Startups

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

Differentiating with Design

By Poornima Vijayashanker We know the impact design has on a user’s experience and a product’s adoption. But many product designers don’t realize that design can also be used as an effective strategy when it comes to positioning a new product. In this excerpt taken from my upcoming book How to Transform Ideas into Software Products, you’ll learn about companies that have effectively positioned based on design, and how to evaluate a competitor’s design to position your own offering. At the end of last ... Read more

Getting Working Capital to Fund Your Product and Your Business

By Poornima Vijayashanker This post is based on Chapter 14 from my latest book: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products As the old adage goes, “It takes money to make money.” If your goal is to eventually build a business, then you’ll need to realize that this requires capital, and I want you to have a sense of how you can get this funding. I also think there are a lot of myths about how software products are built, and I want to ... 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

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

Lesson 2: What is an early stage startup?

This is the second lesson in the series: Why Should You Consider being an Early Stage Startup Employee. This mini-course is from our monthly event series: Femgineer Forum, which was sponsored by nousDECOR in April 2014. By Poornima Vijayashanker When the phrase early stage startup pops into some people's mind it becomes associated with high risk, which is valid because it's the stage where anything can happen! Founders can be fickle, the idea behind a product is still being fleshed out, and it's at this stage of the ... Read more

Lesson 1: My experience as an early stage startup employee.

This is the first lesson in the series: Why Should You Consider being an Early Stage Startup Employee. This mini-course is from our monthly event series: Femgineer Forum, which was sponsored by nousDECOR in April 2014. By Poornima Vijayashanker If you think that being at an early stage startup employee means that you just work 100 hour weeks, then you're in for a surprise! Having been an early stage startup employee at Mint.com, and having started my own startups: BizeeBee and Femgineer, I've gotten a real sense ... Read more

Last Day and Chance to Apply for Lean Product Development Course in 2014

By Poornima Vijayashanker For the past few weeks I’ve mentioned that if you’re waiting for the right time then you’re idea will just never get off the ground. There will always be unforeseen circumstances that get in the way of you making progress. You just have to charge on forward and learn to be resourceful. I’ve also mentioned why it’s important to continue to learn from others and how it can be instrumental to when you’re pursuing a new path or strategy. I ... Read more
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