Pando

A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug (I'm writing a new book!)

By Sarah Lacy , written on May 17, 2016

From The Gender Wars Desk

I won’t bury the lede: I’m writing a new book! It’s about motherhood and entrepreneurship and it’ll be published in fall 2017 by Harper Business.

The working title -- “A Uterus is a feature not a bug” -- tells you most of what you need to know about the book. It’s a manifesto for strong mothers (and anyone hoping to become one), arguing that having children makes you stronger, not weaker in the workplace.

The book will explore the biases against mothers in our culture, and examine what makes mothers so powerful. It will also share the personal stories of other women who became stronger, not weaker, after having kids.  

It will also be part-memoir of the insane last four years of my life: From having my last job ripped out from under me while I was in labor (thanks Arianna!), to taking a newborn baby with me while fundraising for Pando, to falling outs with board members and investors, through nearly $400 million in legal threats… and of course a certain million dollar threat against my family made by the bros at Uber.

I’m honored and thrilled that the publishers of Ben Horowitz’s “Hard Thing about Hard Things” have signed on to publish it. When it came out, I called that book “the most valuable on startup management hands down.” It was one of my favorite business books I’ve ever read. I can’t imagine better partners for the most personal book I’ve written yet.  

I wasn’t planning on writing another book anytime soon. But I felt compelled to write this one. I wish I’d known before having kids just how wrong society’s perception of motherhood is, and just how much of a life-changing and career changing advantage it would become.

If there’s one thing I hope readers (of any gender) will take from the book it’s that you’d have to be crazy to think motherhood makes women weaker. In fact, companies of all sizes -- from startups to multinational corporations -- should be clamoring to add more working mothers to their ranks.

I’m due to deliver the completed manuscript to Harper at the end of the year. But don’t worry I’ll still be writing just as much for Pando as I do now. (Another myth exploded in the book: That motherhood means you’ll have no time to get things done.) In fact, I’m actually going to be posting even more: Every two weeks, starting next week, I’ll be producing a podcast around the themes of the book.

In each episode, I’ll interview working moms. Some famous, some lesser known. Some in the tech world, some in other parts of the business world. Some researchers and academics too.

New episodes of the podcast will be cross-posted right here on Pando and will feature a whole host of female entrepreneurs who have succeeded because of motherhood, not despite it.

But, like Paul Carr’s NSFWCORP spin-off radio show, this isn’t a Pando production and it’s also completely independent from my publishers. I’m producing the whole thing myself. And like Paul I’m using Patreon to help cover some of the costs of production.

So far, Pando writers have launched two successful Patreon podcasts: the War Nerd and NSFWCORP. I hope “A Uterus is a feature not a bug” will be a third.

Like our other podcasts, your pledges will determine how often I produce new shows: I’m starting out every two weeks, but if the Patreon hits four figures in backing, I’ll switch to weekly (at no extra cost to patrons.) You can support the show for as little as $5 per episode, and there are various rewards for different levels of support. (Backers at any level get my undying gratitude.) The Patreon page, and more info about the show, can be found right here.

If you want to share your story of motherhood, please email [email protected]

I hope you’ll take a listen to the show. I expect it to be funny, inspiring, depressing, and sad all at the same time. Kind of like parenthood and entrepreneurship.