Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub...

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Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Geoff Langdale 9/9/13 12:06 AM
Great work:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.


Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brandon 9/9/13 2:13 AM
In their defense, they're both not programmers. So unfair to label them as brogrammers!
RE: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Mark Burch 9/9/13 2:28 AM

If we as a group had an official voice, I for one would be asking that we make an announcement along the lines of disowning those idiots.

“The Australian Silicon Beach tech startup scene does not ….etc etc.” Keywords being, “does not tolerate”, “is embarrassed by”, “disavows”. You get the idea.

 

 

From: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com [mailto:silicon-beach-australia@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Fai Wong
Sent: Monday, 9 September 2013 7:13 PM
To: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub...

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... VP 9/9/13 9:31 AM
It wasn't good "especially considering a nine-year-old girl was in the audience."

Otherwise, it would be have been okay I guess.

I find this logic so abominable.

Best Regards,

Varun.
Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... 9/9/13 5:04 PM
They actually are programmers.

The guys won a developer hackathon (AngelHack) back in May 
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Elias Bizannes 9/9/13 6:57 PM
They just posted an apology: https://www.facebook.com/titstare/posts/566491406741701

Both of them are not developers, but yes, they did win Angel Hack Sydney.






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Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Melody Ayres-Griffiths 9/10/13 3:48 AM
<rant>
AngelHack IMHO is _NOT_ a 'developer hackathon' -- it is a pitching competition.

And my partner, a female developer who would be considered a 'rock-star' if she was male, was generally minimised and ignored by the attendees at the AngelHack we attended despite her 15 years of experience, and ability to develop in every language from COBOL forward. Which only re-enforces the point.

The startup culture in Australia needs work. It's not as much a meritocracy as people like to paint it, and it's extremely patriarchical.
</rant>
Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Avis M 9/10/13 4:17 AM
These guys are idiots. Way to bring down the Aussie startup scene boys. 

Behaviour like this is deplorable. The only people who would find this 'joke' funny are sexist idiots - not only is this demeaning to women, it is demeaning to the decent men in the Aussie startup scene and is a sad reflection of what is now considered 'newsworthy'. 
Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brandon 9/10/13 6:33 AM
To bring a fair perspective on your partner's experience a AngelHack, even countless times when I say I'm a .Net programmer who had developed in php and now Ruby on Rails, most non-programmers will go clueless at .Net. So I don't think what your partner experienced was a sexism issue. It is just as hard for a male programmer to be seen to have better ideas or be more innovative, we're usually born to be a slave coder. I think it is more of an under-appreciation of what Internet startups revolves around.. coding. While looking for co-founder for a few startups last year, I've approached Sydney-siders on LinkedIn and they didn't take me seriously. San Fran biz dev guys whom I approached on LinkedIn however liked my ideas, spared time to Skype with me and would let me be the CEO if we became co-founders. WTF, a coder as a CEO, how is that possible??

I have no solution but to advise your partner to come up with her own ideas, test them and learn the business side. Someday, she gets to be the CEO and there would be a co-founder who would be happy to be the COO as the biz dev. side. Now that is a different world.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/10/13 3:30 PM

Seeing as the article says they got a pretty good laugh I'd say it was a success as a pitch. This was obviously intended as a comedy stunt and like all comedy it is chosen for a specific audience. These guys had probably taken a barometer reading and guessed it would go over well as a joke. It was unfortunate that a child was there however. That is the only thing I think is worth apologising over.

What the world does not need more of is people who were not in the audience going to war with people who make jokes to a specific audience in a specific context, or people crying "sexism" without thinking it through. I wasn't there so I'm not going to judge them without the context of the event.

Sent from my Android phone

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Michael Ridland 9/10/13 3:47 PM

Inexperienced entrepreneurs will always undervalue software engineering but experienced entrepreneurs generally will not(if they want to be successful).

I think it's the case that Sydney has more inexperienced entrepreneurs than the valley.
 
Engineers can make the best CEO's. Most of the best tech company's in the world are lead by engineers.




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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Geoff Langdale 9/10/13 4:24 PM
Right, it was a comedy event, I guess I misinterpreted the story. All those dumb easily offended feminazi types are jumping up and down because they walked into a open-mic comedy event, and TechCrunch is apologizing because they didn't understand the event they were trying to put on.

You know, sometimes people cry "sexism" under circumstances where they actually *do* think it through. Don't be patronizing. There were plenty of people right there in the audience who were offended, and, in a newsflash, they had the right to be, even if, amazingly enough, a bunch of software dudes laughed at some dumb jokes about tits.

Also, the rhetoric of "I'm not going to judge them" is a feeble attempt to pretend that you're in touch with some kind of neutral principle here. You are judging them; you've judged what they did "mostly OK but for the 9-year-old".

Geoff.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Jay 9/10/13 5:52 PM
If the joke was at the expense of another minority in the audience for example jewish, or Chinese or something, and it got a laugh would it still be ok?
There's plenty of ways to make jokes that don't make an already marginalised segment of the community, more uncomfortable. Women are unrepresented in tech startups. Making it feel like a sniggering adolescent boys club isn't going to help that. Lame joke anyway.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Avis M 9/10/13 5:57 PM
+1 Geoff. Apparently my sexism-crying-feminazi-self got confused by this too.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/10/13 6:34 PM

Again, you weren't there and are arguing out of context.

I have no problems with making jokes about minorities, as long as they are not mean spirited. I don't see this as being that. It may have been poor taste but I think it is inappropriate to demonise people over taste. But as I said I wasn't there so I can't argue in good faith either way.

I'm just over the knee jerk demonisation I see with these kinds of things. People tend to get angry at the story told to them rather than the situation itself.

Sent from my Android phone

RE: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dimitri Rytsk 9/10/13 1:16 PM
Perhaps someone should not bring a child to predominantly male event.
Otherwise we should embrace compulsory internet filter too, to protect
chastity or stupidity of few.

-----Original Message-----
From: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:silicon-beach-australia@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Avis M
Sent: 10.09.2013 21:17
To: silicon-bea...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise
Australia's reputation as a startup hub...

These guys are idiots. Way to bring down the Aussie startup scene boys.

Behaviour like this is deplorable. The only people who would find this
'joke' funny are sexist idiots - not only is this demeaning to women, it is
demeaning to the decent men in the Aussie startup scene and is a sad
reflection of what is now considered 'newsworthy'.





 

On Monday, 9 September 2013 17:06:12 UTC+10, Geoff Langdale wrote:

        Great work:
        
        
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apol
ogise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

<http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apo
logise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html
>
        
        
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-lates
t-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

<http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-late
st-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/
>
        
        It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are
offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun
Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.
        
        
        

Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Bronwen Clune 9/10/13 6:52 PM
I'm sorry Dylan are you seriously trying to argue that people who weren't there can't have an informed opinion on it? Try extend that logic a bit further ... 

As for your comment about jokes about minorities, it is in poor taste. And yes, I'm judging you for it. 

I'm over jerks. 



Bronwen Clune
t: @bronwen
e: bro...@norg.com.au
m: 0423 863 843
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brandon 9/10/13 7:28 PM
Geoff, I agree with you with everything except they're not 'software dudes'. I think the reporters are quick to blame the 'brogrammer' industry without getting the facts right! 

I think this article is quite spot on:
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Ashley Graf 9/10/13 7:07 PM
Dylan, from the looks of it, you aren't a minority, and not this particular minority (women) anyway, so you don't get to say what their reaction should have been. 
Ashley Graf
0405 336 767
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brandon 9/10/13 7:40 PM
Absolutely true Michael!! This is actually what is holding back OZ and keeping Sydney for example as rank no. 12 in the world's start-up scene. The ranking varies but it hasn't moved up since Startup Genome report a few years ago. A quick Google will show recent reports.

The problem is the start-up leaders are not very pro-programmer either, more likely because it is not their background. Imagine if a global outsourcing CEO is speaking for our industry to teach more programming in school, I'd be worried the agenda is to pump out more coders and keep our salaries low. I support that school initiative actually but there is no voice from the coders themselves. 
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Elias Bizannes 9/10/13 8:26 PM
I am getting sick of reading about this. A lot of damage is going on and people need the facts.

First, let me qualify myself:
- I was one of the five judges at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon. Yes, I had to sit through six hours of 264 presentations.
- I was also there backstage when the female judges lost their shit where I had to calm them and the TechCrunch management were fuming and worried someone else would do this unprecedented thing that day.
- the apology the team wrote was because I told them to do it and they are not talking to any more press since I gave them a schooling. I wrote them a detailed apology because they had no idea what to write hours after the event, and later they wrote a completely new one with several female friend's of theirs which was more their own words.

What happened:
- the guys worked on a different idea. They gave up and in the early hours of the next morning and changed it to Tit stare, because they thought they needed to do something to get the free tickets and thought they might as well have fun.
- the submission system was broken and they couldn't submit their app. Geoff McQueen (the Aussie host) minutes before the event started told them bad luck -- I was there when Geoff walked off and the (unbeknownst to me) Tit stare team member who I had met a few days earlier for the first time asked me if I could help. I said sorry man, they are tight today on scheduling.
- We watched a brave nine year old girl present an app about playmates, who's was number 237 on the list but was bumped to be one of the earlier presentations. Everyone was busy on the sidelines preparing their pitch so it's likely the guys didn't even see the pitch as they called up 50 teams at a time to prepare. You try organising 284 presentations from teams that didn't exist 24 hours earlier, it's harder than you think.
- Presentation 66 was an app where a dude starting making wanking movements. It was juvenile but people laughed.
- When presentation 68 came, we were told there has been a change to what was going on and that this was 68a.
- Presentation 68b (tits stare) come on stage after 68a and did their presentation. If you haven't seen it, here it is: http://valleywag.gawker.com/techcrunch-disrupt-kicks-off-with-titstare-app-and-fa-1274394925. You will notice it's a presentation intending to take the piss out of guys who stare at women's breasts, a fact people seem to misinterpret as myopic due to the fact they guys made fun of the viral internet article we've seen for years that staring at women's breasts is good for your health and some cheesy play on words.  

Fate would have it that the next presentation was number 69 (which one of the judges thought was the reason they did this presentation, until I corrected her) and Ariana Richards who made headlines earlier this year for being fired due to Tweeting sexism at a conference, happened to be standing behind them on stage as they made their presentation.

If this presentation was a skit on Full Frontal or a comedy club, people wouldn't have said anything and laughed just like they did at the conference. Step away from the objectification of a female body part, and you will see it was an attempt at comedy. The words, the timing -- it was an attempt on comedy, not an attack on women.

It was juvenile, it was rude. But that's what some comedy is: saying the things people don't say and that are politically incorrect. The last fact a major cultural difference between Australia and California: Australian culture, like British culture (hello page 3 girls) is very male dominated and crude -- we grow up politically incorrect and tolerate things more than our American friends. I offend an American every day here in San Francisco, and usually it's just me trying to order my lunch. I'm not saying that's right, but it's why you will find more Aussies less offended by this.

What the guys did was wrong: they used a sensitive term in the context of a female body part (tit) in a offensive way for a behavior women need to tolerate often (men staring at their breasts) at a professional event which did not have a mandate for comedy and had unspoken expectations of respect. That said, had they called their app "Douche Bag tracker" and focussed it on pathetic men who stare at women's breasts at they talked to them, they would have got a standing ovation from women who deal with this on a daily basis.

But the rest is blowing things out of proportion -- the guys found a nerve (glass ceiling, women in tech, general male sleaze bag behavior) and smashed it with a hammer with their political incorrectness in a culture where if you fart you've caused global warming. Add to the fact it was Sunday, the slowest news day; and that Valley Wag loves to trash anyone when they can and boom, you have a controversy that is bigger than it deserves.

I'm not defending the guys: they screwed up and deserve the consequences. It will serve as a lesson in how to respect women, which all us men need to learn as we don't realise sometimes, unintentionally, our words and actions make women uncomfortable (which I learned due to my sisters, but guys with brothers miss out on as an education). 

But if anyone in the Australian tech industry chooses to ostracize them because they fail  to actually reflect on that they did and how the press is manipulating this story to be worse then it actually is, then I'm disappointed in you. Why? Because you're just as bad as the majority of American's who thought Al-Qaeda was in Iraq and hence one of the stupidest wars of recent memory, all thanks to taking things hook line and sinker due to the media.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Jiří Baum 9/10/13 8:38 PM
Hello,

Dylan Sale:
> Seeing as the article says they got a pretty good laugh I'd say it
> was a success as a pitch. This was obviously intended as a comedy
> stunt and like all comedy it is chosen for a specific audience.

Except it was not a comedy event - it was a professional industry event.
Sexist remarks have no place in a work context.

> It was unfortunate that a child was there however.

Really? You would rather exclude the developer who was presenting a
serious app to good reviews [1] and keep the duo who made a sexist joke?

Amazing.


[1]
http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/08/super-fun-kid-time-9-year-old-programmer/


 Jiri
--
Jiří Baum <ji...@baum.com.au>
Sabik Software Solutions Pty Ltd
0413 183 117
http://www.baum.com.au/sabik
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/10/13 9:27 PM
Well, women are not a minority. They account for pretty much 50% of the population. That said, I'm not saying what their reaction should have been, only that I'm sick of our general culture of overreaction to half-truths. Telling me what I get to say is somewhat hypocritical from someone advocating that other people can say what they want.

Bronwen, you cannot have an informed opinion on this because (I assume) you have only read an article written by one side of the argument (the media tends to take the side of the outraged as that gets them more page views). The other side have smartly capitulated to pressure and simply apologised (this has been proven to be the best method of handling bad PR, but says nothing of their sincerity), so we as people who were not there will probably never hear both sides and so cannot make an unbiased judgement.

You are entitled to think of me however you want, but I don't think that name calling helps. If you could explain why you think that making jokes about minorities (which again, women are not) in good humour is in bad taste, I will be willing to listen with an open mind, but perhaps this is not the place for that.

Dylan Sale
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/10/13 9:33 PM
Hi Jiri,

Except it was not a comedy event - it was a professional industry event.
Sexist remarks have no place in a work context.

I meant as part of their pitch they may have been trying to make an app that would make guys laugh (perhaps at their own expense - appealing to male stereotypes - I can't say). That seems to have been the case (given the laughter), but again, I can't say for sure because I wasn't there (and I guess neither were you).

Really? You would rather exclude the developer who was presenting a
serious app to good reviews [1] and keep the duo who made a sexist joke?

No, I meant it was unfortunate for the joke/event/situation. She had every right to be there.

Dylan Sale



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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Jiří Baum 9/10/13 8:44 PM
Hello,

Dimitri:
> Perhaps someone should not bring a child to predominantly male event.

Wait, what?

This was billed as a professional event. How is it suddenly a
"predominantly male event"?

Should women also avoid attending this "predominantly male event"?
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Jiří Baum 9/10/13 9:19 PM
Hello,

Elias Bizannes:
> - Presentation 66 was an app where a dude starting making wanking
> movements. It was juvenile but people laughed.

That makes it worse. Once might be a regrettable lapse, twice is
beginning to be indicative of an underlying problem.

BTW, that was movements and sounds.

> at a professional event which did not have a mandate for comedy and
> had unspoken expectations of respect.

Yes, that's the problem. A professional event is not the place for
simulated masturbation and cleavage shots.

To put it another way, it's not the place for anything NSFW, because a
professional event is, in fact, work.

> women who deal with this on a daily basis.

And that's why the problem is important.


Jiri
--
Jiří Baum <ji...@baum.com.au>
Sabik Software Solutions Pty Ltd
0413 183 117
http://www.baum.com.au/sabik
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brandon 9/10/13 10:18 PM
Imma lighten the mood.

I doing an app called StartupStare, where you can take pictures of aspiring biz dev guys staring at their tech co-founder coding in front of their laptop for 3-6 months. You can take pictures of them staring in the cafe, home office or co-working spaces!
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Jiří Baum 9/10/13 10:42 PM
Hi,

Jiri:
>> Really? You would rather exclude the developer who was presenting a
>> serious app to good reviews [1] and keep the duo who made a sexist
>> joke?

Dylan Sale:
> No, I meant it was unfortunate for the joke/event/situation. She had
> every right to be there.

Well, you can't have it both ways, can you? Either you exclude her, and
to some extent all female developers, or you exclude the people making
sexist jokes and simulating masturbation on stage.

How else can you eliminate the "unfortunate situation"?


If you must have sexist jokes and simulated masturbation, there are
venues for that sort of performance, with the added advantage that you
won't have to sit through 260 serious technical presentations.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/11/13 12:48 AM
Hi Jiri,

>Well, you can't have it both ways, can you? Either you exclude her, and
to some extent all female developers, or you exclude the people making
sexist jokes and simulating masturbation on stage.

Basically, there is a line somewhere and while simulating masturbation probably crosses it, I don't think a joke app about cleavage does. Either we ban anything that could be considered offensive (boring) or we accept that sometimes people will cross that line (fine be me) and stop over-reacting when they do.


Dylan Sale


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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Brian Lim 9/11/13 1:09 AM
+1 here for facts and data.

I find it really interesting as a experiment in human behavior on how quickly people react and how much information is required before they respond. Now I agree with Elias Bizannes here, they made the mistake, the will have to live and learn from it. However as he also points out so nicely, how you guys are reacting to all of this.

How many of you are jumping over imprecise information? How many of you are quick to denounce the failure as something horrible and unrecoverable in your eyes?

Are not suppose to embrace failure? Are we not people who celebrate mistakes are merely wisdoms along the journey? 

Where is this bond of Australians that was so strong, we have the Aussie Mafia in the valley? 

If they were your brother, father, best friend or husband who did this, would you act any differently?

As Entrepreneurs, are we not suppose to be thought leaders and visionaries in our respective fields? Or have we simply succumb to our primal emotions of hate and anger when we see something we disagree with?

Do we not all push boundaries where people question our sense of taste, sanity or morales? 

Are we so high and mighty that we ourselves if under the same pressure and situation would do something differently?

So go ahead and have your opinions, have your say and have your chat...just remember your words and your actions define how others see you and the whole of the start up scene in Australia..

Titstare is just a startup that made its mistake, however the voice of the community will tell others outside it, wether its just a startup making a mistake, or the mistake of the entire startup ecosystem

My opinion of the startup scenic in Australia has changed after all the discussions all over the place. However still after 2 years of being here, I still love the people and the reasons why we exist. 

So if you say something, say it wisely..

On Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:26:42 UTC+10, Elias Bizannes wrote:
I am getting sick of reading about this. A lot of damage is going on and people need the facts.

First, let me qualify myself:
- I was one of the five judges at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon. Yes, I had to sit through six hours of 264 presentations.
- I was also there backstage when the female judges lost their shit where I had to calm them and the TechCrunch management were fuming and worried someone else would do this unprecedented thing that day.
- the apology the team wrote was because I told them to do it and they are not talking to any more press since I gave them a schooling. I wrote them a detailed apology because they had no idea what to write hours after the event, and later they wrote a completely new one with several female friend's of theirs which was more their own words.

What happened:
- the guys worked on a different idea. They gave up and in the early hours of the next morning and changed it to Tit stare, because they thought they needed to do something to get the free tickets and thought they might as well have fun.
- the submission system was broken and they couldn't submit their app. Geoff McQueen (the Aussie host) minutes before the event started told them bad luck -- I was there when Geoff walked off and the (unbeknownst to me) Tit stare team member who I had met a few days earlier for the first time asked me if I could help. I said sorry man, they are tight today on scheduling.
- We watched a brave nine year old girl present an app about playmates, who's was number 237 on the list but was bumped to be one of the earlier presentations. Everyone was busy on the sidelines preparing their pitch so it's likely the guys didn't even see the pitch as they called up 50 teams at a time to prepare. You try organising 284 presentations from teams that didn't exist 24 hours earlier, it's harder than you think.
- Presentation 66 was an app where a dude starting making wanking movements. It was juvenile but people laughed.
- When presentation 68 came, we were told there has been a change to what was going on and that this was 68a.
- Presentation 68b (tits stare) come on stage after 68a and did their presentation. If you haven't seen it, here it is: http://valleywag.gawker.com/techcrunch-disrupt-kicks-off-with-titstare-app-and-fa-1274394925. You will notice it's a presentation intending to take the piss out of guys who stare at women's breasts, a fact people seem to misinterpret as myopic due to the fact they guys made fun of the viral internet article we've seen for years that staring at women's breasts is good for your health and some cheesy play on words.  

Fate would have it that the next presentation was number 69 (which one of the judges thought was the reason they did this presentation, until I corrected her) and Ariana Richards who made headlines earlier this year for being fired due to Tweeting sexism at a conference, happened to be standing behind them on stage as they made their presentation.

If this presentation was a skit on Full Frontal or a comedy club, people wouldn't have said anything and laughed just like they did at the conference. Step away from the objectification of a female body part, and you will see it was an attempt at comedy. The words, the timing -- it was an attempt on comedy, not an attack on women.

It was juvenile, it was rude. But that's what some comedy is: saying the things people don't say and that are politically incorrect. The last fact a major cultural difference between Australia and California: Australian culture, like British culture (hello page 3 girls) is very male dominated and crude -- we grow up politically incorrect and tolerate things more than our American friends. I offend an American every day here in San Francisco, and usually it's just me trying to order my lunch. I'm not saying that's right, but it's why you will find more Aussies less offended by this.

What the guys did was wrong: they used a sensitive term in the context of a female body part (tit) in a offensive way for a behavior women need to tolerate often (men staring at their breasts) at a professional event which did not have a mandate for comedy and had unspoken expectations of respect. That said, had they called their app "Douche Bag tracker" and focussed it on pathetic men who stare at women's breasts at they talked to them, they would have got a standing ovation from women who deal with this on a daily basis.

But the rest is blowing things out of proportion -- the guys found a nerve (glass ceiling, women in tech, general male sleaze bag behavior) and smashed it with a hammer with their political incorrectness in a culture where if you fart you've caused global warming. Add to the fact it was Sunday, the slowest news day; and that Valley Wag loves to trash anyone when they can and boom, you have a controversy that is bigger than it deserves.

I'm not defending the guys: they screwed up and deserve the consequences. It will serve as a lesson in how to respect women, which all us men need to learn as we don't realise sometimes, unintentionally, our words and actions make women uncomfortable (which I learned due to my sisters, but guys with brothers miss out on as an education). 

But if anyone in the Australian tech industry chooses to ostracize them because they fail  to actually reflect on that they did and how the press is manipulating this story to be worse then it actually is, then I'm disappointed in you. Why? Because you're just as bad as the majority of American's who thought Al-Qaeda was in Iraq and hence one of the stupidest wars of recent memory, all thanks to taking things hook line and sinker due to the media.



On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 6:52 PM, Bronwen Clune <bro...@norg.com.au> wrote:
I'm sorry Dylan are you seriously trying to argue that people who weren't there can't have an informed opinion on it? Try extend that logic a bit further ... 

As for your comment about jokes about minorities, it is in poor taste. And yes, I'm judging you for it. 

I'm over jerks. 





On 11 September 2013 11:34, Dylan Sale <dylan...@gmail.com> wrote:

Again, you weren't there and are arguing out of context.

I have no problems with making jokes about minorities, as long as they are not mean spirited. I don't see this as being that. It may have been poor taste but I think it is inappropriate to demonise people over taste. But as I said I wasn't there so I can't argue in good faith either way.

I'm just over the knee jerk demonisation I see with these kinds of things. People tend to get angry at the story told to them rather than the situation itself.

Sent from my Android phone

On 11/09/2013 10:23 AM, "Dylan Jay" <dj...@pretaweb.com> wrote:
If the joke was at the expense of another minority in the audience for example jewish, or Chinese or something, and it got a laugh would it still be ok?
There's plenty of ways to make jokes that don't make an already marginalised segment of the community, more uncomfortable. Women are unrepresented in tech startups. Making it feel like a sniggering adolescent boys club isn't going to help that. Lame joke anyway.


On 11/09/2013, at 8:30 AM, Dylan Sale <dylan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Seeing as the article says they got a pretty good laugh I'd say it was a success as a pitch. This was obviously intended as a comedy stunt and like all comedy it is chosen for a specific audience. These guys had probably taken a barometer reading and guessed it would go over well as a joke. It was unfortunate that a child was there however. That is the only thing I think is worth apologising over.
>
> What the world does not need more of is people who were not in the audience going to war with people who make jokes to a specific audience in a specific context, or people crying "sexism" without thinking it through. I wasn't there so I'm not going to judge them without the context of the event.
>
> Sent from my Android phone
>
> On 10/09/2013 11:03 PM, "Fai Wong" <wong...@gmail.com> wrote:
> To bring a fair perspective on your partner's experience a AngelHack, even countless times when I say I'm a .Net programmer who had developed in php and now Ruby on Rails, most non-programmers will go clueless at .Net. So I don't think what your partner experienced was a sexism issue. It is just as hard for a male programmer to be seen to have better ideas or be more innovative, we're usually born to be a slave coder. I think it is more of an under-appreciation of what Internet startups revolves around.. coding. While looking for co-founder for a few startups last year, I've approached Sydney-siders on LinkedIn and they didn't take me seriously. San Fran biz dev guys whom I approached on LinkedIn however liked my ideas, spared time to Skype with me and would let me be the CEO if we became co-founders. WTF, a coder as a CEO, how is that possible??
>
> I have no solution but to advise your partner to come up with her own ideas, test them and learn the business side. Someday, she gets to be the CEO and there would be a co-founder who would be happy to be the COO as the biz dev. side. Now that is a different world.
>
>
> On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:48:48 PM UTC+8, Melody Ayres-Griffiths wrote:
> <rant>
> AngelHack IMHO is _NOT_ a 'developer hackathon' -- it is a pitching competition.
>
> And my partner, a female developer who would be considered a 'rock-star' if she was male, was generally minimised and ignored by the attendees at the AngelHack we attended despite her 15 years of experience, and ability to develop in every language from COBOL forward. Which only re-enforces the point.
>
> The startup culture in Australia needs work. It's not as much a meritocracy as people like to paint it, and it's extremely patriarchical.
> </rant>
>
> On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 10:04:06 AM UTC+10, Barry Teoh wrote:
> They actually are programmers.
>
> The guys won a developer hackathon (AngelHack) back in May
>
> On Monday, September 9, 2013 7:13:22 PM UTC+10, Fai Wong wrote:
> In their defense, they're both not programmers. So unfair to label them as brogrammers!
>
> On Monday, September 9, 2013 3:06:12 PM UTC+8, Geoff Langdale wrote:
> Great work:
>
> http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html
>
> http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/
>
> It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.



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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/11/13 1:20 AM

I'm sorry I missed your reply Geoff.

I'll ignore the comedy part as I've covered that elsewhere (I was referring to the app being a joke not the event.)

I'm sure people do consider their opinions. My argument is that they are basing their considerations on only part of the story. If you have ever been unfairly demonised based on an out of context caricature of some statement you made you'd understand that it is very unpleasant.

Sent from my Android phone

On 11/09/2013 8:55 AM, "Geoff Langdale" <geoff.l...@gmail.com> wrote:
Right, it was a comedy event, I guess I misinterpreted the story. All those dumb easily offended feminazi types are jumping up and down because they walked into a open-mic comedy event, and TechCrunch is apologizing because they didn't understand the event they were trying to put on.

You know, sometimes people cry "sexism" under circumstances where they actually *do* think it through. Don't be patronizing. There were plenty of people right there in the audience who were offended, and, in a newsflash, they had the right to be, even if, amazingly enough, a bunch of software dudes laughed at some dumb jokes about tits.

Also, the rhetoric of "I'm not going to judge them" is a feeble attempt to pretend that you're in touch with some kind of neutral principle here. You are judging them; you've judged what they did "mostly OK but for the 9-year-old".

Geoff.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Shane Greenup 9/11/13 3:24 AM
there is a line somewhere and while simulating masturbation probably crosses it

Am I the only one here who thinks that making the 'wank wank' motion is common as shit and not really an issue?




------------------------------------
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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... sam de silva 9/11/13 2:39 AM
I wonder if this kind of long thread discussion would happen in other startup ecosystems?  Any chance we can move on? These messages are costing me bandwidth!  Thanks, Sam.
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/11/13 5:47 AM

Thanks for that Brian, somehow I managed to completely overlook Elias' post. It added a lot of the missing context and balance for me.

Sent from my Android phone

Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Mariel Castro 9/11/13 2:58 PM
The saddest part is that someone lost an opportunity to present a useful app.
I'm sure alot of people busted their bums to win angel hack, and to see the winners blow their opportunity at such an event was a terrible shame.


On Monday, 9 September 2013 17:06:12 UTC+10, Geoff Langdale wrote:
Great work:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.


Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... an...@lawpath.com.au 9/11/13 4:33 PM
I think it's super important that we don't mix issues about this, as it can make our case weaker.

Lets' look beyond the sexism, juvenile behaviour of it all. I mean, that's bad enough, but people will always argue about what's satire and what's not (personally I think it is sexist and small minded).

But that's not the point. Our startup scene is not a comedy club, nor is it a play group for clowns. We're trying to build useful sustainable businesses that bring value to the world. And the fact that this joke get's not only attention, but prizes, awards and support is an insult to everything we're trying to accomplish.

On Monday, September 9, 2013 5:06:12 PM UTC+10, Geoff Langdale wrote:
Great work:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.


Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Andy Rose 9/11/13 4:40 PM
Elias, I'm sorry, but what the hell has comedy got to do with building sustainable businesses? I think that's the joke. That while the real startup community are trying to bring value to people... not save the world, but just bring some value to people that have sometimes mediocre problems, it's joke that we value and showcase clowns at a startup event.

Sure it's comedy, but is that really what we want to celebrate? Ill reiterate what I said elsewhere on this forum:

"I think it's super important that we don't mix issues about this, as it can make our case weaker.

Lets' look beyond the sexism, juvenile behaviour of it all. I mean, that's bad enough, but people will always argue about what's satire and what's not (personally I think it is sexist and small minded).

But that's not the point. Our startup scene is not a comedy club, nor is it a play group for clowns. We're trying to build useful sustainable businesses that bring value to the world. And the fact that this joke get's not only attention, but prizes, awards and support is an insult to everything we're trying to accomplish."






> On Monday, September 9, 2013 3:06:12 PM UTC+8, Geoff Langdale wrote:
> Great work:
>
> http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html
>
> http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/
>
> It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.
>
>
>




Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Sean Marshall 9/11/13 5:09 PM
- the guys worked on a different idea. They gave up and in the early hours of the next morning and changed it to Tit stare, because they thought they needed to do something to get the free tickets and thought they might as well have fun.

Lets keep this in perspective. These sorts of events are DESIGNED to put people under high pressure, with strict time limits, because that yields great creative results. People often don't get more than a few hours sleep over the weekend, and they pivot multiple times before the end of the weekend, the whole time looking at a hard deadline where they have to stand up in front of an audience (a very large and impressive one in this case), and deliver SOMETHING.

Add to this the fact that these guys won tickets in an Australian competition, and are now 'representing' us to a degree, and you have sleep deprived, frantic minds under huge amounts of pressure making decisions in the early hours of the morning on something they can pump out in a few hours. Sometimes people fail, sometimes they come up with brilliant work, and every now and again they come up with TitStare.

It was a stupid decision, and they know it better than any of us at the moment. But I know these guys. They are good guys who tried to fall back on humour, and made a silly choice. We have all made mistakes before, let's just leave them be. They don't deserve to be strung up publicly.

Qualification: I have mentored something in the order of 1-2000 people through this kind of an event.


Sean Marshall
0448514420
Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Geoff Langdale 9/11/13 8:27 PM
OK. So, quite a thread. I'm not crazy about keeping it going in *any* form, but this thread is a canonical example of What Not To Do (for almost all concerned, probably including myself):

1) Spare me the histrionics - I think the consensus among the people who *really* didn't like this presentation was that these guys acted like idiots, and should have made a real apology immediately, and that's about it. Even in some of the more excessive responses I saw elsewhere on the net I don't recall anyone suggesting they be "strung up", be ostracized, "never work again", etc. Get a grip on yourselves. This is a nice way of taking the high moral ground, but effectively, what you're saying is "shut the hell up and don't criticize anyone".

2) Stop dressing up opinions and spin as "secret inside knowledge". To read some of the posts, you'd think that the whole event was actually a carefully coded ritual conducted in Swahili, and that only a Elder of the Tribe can actually explain the Mysterious Events that were captured in the 1 minute video.

Sorry, but it's a pitching competition. It's a one minute video. We saw it. We get it. I also understand that some people think the routine was funny, or understandable, or some bit of random Aussie "jocularity" that Americans don't understand, etc. It's possible to disagree about that without pretending that you have the ONE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF EVERYTHING and that anyone with a different viewpoint to yours is just "overreacting" without possession of the "real facts". The real facts are that the guys stood up and did what they did at a not-particularly-mysterious public event, and there a video of exactly what they did. Everything else is interpretation, including all the bollocks about how it was just comedy and no-one is apparently allowed to say anything as a result.

Honestly one of the major things keeping the controversy going is that people like Dylan and Elias don't seem to understand this above point, and instead feel the need to descend from On High and inform everyone who was offended or annoyed that they are in fact Wrong and Missing the Point. This isn't made that any more palatable by wheeling out a million irrelevancies ("if this had been a anti-douchebag app, people would have liked it", "Aussies are larrikins", "in a comedy club this would have been OK", "we live in a culture where people act like farts cause global warming").

If you think the world needs to be a little more Bro-Friendly, just say so... it's a point of view. :-) Many people will disagree, but at least you're engaged in a actual conversation, not parading around claiming that you've got access to the true state of affairs and everyone else is a hysterical moron.

3) A swift actual apology short-circuits almost everything, and the less bullshit excuses in the apology, the more likely that the whole thing will go away. What not to do: "guys here, sorry if we offended some of you, very unintentional. Just a fun Aussie hack." Techcrunch got this right with their detailed apology.

Alternately don't apologize and brazen it out; but please don't do that bullshit thing where you apologize that "you were offended that I did X". Either you're sorry you did X or you're not. If you're not sorry, then harden up and say that. You can't have it both ways.



Just my opinion; feel free to recognize it (and your own) as such.

Geoff.


On Monday, 9 September 2013 17:06:12 UTC+10, Geoff Langdale wrote:
Great work:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.


Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Andy Rose 9/11/13 9:11 PM
Nice one Geoff! +1


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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Bronwen Clune 9/11/13 9:16 PM
Very well articulated, Geoff. 100% agree. 


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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... PatrickCollins12 9/11/13 9:31 PM
Ok, are we all done? Please stop. Please.

Regards,
Patrick

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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/11/13 9:41 PM
Hi Geoff,

I don't think its histrionics saying they are being demonised considering what Avis posted, which is really what my initial post was directed at.
"These guys are idiots. Way to bring down the Aussie startup scene boys. 

Behaviour like this is deplorable. The only people who would find this 'joke' funny are sexist idiots - not only is this demeaning to women, it is demeaning to the decent men in the Aussie startup scene and is a sad reflection of what is now considered 'newsworthy'. "

I did not "feel the need to descend from On High and inform everyone who was offended or annoyed that they are in fact Wrong and Missing the Point". I genuinely didn't have an opinion (and I tried to state that I was not particularly convinced of any I mentioned) until I read Elias' email because I didn't know both sides of the story (or at least hadn't heard anything from the other side or from an impartial observer). I was not trying to hide an opinion behind some rhetoric or moral superiority argument, but I guess you will just have to take my word for it. I despise intellectual dishonesty. 

I guess all I tried to say was that there IS another side of the story and things are rarely ever as black and white as they are made out to be by people with an agenda. I think Elias' post showed this very clearly - it provided much needed context to a very one sided story. Even the video is out of context.

I think people reacting to rumour and gossip when they don't have the whole story is the real corruption of society, not whether some guys made a bad joke. I've seen this happen way too often to put up with it anymore and I will continue to argue against it (which I hope you agree I am entitled to do). I really don't care or have an opinion either way on whether they went too far and did something sexist, I was just making a statement about people having some humility and NOT thinking they know everything (ironically, a similar argument to yours I think). 

That said, I do think we can discuss things that come up when we don't have all the facts, but we just need to be mindful of the gaps in our knowledge of the situation and avoid judging people.



Dylan Sale


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Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Dylan Sale 9/11/13 9:42 PM
Yeah I'm over this. I've said my piece and don't plan on responding further.

Dylan Sale
Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Rich 9/12/13 4:28 AM
Thanks Elias for the facts and Brian for the words of wisdom. 

They made a mistake but the backlash is way, way, way out of proportion.

As Brian said let's embrace the failure and maybe we can take away something positive.
Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... Phil M 9/12/13 10:28 AM
Just to add something a little different to to the post that may be useful to Silicon Beachers.

The political correctness environment here in Silicon Valley is extremely harsh and perfectly acceptable social behavior from other parts of the USA or world can lead to repercussions. I was spoken to by HR at a fortune 500 company for hugging a colleague in the cafeteria.  I had known her for 10 years and we were close friends and she initiated the hug - I was simply told that hugging was not acceptable behavior. Another executive got into trouble for having his team over to his house for Xmas drinks - nothing happened, but he was just told it was not acceptable. An Italian executive was spoken to for wearing swimshorts too short at a company beach party.

My belief is that this is happening because of two main reasons - risk management from many lawsuits and enjoying the power trip of being the "morals police" - we've outsourced everything else that HR does so this gives them a mission.

People are so terrified of HR that they are separating their private and work lives, not telling jokes, not going to lunches or dinners or hanging out with colleagues - I left the company primarily because it was so sterile.

Another important point is that the USA is much more conservative than the image they project worldwide.  Breasts are pixelated out on TV, (along with giving someone the "finger" :-)).  Pictures of women in bikinis are considered porn by many.  IMHO this leads to a mental state where any mention of nudity links their brains to sex - not something that happens in numerous other cultures - I grew up on the beach in the 80s when many were topless and nobody thought anything. Contrast this to the extreme violence that American's seem to enjoy - it's perfectly OK to see someone decapitated on a TV show (even for 9 year old kids).

The lesson here is not what is right or wrong, but simply to let Aussies coming to the valley to know that they are entering a zone of extreme political correctness and to adapt. 

Phil

P.S.  Not USA bashing as I live here permanently and love the valley - just passing on some observations.

On Monday, September 9, 2013 12:06:12 AM UTC-7, Geoff Langdale wrote:
Great work:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/techcrunch-forced-to-apologise-over-sydney-duos-titstare-app-20130909-2tflb.html

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/09/titstare-tech-worlds-latest-brogrammer-joke-techcrunch-disrupt/69171/

It's got everything, right down to the pro forma "sorry if you are offended" disingenuous apology on twitter. And apparently this is a "fun Aussie hack", which insults fun, Aussies and hacks.


Re: [SiliconBeach] Re: Titstare guys doing their bit to raise Australia's reputation as a startup hub... sam de silva 9/12/13 11:17 AM
Can someone estimate the time spent by people reading items of this thread, and formulating responses?

I am estimating at least a few thousand dollars worth of lost productivity. Possibly more.

Sounds like there's a lot of bored entrepreneurs on this list!


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