Banana Republic, for its fall fashion line, has put together a “Startup Guy” look, which reads more “Brooklyn Guy on the L train” than hoodie-wearing tech dork. But no matter: Fashion is aspirational. “The Startup Guy” outfit isn’t what dudes working in tech today actually wear, it is what they may want to look like after they see BR’s latest catalog.
But what exactly makes this man in khakis and a blue button-down—pretty standard fare for business casual—the prototypical “startup guy”? Fast Company tried discern what about this getup Banana Republic thinks screams “startup guy.”
The video above is a trailer for the film She Started It – a documentary, co-directed by journalists Insiyah Saeed and Nora Poggi, which follows four different female founders, as they create new startups.
The Valley might not actually make much in the way of tangible goods, but like industrial centers before it, it’s the place where the astounding success of the very few has been held out to the youth in exchange for their time, their energy, and—well, their youth.
One creative agency decided to reinvent the idea of a “desk” entirely. Instead of installing a metal slide or set of pinball machines, the New York-based Barbarian Group built one giant “superdesk” out of plywood and a single pour of resin. The whole thing stands at 4,400 square feet, and undulates throughout the space, creating regular desk-like slabs, but also oddly-shaped nooks and crannies.
“We really wanted everyone sitting under a desk, but we also wanted to create spaces where people could escape to.”
“Always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.”
Edmond Lau, who was an early engineer at Quora, offers advice that he received by way of a friend’s mento.
A New App Will Let You Share Your Leftovers With Strangers
Startups have made it so much easier for peer-to-peer buying and bartering these days. Need a place to stay? Swap houses. Want to fill out your wardrobe? Swap clothing. And coming soon is Leftover Swap, a smartphone app to help you barter or give away your leftovers.
This is either ingenius or cringe-worthy, depending on your penchant for other people’s unfinished meals.
"It’s obviously not for everybody," says Leftover Swap co-founder Dan Newman. “But for as many people who seemingly have a problem with it, there’s people who love the idea."
"Bankruptcy," says Bob Marsh, CEO of LevelEleven, one of Detroit’s new startups, “gives me hope in what’s going to happen next. For decades, those of us living here have seen mismanagement and corruption and the same pattern: a new mayor comes in with plans on how to fix things and yet they keep getting worse. A lot of people here have wanted this to happen. It’s time to take drastic measures so the city can correct itself. Someone’s finally willing to take a pivot here.”
“If technology is designed mostly by white males, who make up roughly half our population, we’re missing out on the innovation, solutions, and creativity that a broader pool of talent can bring to the table.”
"One of the most important things to remember is that these companies don’t happen over night. They’re not an over-night success story, as I think a lot of people view certain companies. It’s really about finding what works and iterating your product."
—Danielle Abes, director of Qwiki, a video-sharing app that turns pictures and videos from events you’ve captured on your iPhone into brief, sharable movies.