I know, it takes a while to sink in. And once it did, I had a raft of questions.
So Entrepreneur Barbie is on LinkedIn. Is Daffy Duck next?
I could not find Daffy Duck on LinkedIn, but there doesn't seem to be any reason he can't join. The Entrepreneur Barbie page is technically a "showcase" page, which allows companies to highlight a particular product or service. (Microsoft has a showcase page for Xbox, for example, so people who follow that page will find out all about Xbox but won't be bothered with updates about the next Microsoft O.S.) So now Mattel has one for Entrepreneur Barbie.
What, no redirect page?
Here's the thing: The 11.5" high plastic doll happens to have the same first and last name as Barbara Roberts, who is, in fact, a very successful serial entrepreneur. She started FPG Images, a stock photography house purchased by Getty, and Acoustiguide, the museum tour company. She’s also an advisor to the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center of Columbia University. How about a shout-out, Mattel?
Does Barbie have venture backing? Or is her company bootstrapped?
Probably bootstrapped. Barbie describes her company as a "Dream Incubator," where she acts as a consultant. That doesn’t sound like a scalable business. And it's hard to see the exit strategy. Plus, her other eight staffers are all signed on as Chief Inspiration Officers. Those are not exactly the jobs VCs look to fill first.
Is Barbie on Crunchbase?
As a woman entrepreneur, does she have 8(m) certification?
If so, she doesn’t mention it on her LinkedIn page, although it seems her company would qualify. Barbie's eight employees are all women, so even if she's already given out a whack of stock and options, the company is probably still officially woman-owned.
The trouble is more likely to come from any funding Barbie might have received. Even though "Dream Incubator" doesn't seem like a business that would need a lot of start-up capital, Barbie is a clothes horse and tends to collect cars and real estate. Plus, she's run for President five times, and that's not exactly cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if Barbie got some generous seed funding from Mattel, and over time, that could be a problem. She needs to keep the company 51 percent women-owned to hold onto 8(m) certification.
Is Barbie really going to eat Ramen noodles and sleep under her desk?
Not in that dress and heels, but then again, she doesn't seem to be running a Silicon Valley tech startup. And isn't sleeping under your desk over-rated, anyway?
Can I try a pink border on my resume, too?
Well, do you really want a job, or are you an entrepreneur? Maybe Entrepreneur Barbie figures she's never going to have a corporate job again anyway. If you'd agree, why not deck the thing out in pink?