If there's one thing that's going to lose you friends in the tech community, it's being blatantly sexist. That's what Sydney-based developers David Boulton and Jethro Batts quickly figured out today, as they showed off an app at TechCrunch Disrupt based on the sole idea of "starting at tits".
The duo had a minute to pitch their idea to the TechCrunch crowd at this week's Disrupt conference, and quickly reaped the whirlwind of their blatant sexism.
It was an app called "Titstare" that earned them notoriety, and the sole purpose of the software was to get people to gawk at pictures of breasts to "promote heart health".
The presentation included a slide deck full of objectifying photos, as the two developers told the crowd that they could vote for breast photos, favourite them for later and upload their own.
The duo have now claimed via Facebook that they had meant to entertain rather than offend:
We wish to apologise for the events that occurred at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday. There is no doubt we made a thoughtless mistake, and we’re regretful and apologetic for any offence we caused. There are no excuses for our thoughtless behaviour.
If there is anything that we can take away from this experience, it’s that it has highlighted the impact social media can have on the way that women are portrayed and objectified. We are all committed to finding a positive in this situation by highlighting the responsibility that men have in a male dominated industry.
If you watch our presentation, you will clearly see that the content was entirely comedic, and using comedy in regards to a serious topic was a bad judgement call. As aspiring entrepreneurs we came to TechCrunch Disrupt as it is the premier event for tech startups. Unfortunately, our initial idea did not evolve in time, so we felt our last minute mock-up was our only option to present, and there was never any intention to bring this idea to fruition. Because of this change, TechCrunch was entirely unaware we were pitching a new product.
We were completely unaware when we pitched that the 24 hour hackathon included children, especially a nine year old entrepreneur. Had we known earlier, we would absolutely not have presented our pitch.
We are currently working on legitimate startups. These projects include female co-founders and a number of highly talented women in the teams. We are extremely appreciative of the hard work and hustle everyone in the startup community gives, regardless of their gender.
We never had any malicious intent, and we take full responsibility for our thoughtless actions. We apologise for any harm we caused to entrants, the audience, TechCrunch, their sponsors, and most of all to anyone that we personally offended.
It is important for us that people know we are not associated with any continuation of this idea.
Sincerely, Founders of the now debunked Titstare
It's not our job to pass judgment on these devs, only to recognise the presentation for what it was: clearly inappropriate.
What do you think? [Titstare]