What is 'dude-bro'? It is a damaging social construct of maleness that, in moments of unreflective white male privilege, I sometimes uncritically accept, which is to say, I question whether it exists at all. I have similar experience when watching, for example, "The Office" or "The Mindy Project", two tv shows I actually really like. But I have also had to stop watching those tv shows when they started to make me really uncomfortable. I'm not sure if the creators of these shows are intentional in how they stereotype the 'dude-bro', the guy that is super-cool and if you have a problem with him it's you, not him, because he's so cool and laid-back, how could you not like him. But then, for example, in The Mindy Project, a bunch of the characters (all dude-bros) will start hooting because they all went to Dartmouth, and they refer to themselves and 'D-bags', which is short for douchebags. So, you see, they are taking the piss, and it is aimed at themselves. But this is a bit of superficial (and therefore gaslighting) reflexivity. It only serves to strengthen the dude-bro into a position of unassailable hegemony.
The wife in question in this novel is married a real sensitive guy who is not in it for the money. He ends up, of course, with a Zuckerberg-level of power, influence, and, of course, money, that he doesn't want, but takes anyway. This uber-guru, the husband of our main protagonist, is an expert in world religions, is self-taught, and is hyper-technical to boot. He leverages a team together to create the next big tech startup, one that allows users to craft bespoke rituals and religious ceremonies by piecing together the bits and pieces of various spiritual traditions into, for example, burial rites for their dog.
This novel is really not about the site, which is a bit unlikely. It is about the dude-broishness and how it is a hegemonic feature of the tech world. It is about what it is like to be a woman in such a world, full of sensitive new age guys who also happen to be hyper-capable capitalists. Being the dude-bro means you get to over-ride, you get to decide, and you do it by always being the coolest guy in the room, the one who makes convincing the rest of us to do your idea look so easy. The dude-bro, however, in his hubris, overreaches, and the tragedy lies therein. People, in this book, die because of the social media site that the cool guy made. It's next-level messed up where the users take this site, which eventually, like the marriage, needs to be shut down. So, the startup wife is just that: the experimental trial that you can mess up before you move onto the 'forever' wife/site, consequences be damned. For the dude-bro, it's all in a day's work.