More tech workers subvert unfit geek stereotype

Picture a technology whiz kid who starts an internet marketing company in his college dorm room and becomes an overnight millionaire. He’s brilliant, but probably has an unhealthy pallor, sloppy looks, and a body misshaped by a diet of pizza and Red Bull.

Andrew Bachman looks nothing like that.

Bachman, who cofounded an online marketing firm while he was an undergrad at Babson College and is on his third start-up, is more jock than geek: Stylish in casual clothes, Bachman has the sculpted torso of someone who has been lifting weights for years, and seems to be always working out, even squeezing in a set of pushups at his desk.

Buff specimens such as Bachman are common on the Boston tech scene, subverting the stereotype of geek entrepreneurs as 90-pound weaklings or slovenly misfits. They are just as liable to spend a weekend at a marathon coding session as running an actual marathon.

“The people who were in their basement tinkering on computers before people even knew what computers were kind of fit that stereotypical model — the big fat guy with a beard who watches ‘Star Wars,’” the 30-year-old Bachman said. “But it’s changing.”

… “As more people have become computer literate, there is less of a barrier to becoming someone who can create technology,” said Aquil Abdullah, an engineer at the Boston big data start-up CargoMetrics and an Olympic rower in 2004. “Today you have people who may not be able to do something extremely technical, but they understand technology enough to articulate their idea so that someone who does have that skill set can run with it.”

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