Here’s proof that tech entrepreneurs are the new rock stars: yesterday’s series of pitches at 500 Startups Demo Day contained a surprising preponderance of bros.I’m old and uncool, but as far as I can tell, “bros” is short for frat brothers — or people who could have been frat brothers — and it’s kind of like what we used to call “dudes,” only without the pot and hacky-sack.
Now there’s “brogramming” — bros who program.
The meme kicked off a couple months ago with some choice posts on Quora and a Brogramming group on Facebook, and was taken to new heights when writer Miles Lothe translated the Facebook terms of service into “bro speak.”
Yesterday, during Console.fm founder Alex Baldwin’s pitch, Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch pointed out his essential bro-ness in a tweet. He had the hair, the stance, and lines like “let me tell you what sucks about rocking out now.”
But Baldwin was topped a couple pitches later by Donnie Dinch from Will Call, an online service for last minute tickets. He painted a scenario where a bro was at home alone on his couch playing Angry Birds when he gets a notification that some of his friends are at Billy Elliott — “Billy Elliott, bitches.” The bro is sad because he could be out getting laid, too, if only he knew where to get tickets.
But the ultimate in broness (brotitude?) came from Manpacks, a startup that will send men underwear, condoms, and other men’s gear every few months in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. The idea is that men are too busy or uninterested in shopping to stay on the game.
- Before the collapse of the music industry, bros played in bands and talked about getting signed. Now they form startups and talk about getting funded.
- Programming used to be an elite and esoteric skill practiced by people who looked like this. Now it’s a down-and-dirty socially macho kind of profession — sort of like being an auto mechanic was in the 1970s.
By the way, their band probably would have sucked anyway. Most bands do.