Archives by: Poornima

How to Use Empathy to Build Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker There’s one skill that every wildly successful product manager, UX designer, businessperson, and leader has in common. It helps them unite teams and ship products that customers love time and time again. What could possibly unite all these technologists? It’s conscious and deliberate empathy. Most people believe empathy is just about being compassionate, like lending your friend a shoulder to cry on when they’re going through a breakup. Others dismiss it altogether as a distraction, because they believe it’s more important to be ... Read more

2 Simple Steps to Start Getting Paid to Speak

  By Poornima Vijayashanker A little over 2 years ago, I discovered that people were getting paid big money to speak. I found out that NYTimes best-selling authors make at least $25K-$50K per engagement and Fortune 500 CEOs make $100K to $400K per engagement … for one talk! I had been speaking at events and conferences for a few years at that point, but I wasn’t on either of those levels. I’d never been paid to speak at all! I had gotten over most of ... Read more

How to Build a Community of Evangelists for Your Software Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker We all want customers to crave the products we build. Next, we want them to spread the word, because WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing is THE strongest and most authentic for your product. WOM is a testimonial delivered from one customer to another. The customer spreading the word cares about helping the other person out and is willing to vouch for the product based on benefits they’ve personally experienced. These days, most customer-to-customer testimonials live on the internet through social media, forums, forwarded ... Read more

It’s Only Natural to Get Nervous

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week was a pretty big week for me. My alma mater, Duke, won its 5th NCAA championships, whoohoo!! (Yeah, I’m currently wearing my hoodie…) And out of the blue, I was invited to sit in on an internal keynote a Fortune 500 CPO delivered to his staff. The purpose of the keynote was to encourage people to start speaking in public. So I was really surprised when the first words out of the CPO’s mouth were that he gets ... Read more

Stuck making a tough decision? Here’s how 3 readers decided and delighted their customers.

By Poornima Vijayashanker When you woke up this morning you probably got out of bed, and had to decide on what to wear (unless you have a uniform..), how to do your hair (if you’re like me and have a pixie cut it’s easy!), and then you were off to work or maybe you took the day off, whoohoo! As you go about your day, you’ll notice that people will come up to you, and ask you to choose between one or many ... Read more

This Is No Joking Matter

By Poornima Vijayashanker As you know today is April 1st aka April Fools' Day, but I’m not here to tell you a joke or to play a prank on you. I want to highlight a series of incidents that have been going on for awhile. You might already be aware of these incidents... … and you might be sick of them. … or you might just be unaware of them, because you’ve been heads down or you’re new to the scene. Each year, slowly, more and more ... Read more

Stuck in your Career? Here’s a Tip that May Scare You

By Karen Catlin It's happened to all of us. A promotion denied. Feeling stuck in our careers. Frustrated by the recognition others get while we're working just as hard, if not more. At some point, you decided you had to change something to push forward your career. Maybe you started blogging or tweeting. Perhaps you started building more relationships with people at work. Now you're ready to do even more to increase your professional visibility. As scary as it seems, you know what ... Read more

Stop Being Serious ALL the Time

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s been a really fun two weeks at Femgineer! Karen and I have been filming lessons for our upcoming Confident Communicator Course. And in case you’re curious about how much fun we’re having, well I’ve included a few funny pics from our sessions together. Once we’re done filming all the lessons, I’m definitely going to get to work on the a blooper reel to share with students in the course. Now it’s not all fun and games at Femgineer… OK it’s like ... Read more

How to Make Smart Tradeoffs When Developing Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker As technologists we want to build software that is friendly, fast, beautiful, reliable, secure, and scalable. And we expect ourselves to deliver it on time and under budget, because our ultimate goal is to have lots of happy customers who can do what they want: cue Daft Punk’s Technologic! But time and energy are finite, and we simply cannot deliver it all at once. We need to choose our priorities, and this choice is one we should make consciously. Evaluating our ... Read more

You Don’t Need to be Social to Speak

By Poornima Vijayashanker This post is based on my Confident Communicator Course, which I teach once a year. If you're interested in learning more about the course and participating in it, you can check it out here. I was by no means a social butterfly as a kid. I didn’t fear approaching people one-on-one, but in group settings I was pretty shy and kept quiet. In fact, one of the reasons I joined the debate team in middle school and high school was because I ... Read more
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