Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Nightmare pitch meetings

Being too vulnerable can make you a weak leader. Here's what you should do instead. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
INC. THIS MORNING
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Nightmare pitch meetings

Good morning,

Heather Shoemaker was used to being the only woman in the room, both from her experience in graduate school and later working in artificial intelligence, where women make up only a quarter of the industry.  But she didn’t expect the blatant gender bias she experienced when attempting to scale her company Language I/O, an A.I.-powered SaaS platform that provides real-time, multilingual customer support in more than 100 languages.

"I talked to so many people that were just a nightmare," she says. "I don't know why they think what I'm doing is easy."

Shoemaker could tell that the VC firms were not used to seeing a woman, especially one with technical skills as opposed to an MBA. During one meeting in Silicon Valley, a partner learned that Shoemaker was pitching hard tech and had written the original code herself. He asked, "How hard can it be to replicate what you coded?" Shoemaker says--insinuating that if a woman programmed the software, it must be simple for any other developer to copy, making it less valuable. 

Read on for more about how she dodged the crude insults and got the funding her company needed.
 
 
 
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Here's what else I'm reading today:
Is one of your clients perpetually late? Here’s what to do about it. –Inc.
 
Knowing the stage your company is in can tell you a lot about how to think about your role as its leader. –Inc.
 
Are you underpricing your products? Here’s how to tell. –WSJ

Mentoring can be a high-impact and high-stakes relationship. But you shouldn’t let it burn you out. –HBR
 
Female founders: Audition today to be featured on the new business competition TV show “Women of Wall Street”--with a chance to win $100,000 for your company. 
One more thing:

Being too vulnerable can make you a weak leader. Here's what you should do instead. –Inc. 
 
 
This newsletter was written by Inc. associate editor Brit Morse. How are we doing? Send us ideas and feedback on Twitter.

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