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Why Won't Silicon Valley Take Teen Girls Seriously?

Young women can make or break tech products, so why doesn't Silicon Valley respect them?


When a well-known venture capitalist refused to fund an anonymous social media app that allowed high schoolers to see who liked each other in 2012, the reason he gave was clear: the founders were too focused on cultivating a user base of young women. At the time, 70% of the app's users were teenage girls.

"All truly transformative technology like this needs a great beachhead," the investor wrote to co-founder Nikita Bier in his rejection email. "It didn't seem like young women was the right beachhead for this product."

Bier disagreed and continued to pursue the product, eventually launching the app under the name TBH. Buoyed by its popularity with teen girls, the app skyrocketed to success. It hit the top of the app store rankings and within 73 days of launch it was acquired by Facebook for $100 million.

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