Article below by Penelope Trunk (from her blog

I’m at my son’s cello lesson, thinking about this week’s Time magazine.  Sheryl Sandberg’s on the cover.

I never used to write about women on my blog.  I wrote for three national magazines about careers before I even acknowledged that I was a woman aside from saying

1. I got the column because I was a woman running tech companies. (Rare back then.)

2. I got a promotion because I leveraged the sexual harassment my boss dished out in order to climb the ladder (around him).

Other than that, I tried very hard to not mention women.  I could see that women who had kids got very little respect at the office and I stayed away from them.  I only hired men. Even after I had kids, I only worked with men.

Now I’ve downshifted, and I’m home with my kids. I tried to make it not a big deal that I downshifted. I kept saying that I was going to launch a new startup.  But then I found myself literally scared to death of going back to 100-hour weeks.

I write that: 100-hour weeks, and I almost don’t believe it.  Because it would mean that I was literally never with my kids.  But it’s true.

One of the nannies I had during that period still sees my oldest son.  She is one of those professional nannies—she always works for women with huge jobs, and she couldn’t stay with me after I cut back to 60 hours a week.

She and my older son are still very close.  I was having ice cream with the two of them and she started talking about a family that had a bunny and the bunny was lonely and needed a friend, but they couldn’t just buy another bunny.  You have to introduce the new bunny to the old bunny to see if they are friends.

So I said, “Did it work out?”

She said, “What? Don’t you remember?  It was your house!  The bunny was eating the carpet and right before we brought the second bunny, your bunny died.”

I don’t remember.  I do remember that we had a five-bedroom house that I didn’t have time to furnish so we bought animals for each room:  the bunny room, the cat room, the ferret room, etc. (You can see why I ended up with a farmer.)

What I am trying to tell you is that you really do not see your kids if you have a very big job.

So I’m sitting in a cello lesson taking notes on measure sixteen even though I don’t read music.  And I’m terrified every time my son finishes a song ahead of schedule because it means we’re one day closer to having to make the eight-hour trip to cello lessons three days a week instead of two.

I can’t stop thinking about Time magazine.  Sheryl Sandberg is such an incredibly aberrant example of women at work that I just don’t get how she’s on the cover.  She is great.  Smart. Driven.  I get it.  I am doing a life that she would hate.  I thought I was a high performer, but Sheryl Sandberg has no time for people like me.  I spent so many years working hard to get to the top, but the truth is that I’m not even close.  I was never in the running. I am nothing like Sheryl Sandberg.

My friend sent a link to me about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.  Actually, it’s about Jacqueline Reses. Mayer runs products and services at Yahoo.  Reses runs everything else.  So the edict for no telecommuting came down at Yahoo signed by both of them.  Reses lives in New York City with her husband, Matthew Apfel, who has a big job at CORE Media Group, and her three, school-aged kids. And she commutes to Yahoo’s offices in California. Sunday night she goes to California and Friday she flies home.  No telecommuting for her.

Which drives home to me that the women at the very top all do not see their kids.  We just don’t hear about it.  Why would we?  Why would they talk about about it?  It doesn’t help their career and it doesn’t help their kids.

I can’t get angry about these women.  I just need to remember that I am not close to being able to compete with them.  The high performers in corporate life are so much more focused than everyone else in the workforce that it’s time we stopped selling a false bill of goods; almost no one can be so singularly focused to get to the top of anything.  Including corporate America.  Yet we keep talking to kids and each other like anyone can do it.

Most kids cannot have huge jobs.  They will be the workplace equivalent of intramural basketball players.  When they grow up, they will find work that is fine, just like it’s fine to play on a team with the kid across the hallway even though he misses too many lay-ups.

Sheryl Sandberg gives up her kids like movie stars give up food: she wants a great career more than anything else.

You know all the stuff people write about how really skinny women in magazines makes girls feel anxious and not worthy?  Do you know how women lose weight for the Oscars?  They want to have a great Hollywood career more than anything else.  That’s what seeing Sheryl Sandberg on the cover of Time magazine does to me.  Do you know what I want more than anything else?  For people to think I’m doing well.  In my career.

You can kill me now.  Because I hate when I coach women who tell me they want the world to see them as a successful in their career.  I tell them, “Well, you’re not doing all that well, because you made choices that did not get you a very good career.  But you have other things.”

I tell people this so easily on a coaching call.  And many women cry.  I understand.  Respect is always relative.  It’s like money, there’s always someone who gets more.  There’s always someone who makes the amount you have look like nothing.

Most women are past the idea that they measure themselves by money.  But women are instead using respect as our measuring tool, which is just as dangerous.  Because respect is relative, we don’t control it completely, and it doesn’t come along with choosing the job of raising kids.


You can choose to believe the explanation that Mr. Taylor gives for his Facebook departure but the timing is extremely odd.  He joined the company just two years ago and then decides to leave a month after the IPO?  Strange things are afoot at the Circle K, if you ask me.

From All Things D:

“Facebook’s high-profile CTO Bret Taylor is leaving the Silicon Valley social networking giant later this summer, with future plans to work on an as-yet-to-be-determined start-up.

The move is likely to be of concern to some over the newly public company’s ability to hold onto entrepreneurial talent, especially in the wake of continued intense media and investor scrutiny over its rocky IPO last month.

That’s especially true since Taylor has been in charge of both platform and mobile efforts at Facebook, a critical arena for it.

A pair of Facebook execs under Taylor — Mike Vernal and Cory Ondrejka — will be taking over platform and mobile, respectively.

Vernal joined Facebook in 2008 from Microsoft, leading the original Facebook Connect project and also working on platform efforts and the development of Open Graph. Ondrejka arrived at the company in 2010 through the acquisition of Walletin; he previously worked at Linden Labs on Second Life virtual worlds.

Facebook’s stock rose 6% on Friday. When news of Mr. Taylor’s plans broke after the market closed, shares fell 8 cents to $29.93 in after-hours trading.

Named CTO two years ago, Mr. Taylor has been a strong public figure at Facebook events, including its recent developers conference. And he was front and center atApple Inc.’s AAPL +0.45% Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week at the announcement of Facebook integration into its newest iOS.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Taylor said he understands that his departure will be perceived as a disruption, although he noted that Facebook had a deep bench of talented technical staff.

When asked about the worries he had for the company, Mr. Taylor said the challenge of becoming public was top of mind internally.

‘We are dealing with the cultural change of increasing attention, from going from a private company with a lot of scrutiny to a public company with a lot more scrutiny,’ he said.” – Kara Swisher

“Put differently, [Facebook] basically pre-announced that its second quarter would fall short of analysts’ estimates. But the company only told the underwriter analysts about this.

The information about the estimate cut was then verbally conveyed to sophisticated institutional investors who were considering buying Facebook stock, but not to smaller investors

…. at best, this ‘selective disclosure’ of the estimate cut is grossly unfair to investors who bought Facebook stock on the IPO (or at any time since) and didn’t know about it.

At worst, it’s a violation of securities laws.” –

Ummm, yeeeaaaah… I see this as a pretty big problem and completely shady.  When, “at best” the situation is “grossly unfair,” it doesn’t bode well, especially at your company’s much anticipated IPO.

More from Business Insider:

Earlier, we reported that the analysts at Facebook’s IPO underwriters had cut their estimates for the company in the middle of the IPO roadshow, a highly unusual and negative event.

What we didn’t know was why.  Now we know.  The analysts cut their estimates because a Facebook executive who knew the business was weak told them to.

The estimate cut appears to have influenced the investment decisions of at least some institutional investors, dampening their appetite for Facebook stock, and crucially, affecting the price at which they were willing to buy Facebook stock… Analysts cutting estimates is generally regarded as significant negative news for stocks. This is especially the case when the analysts who cut their estimates are very close to a company—and, therefore, are thought to have particularly good information…

The SEC and FINRA appear to have acknowledged this, and they may now investigate what happenedMore broadly, everyone is still trying to understand what happened with the pricing of the IPO, which was hyped up to be the offering of the century.  We now have some more information on that.

Given the PR and legal disaster that the Facebook IPO is rapidly becoming, most official communications channels have gone silent. Facebook declined to comment. Morgan Stanley did not return a call and email seeking comment…

… it seemed, someone had directed the analysts to cut their estimates—most likely someone with inside knowledge of how Facebook’s Q2 was progressing.  And we have now heard from one source that that is what happened.  One of the underwriter’s analysts has said he was told by a Facebook financial executive to cut his estimates.” – Henry Blodget at


Let’s be real now people.  Is Facebook really worth $100 billion dollars?  Weigh in please.

“General Motors Co. plans to stop advertising on Facebook after the company’s marketing executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers, people familiar with the matter said, a move that comes as more companies question the effectiveness of advertising on the social networking site.

The largest U.S. auto maker will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook’s pages, in which markers can display content at no cost, these people said.

The news comes at a bad time for Facebook Inc. The Menlo Park-based social network is expected to hold a historic initial public offering on Friday.” – Wall Street Journal


FitBit Ultra

Want to shed a few pounds and get a better night’s sleep? Look no further than the Fitbit Ultra ($99.95). The tiny Fitbit device fits on your belt and tracks every step you take, every stair you climb, every chair you sit in, total calories burned, and even studies how often you toss and turn while sleeping. In all, it’s the best fitness tracking device we’ve tested.


Thinking about strapping a color-screened gadget to your wrist in an effort to look even geekier? Why not give the Pebble ($115 and up) a shot instead.  Developed by the same minds behind the inPulse smartwatch for Blackberry, the Pebble is an ePaper smartwatch for iOS and Android that connects to your handset via Bluetooth, offering wrist-based notifications like caller ID, email, calendar alerts, and Facebook and Twitter messages, the ability to function as a music controller, workout computer, and golf rangefinder, and, of course, a variety of sexy watchfaces for plain ol’ time-telling. On Kickstarter now, with shipments to begin in September.

Garmin Approach S3

We’ve seen several GPS-enabled golfing assistants, but the trouble with those is often simply remembering to bring them along. The Garmin Approach S3 ($350) alleviates this problem by taking the form of a touchscreen GPS watch, giving you handy access to data for over 27,000 courses worldwide — including distances to doglegs, layup points, and pins — a rugged, waterproof body, and a “digital caddy” to keep track of your strokes.

Paper (iPad app)

Another day, another revolutionary iPad app. Paper (Free with $8 add-on) is an absolutely beautiful app for creating anything you would normally do on real paper — you know, stuff like storyboarding your indie film, general note taking, sketching a nude model, or painting a watercolor landscape of the prison yard.