Attention Grabbing Headline

Yesterday I had the thrill of reading an article about my company, Fingerprint in my local paper, The Marin Independent Journal, affectionately known as the “IJ”. Great article. The reporter told our story well and made me a minor celebrity for a day here in Mill Valley.  I also got to take the physical paper and hang it up on the bulletin board at Fingerprint World Headquarters ….. our first print press coverage. Very exciting!

The crazy thing is that I’ve been stewing over the headline, “Mill Valley woman launches new educational game company”.  Seriously?  If a man had started Fingerprint would the headline have read “Man launches new educational game company”?   My first gaming job was at Broderbund Software. Started right here in Marin, by Doug and Gary Carlson. Somehow I doubt the “IJ”  wrote “Two men launch educational gaming company”.  You get my point.

This comes on the heels of last week’s congressional hearing on whether or  not religious related employers should be required to cover the birth control pill and other forms of contraception in their health insurance plans.  All the people testifying were men. Seriously?  It’s probably not surprising since less than 20% of Congress is women and there are very few  senior level women on Obama’s team.

Aileen Lee from Kleiner Perkins wrote a post on Tech Crunch this week titled “Why your next board member should be a woman”.     She goes on to discuss that while women are 51% of the population, they make up only 15% of Fortune 500 boards of directors and even less of California tech company boards.  Over 50 people posted comments to this article,  most questioning her point of view. Mostly men commenting.

I love that the “IJ” showcased me and Fingerprint, but let’s re-write the headline …  and maybe the future. How about something clever like “Hot Gaming Start-up began in Mill Valley” !

Blogging, 1 year later. Still on The Next Big Thing.

Forgive me blog for I have sinned. It’s been 3 months since my last post.  How did that happen? I’ve had something to say every day, but somehow, I couldn’t commit it to my blog. Until today. When the CEO of a company I really respect called me up and said “I was reading your blog” …. And a moment of panic set in …. “you mean the blog I haven’t posted on since September?”

So here we are. January 14. Nearly a year since I started the blog ….which was focused on Thinking about the Next Big Thing.

Here’s some Big Things I thought about in 2010:

1.     Social Games.  Spent real money buying a virtual Cathedral for my City, a Corvette for my Sorority Girl, and a whole lot of seeds for my Farm. Realized there was a big business here, but it wasn’t really gaming like I thought.

2.     iPhone.  Like High Heeled Shoes, it looks pretty, but hurts like heck when I use it. Dropped calls. Mystery voice mails when the phone never rang, but quite simply the center of my work/life universe.

3.     Mobile Games.  A refrigerator that’s always full where most of the food is free. Angry Birds. Tapulous. Scrabble. I started wishing the flight from Oakland to Burbank was longer.

4.     Facebook. Truly the single best way to stay connected with anyone – and a direct line into what all the college kids in my family are into.

5.     Education. After seeing “Waiting for Superman” I fully realized that the business of learning is where I want to be.

6.     Start-ups.  I advised several small companies and got inspired by the founders, the ideas, and the positive energy in starting something new.

7.     eBooks. I stopped buying real books, downloaded Barnes & Noble for iPad and starting reading 3 books concurrently. Just amazing to think what this will mean for the book business.

8.     Fundraising. I met a lot of VCs.  Most of them were wearing Khaki pants and blue shirts, went to Stanford/MIT/Harvard and “liked my idea”.

9.     Apps. FourSquare . Groupon. LoseIt!, Flixster, Instagram, LinkedIn, TripIt – life made better for free.

10. Video Games. The business was down 5% in 2010. It’s not the economy. It’s a radical change in the way consumers think about and play games. Realize that items #1 – #9 may have something to do with that.

I’m now Working on the Next Big Thing. You can read my next blog post to find out what that is.   Happy 2011!