Cindy Gallop

Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 09, 2015

Discussion

Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business. And you can ask me anything.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@cindygallop Thanks for being here today. 🙌During your career to date, what has been your a) most challenging moment and how did you overcome it? b) proudest moment and why? c) most surprising moment?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@ems_hodge Hi! Undoubtedly my most challenging moment and ongoing many moments, was deciding to build and launch a #sextech business in the shape of MakeLoveNotPorn. Still trying to overcome that :) and raise funding for it, by doing what I advise other entrepreneurs to do: when you have a truly worldchanging startup, you have to change the world to fit it, not the other way round. So am working to demonstrate to the tech and business world that the Next Big Thing in tech is disrupting sex. Proudest moment will be when I've achieved that and turned MLNP into the billion dollar venture I know it has the potential to be :) and most surprising moment so far has been how very much our MLNP community has embraced the idea of sharing their #realworldsex - and how many people I know are considering doing that/want to do that as well. :)
Karri Carlson@heykarri · VP Social Insights, Leadtail
@cindygallop - How do you handle situations where you feel you aren't being taken seriously because you are a woman and/or talking about a subject that makes many people uncomfortable in a business setting?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@heykarri I just say what I want to say anyway :) I'm a great believer in 'Communication through demonstration' (which is also the whole point of https://makelovenotporn.tv/, btw). I earn the right to be listened to by talking about things people will want to hear, in ways that will make them want to hear them. It's why I tell MCs/hosts at conferences that I really don't care how anyone introduces me as a speaker - I don't need my bio read out. I consider it my responsibility the moment I step on that stage to make the audience want to hear what I have to say, rather than expect my credentials to do that.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community, Product Hunt ⚡️
Are you and @fakedansavage buddies?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@jacqvon But of course! We adore Dan Savage.
Farbod Saraf@farbodsaraf · Co-founder Everboard.io
You call it #sextech but tech part of your product isn't as strong as its sex part. Don't you have any plans to involve latest tech such as Virtual Reality or Wearables to improve the user experience of your product?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@farbodsaraf Farbod - that's a great question. First of all, #sextech as a sector faces enormous challenges being accepted - Silicon Valley welcomes innovation and disruption in every other area of our lives except this one, which so badly needs it and is the single biggest moneymaker of them all - every other big bet ever made in the history of tech, pales against sextech. I wrote this post for HotTopics on the huge potential of #sextech: https://www.hottopics.ht/stories... The interesting thing is that one of the ways the shame and embarrassment we've imbued sex with manifests in the tech world, is that media platforms feel a lot more comfortable focusing on the hardware end of the sextech spectrum versus what I call very loosely the 'software'. That's why you'll see a lot of media coverage of sextech represented by teledildonics, VR, sex robots - much of it focused on making sex a more solitary self-focused experience - but a lot less of the realm MLNP operates in, which is using technology to bring people closer together in the real world. We don't claim to be technologically extraordinary, but our mission is unique - this Techcrunch post from back in April has a very good understanding of that, and the new market we're building for social sex: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/04.... Now, that being said, we do absolutely see a lot of potential for MLNP ultimately in VR - because the single biggest benefit of VR is something no other form of technology has ever had the power to deliver in the same way: EMPATHY. The ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes/eyes/self and to forever change the 'your experience is not my experience' paradigm, is extraordinary. Here's just one way that could operate in #realworldsex, to great empathetic benefit: http://charlieglickman.com/2011/... which Stuart Heritage talks about here: http://www.theguardian.com/techn...
Farbod Saraf@farbodsaraf · Co-founder Everboard.io
@cindygallop Well described. Thank you for your comprehensive answer.
Teresa Hammerl@colazionearoma · Socialmediapreneur
Hi Cindy! What advice would you give a young woman who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@colazionearoma Know that the only one who can make things happen for you is you. And don't give a damn what anyone else thinks about what you want to do - just go do it and make it happen.
upstart@elainesandraliz
@cindygallop apart from the obvious what do you do to unwind in very stressful situations ? And how do you keep motivated in adverse situations ?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@elainesandraliz You mean apart from drinking martinis and fucking someone's brains out? :) #startupstress Whenever I'm asked what the key qualities for an entrepreneur are, my response is, persistence, resilience, and the ability to manage your own mind. I've gotten good at managing my own mind, and using mental management to calm myself down and chill myself out. For example, I am only allowed to stress about one or at the most two things daily. :) If I have a whole bunch of shit coming at me from all directions, I go OK, I am only allowed to pick one or two of these and focus on how I'm going to solve that/those. Everything else can wait. You get very good at laser-focused prioritization under #startupstress. Re keeping motivated, my single most motivating dynamic/pick me up is the one I articulate as 'I'm going to fucking well show you.' You tell me it can't be done? I'm going to fucking well show you. You put an obstacle in my path? I'm going to fucking well show you. So I turn stress and adversity into motivation and inspiration - because you have to.
upstart@elainesandraliz
@cindygallop refreshing to hear real answers not just waffle #startupstress being redefined #iwillfuckingshowyou !
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@elainesandraliz Too bloody right. :) #startupstress
Melissa Perri@lissijean · Founder, ProdUX Labs & Product Institute
Hi @cindygallop! So excited for you to be here. My question is about partners and founders. I had a startup once where we just shouldn't have been cofounders and I'm still reeling from the fall out a bit. I have been working by myself for the last two years consulting but I'm tired of being alone and would love to partner with someone again. What do you look for in good partners and cofounders? How do you decide to do business with someone?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@lissijean Melissa - that's a great question. I recommend two things about finding the right business partner/co-founder. The first is - you absolutely must must must test-drive them first, in some form or other. Propose a trial period of working together for a specified length of time, eg several months. (This should generally be feasible if the person you're contemplating partnering with has a job/is doing something else currently.) And the second thing is - the true measure of someone is not how they are when things are going well, but how they are when things are going badly. Within that trial period, hit them with the hard stuff. See how they respond to the things that are difficult/are going to be difficult. The last thing you need is a founder/business partner who is great when things are going well, but caves/gives in/runs away when things are going badly. Because they will go badly a LOT, and you need someone shoulder to shoulder with you taking their fair share of the shit and digging down in the trenches with you shovelling that shit out of your way. That's a bit of mixed metaphor going on there but you get what I mean. :)
Kate@katesegrin · Community + Product @ Product Hunt
What has been the most gratifying experience you've had as an entrepreneur?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@katesegrin Undoubtedly the emails I and my team receive every day at http://makelovenotporn.com/ expressing the need and welcome for what we're doing - you can read some of them here in the #realworldinbox section of our blog: http://talkabout.makelovenotporn... We see every day the enormous human unhappiness caused by the tax of shame and embarrassment society has levied on the most natural, universal and enjoyable of human experiences, and seeing how much people welcome MLNP all around the world is absolutely the most gratifying thing that's ever happened for me as an entrepreneur.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community, Product Hunt ⚡️
What are you favorite hobbies lately?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@jacqvon Oh, you know, same old same old. Drinking martinis and fucking someone's brains out. :) #startupstress
Carrie Melissa Jones@caremjo · Consultant | Director of Content, CMX
@cindygallop I have so many questions, but I'll narrow it down so you can get to everyone! At what point in your career did you feel "safe"/unashamed to talk about sex publicly? Has it always been something you felt comfortable doing? Or did you have to achieve a certain level of success before the topic was no longer taboo? Has it affected your life negatively at all? I live in Seattle, and people talk fairly openly here about sexuality, gender, relationships, and the politics of sex, but I've noticed that this is much less the case in San Francisco or SV. I also wanted to add: You sharing so openly has been a huge inspiration for me. So thank you for being amazing.
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@caremjo Thank you! I've always talked about sex publicly because I've always found sex fascinating :) And no, it hasn't affected my life negatively. I do lose out on some paid corporate speaking engagements (how I support myself while bootstrapping MLNP) when the person responsible for booking speakers is worried about MLNP. But I speak at many more where the audience is utterly fascinated and welcomes it - and understands it's a business case study for my business as well as life philosophies.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @ Twitter, Previously @ Product Hunt
Where does the societal/cultural change America needs (equal opportunity employment, ending racism, stopping sexual assault, etc.) have to start? Sure, the older conservative generations are dying, but as a college student, I don't see DRASTIC change the way we should.
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@andrewmettinger Andrew - I couldn't agree more. My philosophy is, change happens from the bottom up, not the top down. The old top down model is broken - of making change happen via institutions, organizations, hierarchies. Today it has to be about the bottom up model - collaborative people power, collective action. It's why my mantra is I don't wait for things to change, I make things change. You may like my friend CZ Nnaemeka's brilliant post 'The Unexotic Underclass': http://miter.mit.edu/the-unexoti... This is the real change where every one of us undertaking microactions every day in our own chosen spheres of passion and action, can add up cumulatively to big impact and big change. Microactions are the atomic unit of my other startup http://www.ifwerantheworld.com/ btw, which is about helping individuals and businesses drive this change.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community, Product Hunt ⚡️
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@jacqvon "She regretted the things she did, not the things she didn't do." :)
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Partner, The Upstarters
@cindygallop What is one of the best questions you've ever been asked?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@bentossell The best question I haven't yet been asked is, 'Would you like $2million dollars to fund scaling http://makelovenotporn.com/?' :) In the absence of that one, it's difficult to highlight one more than others - will have a think and come back to you later if that's OK.
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@bentossell I've been giving this a lot of serious consideration, and I think it comes down to the wire between, 'Can I buy you another martini?' and (from someone where the feeling is entirely mutual on my part) 'Would you do me the signal honor of allowing me politely and respectfully to fuck your brains out?' With a leaning towards the latter. :)
Deandre Durr☀️@dredurr · Growth Hacker
This is very cliche', but what does a typical day look like for you?
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@dredurr I hate to provide a rather cliched answer :) but there is no typical day. I spend a lot of every day on my laptop (not least because separate to inbox shitshow, as a tiny bootstrapping startup we are all customer service), but essentially I'm hustlin' hustlin' hustlin', and that takes many forms - potential investor hunt and outreach, doing every media interview that comes my way to raise awareness, talking to potential partners, discussing each week's new video edition and theme with our brilliant MadamCurator Sarah Beall: http://www.elle.com/culture/care..., while dealing with tech glitches, admin/accounting financial/operational stuff, and doing the consultancy and paid public speaking with which I support myself. So stressful as it is, the one thing I can say about my life is that I do find it endlessly interesting and I am never, ever bored. Not least because I am fond of saying that every situation in life and work can be summed up by a quote from 'Macbeth' and the one that applies to what I do most often is, 'Each new morn some fresh horror brings.' :)
Geoff Hardcastle@geoffhardcastle · Follow Me | Entrepreneur | Miami
@cindygallop Thank you
Cindy Gallop@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@geoffhardcastle Thank you so much Geoff! My team and I fight a battle every single day: http://www.fastcompany.com/30296... http://www.thedailybeast.com/art... and it's kind words from people like you and our amazing community that keep us going. #sextech #startupstress