Archives by: Poornima

How to Transition from Engineering to Engineering Management

Interview with Tasneem Minadakis I recently sat down Tasneem “Taz”, who is an engineering manager at Yelp. Tasneem shared how she transitioned from being an individual contributor to manager, and how she’s handled the challenges that have come with each transition. Yelp is a website and mobile app that connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across 29 countries. Yelp had a monthly average of ... Read more

The Right Way to Practice Empathy

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week we aired the pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team. During the episode, Ben Congleton, and I talked about a number of misconceptions people have when it comes to running a remote team. Ben also shared some strategies for tackling each misconception. My favorite was the conversation around the misconception that a remote team will be devoid of culture and people just won’t care about one another. Ben gave us a great ... Read more

How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I received an amazing set of responses from readers like you on the topic of Handling the Anxiety that Accompanies Ambition. Don’t worry I will continue to write more on the topic! I appreciate those of you who opened up by emailing me and leaving comments about what you had been through. Supporting each other definitely helps, and is a necessary component to staying creative and innovative! Yesterday I shot a live pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to ... Read more

How to Figure Out Your Customer Segment and Price Your Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker Our customers don’t always turn out to be the people we initially think will benefit from our product. Too often prospective customers either think they don’t need the product, don’t want to pay for it, or are just happy with a competitor’s solution and unwilling to switch! Dig a little deeper… It’s important to classify needs of prospective customers into the the following groups: Latent need: have a problem and know they have a problem. Active need: they are actively searching for a ... Read more

Handling the Anxiety that Accompanies Ambition

By Poornima Vijayashanker I recently received a number of requests from readers like yourself, asking me the question: “How do you deal with self-doubt and anxiety?” You might not be one of these people, and think. “Why is she talking about personal development? Just focus on product development!” Even if you aren’t dealing with self-doubt or anxiety, there is a high likelihood that you have a friend, family member, or colleague who might be. You might not even know it! If you want to ... Read more

How to Convey Your Idea Clearly

By Poornima Vijayashanker Some people might say your innovative startup doesn't make sense... How do you distinguish between useful and negative feedback? Part of the problem is that you're communicating your idea in a way that only makes sense to you, but it doesn't make sense to whomever is listening. If you're struggling to convince people to buy your product, join your team, or give you money, then it's highly likely that you aren't being clear. If you've heard the following words, "Um, that's ... Read more

The Benefit of Listening to Your Customers Before You Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker It's easy to get caught up in our idea and think it's either amazing or terrible. But honestly it doesn't matter what think. It all boils down to how our prospective customers perceive our idea, and that's why it's important to solicit feedback early on! The following video segment is the second, in a series, with Ben Congleton, CEO & Founder of Olark, and myself on the topic: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. In this video segment, Ben and I  share how we each solicited ... Read more

Popular vs Effective Leadership Styles

By Poornima Vijayashanker The new year is in full swing, and you’ve probably got some new projects on your plate. Or maybe you have some loose-ends to tie up from last year? If you’re eager to push things forward, then you might be thinking about how to lead your teammates, get them motivated, out of holiday mode, and get things done! You might even be tempted to just command your teammates, using a directive style of leadership, a la Steve Jobs. I’ve always been ... Read more

Can’t go all in on an idea? Start with a side project!

By Poornima Vijayashanker We often think that to build a product, we have to drop everything that we’re doing, and just focus on building! While some people might have an abundance of time and resources to  go all in, it’s often not possible for most of us. Financial and social commitments can compete with getting a product idea off the ground. The good news is that you don’t need to give up your day job, you can start with a side project! The following video ... Read more

7 Lessons After 7 Months in Silicon Valley

By Frances Advincula 2014 has been a crazy whirlwind. I left my job in Corporate America on the East Coast, moved across the country, joined an early stage startup, shipped product, moved from SF to Palo Alto (the movers know me by name), and now I’m starting grad school back up again part-time, whew! As I started packing for my trip home to visit my parents for the holidays, I couldn't help but stop and reflect at what my first 7 months in ... Read more
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