Randi Zuckerberg’s New Show Actually Makes an Effort to Showcase Minority Entrepreneurs

Photo by: Tim Brown/Oxygen

Randi Zuckerberg has had quite the business career. After graduating from Harvard University in 2003, her first job landed her at an ad agency. Shortly after, she helped build Facebook as its director of market development alongside her younger brother and company co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2011, Zuckerberg resigned from Facebook and launched social media firm Zuckerberg Media, which went on to produce shows and digital content for the Clinton Global Initiative, Cirque Du Soleil, the United Nations, Condé Nast and Bravo.

The 34-year-old Zuckerberg’s latest project is the new Oxygen docu-series “Quit Your Day Job,” where she and three other investors get pitched investment opportunities by entrepreneurs. Unlike “Shark Tank,” all of the show’s investors have to agree to invest in order for an entrepreneur to get to the next round.

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Zuckerberg told NextShark: “All of us as investors, we invest together. Instead of jockeying against one another for deals and trying to negotiate entrepreneurs, we pool all of our money and invest together as a fund, so we’re either all in or all out.

“Unlike some of the other shows on TV, our purpose is not to humiliate the entrepreneurs or make them look silly; it’s to provide them with mentorship and provide the viewers with real takeaways that they could use for their own business.”

 Photo by: Tim Brown/Oxygen

Another clear differentiator for the show is the diversity of the entrepreneurs featured on the show. On “Shark Tank,” less women pitch the investors, and when they do, they get lower valuations for their companies compared to male founders. The companies of male entrepreneurs get an average valuation of almost $1.7 million while the companies of female entrepreneurs average a $781,000 valuation. According to Zuckerberg, “Quit Your Day Job” will be different:

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Eighty percent of the people you see on screen are women. A common goal for everyone involved with the show was to inspire anyone with dreams of launching their own business, regardless of gender, race, location, or socioeconomic status. If we don’t challenge society’s idea of what an entrepreneur looks like then we risk missing out on a lot of brilliant ideas from entrepreneurs who don’t fit the traditional mold.”

Photo by: Tim Brown/Oxygen

As an investor on the show, Zuckerberg’s most important responsibility is to properly evaluate the potential of entrepreneurs’ ideas. She explained:

“You have to evaluate the overall market opportunity. How hot is the market, how ready are consumers? I really think timing is everything. Uber today is a brilliant idea, but Uber 20 years ago would not have been a brilliant idea. An excellent idea that’s too early is going to fail.

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“You have to also evaluate how ready an audience is for that product market. One of the things that I love to do now that we have great sites like Kickstarter is really challenge any entrepreneur to launch a small crowdfunding campaign to show me that there is a product market fit for their product before I’ll invest.”

Like its title implies, “Quit Your Day Job’s” aims to inspire people to quit their day jobs and pursue their dreams. However, not everyone has the luxury of simply abandoning comfort for passion. Zuckerberg had the following advice to offer:

“The first step is to try to be more entrepreneurial inside your current job. I think there’s always ways to invent a new project, take on a new role, do something that’s more creative inside your current company, just to see if you like taking the time and honing every detail of the project. If the answer is yes, and you have a great idea about something, we’re lucky we live in a world where there are so many ways to test an idea out for very cheaply.”

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On how she balances all the elements of her busy life, Zuckerberg said:

“I have a mantra that I repeat to myself in the morning when I wake up: ‘work, sleep, family, friends, fitness — pick three.’ Everyday you can pick three of those five things. You cannot pick all five in a day. Pick three and make sure it balances out in the long run.”

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