Why Emily White's new start-up proves that you can build the role you want

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napchat’s former Chief Operations Officer Emily White had reportedly founded a new start-up.  ‘Mave’ will offer users high-end concierge services for busy families, described by a source to Fortune as taking up the ‘chief of staff for your household’. For now, the website is a simple landing page with a sign-up list for interested parties, although it currently describes itself as in the  invite-only beta stage and White has declined to comment, saying it would be “premature” to do so. 

The launch of Mave however gives White the chance in the executive’s chair she has always aimed for. Snapchat is just five years old yet is responsible for 400 million snaps sent every day and White has always been vocal about her desire to have a solid leadership role in a growing company; but she wasn’t going to achieve this at Snapchat. CEO Evan Spiegel preferred a hands-on method to his role and wanted to be extensively involved in the operations of the app, leaving little room for White to go above and beyond. What’s more, Snapchat’s business model is still unclear, as it recently turned down a $3bn bid from Facebook and continues to operate with sporadic advertising. Mave however, can be molded however White sees fits with a fresh perspective after leaving her role as COO at Snapchat, in March 2015.

White is well regarded in Silicon Valley, known for embracing a challenges so her new venture is no surprise in the tech community. At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in October 2013, White recalled how she was advised to “hold off any big changes” after just having had her first child, yet arguably ignored it in moving from Facebook to Instagram as director of business operations in March 2014.  Her reputation goes beyond the roles she holds however. As a member of the board of yoga and running retailer Lululemon, Pinterst reportedly previously coveted her for a role, in order to capitalise on White's connection to a million-dollar brand. 

How Mave will operate is still unclear, as the landing page just hints at a personal household and errands service. What is encouraging however is how a female-led start up could tackle the issue of ‘having it all’ in the same way Uber has capitalised on the exclusivity of personally allocated drivers; taking something essential and in-demand and offering a personalised service. White sets an example for others in having the confidence to move out of a role, with the knowledge that her current role couldn't offer her what she wanted. By building her own role, she's not only accommodated to herself but potentially started another tech company that could be as successful as her previous employers; all because she strove for more.

Business & Career

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