Shakeups at the Startup

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The culture at a startup company has become a common image for contemporary audiences as an ideal work environment, particularly in light of shows such as Silicon Valley. The intricacies of navigating these often incestuous waters is explored in Doree Shafrir’s Startup.

TakeOff app creator Mack McAllister is trying to secure further funding for the app to help develop and present the next version of the app that helps to gauge the user’s emotions and mindfulness. Adding to the stress of securing an investment before running out of money, Mack’s casual hook-ups with coworker Isabel have been taking a front seat in his mind as Isabel’s interest seems to be declining. After attending a tech scene party, reporter Katya Pasternack is with her boss’s wife, Sabrina, who also happens to work at TakeOff, when they see some compromising messages come in on Isabel’s abandoned phone. Katya has a choice to out Mack in a sexual scandal and further her career after seeing the messages on Isabel’s phone, but her hand is forced when audio proof of the incident is shared on Twitter by an unknown tech handle, causing the dominoes of the situation to rapidly fall.

While the story was light entertainment and a decent look behind the scenes of the tech world, I thought that the narrative ends right as a more interesting story started. Instead of following the events that led to three women becoming disenfranchised or disillusioned by the male dominated tech world, it would be more intriguing to follow what these women do after the fallout of their actions to make changes to the already entrenched industry. I also wasn’t sold on how the thread with the unknown Twitter account was handled with a middle aged white man masqueraded as the outlet for a marginalized voice in the industry when there were other marginalized characters present in the narrative.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

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