Author: Annie Tsai

Nothing… nothing ever happens the way you expect it to. It’s a good thing, I think.

This post is personal.

This has been a doozy of a week. I found out I was pregnant on Monday. Sunday night really. It was juuuust a bit of a surprise. The first thing that came to mind was “oh shit. I’m going to be raising capital for Edio when I’m nine months pregnant.”

In retrospect it was kind of hilarious actually for that thought to be the first thing you think of, but also terrifying, because I’ve never seen or heard of or known a female entrepreneur that has successfully gone out to raise capital, an early round at that, when she’s about to pop out a baby. The only known instance of a seriously pregnant woman in the business spotlight that I can even recall is when Marisa Mayer got the Yahoo job and was 7 mos pregnant. Maybe that was a good thing because it has happened before and never made the news. Or maybe it is horrifyingly bad because it has happened and they just have never gotten funded and no one likes to talk about it.

So anyway, by Wednesday I’m coming to terms with the fact that life is life and there is never a good time to do anything – there’s only what you are put on this earth to do. So great… I’m going to start a company with my brilliant friend and go out pitching like a pregnant boss. 

And by Friday, today, this morning actually, it looks like little zygote was not interested in sticking around for that journey.

Yes, I’m sad. Devastated. But really, I’m also kind of pissed off.

(This is about the time when you, reader, stop feeling any sympathy for me because I get a little selfish.)

Tactically, the week has been a bear. I quit coffee and wine in an instant and negotiated my way around third and fifth graders in observations the first half of the week. Of course now that I was pregnant I HAD to eat like an angel and decidedly cut out most simple carbs, which anyone who has done this can tell you is fucking horrible. Then I pitched to some VCs and had several other feedback & exploration meetings, one of which was an hour after the doctors appointment which confirmed my miscarriage. Why didn’t I move my meetings, you ask? Well, you just don’t do that. 

Sure I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing, but life did feel a little unfair at that point. But, like I said before. Life is life, and if this was how it was meant to be, then this is the challenge that I meant to have. 

Why, you ask, am I sharing this very personal part of my life on a very public content platform? This is it. Life is life, and it is messy. That’s okay. We shouldn’t have to pretend that we are perfect beings in any context of our lives. Because all of these facets of ourselves will intermingle with each other whether we like it or not. What we experience at home affects how we show up at work and vice versa, no matter how hard we try to hide it. And if you fight that, then you aren’t being true to yourself and aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to be your best and truest self. 

I am very excited and thankful to have had the opportunity to feel the feeling of creation from within. My son B is now almost 4 so I had forgotten that amazing feeling. And I’m so excited about the idea of adding to our family. So when that time comes, it’s going to be a doozy of a year. No questions about that. And while I guess now I don’t need to drink coffee anymore, I am definitely ready for that glass of wine. Cheers to love and life and creating. 

Gender Diversity Is Not Just a Publicity Game

This post was first published on the DoubleDutch blog.

2015 may very well be known in tech as the year that software companies got serious about gender diversity. Well known tech companies like AirBNB, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tribridge, and many others have “come out” in 2015 and published their gender and sometimes ethnic diversity numbers, often times with targets for 2016. While I appreciate the transparency in the industry for recognizing the value of diversity to build healthy, growing businesses, I do think that it’s more than just a numbers game. (more…)

The Great Forgotten Art of Editing

This is another story about my 2 year old son. Since I spend nearly every non-sleeping (although we do often spend this time together now – don’t get me started) and non-working minute of the day with him, I often find myself thinking about what are the “things” – the skills, the stepping stones, the life lessons – that will get him from where he is now to where I am (as a mostly functioning adult). As an extension of this, I think a lot about why I am the way that I am, and what could have been different about me today if those “things” were different. One of those “things” that I’m so thankful to have learned early and worked with throughout my life as a working professional is the art of editing. (more…)

Your Mentors Are Everywhere – Don’t Miss the Learning Moments

I was at the WITI Conference (Women in Technology Summit) earlier this week and I appreciated the emphasis on being proactive about identifying and reaching out to potential mentors. I also really liked the callout at a conference sponsored by a women’s professional association that mentors can be men and women. As I look at my mentor roster history (mom, dad, sister, boss, peer, boss, boss, CEO, team member, peer) half of them have been men. And I’m grateful for that, because it’s important to be able to leverage your mentors as sounding boards to obtain alternative perspectives. Whether we like it or not, gender probably influences your perspective – and that nuance counts when you’re looking for feedback. (more…)

My Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary,

I’ve been thinking about writing this letter for the better part of the last decade, but honestly never got around to it. So there I was, driving to work this morning and finding myself committing to putting my thoughts down for you today.

I know that you know the road to winning the presidential seat is not going to be an easy one, and I also know that you know that you will be faced with more criticism than you will know what to do with. So in light of that, I thought maybe you could use a little bit of a pep talk – so I could thank you for all the pep talks you’ve given me along my journey. (more…)