An interview with Darby Maloney. Darby is a product manager and an avid TikToker who made an innocuous video about product management for her non tech friends and was all of a sudden centre stage for tech bros across TikTok and Twitter, getting criticised for being a woman in tech, for being a woman in a pool, for being a product manager and just about everything else.
We talk about a lot, including:
- How she made the move into product management from customer support, got that tricky first product management job by putting extra hours in on top of her day job, and the importance of finding good mentors to help you along the way
- The story behind that video, why she was making a video about product management with a laptop in a swimming pool in the first place, and whether she stands behind her (and her colleague's) description of product management
- The three main types of criticism she got after the video went viral, how much of that was about her being a woman, how much was about her being a product manager and the crass double standards it exposed
- The effect of the abuse on her mental & emotional state, and how she started to worry about her job and the credibility that she had to work so hard for
- How young women in general have to work extra hard, in a way that young men don't tend to have to do, to prove that they're intelligent, reliable and good at their job
- How she tried to give due credit to engineers & designers for doing the "impressive" work and it why it was disappointing to be attacked in return
- The supportive comments that she got after the hate, how much this meant to her and how some people got in touch to admit wrongdoing and that they'd changed their minds
- Whether she's going to double down on tech videos in future, and if she does whether she'll do the next ones in a serious looking room with lots of books behind her
And much more!
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The infamous swimming pool video and the rebuttals
Here's the original video that started it all off.
The swimming pool video
Darby also posted two follow up videos:
Rebuttal 1 Rebuttal 2
You can find Darby on TikTok or Instagram.
We're also trying to get her to spend more time on Twitter!