Archives by: Poornima

Reserve of Resiliency

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last year when I was living on the East Coast, I drove to DC to attend Racheal Cook’s Yogipreneur Urban Retreat. On the drive, I enjoyed all the beautiful fall colors of the trees and leaves. It was absolutely magnificent to see, and I now completely understand why people love the seasons there so much - but this Cali gal is still not looking forward to winter! You might be wondering what goes on at a Yogipreneur Urban Retreat. Well, ... Read more

Take Pride in Your Work

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’m spending the first half of this week in NYC, promoting the launch of my upcoming book: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. Then I’ll head back to California to prepare for it’s launch. I’m so excited that it’s only 1-week away! After one of my talks here, a young woman named Sandy came up to me, she thanked me for coming out, and then she said, “I’m really struggling with the concept of self-promotion. I see you ... Read more

Building Products Beyond the Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve contributed to more than a handful of launches. Probably the most successful and public one to date has been Mint.com’s launch at the original TechCrunch40 competition, where we walked away as winners of a nice $50K check! It was definitely an atypical launch. What I’ve learned from both successful and underwhelming launches is that you get more than one chance. While launch day is important, it is not what is going to make or break your product’s success. A ... Read more

Process for Projects

By Poornima Vijayashanker When you’re just getting started on a project, it can be hard to commit to it. You don’t know if you’ll make progress or an impact with it - take this newsletter, for example. When I first started writing it, I wasn’t sure if anyone was even going to read it! I just started out writing, and made it a point to keep consistently writing and sending it out for over a year. After a few months, interesting things began ... Read more

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
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