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

Hermione Way

Hermione is a trained journalist and savvy marketing specialist transitioning from covering technology news to making it.  She founded and Techfluff.TV. So far on the show we have seen a bold, outspoken and fashion savvy Hermione (love those Tetris leggings) on the show but we have also seen her involved in some drama.

Why did you decide to do this show? 

Hermione Way: I must be crazy right? I look at it from a perspective of marketing. You are trying to get your product to millions of Americans and what better medium is there than television? There was so much controversy in Silicon Valley about doing this show, but I just thought why wouldn’t you do it? You have to hustle constantly and do anything to get traction and get your product out there.

Do you like how you have been portrayed on the show?

Hermione Way: I have to have a very strong drink when I’m watching! But they did a good job in the end showing the balance of work and play. I think we were pretty much ourselves on the show.

So you really would take a nap under a potential investor’s desk?

Hermione Way: Yeah. You know I did know Dave McClure and I know his style. It’s not at all corporate. It’s very much t-shirts and flipflops so I knew it would be okay.

We noticed on your Facebook page that under occupation you have “On Air Personality at Bravo.” Why did you go with that instead of founder or tech entrepreneur?

Hermione Way: You know, I’m never going to get to use that again and I think it’s good to have it on my resume. I use Facebook like a CV for perspective employers. It is good to have the TV show on there. I am just riding the rollercoaster.

What do you think of the drama we have seen between you and Sarah? Is it real or just for entertainment? 

The drama is real unfortunately.  It happened.  I don’t really like the way the producers featured it. I’m just over it because really at the end of the day, drama sells. It is a TV show. Sarah and I both work really hard trying to make stuff happen and arguments from work resulted. We were best friends and we helped eachother a lot with networking and just support and I hate that the producers didn’t get back to that.

As a woman in tech in Silicon Valley, have you experienced a lot of sexism?

I experience it everyday when I’m getting dressed in the morning. For the boardroom I want to put heels on but I don’t want to be a distraction but it’s like, shall I wear a burka then? At events there are just so many men and if you’re a woman you really have to know your shit. If you mess up you will get called out very quickly but at the same time I am not going to change who I am. I am not going to pander to men.

I want to change the world and I work very hard in this business, but at the same time I am a 27 year old single girl and I want to go out and have fun. And I think you can have two sides. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

We are seeing you and your brother Ben’s Ignite pitch get rejected a lot at this point in the season. Does it get better for you two soon? 

It doesn’t get better for a while. This is the normal standard of practice in Silicon Valley. It is very normal here for people to pitch for two years and still not have funding. Sometimes you have to speak to 66 VCs before you get a yes. Most entrepreneurs go through what we’re going through.

Do you think the show can help more women get into tech? 

I’ve actually been getting loads and loads of emails from students telling me its inspiring to watch me, as a young woman, start a company. If I can inspire one person in Middle America to start a company then that is really enough for me and if I can inspire more women in tech then than that is awesome. It is great to see that the show is having an impact and that a little drama isn’t hurting things.

I think the show has also been good for women in tech because a lot of people think if you want to work in Silicon Valley you need to be a geeky developer and that is very unappealing for women. But Silicon Valley is an ecosystem. There’s the bloggers, the PR people, the entrepreneurs, etc., I want to get across to young women that it is really f*cking cool to work in tech!

 Be sure to tune in for Start-Ups: Silicon Valley, Mondays 10/9c on Bravo!

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