Meet Hermione Way – a UK media firecracker about to take the United States by storm.
Much like our HelloGiggles co-founders and girl-trepreneurs, this lady really does it all: she’s the Video Director for the influential tech blog TheNextWeb and the founder of Newspepper.com and StartupWorld.com, where she has interviewed and hobnobbed with some of the world’s top tech visionaries.
One of her latest projects is an upcoming reality show on Bravo, tentatively titled “Silicon Valley”. The show seems to be sort of a TechStars meets The Real World, with tech juggernaut Randi Zuckerberg as executive producer.
Audiences will get to follow the lives and presumably drama-filled encounters and amazing parties of a handful of young people launching tech projects, picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… and, well, you know the rest. Watch for it later this year.
In the meantime, check out a little bit of Hermione’s world and hear how she’s adjusting to her new life in the center of the tech world – San Francisco.
Tell me about your project, Newspepper.
I started Newspepper in 2008 to solve a problem I was having; I was doing a university degree in journalism, being taught newspaper journalism only, at a time when newspapers were heading into decline, I looked for organizations that would give me paid work experience in relevant media training for a digital age; video blogging/blogging etc etc and nothing existed so I thought ‘fuck it’ I’m going to start a company that does exactly that. It was the beginning of the global recession and I couldn’t get funding for the company so we pivoted into a digital marketing company. We currently employ three full time and around 400 on a freelance basis.
You are going to star in an anticipated new show over at Bravo about young people trying to make it in the tech world. Can you give us a sneak peek?
I can’t tell you too much, but it’s a show following the lives of seven young people trying to make it in Silicon Valley. You’ll have to watch it to find out more or you can read all the press surrounding it online.
How are you adjusting to life in California and how does it differ than what you’re used to back in the UK?
The sun is much better than rain, that’s for sure! But Americans are more entrepreneurial naturally, they’ve had to be building the world super power in a few hundred years. Silicon Valley is a particularly unique place where ideas can turn into billion dollar companies in a few years and it’s leading a global technology revolution.
What’s it like being a woman in the tech field? Any awkward ladytech moments?
It’s kind of like being a man except you have a vagina, *joke*
No seriously, it’s hard to find the balance between having a hard nose in business whilst retaining your femininity. Sometimes I feel you have to act like a man to succeed and others there are advantages to being a woman.
Why do you think there are fewer women tech entrepreneurs than men and do you see that number growing quickly?
It comes down to human nature; females are more sociable animals naturally and so have traditionally leaned towards subjects that are more sociable. Technology used be be about sitting in a dark room coding, now it’s much more of a sociable experience hence why the number of women choosing a career in technology is growing exponentially.
What are 3 important things a young woman can do RIGHT NOW if she wants to get into a startup? How about if she wants to co-found a startup?
1. Just start – think of a good problem to solve, think of a name, logo build a Twitter account, a Facebook, start building a website- all the tools you need are out there are free.
2. Get networking – business is all about connection and people. There are hundreds of free events, get out there and start making connections.
3. Looking for the right co-founder is like choosing a husband – you will go through hell together and back, will be involved in each other’s lives for a very long time so make sure you choose wisely.
In one word – how would you describe yourself?
What’s your favorite startup right now?
What was the first website you ever visited?
I was amazed being able to chat to a girl in America from the UK via MSM Messenger in the ’90s.
What’s your favorite meme?
What’s your favorite app right now?
Hipmunk – great for finding flights.
What’s the weirdest thing in your closet right now?
Who’s your favorite designer?
Check out more Adventures in LadyTech interviews over at HelloGiggles!