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From a Darwinian perspective, you are of course right.

I think that potential pregnancy is a factor. The hours traditionally worked by startup founders could be detrimental to health, and the inability to take prolonged breaks from work at CEO level is probably a deal-breaker.

(Some of the best salespeople I know are female, particularly in consultative selling.)

RE-EDIT: Sarcastic thanks for the downvotes. And sincere thanks to whoever upvoted. I feel better!




I think that most intelligent women are capable of not getting pregnant while developing their startup.


This may be true. However, I do know some very smart women who have gotten pregnant accidentally.

It's claimed (by?) it takes an average of 7 years to exit your startup. That is a large chunk of time for women with a ticking biological clock. I do realise of course that it is possible to have kids in to your 40s, but most women choose not to do so.


That implies that women have a greater biological imperative to reproduce than men. I don't know that that's true.

Honestly, I see my "grad school clock" as an equally big, if not bigger, problem than anyone's biological clock. When you do a startup, you have to choose your priorities -- the implication is that neither kids nor grad school are amongst them.


Women certainly do have a greater biological imperative to reproduce than men. It's for the very simple reason that a woman's fertility starts declining in her early 20's and bottoms out around age 40 -- a man's fertility erodes very slightly and is usually in perfectly serviceable condition at age 60.


Actually, semen quality starts to decline while men are still in their 20s. See - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030210080435.ht...


I have two healthy half-uncles and a healthy half-aunt, all of whom are younger than me.


That was the point I tried and failed to make.


Kids take a lot of time, granted. But grad school? It takes 4-5 years (1), and during that time, you can work on your startup part time. You also develop technical skills, which you can later use to work outside the (somewhat crowded) webapp space.

(1) The average is 6 years, but that includes lots of lazy people, future college teachers, people who enjoy grad school, etc. Potential startup founders would almost certainly be faster.


How many people do you know that have quit grad school to do a start-up?




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