JOLIE ANNE O’DELL

31, technology reporter, VentureBeat, San Francisco

Interview by Arianne Cohen

PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIN JANE NELSON FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

What’s your job like?

I get to talk to really smart people in the world of technology: a lot of startup founders and people who build things, like the people who built the new Facebook Timeline and Google Search.

Do you have a big social media presence?

I actually just stopped using Twitter and deleted everyone on Facebook except my real friends. Now that I save it for my family and friends, it’s a lot more meaningful. I think that’s the way Facebook was intended.

Tell me about your outfit.

It’s a black-and-white-striped tea dress with a green cardigan that I got tagless and secondhand from a thrift store on Haight Street. It’s very sweet, innocent, and crisp-looking, and I like it very much. It makes me think of Alice in Wonderland.

Do you want to look sweet and innocent at work?

Technology is dominated by men. I used to downplay my sweet side and my femininity and dress more for a male environment. And then I just stopped. Now I wear whatever I want, and it may bite me in the ass, but I don’t care. I don’t mind if I’m the only woman in the room. I’m gonna be as cute as I want to be.

How do you know when you’re too sexy for work?

When I look in the mirror and think, Damn, I look good — and it’s dirty-good, not clean-good.

Your name means pretty. Do you feel pressure to live up to it?

No, I don’t.

Pretty is a very specific kind of beauty.

It is! It’s, like, diminutive. But pretty is something you put on. It’s how much time you spend on your hair and makeup in the morning. Anyone can be pretty. It sounds trite, but I believe it with my whole heart.

What’s your tattoo?

It’s a green bottle fly. He’s a character from an existentialist short story I wrote many years ago. His name is Max.

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