Month: July 2011

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Customer Development Tip – Poke Your Bruises

By Cindy Alvarez (Head of Products and Customer Development, KISSmetrics) When you hear a customer complain about your product, do you: Change the subject? Immediately promise that you’ll fix it? Focus instead on the positive feedback and the parts of your product that they really like? Think to yourself, “what a jerk”? Oh, come on, we’ve all thought that sometimes.)

But seriously, we tend to do the first 3 because they minimize cognitive dissonance: that uncomfortable feeling we get when our brains try to wrap themselves around two contradictory ideas. (in this case: “I’m a good product manager and

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Two New Programs Designed to Bolster Ranks of Female Entrepreneurs in Michigan

By Chris Knape (Business Editor, The Grand Rapids Press/Mlive.com) A $700,000 grant will help launch two programs later this year geared toward helping Michigan women start their own businesses and help foster female business leadership.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp awarded the Inforum Center for Leadership the grant to help it launch ACTiVATE, a technology commercialization program, and to provide connections to Astia, a global non-profit geared toward developing female entrepreneurs and leaders.

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Developing Consumer Products Using Design-Centric Approaches

By Karen Zeller (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0) As a female entrepreneur who has successfully sold her second boutique consumer goods company, Dante Pauwels is always on the move for solving design related challenges. She has recently sold her share of her second company, originally "Dante Beatrix" now Beatrix NY, a New York based children’s accessories company.

A graduate of Stanford University’s Product Design Program, she has been drawn throughout her career to solving problems through brainstorming, continual investigation and incremental improvement. Here is her advice

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iOS Dev Camp Debriefing: There Is No I in Team, and Other Cliches

By Anna Billstrom (Developer, Momentus Media) I occasionally spend an entire weekend, almost 24 hours in the day, hunkered over my computer in a fluorescent room, amongst others also lit by the back glow of their MacBooks. I can’t really explain this to non-technical friends and family. It’s San Jose, it’s July, it’s sunny... what exactly is the desire to continue working all weekend?

What seems so obvious to me, is that we are like crazy scientists or inventors in our castles, making Frankenstein. So of course we’re going to work all night, every night, because we’re so goddamn eager.

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Why A Patent Application Should Be Your Startup’s First Investment

By Jill Hubbard Bowman (Intellectual Property Attorney, Independent) Nearly every business model has a core technology. Your core technology may be a consumer item such as a back scrubber for the elderly, or it may be an online game, a smart phone or web application, or new plant variety, a pharmaceutical, or a better bra.

Whatever your core technology, the first thing you should do before you drop tens of thousands of dollars on web servers, manufacturers, SEO, and t-shirts or mugs with your company logo, is to file a good patent application. This is especially true if you have already spent over $10k paying people to help you develop it

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Do This For Your Career Right Now: Start A Company And Sell It For A Dollar.

By Penelope Trunk (Co-Founder, Brazen Careerist) If you want to make yourself stand out as a top candidate for almost any job, try this approach: start a company and then sell it for nothing. This is a lot easier to do than you may realize, especially if you think of entrepreneurship as a career-building tool– instead of a bank-account building tool.

Are you thinking this sell-for-a-dollar thing is a waste of time and effort?

It's not. Here are five reasons why it’s a smart

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Hearsay Social Raises $18M Series B, Founded by Clara Shih

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) Hearsay Social announced $18M in Series B funding today.

Hearsay Social "exists to keep corporations and their employees out of trouble on the internet and turn social media into a source of brand engagement, not embarrassment," said Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat.

Clara Shih is the Founder & CEO of Hearsay Social.

Clara authored bestselling

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Girls Go Geek… Again!

By Anna Lewis (Director of Recruiting, Fog Creek Software) Computer science has always been a male-dominated field, right? Wrong.

In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women. And 34% of the systems analysts in America were women. Women had started to flock to computer science in the mid-1960s, during the early days of computing, when men were already dominating other technical professions but had yet to dominate the world of computing. For about two decades, the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984.

In fact, for a hot second back in the mid-sixties, computer programming was actually portrayed as women’s work by the mass media. Check out “The Computer Girls” from the April 1967 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. It appeared between pieces called “The Bachelor Girls of Japan” and “A Dog Speaks: Why a Girl Should Own a Pooch.”

Don't worry, ladies. According to none other than Grace Hopper, programming is just like "planning a dinner."

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VC Rebuttal to Bindu Reddy’s post on TechCrunch: “I Don’t Want To Be A Diversity Candidate”

By Freada Kapor Klein (Venture Partner, Kapor Capital) A few days ago, TechCrunch ran a piece by Bindu Reddy bemoaning the fact that when raising money as a CEO of a start-up, someone wanted to invest in her in part because she’s a woman.

Bindu stated: “However, they don’t realize that by calling out someone’s gender they make the system less meritocratic.” She quickly went from this point to critiquing quotas, a non-sequitur that often confuses these conversations. Bindu’s post and the accompanying comments illustrate that the topic of diversity these days ignites passion and therefore is often full of muddled thinking and overloaded with accusations.

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Partner event: Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur (October 18 in New York)

On October 18, 2011 in New York, Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur looks at the next generation of innovative businesses, how they are driving growth, and considering their exit options. The program brings together innovative entrepreneurs, investment bankers, angel & venture capital investors for discussions about starting, financing and growing a business. Women 2.0 members save 50% on tickets with coupon code "Women2.0".

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Why Women Need to Be At Tech Conferences

By Melissa Fudor (Program Manager, Women in Wireless) I have to admit I was a little shocked after initially reading this article titled “Why Women Shouldn’t Go to Tech Conferences” (can you blame me?) featured on Forbes Woman.

The article followed Susannah Breslin who was asked to speak on a women-panel about how to make a living blogging as a career. She was annoyed at the fact that the panelists discussed how they got brands to sponsor their blogs:

“They allude to getting paid what I assume everyone imagines are large sums to work with these companies

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The Women Behind Hot Silicon Valley Startups, Named by Business Insider

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) Jessica Scorpio, one of the co-founders of Getaround is missing from the list of Getaround co-founders on Business Insider's "20 Hot Silicon Valley Startups You Need To Watch". Getaround lets you rent cars from each other. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicascorpio.

StyleSeat co-founder Melody McCloskey made the list as well. She says StyleSeat's market is a $40 billion beauty/booking niche where most small businesses depend on word-of-mouth referrals. StyleSeat gives beauty professionals tools to manage, build and grow their businesses.

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5 Ways to Get More Women in Venture Capital

By Deborah A. Farrington (Founder & General Partner, StarVest Partners) The 2011 Forbes Midas List ranked the top 100 venture capitalists based on M&A and IPO exits. As one of the two women included on this year’s list, it was disappointing to see that only two had made the cut. This begs the question: Why so few women on the list, and why so few women in venture capital in general?

Why is it important for more women to enter venture capital?

The career possibilities are terrific and I believe that more women in venture capital will contribute to growing better, stronger, more sustainable companies.

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How to Build Award-Winning Apps at Hackathons

By Bess Ho (Mobile Architect, Archimedes Ventures)  

My winning luck in hackathons has been generating interest and curiosity from my peers, so I've been asked to blog about making it at major competitions and hackathons.

I won the "Best Healthcare" award at my first iOS Dev Camp in 2009, then I won again at iPad Dev Camp in 2010. I won at Muther Hackathon a month ago before I entered iOS Dev Camp 2011. These are not the only awards I have earned in my career. I mention these competitions because these mobile events are recognized widely by a fast-growing industry with the best

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