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Alpha Girls

An unforgettable story of four women who through grit and ingenuity became stars in the cutthroat high stakes male dominated world of venture capital in Silicon Valley and helped build some of the foremost companies of our time In Alpha Girls award winning journalist Julian Guthrie takes readers behind the closed doors of venture capital an industry that transforms economies and shapes how we live We follow the lives and careers of four women who were largely written out of history until nowMagdalena Yesil who arrived in America from Turkey with 43 to her name would go on to receive her electrical engineering degree from Stanford found some of the first comp Audiobooknarrated by Kim Mai Guest and Julian GuthrieMenlo park Sand Hill Roadcountry club communities in the heart of Silicon Valley was mostly ruled by men Less than 2% of start ups were started by women Today a whole new bred of women are giving rise to advance levels of technology and business here in Silicon Valley It took awhile for this book to get juicy good When it didit was definitely juicy interesting I live here in Silicon Valley along with the Apple Google a new Google City is in the works now Facebook eBay Hewitt Packard Salesforce Goodreads along with our own Airbnb businessI’m fairly knowledgeable about the streets in Silicon Valley many of the restaurants small businesses temples churches the public transportation system the different private and public schools the housing shortage conditions and the economic and social cultureHowever I was not knowledgeable to the inside scoop about any of the four women that Julian Guthrie focuses on who work in a predominately male dominated environment Silicon Valley in the South Bay of the SFBay area is the most diverse technological Capital area of the world Living in this high tech area I assumed doors were open to womenwith the Boy’s Club changing’a little’ but when I got the detailed stories of Magdalena Yesil Mary Jane El Theresia Gouw and Sonja Hoel PerkinsI realized how little I really knew It was not enough for these women to be educated and capable to match any man in the Technology fieldbut they had to break down ‘male stone’ walls The women’s background stories and accomplishments are amazing Magdalena A Turkish immigrant came to the United States with 43 Her rap sheet today is mind boggling from investor to a multi million dollar company to several successful start up’s to being an author etc Mary Jane joined the venture capital firm of ‘Institutional Venture Partners’ VIP in Menlo Park She has math and business degrees from Purdue and Stanford Theresia Gouw educated at Brown and Stanford Asian American entrepreneur and venture capital investor was named one of 40 most influential minds in tech by Time Magazine Sonja Hoel a venture capitalist was co founder of Broadway Angels Each of these women stories are heroic treacherous and impressive Julian’s writing with intimate storytelling shares the flavor about what’s going on right now in the tech industry in Silicon ValleyShe’s an inspiring women journalist author in her own rightPower to Women 💪

Free read ë PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ó Julian Guthrie

T woman investing partner at white glove Menlo Ventures invested in McAfee Hotmail Acme Packet and F5 Networks As her star was still rising at Menlo a personal crisis would turn her into an activist overnight inspiring her to found an all women's investment group and a national nonprofit for girlsThese women juggling work and family shaped the tech landscape we know today while overcoming uneual pay actual punches betrayals and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male dominated industries everywhere Despite the setbacks they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love In Alpha Girls Guthrie reveals their untold stories I used to work at a software company with a woman CEO and yet every other exec was a man Women have always been underrepresented in tech but consistently provide higher returns If the men shooting them down DID care about money than ego they would wake up and work with themI found this book through the Vine program and so my copy had some leftover grammar and editing errors left in Either way it still reads a bit much like a fawning Wikipedia page hence 3 stars I WAS interested to learn so much about the history behind so many household name internet companiesIn following along with the four successful and talented women you inevitably encounter some sexist and demeaning situations From the easygoing shrug it off description I thought the author was a man But by the end of the book I was gratified by the no nonsense tone of relating male dominated world The Illusionists uneual pay actual punches betrayals and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male dominated industries everywhere Despite the setbacks they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love In Alpha Girls Guthrie reveals their Planet of the Bugs untold stories I Fishes of the Open Ocean used to work at a software company with a woman CEO and yet every other exec was a man Women have always been Out of Bounds (Boundaries, underrepresented in tech but consistently provide higher returns If the men shooting them down DID care about money than ego they would wake Grass, Sky, Song up and work with themI found this book through the Vine program and so my copy had some leftover grammar and editing errors left in Either way it still reads a bit much like a fawning Wikipedia page hence 3 stars I WAS interested to learn so much about the history behind so many household name internet companiesIn following along with the four successful and talented women you inevitably encounter some sexist and demeaning situations From the easygoing shrug it off description I thought the author was a man But by the end of the book I was gratified by the no nonsense tone of relating male dominated world

Julian Guthrie ó 6 Read & Download

Anies to commercialize internet access and help Marc Benioff build Salesforce Mary Jane El went from the corn fields of Indiana to Stanford and on to the storied venture capital firm IVP where she was one of the first women in the US to make partner only to be pulled back from the glass ceiling by expectations at home Theresia Gouw an overachieving first generation Asian American from a working class town dominated the foosball tables at Brown she would later reluctantly let Sergey Brin win to help Accel Partners court Google before she helped land and build companies including Facebook Trulia Imperva and ForeScout Sonja Hoel a Southerner who became the firs Interesting book about these women venture capitalist pioneers We never hear about women VC's and their successes I'm happy to know their stories and appreciate the author researching and reporting the stories The authors note at end should be the beginning in my opinion On the other hand I am not a fan of the story telling style bouncing between four women's stories Why not just tell one whole story followed by the next? At least until they come together


10 thoughts on “Alpha Girls

  1. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || PinterestDNF p176This is a tough review to write because I did like the beginning of the book I just felt like it was too long and the subject matter was a little too uninteresting Part of that is also on me because I misunderstood what the book was about The subheading the women upstarts who took on Silicon Valley's male culture and made the deals of a lifetime made me think it was going to be about women in tech engineers and creators and CEOs who ended up in Fortune 500 companies But no This book is about four venture capitalists who are women who ended up making bank by investing in said Fortune 500 companies at the right time and place which is slightly less impressive imo With rich people I think there is a temptation to paint their stories as a sort of rags to riches fairytale that seems easy because we want it to be easy because most of us think that we would like to be rich The problem is that even if you have the skills and the know how you aren't going to be rich if you don't also have luck and privilege The women in this book Magdalena Yesil Mary Jane Hanna Theresia Gouw and Sonja Hoel had luck and some of them had privilege even though a lot of them started out in lower middle income situations; they were in families who mostly supported their endeavors and provided them with the right schooling and intellectual tools to get to the positions that they currently holdThere is nothing wrong with having privilege but it is important to acknowledge it and understand that success often walks hand in hand with privilege and that going to the right schools and learning the right things and meeting the right people are integral aspects of success Likewise even though this book is painted as a girl power effort most of the women in this book don't seem to identify as feminists and some of them even seemed almost anti feminist There was one woman mentioned in here a CEO I think not one of the 4 VCs who said that she didn't speak at women only conferences like that was something to pat herself on the back over or that women only conferences were somehow lesser That kind of stuck in my craw a bit I also didn't really like how in order to be successful most of these women seemed to feel the need to dress and act in a masculine way I get why they felt the need to do that but at the same time it wasn't a very empowering message It kind of gives off a it's a man's world baby and you either gotta play the game or go home vibe UghMy favorite part of the book was about these women's uniue upbringings and how they got into the business world However it uickly became cyclical and repetitive There are only so many permutations of and then they closed the deal and made tons of money one can stand before one starts to feel kind of bored I've had this similar complaint about a couple of other nonfiction books I've read recently where the concept was interesting but not enough to merit an entire book and it started to feel like a very padded out Forbes or Bloomberg articleI think that unless you're a high up in a tech company or an aspiring venture capitalist this book probably won't be for you I work in the tech world and was looking for something affirmative and this book really wasn't it Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 15 to 2 stars


  2. says:

    Audiobooknarrated by Kim Mai Guest and Julian GuthrieMenlo park Sand Hill Roadcountry club communities in the heart of Silicon Valley was mostly ruled by men Less than 2% of start ups were started by women Today a whole new bred of women are giving rise to advance levels of technology and business here in Silicon Valley It took awhile for this book to get juicy good When it didit was definitely juicy interesting I live here in Silicon Valley along with the Apple Google a new Google City is in the works now Facebook eBay Hewitt Packard Salesforce Goodreads along with our own Airbnb businessI’m fairly knowledgeable about the streets in Silicon Valley many of the restaurants small businesses temples churches the public transportation system the different private and public schools the housing shortage conditions and the economic and social cultureHowever I was not knowledgeable to the inside scoop about any of the four women that Julian Guthrie focuses on who work in a predominately male dominated environment Silicon Valley in the South Bay of the SFBay area is the most diverse technological Capital area of the world Living in this high tech area I assumed doors were open to womenwith the Boy’s Club changing’a little’ but when I got the detailed stories of Magdalena Yesil Mary Jane El Theresia Gouw and Sonja Hoel PerkinsI realized how little I really knew It was not enough for these women to be educated and capable to match any man in the Technology fieldbut they had to break down ‘male stone’ walls The women’s background stories and accomplishments are amazing Magdalena A Turkish immigrant came to the United States with 43 Her rap sheet today is mind boggling from investor to a multi million dollar company to several successful start up’s to being an author etc Mary Jane joined the venture capital firm of ‘Institutional Venture Partners’ VIP in Menlo Park She has math and business degrees from Purdue and Stanford Theresia Gouw educated at Brown and Stanford Asian American entrepreneur and venture capital investor was named one of 40 most influential minds in tech by Time Magazine Sonja Hoel a venture capitalist was co founder of Broadway Angels Each of these women stories are heroic treacherous and impressive Julian’s writing with intimate storytelling shares the flavor about what’s going on right now in the tech industry in Silicon ValleyShe’s an inspiring women journalist author in her own rightPower to Women 💪


  3. says:

    This book sounded so good but ended up being rather disappointing I found it difficult to keep track of which Alpha Girl was which because of how the narrative jumped around It felt like I was just starting to get to know remember one woman when the chapter would end and the perspective would jump around which was frustrating However it was interesting to see how many different approaches there were for women to be successful not just one way to do it And there were a lot of great uotes that I ended up highlighting saving for inspiration


  4. says:

    This book grew on me as my initial impressions were not good — first the title itself Alpha Girls but the author later explains why she she chose that title and then the physical descriptions of the women and their clothes which I thought was kind of bizarre But the stories are similar in many ways and yet distinct I liked Guthrie’s intro of women rebels “tempered radicals“ who learn to play the game to perfection whatever the game is before trying to change the rules ie Maggie Thatcher or Georgia O’KeeffeParticularly interesting was the balance of home and work life — their husbands all worked and the women all took on the lion’s share of childcare I really like the way they support and try to promote other womenInteresting MJ partsKurtzig 1st woman to take a tech company public “If you look for sexism you’ll never get where you want to go You can’t play the game if you’re not in it Following recruiters on their way to the bathroom to make a case for why she should be interviewedInteresting Theresia partsDidn’t let sexism bother her; would happily get the coffee If you try to be the best you’re going to drive yourself crazy just be your bestHer noting that the woman who dropped out of VC felt as if they didn’t belong and had no supportReally despicable how she was not able to take a sabbatical Interesting Sonja partsShe had breast cancer and adopted a baby and nobody visited herMen versus women regarding money Men could be unapologetic in their pursuit of it while women were steered away from the relentless drive for wealth Men’s philanthropy advances themselves while women used it to advance others In other words money was complex for women one thing to skillfully navigateInteresting Magdalena partsRegretted staying home with son and missing Salesforce IPO You saw an opportunity and you took it You must decide in life what is right for you You don’t have to obey all the rules General adviceWork really hard your first 10 years; save money; get your work travel in; if possible become a partner before you have children Don’t take one on one meetings with men at night but do you attend association events and get togethers And most important know that the person you marry will influence your career than anything else


  5. says:

    PREFACE I have a feeling that I may be one of the few people with strong opinions about this book that actually read this book This has happened to me before see eg Sheryl Sandberg Option B where I'm pretty convinced that almost no one who commented on the book actually read it I enjoy reading so I read a lot I did read this book And I have very mixed feelings 25 starsI wanted to love this book It has so much buzz and so much potential And I did like not love the second half Although I applaud the author for focussing on successful women such a rarity and worth supporting certain aspects of this book and these women in my mind fell short 1 The author claims that she selected her four main characters because they are so distinct That said like other reviewers have observed it often was extremely difficult to tell the four of them apart as they progressed along their careers Their jobs and challenges seemed interchangeable This may be a reflection on me not on the author 2 Only one of the women EVER seemed to recognize the role that privilege and luck had in their success only one of them the same one seemed like a truly kind person The other 3 seem as self absorbed and entitled as the men with whom they work This is not a crime or a criticism of the women I just don't see how they made the world any better for other women including each other Again not their job but this maybe could be pointed out In fact only one of the women ever even calls herself a feminist even though it's certain that without feminism they never would have had any opportunities they were given 3 The author set up this book as if describing women who changed the landscape and paved the way for other women I want to be very clear that these women DO NOT CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OR PAVE THE WAY FOR OTHER WOMEN Do these women deserve to be known? I'd say they do the same way men whose sole accomplishment was making a lot of money deserve to be known I am not sure if any of them ualify for such attention other than perhaps to call attention to the fact that there is a small group of mostly white men in Silicon Valley who make billions of dollars in a job that seems really really really like not a lot of work at all And that maybe we should tax these people so that our public schools can be better This is not anything close to the message of this book4 Some of the women's portfolio companies did VERY bad things that were celebrated because those bad things made the venture capitalists a ton of money this book assumes that making VCs a lot of money is a worthy goal yet never explains why that is the case One example that the author celebrates at least three times throughout the book is the start up who figured out how to be profitable by moving its entire operations center out of California into the Philippines The author expects the reader to join her in celebrating profitability enabling the company to go public and the VCs to make billions of dollars but I kept thinking HOW ABOUT THOSE 5000 PEOPLE IN CALIFORNIA WHO LOST THEIR JOBS? Not once did the author mention the thousands of people who suffered financially by this off shoring of American jobs to Asia There was no comment like Although there were trade offs or The CEO struggled with this decision given all the jobs that would be lost or Although the news media was mixed due to the mass terminations caused by this move NONE of that It was as if operations centers were merely buildings that can be dug up from Menlo Park and deposited in the Philippines Meanwhile I couldn't help wondering if any of those fired workers were able to benefit at all from the IPOs that made the passive investors so rich I think it is fair to say that they did not Why are we supposed to be happy about this? 5 The author seems to take part of the same worship of rich people that leads to so many problems in our culture Because these women made millions andor billions of dollars these women must have deserved it These women must be so smart Yet nothing in the details of the book demonstrates anything exceptionally smart that these women just like their male counterparts actually did They like their male partners used other people's money to make investments that turned out to be profitable If the investments were not profitable they faced no negative conseuences But if they were profitable the investors were considered geniuses Only one of the women stood out for her skills but those skills seemed like sales skills she was very assertive and courageous with picking up the phone and calling potential clientsportfolio company leaders and she chased down the deal until she closed it Of course she had private jets and a team of assistants at her disposal to help But she did show good sales skills FYI normal people with these sales skills get bonuses of 500 or 50000 depending on the job She made like 100000000 from her good sales skills 6 None of these women EVER did anything to help other women achieve their levels of success In fact as far as we the reader can tell they only hired men to work for them and only mentored men at their firms One or two of them did make an investment here or there in a company founded by a woman but their big wins and their most important portfolio companies were run and managed by men Having broken through a very very difficult glass ceiling it's like they closed the door behind them 7 Only one of them ever called herself a feminist and that only was after she was screwed over by men welcome to the club The rest insist that any woman would have achieved their success if they deserved it andor tried harder They even repeated the long discredited sexist myth that women do not hold jobs like venture capital partners because women don't want those jobs8 When the women decided to help other women they formed an organization that has no capacity to help other women achieve their success Assuming incorrectly that women do not become venture capitalists because they do not want to be venture capitalists they reframed the problem lack of women in VC as the solution In other words they without any basis for this conclusion research common sense or otherwise believed the giving visibility to already successful female VCs would help other female VCs break into the field They did not explain how that would happen All their organizations did was help already successful women become even successful These organizations did nothing and continue to do nothing to help women who are not yet successful become successful 9 The fact that these women did not help other women would not bother me had the author not done the following 1 the author operated on a presumption that these women were revolutionary meaning that these women sparked change for others not just for themselves; and 2 The author claimed that these women did give back to other women Both of these assumptions are false 10 Although it also is a valid uestion whether these four women hadhave a moral responsibility to help other women the author seems to assume that they do and that they did Men in VC don't seem to embrace that moral principle and I don't think that these women did either 11 VENTURE CAPITALISTS HAVE VERY EASY JOBS Their income was shown to be very passive This is not a surprise Did the author have any opinions about this? Should she have? Did the women realize how different their lives are from the lives of literally everyone else who is not a VC? Should they have? Does this matter? Although none of these uestions are addressed in any way whatsoever I did appreciate that at least the author did show how easy VCs have it even though this was described as if that's normal or occurs elsewhere The fact that this paragraph is so long should indicate my mixed feelings and confusion about this Like does anyone else notice that these people are making billions of dollars by doing almost nothing?12 In all cases but one these women ultimately were betrayed andor backstabbed by junior men at their firms manymostall? of whom they presumably hired and mentored It made me wonder did these women wish that they would have hired some women in addition to men? Would women have acted better? I actually asked these uestions to the women featured in the book when I had the opportunity to attend a live panel But I received no answers At the end of the day these four women seem to continue to insist that their success was deserved and earned and that they lack any obligation to the future generation of women to have a chance at that success as well Although they are entitled to that opinion I don't find it inspiring Additionally insisting that sexism does not hold the vast majority of women back fails to recognize the courageous risks and sacrifices and the costs paid by the women who came before these women the women who actually did spark change in our culture beyond their own financial success TLDR we need a book about female profit centered venture capitalists who leave a trail of lost jobs and dashed hopes along their road towards billionaire dom about as much as we need a book about male VCs who do the same If you are one of the millions of Americans who value success as dollars made over all else this book is for you Perhaps as a possibly self righteous old fashioned feminist who revels in stories about people whose passions extend far beyond their personal stature see eg Elizabeth Warren This Fight Is Our Fight Ellen Pao Reset I am not the target audience


  6. says:

    Interesting book about these women venture capitalist pioneers We never hear about women VC's and their successes I'm happy to know their stories and appreciate the author researching and reporting the stories The authors note at end should be the beginning in my opinion On the other hand I am not a fan of the story telling style bouncing between four women's stories Why not just tell one whole story followed by the next? At least until they come together


  7. says:

    I would watch a show based on this book It was a fun and inspiring and sensationalist read Almost makes me want to get into VCSonja wondered if her efforts to gain approval from her male colleagues had been misguided She concluded that she did what was right to stay in the game and succeed and now to pave the way for other women to enter the fieldMagdalena had discovered the joy of the unknowable the scary yet exhilarating notion that she could not rely on her brain alone with absolute certainty The inscrutable had always been reassuring even if it was beyond her perception and her sense of reality One of the few times she hadn't embraced the unknowableshe had set unreasonable perfectionist standards for herself That decision made out of fear had been a mistake It had gone against the grain of who she was an explorer an adventurer a risk taker


  8. says:

    I used to work at a software company with a woman CEO and yet every other exec was a man Women have always been underrepresented in tech but consistently provide higher returns If the men shooting them down DID care about money than ego they would wake up and work with themI found this book through the Vine program and so my copy had some leftover grammar and editing errors left in Either way it still reads a bit much like a fawning Wikipedia page hence 3 stars I WAS interested to learn so much about the history behind so many household name internet companiesIn following along with the four successful and talented women you inevitably encounter some sexist and demeaning situations From the easygoing shrug it off description I thought the author was a man But by the end of the book I was gratified by the no nonsense tone of relating male dominated world


  9. says:

    This book offers a view of a profession that not many people know about I found the interaction between the venture capital list and the corporate founders to be most interesting this is a great insider look at how ideas become companies It was also interesting to follow the careers of the women profiled


  10. says:

    I really enjoyed this well written and thoroughly researched book on the topic of the women in Silicon Valley venture capital firms At a time when virtually all companies in the area were male dominated and VC firms even so a handful of intelligent driven and focused women made inroads into VC firms in the 1980's and 1990's and battled their way to the status of partners facing systemic sex discrimination harassment and all the other challenges of raising a family and maintaining a marriage Each of these women is focused on in alternating chapters over a space of many yearsI was really able to relate to the challenges and accomplishments of these women since my own career started at a once well known Silicon Valley technology company in 1973 The only women in non administrative roles were in HR and accounting There were no female engineers nor female managers in a company was thousands of employees worldwide Through sheer grit determination and hard work with the assist of a couple of prescient mentors I was able to break into the ranks of management by the late 1970's as the youngest and only female Product Manager My career continued to progress but I never left behind the constant challenge of discrimination and freuent assertions that I was an impostor nor did I experience pay euity for most of my careerThe challenges for women in technology throughout Silicon Valley and in JV firms still exist but the women profiled in this excellent book paved the way for others to follow


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