Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Heidi Roizen's Skinny Jean-ious?

When we first heard Heidi Roizen, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was launching a start-up, BoomTown was intrigued. But, after finding out it was aimed at motivating women to lose weight by listening to songs penned by Roizen herself, we did not have to be told twice to fire up the video camera for a little chat with her.

roizen

In any many ways, this drastically different career move by Roizen (pictured here)–who was most recently a partner at Mobius Venture Capital, which recently decided not to raise another fund–makes perfect sense.

VCs are always looking for entrepreneurs with passion to invest in and Roizen had a lot of passion, as it turns out, for filling a need in a potentially lucrative marketplace by penning songs herself.

The switch from investor to songwriter came, the 49-year-old Roizen said, when she wanted to lose weight and could not find decent songs to give herself a better frame of mind to shed pounds. Most of what was out there, she said, was either badly made or flat-out depressing.

So, she decided to create something very different with a whole 10-song CD called “SkinnySongs.”

That meant more upbeat ditties that Roizen–who has also been an Apple exec and a software entrepreneur–wrote, with titles like “Skinny Jeans” and, yes, “I’m a Hottie Now.”

Before all of BoomTown’s male readers run for the hills, let me say I was also dubious about the songs. But after listening to them, I found I actually liked several of them, especially because Roizen decided to use obviously top-notch producers and singers.

While she is operating out of her home in Atherton, Calif., and funding the venture herself (to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars), Roizen found producer George Daly and then well-known Nashville music producer and songwriter David Malloy to aid her in translating her lyrics into songs.

The genre of the songs ranges from hip-hop to rock to country, such as the catchy “Objects in the Mirror,” which could easily be mistaken for a boot-kicking number sung by, say, Reba McEntire (whom Malloy has worked with).

Now, it will be like most start-ups–about getting your product used by consumers. In this case, that would be women struggling to stay fit as they get older, like Roizen herself, which she thinks is a big market.

While the CD costs about $15 on Amazon and can also be downloaded on iTunes, Roizen hopes to branch out with the concept if it catches on.

You can listen to the music or read the lyrics here.

And here’s a video chat with Roizen at her home about “SkinnySongs” and also the VC business:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus