Since hitting bookstores, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has inspired a national conversation about gender and work. There’s some evidence it’s already having an impact, offering women a great excuse to play hardball in salary talks.
Now comes the inevitable commercial spin-off. The New York Times reports that the technology used to organize and maintain those controversial “Lean In” circles is now available for brands, corporations and their ilk. Starting this summer, users will be able to pony up for features like data analytics.
The software was created by Mightybell, a new startup from Lean In Foundation cofounder and former Ning CEO Gina Bianchini. She explained the tech to the Times: “What if an influencer, or a brand, or an organization, could go from having passive followers to an active army? It’s like nothing that’s been offered before.” Did she mention they power Lean In circles?
It’s a little disconcerting to see all that activist energy harnessed to hawk software. But then, “Lean In” is just too great a tagline to belong only to the cause of feminists. And so Betabeat has some suggestions for potential licensing opportunities:
1. A clothing line heavy on boxy business suits.
2. A new digital currency to rival Bitcoin–but for the ladies, and therefore worth only $.77 to the dollar.
3. A sex position where the girl climbs on top and leans forward. It’s empowering and sexy!
4. This summer’s hottest haircut, that kind of bob that sort of curves forward.
5. A new fast-casual dining establishment where you have to eat messy food standing up.
6. Psy-inspired dance craze.
7. A game show hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who’ll constantly yell “LEAN IN! LEAN IN!” at contestants.
8. Special-edition Baby Bjorn.
10. A book of dating advice for lovelorn beta males, authored by a pickup artist.