Archives by: Poornima

What Trevor Noah Learns About Public Speaking in His First Episode

By Poornima Vijayashanker If you enjoy watching The Daily Show like me, then you were probably curious to watch the first episode last Monday with the new host, Trevor Noah. In the episode, Trevor’s first guest is Kevin Hart, a fellow comedian. At 2:27 in the clip, Trevor is amazed at Kevin’s success but mentions that he was always concerned about Kevin’s height… Kevin’s response: He mentions how someone once told him, “Man, you’re a lot smaller than I thought you was.” His response was priceless: ... Read more

What It Takes to Raise Capital for Your Startup

By Poornima Vijayashanker You’ve probably noticed the ongoing debate about whether or not we’re in a tech bubble. Headlines are always gushing about the latest companies with billion dollar valuations. There’s a lot of investment capital out there right now, and if you’re a startup founder who hopes to raise money, you might be wondering what it takes to attract some of that capital to you . You have to figure out what to say to attract investors, but here’s the thing: depending on ... Read more

The Art vs Science of User Experience Design

By Poornima Vijayashanker You might have used products that just get the job done. (Think Excel.) They compete with similar products on features, cost, and other mechanics. The problem is, these products become commodities and can lose their users to competition in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, there are standout products that are heralded as works of art. They inspire people and change lives, and consumers stick with these brands for a long time thanks to a glue called love. Most of us want to ... Read more

Why did you do it that way?

By Poornima Vijayashanker Have you ever been asked the question: “Why did you do it that way?” It’s one I get asked often. I don’t mind when people ask me. I sense that the person asking wants to understand my thought process and learn from me. So I think it's worthwhile taking the time to explain. There are times when people aren’t really inquisitive. Instead of asking, they just say, “WHY DID YOU DO IT THAT WAY?” You immediately feel like you’re put on the spot, ... Read more

How to Find Your Other Half: Secrets for a Good Co-Founder Partnership

By Poornima Vijayashanker We all have ideas for features, products, and companies. But we cannot bring them to life alone. Partners and teams help us get out of our echo chambers, see possibilities we’ve never imagined, and put one foot in front of the other when the going gets rough. The best teams are composed of individuals with complementary skill sets, and as we learned back in Episode 4, empathy for one another. But you might be wondering: How does a team form over ... Read more

How to Compel People to Give You Valuable Feedback

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I asked my subscribers to provide feedback, and I’ve spent the past few days reading through all the submissions. I appreciate how candid people were: “The last time there was a survey I responded with a discussion topic and it was written about. I was very impressed as well as grateful to have my question answered.” “I've been losing interest in furthering my career in technology, because it seems to lack spirit and heart and compassion in so many cases, but after ... Read more

Part Two: How to Get People to Back Your Ideas

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I talked about the importance of finding people who will back your ideas, and shared what Erin, one reader was going through. I provided 3 strategies: start with people who already support you, reach out to people whose mission is aligned with yours, and don’t just ask them to back you, present them with an offer. It was great to read through people’s responses, and as I engaged in conversations a number of you asked me the following ... Read more

How to Get People to Back Your Ideas

By Poornima Vijayashanker I always enjoy receiving emails from readers like you, and this week I received one from, Erin. I’d like to share Erin’s email to me with you because you might have faced a similar situation. Erin wrote: Hi Poornima, I’ve been following Femgineer for awhile now. I’ve read your book and enjoy watching FemgineerTV. Thanks for taking the time to create such helpful content. I also want to strike out on my own, and build products like you have. But it feels like ... Read more

How to Identify Efforts that Make a Big Impact When Building Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker If you’re a technical person, such as an engineer or designer, then your todo list is probably filled with product launches, bug fixes, interviewing candidates, attending meetings, answering emails, and fighting fires. The daily grind can leave you wondering if the work that you do is actually worthwhile and makes a big impact. While it’s easy for people to tell us to work smarter, not harder, the bulk of the work still falls on our shoulders, and it often feels like the ... Read more

Momentum vs. Motivation

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve spent the last couple days stuck in bed with a nasty cold. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but it’s my fifth cold this year! I feel like I’m single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business :P And yes, I use hand-sanitizer after shaking hands, eat well, exercise, and get lots of sleep… What I really need is a force field that is able to combat the germs I encounter as I move through each week meeting 100-200 people. If you have created such ... Read more
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