Archives by: Poornima

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

Stop Speculating and Start Speaking Up

By Poornima Vijayashanker One of my mentees, Ada, reached out to me last year, and mentioned that there was a new opportunity to head the new mobile division in her company. She really wanted to do it: mobile meant everything to her. Ada is like Penny from Inspector Gadget, she has a smart watch, a smartphone (both Android and iOS), an iPad, and yes even her dog had been chipped! She spends her nights and weekends building apps and refining them. When her ... Read more

5 Myths About Your Inner Critic

By Maria Molfino What's stopping you from following your calling? From doing your most meaningful work? It's *not* time, money, or any other external resources. It's the inner critic. The inner critic is the voice inside that wants us to avoid risk and the discomfort that naturally comes with growth. The best way to reduce the power of the inner critic is to recognize when it comes up during our innovation process. When we are able to identify it, we can create some ... Read more

What to Do When You Just Can’t Find the Right Words to Respond

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve got a TON to share this week about my latest trip to Chile! You’re probably wondering, “Why did she pick Chile?” Great question! I had 2 reasons. The first reason was that last year I had a pretty busy summer, I was writing my first book, and working part time as an EIR at 500 Startups. It was a really productive summer, and was happy because I had found flow. But I couldn’t help but feel like I had missed out on ... Read more

What might hold you back and how do you push forward?

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s natural as a founder to look at other founders who are ahead of you and wonder, “Yeah they can do it, but can I?!” When we don’t push past this question and believe in ourselves, we begin to hold ourselves back, and stop taking action. The actions that are needed to: test out an idea, transform it into a product, share it with the world, and get feedback. Or even if we start, then it’s very likely that somewhere on ... Read more

How to Fund Product Development Without Investment

By Poornima Vijayashanker While you might think that get funding from investors is easy to come by, it’s not... But, many founders spend a fair amount of time wooing investors even before they have a prototype out the door. They think that an idea is enough to get them funding. This approach not only slows founders down, it stifles product development, and cripples your a business’ actual growth. But you’re probably thinking, “I need funding to develop my product!” I hear ya! The good news is ... Read more

Make it Easier for People to Give You Valuable Feedback

By Sarah Doody Today’s guest post is from Sarah Doody, a user experience guru and instructor in Femgineer’s Lean Product Development Program. I always like to say that user experiences and products are not created in a silo. The best products are a result of collaborations between teams who are experts at what they specialize in, but also recognize the value that each of their peers brings to the process. But you know who else has to be present to create a great product? ... Read more

The Problem with Simple Advice

By David Kadavy Today's guest post is from David Kadavy, longtime partner of Femgineer and author of Design for Hackers (which debuted #18 on all of Amazon). I don't know about you, but whenever I've received "simple" advice it's left the voice in my head screaming: "WE'RE DYING! WE'RE DYING! FLEE!" The last time I heard this, my heart was racing. It was convinced my whole body was going to die. I had to use my brain—that great rational tool, the human forebrain—to try to tell ... Read more
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