Startups

How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I received an amazing set of responses from readers like you on the topic of Handling the Anxiety that Accompanies Ambition. Don’t worry I will continue to write more on the topic! I appreciate those of you who opened up by emailing me and leaving comments about what you had been through. Supporting each other definitely helps, and is a necessary component to staying creative and innovative! Yesterday I shot a live pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to ... Read more

How to Figure Out Your Customer Segment and Price Your Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker Our customers don’t always turn out to be the people we initially think will benefit from our product. Too often prospective customers either think they don’t need the product, don’t want to pay for it, or are just happy with a competitor’s solution and unwilling to switch! Dig a little deeper… It’s important to classify needs of prospective customers into the the following groups: Latent need: have a problem and know they have a problem. Active need: they are actively searching for a ... Read more

How to Convey Your Idea Clearly

By Poornima Vijayashanker Some people might say your innovative startup doesn't make sense... How do you distinguish between useful and negative feedback? Part of the problem is that you're communicating your idea in a way that only makes sense to you, but it doesn't make sense to whomever is listening. If you're struggling to convince people to buy your product, join your team, or give you money, then it's highly likely that you aren't being clear. If you've heard the following words, "Um, that's ... Read more

The Benefit of Listening to Your Customers Before You Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker It's easy to get caught up in our idea and think it's either amazing or terrible. But honestly it doesn't matter what think. It all boils down to how our prospective customers perceive our idea, and that's why it's important to solicit feedback early on! The following video segment is the second, in a series, with Ben Congleton, CEO & Founder of Olark, and myself on the topic: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. In this video segment, Ben and I  share how we each solicited ... Read more

Can’t go all in on an idea? Start with a side project!

By Poornima Vijayashanker We often think that to build a product, we have to drop everything that we’re doing, and just focus on building! While some people might have an abundance of time and resources to  go all in, it’s often not possible for most of us. Financial and social commitments can compete with getting a product idea off the ground. The good news is that you don’t need to give up your day job, you can start with a side project! The following video ... Read more

7 Lessons After 7 Months in Silicon Valley

By Frances Advincula 2014 has been a crazy whirlwind. I left my job in Corporate America on the East Coast, moved across the country, joined an early stage startup, shipped product, moved from SF to Palo Alto (the movers know me by name), and now I’m starting grad school back up again part-time, whew! As I started packing for my trip home to visit my parents for the holidays, I couldn't help but stop and reflect at what my first 7 months in ... Read more

How a Non-Technical Founder Recruited Her Technical Co-Founder

Interview with Melody McCloskey, CEO and co-founder of StyleSeat  By Poornima Vijayashanker Today we sit down with Melody McCloskey to talk about how she started StyleSeat. Melody dropped out of her high school C++ programming class, but she knew how to manage developers, and she worked closely with one to create a product prototype. This prototype, paired with her research and vision, helped her recruit her technical co-founder, Dan Levine. Learn how her early product traction, market research, and passion for the idea ... Read more

From Learning to Code, to Building a Prototype, and then Getting it Funded

Interview with Alyssa Ravasio, CEO and Founder of Hipcamp By Poornima Vijayashanker Alyssa Ravasio loved the outdoors and was fed up with the outdated campsite reservation systems in California. She set out to fix the problem, and since she had a non-technical background, her first line of business was to learn how to code. She took classes at Dev Bootcamp, which enabled her to build a prototype while she was a scholarship student in my Lean Product Development Course. She launched the prototype ... Read more

Dealing With Deadlines That Are Doomed

By Poornima Vijayashanker As we get close to the end of the year, we get pulled in a number of directions, both personally and professionally. This can of course induce a case of I just don’t wanna. And we’ve probably committed ourselves to deadlines, only to discover that we probably won’t meet them. Instead of just coming right out and saying the obvious, “This deadline is unrealistic, and then providing reasons.” We put in longer and longer hours. In some cases we meet the ... Read more

Bootstrapping a Startup to a $100M Exit Outside Silicon Valley

 Interview with David Cummings, CEO and Co-founder of Pardot By Poornima Vijayashanker David Cummings started a business in college and used it as a test subject, as well as a funding source, for his next company, Pardot. He built an MVP in 45 days, but customers didn’t want it. Learn how David used this early feedback to pivot, hire a great first sales rep, and grow the company into a multimillion-dollar business that was acquired by ExactTarget, then Salesforce—all outside of Silicon Valley. Pardot ... Read more
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