Archives by: Poornima

Even Passion Projects Have Papercuts

By Poornima Vijayashanker You’ve probably noticed that for the past few months I’ve been casually talking about my upcoming book. Well I’m excited to finally announce that I’ll be launching in 2 weeks, on September 30th! The book is called How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. It captures my 10+ years of experience building software products and tech companies in Silicon Valley, along with interviews and case studies from other entrepreneurs, engineers, and employees who have done the same. It’s a step-by-step ... Read more

How to Attract Top Technical Talent for Your Early-Stage Startup

By Poornima Vijayashanker There are a lot of things I really suck at. The first is visual design. I’ve never been trained as a designer, and while it would probably take just a month or two to learn Photoshop, I know my time would be better spent doing other things. So I don’t even bother doing more than some light CSS and HTML, and on occasion I fiddle with a Photoshop file someone else has already designed for me. You’d think that as ... Read more

How to Evaluate New Opportunities

By Poornima Vijayashanker Each week, people reach out to me asking me to evaluate a new opportunity or proposal they have for us to work together. I set aside sometime to entertain these requests that come in through a number of channels: social media, referrals, and sometimes face-to-face meetings. While I'd love to say yes to anything that sounds interesting, I've learned that I need to say no in order to focus and have the freedom to welcome opportunities I truly want. Most ... Read more

Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Propose a Project

By Poornima Vijayashanker Earlier this year I met up with Rachel, a mentee of mine. Rachel wanted some guidance regarding the direction of her career. She had been with her current company for 3 years, and really wanted to lead their new mobile initiative. She wanted to be challenged, but instead of giving her the new mobile initiative, her boss kept handing her projects that were uninteresting. I started out by asking Rachel if she had experience in mobile. Rachel responded, “I’ve been ... Read more

How to Decide If You Should Build or Buy a Software Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last year when I planning my birthday party, I waited until the last minute to decide whether to bake a cake or buy one (my favorite kind of cake is German Chocolate). I called a couple bakeries to ask if they could bake a cake with a 48-hour notice. Many said it wasn’t possible, and the ones who could do a 48-hour turnaround didn’t have German Chocolate. I decided I’d bake the cake instead. I looked up several recipes, read ... Read more

Birthdays Are Not Just Reminders That You’re Getting Older

By Poornima Vijayashanker Today is my birthday, and I’m turning 32! Happy birthday wishes to everyone I know who also shares my birthday: Brian Eanes - my high school speech teacher, Joan Patzer - my friend Aaron’s kind mom, Cynthia Schames - my new friend from 500 Startups, and last but not least the mom of the guy at the climbing gym who checked me in on Sunday, who was reminded of her birthday when he saw mine! I love birthdays. What’s not ... Read more

Meet the Femgineers Who Have Helped Build Spotify

By Poornima Vijayashanker If you’re a music lover, then you're probably already listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify. If you haven’t come across Spotify, then you should certainly check them out! They are one of the hippest startups, reinventing how we discover, listen to, and share music. Spotify has been built by a team of top technical talent, and I was curious to learn more about what it's like to work there and what draws top engineers to the company! So I ... Read more

A Beginner’s Mindset Leads to Breakthroughs

By Poornima Vijayashanker I was recently at lunch with my good friend Noah Kagan, who is the founder of AppSumo. He was visiting for a few days, so we got together along with a few others to talk shop. I enjoy learning from Noah, and consider him an expert in a number of areas: marketing, blogging, and business to name a few. And he's definitely helped me throughout my career. In fact, Noah was one of the people who inspired me to start blogging ... Read more

Rejection: It’s NOT About You, It’s about Them

By Poornima Vijayashanker When I was in kindergarten I had this HUGE crush on this little red-headed boy named Rusty. Don’t ask me why. I just did. But did Rusty like me back? No. I was of course hurt. It was the first time I’d really been rejected by another human being, and I didn’t really know what to do about it. So I did the only thing I could… I kept chasing Rusty! I thought I could surely change his mind over time. But it ... Read more

Parting Ways with Partners

By Poornima Vijayashanker For the past couple of weeks I’ve been focused on writing about partnerships. I started off writing about picking provocative partners, and last week wrote about why it’s important to work with partners who can keep up. The reason I’ve stuck to this theme is mostly because a number of readers, like you, have written in to share their stories with me. Some of you have had amazing experiences, while others have struggled. All your responses have caused me ... Read more
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