Everything Wrong With Bro Startup Culture – TechCrunch Apologizes For ‘Titstare’ App At TC Disrupt

Demo — Techcrunch Hackathon 2013 by dm_522df57f14f4f

The staff here at FullyC are actually employed by tech startup Sortable. Being plugged into the startup scene, we’re very aware of the bro culture sometimes associated with startups. Watching these two guys at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference make stupid, sexist “jokes” to debut their app is pretty cringe-worthy.

The startup scene is largely occupied by males: many younger, fresh out of college “bro-grammer” types, so it’s not surprising that frat house humor can become a part of their day-to-day. But what really is disheartening is that what they’re demonstrating embodies why so many women find it very difficult to make it in the startup world.

TechCrunch has since apologized for both the Titstare presentation and a different presentation in which a guy pretended to masturbate on stage. What a lovely example to set in an industry that already has a pretty big problem attracting women and being taken seriously.

From TechCrunch:

Normally our hackathons are a showcase for developers of all stripes to create and share something cool. But earlier today, the spirit of our event was marred by two misogynistic presentations.

Sexism is a major problem in the tech industry, and we’ve worked hard to counteract it in our coverage and in our own hiring.

Today’s issues resulted from a failure to properly screen our hackathons for inappropriate content ahead of time and establish clear guidelines for these submissions.

Trust us, that changed as soon as we saw what happened at our show. Every presentation is getting a thorough screening from this hackathon onward. Any type of sexism or other discriminatory and/or derogatory speech will not be allowed.

You expect more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. We are sorry.

The good news is, the backlash against these immature and inappropriate presentations has been fast and fierce, with many media outlets immediately condemning the sadly all-too-common scenario. The bad news is, well, this is neither the first nor the last time this is going to happen.

The startup scene and the tech industry in general have a real bro vibe going on, and allowing apps like Titstare to be unveiled at a major industry conference certainly isn’t helping with that. And think of the good, genuinely interesting apps that might’ve been bumped in favor of that abomination! Here’s hoping TechCrunch and others beef up their screening measures in the future – and when this inevitably happens again, the rest of us continue to stand up and denounce it.

(via Business Insider)