Archives by: Poornima

When You Just Don’t Wanna

By Poornima Vijayashanker I don’t know about you, but for me it’s getting to be that time of the year, when I’m just a tad tired and a bit worn down from all the go-go-go! Instead of heading out the door bright-eyed and with a bounce in my step, I’d rather curl up on my couch with some spicy hot chocolate and queue up some Netflix. I have a HUGE case of the, “I just don’t wanna.” But there’s still a lot to do! ... Read more

Bootstrapping a Startup to a Profitable Multi-Million Dollar Business

Interview with Ben Congleton, CEO and Co-founder of Olark By Poornima Vijayashanker A high-school-aged Ben Congleton started an IT consulting company with a couple friends and just $100. The next company he bootstrapped, Olark, is now a multi-million dollar business. In this interview with Ben, we’ll learn why his cofounder team decided to bootstrap instead of raising much capital, and how they got their first customers. Olark is a live chat software service that helps businesses boost sales, resolve issues, and understand their customers.  Poornima: ... Read more

Staying Relevant in a Dynamic Field

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I was on a call to prep for a panel that I’ll be on next week at the LA Tech Week conference. During the call someone asked the question, “How do you stay relevant?” This wasn’t the first time I’d been asked this question. In fact, someone asked me that same question back in March when I was speaking at Pearl Hacks in North Carolina. I figured it was time to answer it because it’s probably on your mind ... Read more

Turn Your Skills into a Startup

Interview with Thomson Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder of Framed Data By Poornima Vijayashanker I sat down with Thomson Nguyen, CEO and Co-founder of Framed Data, to chat about how he based the company on his existing expertise from his previous job. We also talked about why it’s OK — and smart — to launch an early product even if breaks a little, in order to get validation that customers what it. Framed Data takes data from businesses and turns it into actionable insights and decisions. Poornima: “Let’s start with your background. What ... Read more

Negotiating For What You Need

By Poornima Vijayashanker A few weeks ago I shared a post with you about how we all struggle to create time for ourselves because we’re constantly on someone else’s timeline. I talked about how my dear friend Rachel was completely burnt out. She wanted some substantial time off but her company was unwilling to meet her needs, even though she had made major contributions. Instead of submitting to their standards, she handed in her resignation letter, and gave herself a much needed ... Read more

How an Early Employee Made Her Mark at a Growing Startup

Interview with Brittany Forsyth, Head of Human Relations at Shopify   I sat down with Brittany Forsyth, the Head of Human Relations at Shopify, to discuss what it’s like to work on someone else’s startup idea as an early employee. Brittany joined the company when it was a 20-person fledgling business and has seen the culture evolve as the service spread worldwide. Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to sell products online, in-store and everywhere in between. It powers over 100,000 retailers in ... Read more

What do I talk about?

By Poornima Vijayashanker I received a wonderful set of responses from readers like you last week on my post your presentation won’t please everyone. Thank you for sharing and teaching me! Many of you seem to be comfortable getting up and presenting to an audience, large or small, and being OK with a mixed audience. However, there were a number of folks who reached out and told me that they hadn’t given a presentation because they felt like they didn’t have any particular ... Read more

Getting Your Product Hunted Like a Pro

By Poornima Vijayashanker Back in 2007 I was working on my first startup, Mint.com, and in our efforts to be scrappy we explored a variety of marketing platforms to acquire our first set of users. A few of the folks on our marketing team mentioned that they wanted to leverage the content from our blog on Digg. Instead of just putting it out there, they took the time to understand how to use Digg effectively, through a combination of infographics and high-quality ... Read more

Interview with Julia Grace, Head of Engineering at Tindie

Where do NASA, Google, Intel, and the world’s best makers go to create and buy gadgets? They head over to Tindie, the popular hardware marketplace. If anyone knows how to build great products and manage a top-tier engineering team, it’s Julia Grace, Tindie’s Head of Engineering. I sat down with Julia to talk about her approach to building an engineering team and products. In this excerpt from our interview, you’ll learn about her journey from 8-bit video game programmer to Silicon Valley ... Read more

Monetize Before Making Your Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker This post is based on my latest book: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products When I was 6 I took my first stab at being an entrepreneur. I recruited my neighbor, another 6-year-old, and convinced her that we could become millionaires before we were 18. I could tell she was one of those sensible girls who thought I was full of hot air. So to bring it down to a level that would appeal to her sensible nature, I ... Read more
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