It started with the above tweet (that was meant as a joke).
Shortly after, Tom replied:
Tom brought up an interesting point…
And despite the fact that the last two companies I’ve founded have successfully served markets that are 75-80% women, to a large extent I agree with him. Women know women better, because they ARE closer to their clients than men will ever be. They can work from a place not of sympathy, but of empathy more easily. And I sense many women go about identifying and solving problems differently. More collaboratively, intuitively and experientially.
As Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco noted in her book, The Female Brain, womens’ brains function differently on both a structural and chemical level. And, that too may well give an advantage when building businesses that serve the needs of women.
Does that mean ALL men should be banned from designing products and experiences for women?
Of course not. There are exceptions to every rule. Some men tend to connect more easily with women. To have an ability to understand the emotions, desires, frustrations, needs and pain points better than others. Some work intensely hard to place themselves into the daily lives of the women they seek to serve. Some do it well enough to create extraordinary solutions for women. But, it’s been my experience, those men are very much the minority.
Most who try end up either failing or creating solutions and experiences that effectively serve women. But, the goal of a business, product or experience should never be to “effectively serve” a market. It should be to blow peoples’ minds. So, the question, when you look at men-built businesses that serve women, is not so much whether they’re making a buck and satisfying a need, but whether a women could do it better.
Now, you may already vehemently disagree. And, I’m still pondering how I feel about this issue when it comes to products and experiences.
But, even if you buy into Tom’s and my assertion, there is a place where it gets really murky…
When you move the conversation over to the realm of artists and solo-professionals.
Should male authors not write for female audiences because they just don’t get how to craft prose in a matter that’ll get deep enough into a woman’s head, heart and soul to hit home?
What about music? Or, paintings? Must one be a Celine Dion or Ann Rea to touch womens’ souls?
And, what about fashion? Or therapy?
Should male therapists yield the field to women when it comes to treating female patients?
Slippery slope here. So, I’m curious…
What do YOU think?
———Awakened Shout Outs————
Reset Business – You’ll be able to find Tom and I (he’s speaking, I’m playing), along with Michael Eisner (yes, that Michael Eisner), Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck and Anna Bernasek at the very cool upcoming Reset Business event in NYC on April 20th.
Lemonade – If you’re one of the 8 people who still hasn’t seen Erik Proulx’s amazing mini-documentary, Lemonade, go check it out now.
Small Business Summit – If you’re in NYC on Tuesday, March 16th and you’re into small biz, think about swinging by this 1-day event (yes, I’ll be hanging out there, too, along with SmallBizTrends.com founder, Anita Campbell).
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