If you follow me at all on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I love the show Shark Tank. Of course I love it, I am an inventor.
My family often makes the show a family affair and we all watch together. Each member of our family has their favorite shark.
By the way – if you do not know what Shark Tank is (where have you been?), it is a reality show featuring new entrepreneurs and inventors who present their products/services to a live panel of sharks (über rich and successful entrepreneurs) in hopes of striking a partnership deal and getting some cash and mentorship.
I digress, back to my favorite shark. I have 2 favorites. Daymond John and Mark Cuban. Mr. John and his strong business sense in the fashion world coupled with his urban sense of humor continually impresses me, and Mr. Cuban is a serial entrepreneur originally from Pittsburgh who owns an NBA team – need I say more?
I happen to love Mark Cuban’s blog, blog maverick, named affectionately for his team, The Dallas Mavericks. I read it and I try to comment (although who knows if he reads the comments?).
At any rate, Mr. Cuban is notoriously anti-patent law and last week, he wrote an extremely sarcastic post on the upcoming patent infringement suit between Yahoo and Facebook. I am too new and young in the inventing world to hold a mature opinion on the validity of patent law. Although I will say that I do feel that it sometimes seems to impede progress.
I am still forming my true impression on patent law through asking questions, reading and investigating, as I see it as being a pretty big cornerstone for anyone entering the product and/or business world.
In between reading Mr. Cuban’s post, getting a kick out of his sarcasm, and leaving a comment, something wildly STELLAR occurred to me. At the time that I commented (about 80 comments in already), it seemed that I was the only female commenter on this post. If not the only, one of a small minority (as some of the usernames were not clear although the voice sounded masculine). One woman posted after me and suggested Mr. Cuban take a look at her husband’s business, but not on the subject of the post.
In a day and age when many major publications such as the NY Times, Huff Po, LA Times, Entrepreneur Mag continually cover the rise of the mom inventor and how women appear to be taking over product development, I thought that more women would share a comment or opinion.
Are we really creating businesses as women? Or, are we making up a jobby? Ouch – I hope not because we are just playing into the stereotype.
I realize that blog maverick is written by a man, but if that is why women are not commenting (except to run PR for their husband), shame on them. I mean – if we want men to take us seriously, then we need to work and share our opinions with them. We need to have an opinion, and if we don’t have one yet (that is OK), we need to seek out information to form one.
I am so disappointed that women were such a tiny fraction of the commenters on the issue.
Parents, either moms or dads, can be entrepreneurs with the right attitude and support system. No need to make a jobby or act frivolous.
A few weeks ago in the Tank, Mr. Cuban asked a mom entrepreneur what she would do if a big meeting fell on her child’s birthday. She said she would go because her family supported her. To me, her family supported her because she treated her product like a business and not a jobby. They struck a deal. Although, mom guilt would certainly attack, business sense would prevail.
What do you think (not about patent law), where are the women with opinions?