Woman Crush Wednesday

Yesterday, we hosted an incredible free event with Andy Dunn, the co-founder of Bonobos and author of the acclaimed and best selling “Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind.”

It seems odd to lead with this given it’s Woman Crush Wednesday. But a bit part of Andy’s story is about the four women in his life who, at times, enabled his denial of his disease (his mom), kept watch over signs he might be going back into a manic episode (his sister), and ultimately bore the brunt of his most extreme manic episode– his wife and his mother-in-law. 

In one of the most shocking parts of the book, he writes about a manic episode where he physically abused his soon-to-be wife and mother-in-law. He was arrested. He was in a physciatric ward. He didn’t know if either would speak to him on the otherside. 

Andy’s story is a lot of privilege, luck and grace, as much as it’s also a harrowing story of living with untreated bipolar disorder and the extremes of startup life. But the most shocking forgiveness, to me, came from his soon-to-be mother-in-law. She owed him the least of any of these women and her allegiance was to her daughter. I’m not sure I’d advise my daughters to be with someone who physically abused either of us, no matter the reason!

But she effectively shrugged and said, “It’s a disease, like diabetes. As long as you take your medicine, I’m happy for you to be with her.” 

As much as Andy’s story is one that can have a happy ending and find a publisher because of his success and privilege. It was the women in his life who got him there. It’s one reason he’s an avid angel investor and supporter of female founders (like me!). As he said yesterday (I’m paraphrasing), “We have spent so much time making it so much harder for women to succeed and when 60% of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women it’s going to be so much better.” 

If you missed it, check out the replay of this incredible interview. 

AND we have another great event tonight, on CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS!!! I love this topic so much. It’s my favorite week of New Media Mastery (which starts next week and this cohort is chock-full of Valley startups and a few VCs but a few slots left!). 

Paul Carr– my partner– is the ultimate crisis whisperer and he’s joining. 

I think tonight we’ll walk through four test cases of crisis management from my career on both sides of the table. Some that backfired, some that worked. We’ll get into never before discussed details of the crisis we were under when Uber threatened my family and a few others. 

And I’ll open with a funny story about how Andy absolutely blew it the first time I ever wrote about him.

Bring cups for alllllll the tea…..