Dr.JudgyBitch and a million of her closest friends head back to school

4 Sep

After blogging for a little over ten months, yesterday judgybitch.com hit the one million page views milestone!
champagne

Yay! We started off with quite a few haters who spent oodles of time crafting lengthy screeds explaining why I am a complete idiot and detailing how I should be raped and then murdered, invariably with appalling grammar and sentence structure.

F

Ah, there is nothing quite like the pleasure of hitting “delete” on a 5000 word hate comment. The cyber equivalent of “fuck off”.

Owing to diligent moderation and pretty much zero tolerance for trolls, we now have a core group of readers who are either interested in learning about our ideas, or interested in contributing their own experiences and observations, and I must say, this blog gives me more pleasure than I ever would have anticipated.

So thank you, dear readers. Both Pixie and I are humbled and gratified by your presence, thoughts and support.

phd

Now, having said that, life is about to undergo a very large change that I am just beginning to grasp the ramifications of. My PhD is officially underway, and I have taken the first baby steps towards organizing my lit review, which I expect will take up the better part of the next six months.

A lit review involves reading all of the published research surrounding a particular topic so that A) I understand the topic; and B) I can spot the gaps in both knowledge and theory that need to be filled in.

My topic is Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with a sub-focus that crosses both strategy and finance. In order to earn a doctorate, I am required to conduct research that addresses an actual, real world problem, AND I am required to contribute in some way to the theory that informs my subject matter. Most doctorates go off the rails because they do one thing and not the other, and both requirements must be satisfied in order to be awarded the degree.

ticker

I feel confident that I have chosen my topic well, and that I will indeed fulfill both requirements. The real world problem that I am addressing is fairly straightforward: how can investors, especially venture capitalists, accurately value pre-IPO biotechnology companies? Venture capitalists are always looking for opportunities to invest in companies BEFORE they go public or get acquired by a larger organization, because that’s how you reap the big rewards.

But how do they know which companies are the ones that will succeed?

heart

I’m focusing on two variables that affect how companies are valued at the nascent stage: one has to do with whether or not any given company is part of an established cluster. Should companies working outside established clusters automatically disqualify as objects of interest to investors? Minneapolis, for example, has a biotechnology cluster concentrated on cardiovascular technologies and diagnostics. There is no question that working inside a cluster has measurable, quantifiable benefits, but does that mean investors should ignore companies in Wisconsin who are also developing cardiovascular biotechnologies?

Current literature says yes. The risk profile for companies outside clusters is too high.

I’m going to test what impact distance from an established cluster has on biotechnology companies ultimately securing the capital to go public.

That variable contributes to BOTH knowledge and theory, but just to be certain, I’m going one further, and testing out an analytical technique called a proportional hazards regression that uses one variable as a hazard against which all other variables are tested. At the moment, most variables are analyzed using standard logistics regression, but there is a well-known problem with those regressions, which tend to overstate prevalence ratios. That problem disappears when one variable is singled out as a hazard. Of course, the technique will only work when one of the variables CAN be singled out as a hazard, but in entrepreneurship literature it’s common to have an easily identifiable hazard.

cox

I didn’t come up with the technique myself, of course. I have borrowed from the field of epidemiology, which is almost always concerned with some sort of hazard, and thus prefers the proportional hazards regression, also called a Cox regression.

My goal is to have the technique accepted as a standard analytical methodology in business research, too. That’s my real contribution to theory.

It begins with surveying the literature on clusters, the value relevance of non-financial information for pre-IPO companies and the efficacy of the biotechnology sector in attracting venture capital.

coma

Are we all in a coma yet?

The reason I am telling you all this is that my priorities have shifted. Obviously, taking care of my family and home is the first thing on my list, but the blog has now been bumped down to third place after the PhD. What that means, I have yet to fully understand. At the moment, I expect to be able to keep up my posting schedule, but if a few days go by without any new ranting from me, you can safely assume that I have a school related deadline that has occupied my attention.

I’d like to take a few minutes here to tell you the story of how this blog came about.

letter

After Pixie’s son was born with a very serious, life-threatening medical condition five years ago, I took up the habit of writing her regular letters, which kept her company during long hospital vigils, the outcome of which was almost always unknown. I wanted the letters to be a way for her to physically feel how very much I loved her and cared for her and LittleBear and Mr.PPP, and mostly, I wanted to give her something that was light-hearted and uplifting and to offer a respite from the terror of not knowing if her baby was going to survive the latest round of operations.

Pixie and I came to be full time mothers on very different pathways. My choice was deliberate and I never, ever doubted that I would raise my own children with their father in the bonds of marriage. I set up my life to realize that goal, including the eventual transition back to the workforce, which I am now beginning. Pixie had full time motherhood thrust upon her by her son’s medical issues. She gave up a promising career as a visual artist and documentary short film maker (there’s actually lots of money to be made in short films for corporations, schools, organizations, etc) when her son was born. It is pure speculation to think about what she would have done had LittleBear been born perfectly healthy – she may have given up that career anyways, but life offered her no real opportunity to test that commitment.

We both felt the sting of becoming “invisible” and being sneered at by other women for our foolishness in depending upon men and motherhood to validate our lives and provide our incomes. It wasn’t long before our letters evolved from discussions of Jennifer Aniston’s weight to serious critiques of feminism and the expectation that we sacrifice our most cherished desires on the altar of cash flow. And because we both have sons, we took a keen interest in what the future looks like for them.

sons

Over the course of years, we honed our observations and shared our fears and anger with one another, until one day last October, we skyped and Pixie looked as shell-shocked as I have ever seen her.

LittleBear was dying.

Gangrene had set in to an abdominal wound and the medical team had gently suggested that Pixie and her husband prepare for the worst. All they could do was wait. And there is nothing worse than that feeling of utter helplessness, while you cradle your baby and wait.

I desperately wanted to distract Pixie from the waiting.

I know! Let’s write a blog! We’ll call it JudgyBitch!

Sitting beside her son’s bed in the pediatric ICU, Pixie created the website you see and we brainstormed the content. Every day, she sends me articles and suggestions for what to write and even though we don’t agree on everything, we both agree that the perspective JudgyBitch offers is one sorely missing from the cultural conversation.

And one million other people seem to agree.

Pixie may not appear to be hugely involved in the blog, but she very much IS. She is a sounding board, an editor, a confidante, and most importantly, a dearly loved friend whom I respect and admire.

LittleBear survived the gangrene, and is now the picture of blooming health. His condition can still erupt into life-threatening at any moment, and he has many more surgeries and procedures ahead of him, but for the moment, the sun is shining and he is safe.

This has been quite an incredible journey for us, and I am so pleased to have been able to share it with so many other people. So many people on the blog feel like friends. People I have known for such a long time.

Thank you.

Here’s to the future! Dr. JudgyBitch and her five million friends!

Five million?

Hell. Why stop there?

We want to speak to everyone in the whole world. Even the ones who hate us. Darth Vader turned from the Dark Side eventually, so there’s hope even for feminists, right?

darth

Hope springs eternal. What other choices are there?

Lots of love,

JB

43 Responses to “Dr.JudgyBitch and a million of her closest friends head back to school”

  1. Marlo Rocci September 4, 2013 at 15:37 #

    Luke had a much easier time converting Darth from the Dark Side than you will have converting any feminist. You don’t know the power of the massive sense of entitlement. The hate really does flow through them.

    Like

  2. Peregrine John September 4, 2013 at 15:41 #

    Congratulations, and well done! This blog does present a point of view sadly missing from the general cultural conversation, and is dang funny on top of it. Happy to be a little part of your success story, and a daily fan.

    Like

  3. Korhomme (@Korhomme) September 4, 2013 at 15:51 #

    I am not in a coma.

    Kudos to you, and good luck with the PhD.

    I’d offer any help, but I can only proof-read, not a skill you need.

    Like

  4. Cut September 4, 2013 at 15:56 #

    But I must say, after reading this post and others here the force is very much with JudgyBitch and Pixie.

    Like

  5. Joel Daniels September 4, 2013 at 16:06 #

    Shouldn’t that be “altar” of cash flow?? Love your blog!

    Like

  6. manfredkintop September 4, 2013 at 16:09 #

    Congrats JB! I’ve become a daily reader since I found this blog a few months back. Good luck on your PhD. and looking forward to 10 million!

    Like

  7. Feminism Is A Lie September 4, 2013 at 16:25 #

    Congratulations and thank you for this blog, JB. I had been fighting feminist ideas internally, but until I came to your blog, it was quite half-assed. Your writing really resonated with a lot of my feelings towards current cultural trends and finally gave me the push I needed to basically tell feminism to fuck off. Good luck with your PhD.

    Like

  8. judgybitch September 4, 2013 at 16:27 #

    Ha!

    Yep!

    It should be.

    Like

  9. JS September 4, 2013 at 16:42 #

    JB- I love your blog and as a woman- I see your truths daily. I also like the no nonsense way that you tell it like it is- God knows women need to hear it. I wish you the best in your PhD- although I’m sort of surprised, I was thinking that you might somehow find a way to link some of the topics that you discuss here into your thesis some way- but I digress.
    I know you will be busy, but please keep the dialog open, and hopefully more feminist mouths, shut 🙂

    Like

  10. Liz September 4, 2013 at 17:43 #

    That’s awesome, JB! Congrats to you and PPP. 🙂

    Your blog is amazing. Good luck in that PhD endeavor. Not for me. Already have three bachelors (two stem fields and a healthcare one) and a masters and I won’t go to school no more no more. 😛

    Like

  11. Wallace Black September 4, 2013 at 17:44 #

    I’m a PhD dropout. I hope you have better luck than I do!

    Like

  12. acantholycosa September 4, 2013 at 18:04 #

    I’d never sneer at someone for choosing to be a wife and mother. I just sneer when they insist I should be the same as them when my brain wiring is rather different. We’re all different and that is OK.

    I am glad her cub is feeling better though. I’m sorry Pixie went through all of that.

    Like

  13. acantholycosa September 4, 2013 at 18:05 #

    Good luck with your PHd.

    I still do not dig alpha dudes. They will run in fear from my literal collection of live spiders.

    Like

  14. LostSailor September 4, 2013 at 18:07 #

    Congrats, JB. And good luck on the whole “doctor” thing.

    so there’s hope even for feminists, right?

    Theoretically. But theoretically rainbow unicorns will soon fly out of my butt. I wouldn’t necessarily count on either…

    Like

  15. Doc September 4, 2013 at 18:17 #

    “Entrepreneurship and Innovation”

    Excellent areas of concentration – both are particularly interesting. There are a lot of books particularly on “innovation” – and various “game changers” that always surprise people who weren’t up to date on some of the latest innovations. It’s amazing how many people cannot see the forest for all of the trees.

    But all of that is tripe… I learned long ago that family comes first. Told that to a company that had other ideas before I left to start my own company long ago and never looked back. There are always two ways to look at life – either as an opportunity for growth and learning, or as a victim. It seems to be a mindset that if you only see opportunity, it’s hard to understand those who would rather stew, than move forward. I’ve learned a lot over the years – never failed, only succeeded in ways that I hadn’t planned on. 🙂

    Congratulations on the 1 million views mark…

    Like

  16. Jennifer September 4, 2013 at 18:46 #

    Good luck with the PhD. And here’s to Little Bear’s continued health.

    Like

  17. Ciaran September 4, 2013 at 20:06 #

    Congratulations on being a Mega(One Million)star, I have enjoyed your style of writing and agree with the vast majority of the content. I read often and regularly,reaching one million readers is proof that cream rises to the top. Good Luck with the PHD, wish you and yours all the best and ultimate success.

    Like

  18. Tunga September 4, 2013 at 20:06 #

    First let me say, as a reader for a few months now, I’ve loved the work you both put into this blog. I think the PhD has a fantastic basis and wish you all the best with it, I totally support it!

    The first half of the post, immediately got me thinking, or rather speculating. Please forgive me if I misunderstood the focus but from what I gathered you aren’t researching whether biotech companies outside of clusters fail at their research, but at their failure by comparison to companies within the cluster to attract venture capital. (Yes I know a shortage of funding increases the likelihood that the startup will outright fail)

    Within my mind, I immediately saw parallels with the book/film Moneyball. If you get the chance to watch that film (a beautifully written drama that just happens to be set in the world of baseball) I think you may find it helpful in that it deals with a similar problem, plus of course Brad Pitt.

    Here is the heart of my speculation. Companies within the cluster rub shoulders, the employees see and hear what’s going on in other companies, it’s easy for companies to see what their competitors are doing and adopt best practices from their competitors. Essentially there would end up being more similarities between companies. Like a clique of kids in highschool, have more in common, and behave more like each other, than do the students outside the clique. Comparing a similar student outside the clique there will of course be similarities but there will also be differences that mark them and underline that they are outside the clique.

    I think much the same happens at the corporate scale, a company separated by physical distance isn’t going to have the same opportunities to mix with the clustered companies and employees. Being limited to conferences and seminars. We are all primed since early childhood to look for differences, even to subconsciously shun those who fall outside the group. I think a venture capitalist with any prior experience with biotech companies will thus feel, even unknowingly, that a company that deviates from the cultural norms of the cluster seems different. It could be objectively just as good as a clustered competitor but I think the bias created by being different will make that outlier seem to be a greater risk than a company that even intangibly has more in common with a past performer. It’s past performance bias.

    Just my thoughts and if any of that proves at all helpful, please have it and use it with my compliments.

    Like

  19. princesspixiepointless September 4, 2013 at 20:13 #

    Thank you! We’ve had 6 weeks out of hospital and Little Bear gets to start school tmrw with the rest of the normals!! Woop woop!

    Like

  20. Jennifer September 4, 2013 at 20:39 #

    That is fantastic!

    Like

  21. CleverGuy September 4, 2013 at 22:12 #

    Cocks regression? What feminism is all about!

    Like

  22. feeriker September 4, 2013 at 22:35 #

    Best of luck to you in your doctorate quest, JB. You’re a better person for doing so than I am (my alma mater bombards me with “c’mon and get your Master in 12 months” emails all the time, two decades after earning my Bachelor’s Degree. Thanks, but NO THANKS). Your dissertation topic is fascinating; hopefully you’ll make it available to inquiring minds once you publish it!

    Like

  23. Exfernal September 4, 2013 at 23:18 #

    Hmm, if one can plot Allen curve for people, then is there a similar concept for corporate entities?

    Like

  24. judgybitch September 4, 2013 at 23:33 #

    Communications technologies have changed so much. I wonder if the Allen curve would hold if the engineers all had Facetime and used it frequently?

    Like

  25. David Sutton September 4, 2013 at 23:41 #

    Me too! I quit because, at the time, I was teaching full time, and coaching football (high school). I gave up the study because I thought, what on earth does a football coach need with a PHD?

    Lots of luck on your journey into the rarified air of the study of doctors.

    Like

  26. Exfernal September 5, 2013 at 00:10 #

    With such titles as “Betweenness centrality as a driver of preferential attachment in the evolution of research collaboration networks” in the relevant literature there is little chance that a layperson like me could make a useful contribution.

    Like

  27. Goober September 5, 2013 at 00:18 #

    Those that read this blog regularly know that I’ve been given reason to ponder on some things associated with life and death recently.

    One of the darker ponders that I pondered during the last week was to wonder which would be the more difficult to bear: the slow decline and eventual death of your sick child over a number of hard-fought years, or the shockingly quick, nearly instantaneous death of your to-date perfectly healthy child via an insidious, aggressive bastard of a disease.

    The ramifications of that ponder have yet to be fully considered, due to the timely intervention of a bottle of highland single malt.

    I’m so glad that PrincessPixie hasn’t had to find out.

    Here’s to hoping she never does. Tell LittleBear that a guy he doesn’t even know, who lives on the other side of the world, is pulling hard for him. Fight like hell, little buddy.

    Like

  28. ProdigalSon September 5, 2013 at 00:31 #

    Congratulations on the millions of views! I found your blog about six months ago and have been a semi-regular reader since then. Good luck on the doctorate.

    Like

  29. Liz September 5, 2013 at 00:54 #

    Hurray!
    So happy for you PPP
    Sorry your family had to endure that. 😦

    Like

  30. Exfernal September 5, 2013 at 01:34 #

    A lot of “ifs” in the literature and too little of actual, empirical studies done. A query with “knowledge transfer” and “Allen curve” in Scholar has 10 items returned, only 3 more recent than FaceTime.

    It’s relatively easy to mentor someone else by a videocall if it’s a fungible skill or trivial knowledge. However, you wouldn’t train a surgeon that way, right?

    Like

  31. Exfernal September 5, 2013 at 01:44 #

    Heuristics in general are notoriously difficult to convey.

    Like

  32. Anon Ymus September 5, 2013 at 01:59 #

    Regardless of JB’s views about religion, I will pray for LittleBear. Good luck on your doctorate, JB!

    Like

  33. Goober September 5, 2013 at 02:07 #

    Oh, and one more thing. You didn’t become “invisible”.

    Your kids and your husbands see you every day. You aren’t invisible to them. To them, you are necessary; the furthest thing from invisible any person could ever be.

    Fuck everyone else. They don’t matter nearly as much as you give them credit for smattering.

    Like

  34. Paul Murray September 5, 2013 at 04:21 #

    Treating scientific innovation using ideas from epidemiology has an interesting resonance with Dawkin’s idea of a “meme”. “Distance”, however, is problematic when it comes to ideas.

    Like

  35. RS September 5, 2013 at 05:10 #

    So glad to hear that!

    My brother was in and out of the hospital when we were kids and my mom was told (twice) that he wouldn’t make it. He’s now 46 and ornery as ever– and healthy.

    Best wishes for your son and family.

    Like

  36. RS September 5, 2013 at 05:15 #

    Your kids and your husbands see you every day. You aren’t invisible to them. To them, you are necessary; the furthest thing from invisible any person could ever be.

    That’s beautiful Goober. And one of the reasons you’re one of my favorite commenters here.

    Like

  37. Eve September 5, 2013 at 05:18 #

    Hi all the way from Asia, JB! I stumbled upon your blog since last week and have been ploughing through each and every article, and I have to say I REALLY enjoy what you write! It’s refreshing and delightful and you tell it like it is, backed up with a lot of research and facts (an instant win with me as I’m a researcher myself). And also, we share the same type of humour (and bitchiness haha). The things that you talk about here are the things I always discuss with my girlfriends. It’s rare to meet women like you imo. I wonder what’s your MBTI type? haha.

    Good luck with your PhD, as well as balancing all your other commitments. Keep on writing if you do have the time, will keep coming back to read your blog 😀

    Like

  38. Ron R. September 5, 2013 at 06:19 #

    Hey JB,

    Congrats on 1M and going back for your PhD, very cool. A couple of comments, thank you for bring some very thought provoking writing to the world wide wasteland, a fresh voice and perspective is always a welcome thing.

    Many times in reading I just want to scream at the ignorance and narrow minded view points of some of the writers you expose. The sad part is that a vast majority of American think that way. Being one myself, but having lived overseas for the vast majority of my life (I do have my US home on Cape Cod), i am amazed at how uptight most American are, the things you write about I never see for the most part in Europe or Africa. Items such as Rape Culture, Bullying, FemmaNazi’s, Political correctness of most forms, terrorist paranoia, etc. America needs to pull the stick out of its collective ass and lighten up and figure some things out the Europe in as they say ‘the post christianity period” have known for a long time, that Sex is fun and healthy, not something to lock in a closet, that dressing well is not a crime, that being obese is, that caring about your food and non GMO, etc is good, overly processed crab is bad, that everyone is responsible for their own actions, so it you get drunk and have sex, tough luck, stay sober next time, it is not rape. That tits on the beach are just that, nothing to be ashamed of or to trip over you tongue for.

    My list could go on over what is wrong in America today, but I will save everyone from my rant. Lets just close by saying good luck, and from a fellow PhD holder and executive that has helped VC firms evaluate potential investments give me a shout if you have questions, I can give you some insight on how it works out side of the states in the Tech industry.

    best
    Ron

    Like

  39. princesspixiepointless September 5, 2013 at 10:36 #

    Goober,

    Thank you.

    I will let him know.

    I just dropped him off at school, I had to holler him back to give me a kiss goodbye, he was so excited.

    As for your dark pondering, on Saturday the 14th we our going to the annual conker fighting tournament to raise money/support for
    bereaved families. Mr.PPP’s best mate from school Army Guy had a little boy the same time we had Little Bear. When he was 18 months old,
    a woman who had decided to commit suicide with sleeping pills and alcohol suddenly changed her mind, got into her range rover and then
    drove into the school’s playground as the children were going into school. Army Guys little Dude was crushed, while chasing his older brother on
    the playground.

    A few weeks later, while we were in hospital for a big op, the little girl *Zara, died next to us.

    Mr.PPP and I struggled. I had to hold it all together. Mr.PPP had to go to work every fucking day and deal with work bullshit. I drank at night to
    suck all the pain back. Mr.PPP punched out a client. Mr.PPP (who is mr. metrosexual guy) would start bar fights. That’s how he dealt with it.
    All I could say to him is 1.don’t get arrested 2.don’t get yourself killed 3.It’s going to be ok.

    Luckily his company was super understanding and didn’t sack him, they just gave him a massive fucking contract that he had to step up to the plate to.

    We are still at it. Fighting the good fight. Every day counts.

    Thank you Goober. lots of love. PPP

    Like

  40. JBfan September 5, 2013 at 13:28 #

    Congrats on the PhD and I wish you both all the best for the future! 🙂

    Like

  41. Liz September 5, 2013 at 14:01 #

    +1

    Like

  42. princesspixiepointless September 5, 2013 at 14:27 #

    Goober, please send my heartfelt condolences to your friend, and the loss of their child. Having given it more thought, I feel that the sudden death of a healthy child is much worse for the parents. They’ve not had years of preparation of monitoring their expectations. all the best mate. PPP

    Like

  43. feeriker September 5, 2013 at 21:34 #

    I feel that the sudden death of a healthy child is much worse for the parents. They’ve not had years of preparation of monitoring their expectations. all the best mate.

    You might be right, but may none of us ever have to find out if that’s true.

    Like

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