Learning to Lean In

A blog from a girl figuring out how to survive and thrive in Silicon Valley...while staying sane. 

Hello World

Hi – I’m Cindy Waters and this is my blog, “Learning to Lean In.”

Obviously my blog title was inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s excellent book but this is not a tribute to the almighty Sheryl. 

Instead, this blog is for anyone who struggles between loving Silicon Valley and wanting to put everyone in the industry on a time-out until they’ve learned how to play nicely with others. 

For the past five years, I’ve lived and breathed Silicon Valley including: 4 ½ years at the amazing OutCast Agency representing the best in tech followed by six months immersed in the chaotic world of social media marketing for big brands. Eighty percent of my downtime is spent with friends who are more inclined to talk fundraising or debate Ruby vs. Python instead of gossiping about Miley Cyrus appearing naked in a wrecking ball.   

And the past five years have been some of the happiest times of my life.

However, things changed a few months ago when I found myself “funemployed” and I set myself on the sidelines of the tech world to take a breather.  And despite the current economic climate this break has been a great thing.

No, I didn’t find myself eating, praying, and loving around the world.  Nor did I become a yoga instructor but I did write my first Python app.  And the most exotic vacation I took was to Burning Man where the most fun I had was organizing my camp (okay, fine, dancing on a giant rooster art car was a major highlight too).

So what did I do that was so great?  I read a lot. For the first time since college, I spent time thinking about the world outside the Valley for extended lengths of time.  And do you know what happens when you take a step from the Valley and slowly start integrating yourself again?

The tech world looks like the most unaware, self-absorbed teenager you’ve ever met. 

In Lean In, Ms. Sandberg encourages women to lean into their careers and go further.  However, I think men in Silicon Valley could learn a thing about leaning into things rather than bullying in because their team has the right “pedigree”.  Most of the outside world isn’t looking for massive tech disruptions everyday, they just want technology that will help them lean in further into their own lives. 

So while this blog is based on a book geared towards women, and I will talk about gender in tech, Learning to Lean In is about strategically moving forward in tech. 

Without further ado… here is my first post.