Talented Tech Advisor. Always Active. Serious Cyclist. We hit the streets of Soho with the co-founder of Fatherly, Mike Rothman.
“I’m usually in and out of here in fifteen minutes once I’m back from my workout.”
Mike Rothman moves. (He’s up at 5:30am daily to train for a triathlon in the fall.) He’s also, well, moving. (From his East Village apartment to his girlfriend Amanda’s home in Williamsburg.) So mornings around his place aren’t exactly a relaxed affair. When we arrive, Mike is wearing shorts, tucking away his racing bicycle. “This workout schedule can be a strain on a relationship,” he says dryly. “Luckily, my girlfriend was doing these before I was…she gets the craziness.”
Rothman is a tech entrepreneur and advisor (he was one of the first employees at New York digital media juggernaut Thrillist). He works with Barkbox, a startup studio, Betaworks and serves as co-chairman of Career Gear, a “Dress for Success” organization that provides professional clothing to impoverished men). His latest project is Fatherly, a straight-shooting parenting guide aimed at guys, which he started alongside Simon Isaacs. On Fatherly, cool new toys share space with interviews with athletes (ex-pitcher Tim Wakefield on the three pitches to teach your kid), and how-tos (what to tell your kid when the leaves change color in the fall). It’s laidback, approachable and doesn’t waste words. Like Mike.
“I’m usually in and out of here in fifteen minutes once I’m back from my workout,” Rothman says. “Today was sprints; ten 300 meter runs, and some active rest in-between. Tomorrow is yoga and Saturdays are a long run.” He picks up an orange foam roller. “I rub this weird-looking cylinder on my calves to help them recover faster.”
He gobbles down a GoMacro bar and hops in the shower. Ambient music plays softly in the dimly lit space. He trims his beard, and gets dressed in trousers, striped socks, sneakers and an Aaliyah t-shirt, his favorite. “In the summer when it’s hot I’ll pack a dress shirt to change into once I’m at the office,” he says and tucks a cotton button-down into his backpack (“Amanda has the same one, we’re always confusing them…we’re cute,” he jokes) and grabs his black commuter bike – the same one he once rode with a friend from Houston Street in downtown Manhattan to Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (some 4,800 miles) – for his route to the Fatherly offices on Broadway in Soho.
Mike locks his bike on Prince Street and briskly makes his way through the morning foot traffic. When we arrive at the shared workspace where Fatherly has its HQ, he ducks down the hall to the bathroom and reappears in business-ready blue he’d packed earlier.
“In the summer when it’s hot I’ll pack a dress shirt to change into once I’m at the office.”
In between bites of a banana from a heaping fruit bowl on the table he exchanges pleasantries with a co-worker, tapping away at his laptop intermittently. A call comes in on his cellphone, which he takes as we get one final shot: him seated at his desk, grinning, mock typing and talking. Two tasks at once. Totally normal.