“I miss the frivolous”
Nancy Lublin on her new company, motherhood, and tech’s morality crisis
“He won’t stop raping me… RU there?... It’s my dad.”
It’s a text message Nancy Lublin will never forget. While some companies may have to hammer home their corporate mission everyday to employees and the press, Lublin’s central mission for Crisis Text Line is a clear daily imperative. Her team is saving lives. “That person is who we built this for,” she says.
The metrics for tracking success at Crisis Text Line are as impactful: Their texts have a 97% open rate, their satisfaction rate is 86%, and 65% of the people text the word, “Thanks.” Bear in mind, these are people contacting the site in a moment of crisis.
Crisis Text Line came in a career of helping people. Lublin started Dress for Success, which provides low income women with interview suits and career development. She then ran Do Something, a non-profit channeling social change and activism before that became the new weekend to do list.
As amazing as her impact with Crisis Text Line has been, Lublin is, astoundingly, launching something new, Loris.ai. It has raised $2 million in capital from well-heeled investors like LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Kapor Capital, and Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko to help companies have hard conversations. It’s a way to monetize the learnings and training process that Crisis Text Line has honed over the years.
Nancy Lublin is as good a business woman as she is a compassionate advocate for saving and improving lives. She’s an actual compassionate capitalist.
Lublin is the latest guest for my podcast, “A Uterus Is a Feature Not a Bug.” We talk about her journey, why New York is a better city for working moms to build their companies, why social media and screen time isn’t the only thing depressing teens, and also about the state of the tech industry right now. Founders like Lublin who care about users mental health first and profits second are even more of a rarity than they were when she started Crisis Text Line. “I miss the frivolous,” she says. “These are real red lightsaber days.”