Successful Female Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs

Posted by on September 8, 2009 in Social Networking, Web 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

It’s always been a slightly antagonistic cocktail party trick of mine to get a conversation going about a well-known business or technology that I know for a fact is founded by a female entrepreneur and see if the person I’m discussing this topic with also knows this. You’d be surprised how often I wear a smug smirk on my face when their eyes betray them and they backpedal regarding their misconception.

Since, it’s quite a feat to become an entrepreneur in today’s landscape of financial success, people go right back to the glass ceiling conception about businesses. The uphill battle to make a profit out of a start-up has always been perceived as a boy’s club, but there have been exceptions of women breaking through this glass ceiling and planting a flag for female entrepreneurship. Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Debbi Fields are just a few names synonymous with women and successful businesses. These are, of course, classic examples and might not have the same relevance when you look at today’s business landscape. Can women be entrepreneurs in the world of developing technology and Web 2.0? The answer is still, “yes.”

I’ve mentioned a few times that innovation has replaced imitation in today’s internet landscape. I’m amazed when it’s a shock to anyone I talk to that one of the big Web 2.0 innovations that’s making waves was created by a woman. Currently the following are some of my favorites to point out:

Caterina Fake – formerly founded www.Flickr.com. Currently is responsible for www.Hunch.com which is a site that helps users make better decisions.

Eileen Gittins – responsible for www.Blurb.com which helps users publish their own photo books, cookbooks, and portfolios.

Elaine Wherry and Sandy Jen – responsible for www.Meebo.com which connects multiple instant messaging platforms in one interface.

Gina Bianchini – responsible for www.Ning.com which enables users to create their own social networks.

These are my four favorites because these are four of the more innovative uses of the internet’s current abilities to reach and aid the public in using available technology to its fullest extent. I have to give these ladies credit for not only seeing an opening for a great idea and going for it, but having the foresight to make that idea lasting and successful in this current landscape that has the pitfalls of a rocky financial climate. If nothing else, I also have to congratulate them for making cocktail parties even more fun for me.


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