A young and successful woman leapt to her death from 230 Fifth Avenue’s rooftop bar this past Monday.
Faigy Mayer was just twenty-nine years old, and already CEO and founder of a successful startup: Appton, which had developed such iOS apps as NYCTips ) a New York restaurant tip calculator), Carma (a parking app), and Expense Tracker.
At the time of the incident, she was working on an app to help homeless LGBT youth.
Mayer allegedly ran toward the shrubbery-lined ledge of the rooftop terrace, climbed up, and jumped twenty stories to her death. One witness, Becky Whittemore stated that:
“There was a big corporate party up there and she kind of ran through [the partygoers] and jumped.”
It is as yet unclear whether she had been a patron at the bar earlier that evening, or if she’d come to the roof to jump. However, police believe Mayer had intended to commit suicide.
Suicides are apparently not uncommon among startup founders, who suffer under the weight of tremendous stress. UCSF clinical professor Dr. Michael Freeman had linked higher rates of mental health issues to entrepreneurship: 49% of the 242 entrepreneurs he studied reported having a mental health condition, compared to 7% of the wider population who identify as depressed.
A friend of Mayer’s claimed that the young coder had been hospitalized three times for depression. Some news outlets have suggested that she was struggling with the decision to leave the Hasidic community, which caused her to lose most of her family.
Though pedestrians were shocked at the incident, it appears that a number of patrons of the bar continued reveling in the table service and the $300 bottles of wine. The bar simply sectioned off the area from which Mayer jumped, and the party continued.
One witness said that this wasn’t for a lack of sensitivity:
“"We weren't callous or unfeeling. We didn't know.”
"We saw it on Twitter 20 minutes later and immediately left.”
Carlos Rodriguez of Gramercy suggests otherwise, noting that there’s nothing to prevent other patrons from accidentally falling to their deaths. He’s perched himself on the edge before, without others noticing or attempting to intervene.
“I sat at the ledge of the roof and was drunk out of my mind. I was able to sit there and nobody gave a sh-t.”
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