way. And six months before all this started Hermione and I were really good friends and were helping eachother in our work and I just wish we could have shown that footage.
But, again, it’s entertainment. If Kim, Hermione and I could have gotten along it could have inspired a lot of women to get into tech. We were a powerful team and they could have seen how supportive women are. I really, really wish we would have focused more on that. I’m not saying it’s my fault but I just am a very sincere person and I say what I mean. I guess I could have been more fake and pretended to be more girly.
Speaking of entertainment, did you really Tweet and liveblog your date with Jay?
If I am respecting the guy, I wouldn’t do that but he was being disrecptful and leading me on. He had made it clear this was a date and was into me so I trekked 30 miles! I didn’t make him come to the Four Seasons and I get there and he is just giving me wine and not taking me to dinner. At that point it was just so awkward so I thought I may as well get something out of this.