The 3 Women of Start-Ups: Silicon Valley Give Us The Truth On All The Drama

Kim Taylor

So far on the show we have seen Kim in her role as a founding employee and head of sales and marketing at self funded online marketing startup Ampush Media. But soon we will see Kim in a very exciting stage of her career journey. The Midwest native is a former pro cheerleader for the Milwaukee Bucks and she has an awesome jewelry collection.

You are being painted out of all the women as the best female role model? Does that put a lot of pressure on you?

[Laughing] It wasn’t my goal but I find it incredibly flattering. I care a lot about women in tech so if this helping with that, it’s great.

Why did you decide to do this show?

Kim Taylor: I definitely had a lot of people telling me not to do it, but I’m a huge Bravo fan and something that always stuck out to me in any interviews with celebrities or notable people was that when they were asked what their favorite show was, they always say “Anything on Bravo.” No one ever says anything on TBS. And I think you should always be trying to riding a wave and that’s what Bravo is. I looked at Bravo like I would evaluate any business partner. That’s what I do.

What did you think of your portrayal on the show versus the other women?

Kim Taylor: I have liked mine so far, but I think it helped because I was at work so I wasn’t overly nervous. I think we approached it in different ways. Sarah and Hermione are both video bloggers so they were going to be different. I mean, I was the only person on the show that was employed by someone else. I also wasn’t as comfortable putting my personal life out there. Even though I’m on a reality show, I’m pretty private. You won’t see me on dates.

Maybe I’m the boring one but I think the things that happen at startups are really exciting. It’s like going behind the velvet rope.

That meeting with your boss [in episode 2] was just so blatantly sexist. Have you experienced sexism a lot in Silicon Valley?

Kim Taylor: You know, it is funny because I am probably the most outspoken about Silicon Valley not being sexist.  I don’t believe Silicon Valley is sexist, it is a meritocracy. And then, of course, the most sexist thing happens to me on the show. And trust me, I’m as shocked he said that to me as anyone. It was an issue of ageism and sexism but when startups fail people want to see ex-Google Executive. And even thought I was a department of one that brought in tens of millions of dollars, that wasn’t enough.

We now know that have you are launching fashion startup,  Shonova and it looks like you will be quitting your job in an upcoming episode. What was it like to go through that on television?

Kim Taylor: The producers didn’t know I was going to do this.  You can’t fake stuff like that! I was an early employee at the company and I definitely had reasons to stick around but that meeting gave me a kick in the ass [featured on episode 2.]

I also thought it was very important for me to not send the message to women that it is glamorous to quit your job. It’s not sexy.  I had set myself up to do this. I had been saving money for years but it is still really hard. Anyone who says doing this isn’t scary is completely full of shit.

On the show with me you will get to see that my reality was what it’s like to do an early startup set up. You don’t really have a personal life. I’m either working or sleeping. I’ve been single the entire year of 2012. I haven’t gone on any dates this year.

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