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Speaking on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Lacy said Chairman Mom is the product of several side projects aimed at working mothers, including a new book called “The Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug.”
“Everything I was doing around working mothers was growing so fast — and growing faster than Pando ever did, frankly — and was making me much happier, and was providing a lot of value in women’s lives,” she said. “It just kept exploding and running away with me. And I just got to the place where I’m like, ‘That needs to be where I’m putting my time.’”
“So then what happens to Pando?” Kafka asked. “If you’re doing company No. 2, what happens to company No. 1?
“For now, Pando is still doing its thing,” she said.
Lacy said her life “would be easier” if she could “sunset Pando and move on,” but that she owes it to her investors and employees to try and make both companies work.
“I feel like everyone who has come through and worked for that publication, the community that has supported us when, frankly, most of the tech world didn’t — I feel like those people have invested as much of their blood, sweat and tears in this brand and what it stands for as I have,” she said. “It is really a deep, weird, emotional connection.”
Asked whether the company might pivot into a different business or close down several months in the future, Lacy said, “I don’t know! We’ll see.” Her Pando co-founder and boyfriend Paul Carr (who is also a co-founder of Chairman Mom) has been taking over some of the administrative duties she once did, “making sure the bills get paid.”
But she’s also continuing to write for Pando, and said she wants to keep doing both sites “as long as I can.”
“I’ve been a journalist my whole career, and that part of my life is difficult to let go of,” she said. “In some ways, the two companies are complementary. Certainly, one of Pando’s biggest stories over the last couple years has been bro culture, and a lot of issues around sexual harassment and discrimination.”
“Pando is also 85 percent male audience,” Lacy added. “Chairman Mom will have a female-heavy audience. So, in some ways, if you want to impact change, it’s nice to have both of those outlets: A community where moms can help each other, and an aggressive journalism site where you can tell people and expose things that are happening.”
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