Now Starring @juliejulie, as the Startup Wife

So anyway, lately I’ve been thinking about writing a book about me, me, me, since I believe I’m interesting and my life is book-worthy, plus I’m hoping Julia Roberts would play me in the movie (wearing padding, of course) because back when my kids were little I started an art studio in my basement and painted old suitcases with puff paint, and!

Besides Julia Roberts purchasing a craft I made in my basement 9 years ago, I am also book-worthy because my husband and I founded a start up company a year and a half ago, and I’m a Startup Wife.

The company is called 401k Buddy. My husband made a web-based software tool to help people figure out asset allocation, and I found top notch advisors and a CEO to help us build the company and work for free. My title is “Convincer.”

401k Buddy is just as sexy as Julia Roberts, right?

Maybe not, but our story is. I mean, who wouldn’t like a feel-good, Oprah-Worthy story about two (married) lovers betting their entire future on helping their fellow citizens rebuild this great nation, one properly allocated 401k at a time? Even Ira Glass might want to hear about this one.

Except it doesn’t have a happy ending. Guess I’m not so convincing after all. Damn. I’ll have to fire myself. At least I won’t have to sign any non-existent checks to myself.

Alas, due to the, we can’t find anyone to give us enough funding to really get 401k Buddy going all the way, despite our great patent-pending technology and fabulous people. We used our own money for a long time, and we were close, oh-so-close, but no cigar, and now we’re broke.

So, what’s a Startup Wife to do? We’re going to start another company, of course.

Yes, we have another big idea that we’re working on, in our spare time when we’re not rewriting our resumes and begging our old bosses to take us back as “consultants” until we have enough cash in the checking account to buy enough food for the three children and two dogs who live with us. This idea is much cheaper, too, since we can do it on our own, and we won’t need a CEO to work for free, or a team of developers, or attorneys, or compliance officers for quite a while yet.

The plan is simple: as soon as we have some more rent money saved up, we will dive back into the entrepreneur’s crazy pool, at the deep end, and sink or swim. Again.

What is wrong with us, you ask? I’m not sure. Maybe you’ll find out when you read my book, and then you can tell me.

So, writing a funny book about being a Startup Wife is a great idea, don’t you think? People need humor, especially since their 401k’s And I can be funny, especially for a hefty advance from a smart publisher who appreciates my gifts. I’m serious.

And now, for all you publishers out there reading this, as part of my due diligence, I’ve made a list of pluses and minuses to consider regarding my new Startup Wife book adventure:

Plus: No competition. I can’t recall any hilarious, co-founder wives books, so there wouldn’t be much competition in this genre, right? If anyone sees a funny Startup Wife book, please let me know. I’d like to invite that author out for a drink (Dutch treat!)

Question: Why don’t we see any funny Startup books, Mr. Guy Kawasaki?

Answer:  (from me, Guy isn’t here, he’s probably hanging out with his own Startup Wife) Maybe it’s not so funny getting rejected by Venture Capitalists during the worst economic meltdown in the history of my generation, and it’s not so funny wondering if you’ve just bet your kids’ college education funds on the future sales of a 401k asset allocation tool for the masses when most of the masses don’t know what the phrase asset allocation actually means (although they should!)

I bet I could make it sound funny. 

Minus: depression hurts, my neck is killing me, I have insomnia, and my crappy self-employed insurance makes me co-pay for any Ambien or Zoloft I might like to request. Plus my doctor moved away, and who wants to go find a new doctor at a time like this just to get a prescription I probably won’t fill anyway? Not me. Plus, if I’m  awake at night worrying about my family’s future, I have way more time to write a book then if I’m just sleeping half my life away. I’m just saying.

Plus: I think insomnia should be listed under plus, not minus, for the reasons I just mentioned.

Plus: people might buy a book with 401k in the title, even though they don’t want to open their statement envelope, because they think they should, so maybe I could call the book “The 401k Startup Wife” or something super catchy.

Statement: 401k savings are still super important and if Americans run out of money, we’ll all end up in soup kitchens and I don’t think there will be enough soup. If there’s one thing I do NOT want to think about, it’s being hungry and having to fight off a homeless guy for a bowl of minestrone down at the soup kitchen.

I think I would win, for the record, since the homeless guy would not be expecting a chubby mommy talking into a high-end cell phone to be kicking him to the ground and screaming out crazy, startup vocabulary phrases like:

“We didn’t get our f***ing Seed Round even though the VC’s said they loved us 3 months ago, and said they’d give us Series A once we got a customer, which we did, by the way, but now there is nothing left in my brokerage account, which means I’m down to my woefully undervalued Intel DRIP which I to liquidate (have you SEEN Intel’s stock price lately, buddy?) so don’t you or anyone else dare talk to me about trading options to buy groceries, asshat! Just get the hell out of my way, I am HUNGRY!”

At least I don’t think they’d be expecting me in their soup line. But the homeless guy could very well be a former neighbor of mine whose house just went into foreclosure, or perhaps the VC himself, in which case, I might kick him anyway. Ladies first, after all.

[Of course I wouldn’t really kick a VC, I might need him later, since I’m a Serial Entrepreneur now. So, any former or future VC friends, no offense.]

My real question is this: do book publishers really have to see and entirely finished book before they accept you, or can I just write the first few chapters and submit? The thing is, I’m not sure how this story ends yet, since we’re in the middle of it, but something will be happening to our lives in the next few months, since we’ll run out of money shortly and, you know, I can sort of spin this story however the editors want it. And it will be hilarious, I’m sure.

Especially if they pay me a hefty advance.

Not much has changed since 1983

Not much has changed since 1983



p.s. if anyone wants to buy a kick-ass asset allocation tool, please email me at, since I’ll be keeping the email indefinitely.



13 Responses to “Now Starring @juliejulie, as the Startup Wife”

  1. 1 Jon February 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    IIRC, publishers like to see the proposal + 3 chapters or so.

    Of course, having the whole thing already written helps. 🙂 But it’s not strictly necessary. That’s what advances are all about.

  2. 2 Ivan Pope February 25, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    No, write the first three chapters. Write a great proposal. Write a synopsis. Write a resume. Write an outline. Then go pitch the book. You can pitch to publishers direct and to agents. There are some good books on this subject, buy one and read it …

  3. 3 Erin February 26, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Julie – I think what you have going is excellent. It is incredibly hard to write humor, and you have already accomplished that here. You have an honest, candid, and unvarnished voice. That will market well to the nonprofessional (like me who knows NOTHING of 401k’s). I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and await your next bit.

  4. 4 Elise Michaels February 26, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    You can absolutely do this, Miss Jules! If anyone ever had gumption, that would be you. So get to writin’!

  5. 5 Harv February 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I believe in you – go for it!!!

  6. 6 Robert K. February 27, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Hey, bummer about the funding for 401KBuddy. Hope something comes through there.

    As for viability of books… well… the book industry has been imploding of late:

    Regardless, doesn’t hurt to write up those first three chapters and shop ’em around. Go for it!

  7. 7 Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) March 1, 2009 at 3:58 am

    just found you from twitter. i’d buy your book – and your dream. but that could be because I am a Start Up Mom!

  8. 8 Stan Miller March 4, 2009 at 5:30 am

    this is a creative project. and, unfortunately artistic endeavors are guided by a lottery system. few winners, mostly losers – no matter how good the idea, or concept, or manuscript may be.

    oh many are there to sell you books. they sell you the shovels. so you can chase the gold to your dreams.

    yet, we are a nation of corporations. you practically need an army to get a growth oriented business off the ground (legal, accounting, admin, taxes, etc.).

    when evaluating a business. eliminate any enterprise based on creativity. get a job. make great relationships. indentify an unmet need in your market category. start your business.

    because of your industry experience, you already know your customers. you already know their needs.

  9. 9 michael lamb March 4, 2009 at 5:38 am

    i’m still mad at you for unfollowing me on twitter, so won’t be buying

    • 10 Julie Anderson March 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      I unfollwed you? Purely an accident, I assure you. In fact, I can’t even DM most of the people who follow me and I have no idea why. It’s a technical issue, dear Mr. Lamb, I’m sure of it. If my tech support guy would stop programming brilliant things all night, I’d get him to help me. Alas, he has no time for my Twitter Angst. Thanks for reading, and I will go find you and re-follow!

  10. 11 Debbie Diot March 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm


    I love it! What an exciting adventure- kind of like Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Nickel and Dimed, about her adventures of seeing if she could live on minimum wages in the USA. Unfortunately, she found she couldn’t. It’s a great sociological book about our times.

    But, you know how to turn this into dark humor and I firmly believe that you could turn this into a best seller, the George Orwell modern version of Down and Out in Paris and London. I would certainly buy it.

    If you ever want to consider a compilation of your contemporaries’ stories out there, I’d be happy to submit my life story. Just let me know. (hey maybe this is a good idea for Book 2- you could interview us all and turn our sad stories into hilarious pranks)

    I wish you all the best. I think you are brilliant!

  11. 12 Martin March 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    If a publisher gives you an advance, the whole premise of you running out of money goes out the window.

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