Fresh on the heels of the announcement of Bodega, a new startup that inexplicably landed $2.5 million to build glorified vending machines, comes the announcement of a new startup aimed at eliminating the out-of-touch startup bros who want to destroy small businesses and ruin cities like New York as we know it.
The new startup, called Jackass, aspires to replace these out-of-touch founders and bros with responsible, highly emotionally intelligent adults who understand the communities they aim to serve. Though it’s a large departure from the startup landscape as it exists at present, some believe this presents a vision of a future where diversity of leadership leads to better products and service offerings for local communities.
Jackass’s logo is a startup bro chugging Soylent, although if the founder gets her way, arrogant tech bros won’t have startup offices to do Soylent challenges and ridicule women in much longer. “The vision is to rid the environment of these pretentious jerks and C.E.-bros,” said founder Anya Clement, who has great business background and skills to back it up, but will obviously never get funded because she’s a woman. “Eventually, they will no longer be necessary because people will demand founders and coworkers who treat human beings as equals and appreciate the roles that small businesses play in our global community.”
The major downside to this concept-should it take off-is that whiny bros will no longer dominate the tech landscape getting money to build useless $400 products like Juicero and hosting disastrous music festivals like Fyre Festival. In fact, one could argue that this startup could destroy the startup bro persona completely, making room for people who have crazy ideas like hiring underrepresented minorities in leadership positions and paying women equal salaries to men.
I asked Clement point-blank about whether she’s worried the name might come off as insensitive. “I’m not particularly concerned about it,” she said. “We did surveys in the startup community to understand if people felt the name had negative connotations, and most people said they understand that the tech community is dominated by jackasses who claim to respect people of all backgrounds but then marginalize them on a daily basis.”
Of course, not everyone is happy about Jackass, such as ex-Google employee James Damore, who basically believes women are too biologically weak to work in tech.
“A company run by a WOMAN? How DARE you?” he said to Clement before dismissing the idea but listening to it more carefully when it was repeated by Clement’s male employee.
Startup bros are suffering because of a number of recent scandals such as sexual harassment claims against VCs, rampant sexual harassment at Uber, discrepancies in pay at Google that appear to be based on gender, and people getting ridiculous funding amounts to build products designed to destroy immigrant communities.
Over time, Clement hopes to create a tidal wave of change in other industries to create more meaningful connections between community members of all backgrounds. “We’d like to replace these bros with leaders who understand the people they serve,” she said. “My ultimate dream is to live in a world where I can talk to a VC without him asking me back to his hotel room.”
Photo credit: Shutterstock
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