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Knowledge and perspectives from top operators, founders, and VCs in the community.
Building in the age of diversity enlightenment
Building in Public
Building in the age of diversity enlightenment
"So what exactly are the requirements for building products in a time when everyone now cares or gives the impression they care about IDEA? What are the resume requirements for founders seeking to build social-impact-driven experiences? I don't write checks, but I favor personal experience as the lead requirement for building social-impact-driven experiences. Reflecting on why I decided to finally build Cowrie, I realize it’s because of years of hurtful and frustrating experiences as an individual, community builder, employee, and entrepreneur. What accelerated me to build Cowrie was a feeling of corporate DEI burnout."
Apr 23, 2021
Making sense of career pivots and communicating with managers
Career Pivots
Making sense of career pivots and communicating with managers
‍"You're never going to know 100% what the next role is. There's a leap at a certain point; however, there is a lot you can do to figure out how to lessen the gap."
Apr 12, 2021
Giving yourself permission to write and build
Building in Public
Giving yourself permission to write and build
"Writing in public, like building a company in public, isn’t an easy thing to do. For me trying new things in public feels like a trapeze line with no net below, but I’ve found building and writing in public is a useful method for giving yourself permission and following through. Like with taking any risk, often we are our harshest critic and our own self-confidence issues stop us from even starting. That was my experience with writing for the first twenty-four years of my life."
Apr 2, 2021
The pandemic is ending, but virtual connections have only just begun
Community
The pandemic is ending, but virtual connections have only just begun
"The answer to my own question — 'did I want to recreate this energy virtually?' — was yes. When I figured this out, I immediately started defining ways for collisions to happen among peers in Propel. The impact of collisions on our lives can be profound, even during the pandemic. "The need for virtual collisions isn’t going to go away once the pandemic does. If anything, it will only become more important because we’ve learned more about the right relationships for us and how to find them. Our understanding of how to create virtual friendships will inform the way we spend time with people in person, too."
Mar 25, 2021
What I learned about mentorship as a first gen student
Mentorship
What I learned about mentorship as a first gen student
"An immigrant to America at eight years old and the first person in my family to attend formal schooling, I grew up with so many unanswered questions about everything from acceptable lunches to bring to school to picking out a major in college. As soon as I graduated from English as a second language, I began to ask my peers these questions. When they didn't know, I sought advice from my teachers and counselors in school. When I had exhausted their knowledge, I discovered the internet, and a whole new Q+A system materialized."
Mar 19, 2021
Cake or Death? How to intelligently load-test a startup idea
Best Practices
Cake or Death? How to intelligently load-test a startup idea
"You have a Startup Idea. It’s a really good one. You daydream about it as you grind through Excel spreadsheets at your day job. You talk about pieces of it over beers with your friends. But Ideas are a dime a dozen. How do you figure out if it’s a good one? One that you could leave your day job for? One that fulfills that yearn? This is how."
Mar 12, 2021
Real processes that work: user-centered problem solving
Best Practices
Real processes that work: user-centered problem solving
"At the center of every problem is a real person or group of people experiencing a pain point. As builders, how then can we ensure that we are designing solutions with the user and their pain point in mind from the very start? "
Feb 26, 2021
How to be your own growth marketer
Best Practices
How to be your own growth marketer
"Start talking to different personas and telling them about your product. The thing you want to figure out is if they'll pay for it. Once you think you've figured out your personas, create a specific landing page for them and start running ads pushing them toward that page. Even if your product isn't ready for purchase yet, it's a great way to answer, 'Can we get people to actually pay for this product?'"
Feb 25, 2021
Getting in the career move mindset
Career Pivots
Getting in the career move mindset
"When confronted with frustration toward one’s job, the initial reaction may be to keep pushing. Making sacrifices is great for getting an early head start, but it’s unsustainable. Eventually, many come to the realization that life is too long to do something you hate and too short to not find something you love."
Feb 19, 2021
From one island to another
Career Pivots
From one island to another
"People making big career pivots - and especially pivots to new countries - don’t always have tried-and-true processes. A coffee chat, a 30-minute call, and a forwarded email changed my life."
Feb 12, 2021
The four categories of community curation
Community
The four categories of community curation
"People are at the heart of any good online community. The flow of knowledge and the spark of new connections between members of the community creates value for everyone who is part of it, and knowledge and connections become fully diffused into the fabric."
Feb 9, 2021
How to build your personal advisory board
Mentorship
How to build your personal advisory board
“When pursuing mentors, find people who share the same vision of the world they want to create, and who see how you are a key to unlocking that vision as a team. Becoming a team with your mentor or advisor is the difference between getting some quick generic advice, and working together on the project of your future as part of a larger strategy for your industry.”
Jan 29, 2021
Pivoting from enterprise to startup and engineering to business, in a pandemic
Career Pivots
Pivoting from enterprise to startup and engineering to business, in a pandemic
"Career pivots of any type are challenging. Although 'pivot' may be an understatement when going from a 14-year engineering career in large enterprises to becoming the first business hire at a tech startup."
Jan 28, 2021
Breaking momentum through career stepping
Career Pivots
Breaking momentum through career stepping
"A career is built off of several little steps, not one big jump. Embracing this philosophy relieved some of the pressure I felt to make the 'right' decision."
Jan 28, 2021
Creating feedback loops and the types of career advice you should ignore
Entrepreneurship
Creating feedback loops and the types of career advice you should ignore
“That was the point when I decided a lot of the established beliefs on what career progression looks like are irrelevant for this generation.”
Jan 23, 2021
The importance of prioritizing health as an operator & builder
Best Practices
The importance of prioritizing health as an operator & builder
"Health, mental and physical, are essential. We should be talking more about that. And when you're independent, it's even more your onus to manage."
Jan 23, 2021
Pivoting from Chief of Staff to Founder
Career Pivots
Pivoting from Chief of Staff to Founder
"The way we tested our idea was to run concept ads. We used stock images and some copy, and put it on Facebook. We got insane click-throughs."
Jan 23, 2021
The value of patience and persistence in your career
Best Practices
The value of patience and persistence in your career
"I had a phenomenal experience, but probably limited my path by always thinking about what else I could or should be doing. I now try and stay focused on the job I'm doing today, and hold a higher bar to thinking anything else."
Jan 23, 2021
The role of product managers and experimentation
Best Practices
The role of product managers and experimentation
"At LinkedIn my team ran tons of experiments. Probably 70% of them failed. But because we focused on experiment velocity and learning, and had processes to apply that learning to the next batch of experiments, we were able to drive significant value."
Jan 23, 2021
Tips for solo founders and what great mentorship looks like
Entrepreneurship
Tips for solo founders and what great mentorship looks like
"‍One of the biggest things I've learned is to ask the person you're mentoring what they want out of it. Success looks different for everyone."
Jan 23, 2021
Mentorship, being a “Founders’ VC", and balancing investing and operating
Career Pivots
Mentorship, being a “Founders’ VC", and balancing investing and operating
“Mentors allow you to take up space. They empower you to claim your seat at the table.”
Jan 20, 2021
Building in the age of diversity enlightenment
Building in Public
Building in the age of diversity enlightenment
"So what exactly are the requirements for building products in a time when everyone now cares or gives the impression they care about IDEA? What are the resume requirements for founders seeking to build social-impact-driven experiences? I don't write checks, but I favor personal experience as the lead requirement for building social-impact-driven experiences. Reflecting on why I decided to finally build Cowrie, I realize it’s because of years of hurtful and frustrating experiences as an individual, community builder, employee, and entrepreneur. What accelerated me to build Cowrie was a feeling of corporate DEI burnout."
Apr 23, 2021
Making sense of career pivots and communicating with managers
Career Pivots
Making sense of career pivots and communicating with managers
‍"You're never going to know 100% what the next role is. There's a leap at a certain point; however, there is a lot you can do to figure out how to lessen the gap."
Apr 12, 2021
Giving yourself permission to write and build
Building in Public
Giving yourself permission to write and build
"Writing in public, like building a company in public, isn’t an easy thing to do. For me trying new things in public feels like a trapeze line with no net below, but I’ve found building and writing in public is a useful method for giving yourself permission and following through. Like with taking any risk, often we are our harshest critic and our own self-confidence issues stop us from even starting. That was my experience with writing for the first twenty-four years of my life."
Apr 2, 2021
The pandemic is ending, but virtual connections have only just begun
Community
The pandemic is ending, but virtual connections have only just begun
"The answer to my own question — 'did I want to recreate this energy virtually?' — was yes. When I figured this out, I immediately started defining ways for collisions to happen among peers in Propel. The impact of collisions on our lives can be profound, even during the pandemic. "The need for virtual collisions isn’t going to go away once the pandemic does. If anything, it will only become more important because we’ve learned more about the right relationships for us and how to find them. Our understanding of how to create virtual friendships will inform the way we spend time with people in person, too."
Mar 25, 2021
What I learned about mentorship as a first gen student
Mentorship
What I learned about mentorship as a first gen student
"An immigrant to America at eight years old and the first person in my family to attend formal schooling, I grew up with so many unanswered questions about everything from acceptable lunches to bring to school to picking out a major in college. As soon as I graduated from English as a second language, I began to ask my peers these questions. When they didn't know, I sought advice from my teachers and counselors in school. When I had exhausted their knowledge, I discovered the internet, and a whole new Q+A system materialized."
Mar 19, 2021
Cake or Death? How to intelligently load-test a startup idea
Best Practices
Cake or Death? How to intelligently load-test a startup idea
"You have a Startup Idea. It’s a really good one. You daydream about it as you grind through Excel spreadsheets at your day job. You talk about pieces of it over beers with your friends. But Ideas are a dime a dozen. How do you figure out if it’s a good one? One that you could leave your day job for? One that fulfills that yearn? This is how."
Mar 12, 2021
Real processes that work: user-centered problem solving
Best Practices
Real processes that work: user-centered problem solving
"At the center of every problem is a real person or group of people experiencing a pain point. As builders, how then can we ensure that we are designing solutions with the user and their pain point in mind from the very start? "
Feb 26, 2021
How to be your own growth marketer
Best Practices
How to be your own growth marketer
"Start talking to different personas and telling them about your product. The thing you want to figure out is if they'll pay for it. Once you think you've figured out your personas, create a specific landing page for them and start running ads pushing them toward that page. Even if your product isn't ready for purchase yet, it's a great way to answer, 'Can we get people to actually pay for this product?'"
Feb 25, 2021
Getting in the career move mindset
Career Pivots
Getting in the career move mindset
"When confronted with frustration toward one’s job, the initial reaction may be to keep pushing. Making sacrifices is great for getting an early head start, but it’s unsustainable. Eventually, many come to the realization that life is too long to do something you hate and too short to not find something you love."
Feb 19, 2021
From one island to another
Career Pivots
From one island to another
"People making big career pivots - and especially pivots to new countries - don’t always have tried-and-true processes. A coffee chat, a 30-minute call, and a forwarded email changed my life."
Feb 12, 2021
The four categories of community curation
Community
The four categories of community curation
"People are at the heart of any good online community. The flow of knowledge and the spark of new connections between members of the community creates value for everyone who is part of it, and knowledge and connections become fully diffused into the fabric."
Feb 9, 2021
How to build your personal advisory board
Mentorship
How to build your personal advisory board
“When pursuing mentors, find people who share the same vision of the world they want to create, and who see how you are a key to unlocking that vision as a team. Becoming a team with your mentor or advisor is the difference between getting some quick generic advice, and working together on the project of your future as part of a larger strategy for your industry.”
Jan 29, 2021
Pivoting from enterprise to startup and engineering to business, in a pandemic
Career Pivots
Pivoting from enterprise to startup and engineering to business, in a pandemic
"Career pivots of any type are challenging. Although 'pivot' may be an understatement when going from a 14-year engineering career in large enterprises to becoming the first business hire at a tech startup."
Jan 28, 2021
Breaking momentum through career stepping
Career Pivots
Breaking momentum through career stepping
"A career is built off of several little steps, not one big jump. Embracing this philosophy relieved some of the pressure I felt to make the 'right' decision."
Jan 28, 2021
Creating feedback loops and the types of career advice you should ignore
Entrepreneurship
Creating feedback loops and the types of career advice you should ignore
“That was the point when I decided a lot of the established beliefs on what career progression looks like are irrelevant for this generation.”
Jan 23, 2021
The importance of prioritizing health as an operator & builder
Best Practices
The importance of prioritizing health as an operator & builder
"Health, mental and physical, are essential. We should be talking more about that. And when you're independent, it's even more your onus to manage."
Jan 23, 2021
Pivoting from Chief of Staff to Founder
Career Pivots
Pivoting from Chief of Staff to Founder
"The way we tested our idea was to run concept ads. We used stock images and some copy, and put it on Facebook. We got insane click-throughs."
Jan 23, 2021
The value of patience and persistence in your career
Best Practices
The value of patience and persistence in your career
"I had a phenomenal experience, but probably limited my path by always thinking about what else I could or should be doing. I now try and stay focused on the job I'm doing today, and hold a higher bar to thinking anything else."
Jan 23, 2021
The role of product managers and experimentation
Best Practices
The role of product managers and experimentation
"At LinkedIn my team ran tons of experiments. Probably 70% of them failed. But because we focused on experiment velocity and learning, and had processes to apply that learning to the next batch of experiments, we were able to drive significant value."
Jan 23, 2021
Tips for solo founders and what great mentorship looks like
Entrepreneurship
Tips for solo founders and what great mentorship looks like
"‍One of the biggest things I've learned is to ask the person you're mentoring what they want out of it. Success looks different for everyone."
Jan 23, 2021
Mentorship, being a “Founders’ VC", and balancing investing and operating
Career Pivots
Mentorship, being a “Founders’ VC", and balancing investing and operating
“Mentors allow you to take up space. They empower you to claim your seat at the table.”
Jan 20, 2021
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