Startups

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

Invest in Your Idea

By Poornima Vijayashanker Two weeks ago I was making a decision to invest $2500 into a new course called Mastering Product Launches. For some people this might not seem like much, but to me, it’s a lot of money, because I’m bootstrapping my business. OK I know what you’re thinking, “Why are YOU taking a course on Mastering Product Launches?” I’m NOT a Know-it-All While it’s true that I’ve launched a number of successful software products, I’ve never launched a book, and I’m getting ready ... Read more

How a Yoga Teacher Became a Tech Entrepreneur

By Justin Reyes On her way to the laundromat, Silvie Hibdon noticed that she didn’t have any quarters. Coming back from yoga class she doesn’t usually carry them around with her. In the age of mobile payments, Silvie thought that there shouldn’t be a need for carrying loose change anymore. After a short brainstorm session, Silvie and her friend came up with the idea of a mobile payments based point-of-sale for laundromats. Silvie is an international yoga teacher, who enjoys the process of exploration ... Read more

Journey From Founding Engineer to Founder, Lesson 2: Invest in Infrastructure

By Poornima Vijayashanker A little over 4 years ago I decided to transition from being a founding engineer to a founder. I knew that I could build a product and recruit a team, I had learned those skills at my first startup, Mint.com. But I was really curious to know what it was like to be a founder. I wanted to build a company and a business. Most recently I’ve met many engineers out there who are contemplating this transition, and maybe filled ... Read more
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