All Articles Tagged "startup"
Behind The Click: Ayori Selassie Came From Humble Beginnings to Work for Forbes’ Most Innovative Company
So here we are! Our last “Behind The Click” profile for 2012. (Don’t worry… there’s a special year-end piece in the next few days as well as much more to come in 2013).
Ayori Selassie is helping us wrap up this year with a bang. Not only is she a product manager at SalesForce.com (voted most innovative company by Forbes magazine), but she also has some very special involvement with a particular part of the U.S. State Department (of which I’m a huge fan). Read on to find out about this very busy and talented member of the technorati!
Current Occupation: Product Manager, SalesForce.com
Favorite website: Mashable. “Great resource for tech, startup and innovative stuff in general.”
Favorite read: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes. “The fables, folk tales and stories in this book (less so the analysis of the stories) helped me recover from a failed marriage engagement and learn to trust my gut. I still refer to these stories for personal experiences and when giving advice to other women.
Recent read: Rebuild the Dream by Van Jones. “He is one of my role models.”
2012′s ultimate goal: Taking my daughter to see our nation’s capital. I did that in October and will be doing it again for her birthday with a very special surprise visit to a very important place. I’ll have to let you wonder about that!
Quote Governing Your Mission:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
LdC: So, let’s always start with the basics. Give me a bit about your background.
More and more women, according to Forbes, are holding down the fort while their man gets their career or business going.
Think about Tina Knowles, mother of Beyonce and Solange. She toiled long hours in her beauty shop while her husband, Mathew, quit his 9-to-5 as a corporate executive in 1992 to manage Destiny’s Child. It was a gamble that paid off. But, writes Umaimah Mendhro in Forbes, most often while the women pay the bills, they really don’t expect to see a big payoff from their husbands’ ventures. The women are doing it all for love.
Still when one person is carrying all the weight, it can put a strain on a relationship, regardless of how much love there is.
“It should be expected that lots of strain on the marriage will occur when one partner who used to be available in the evenings for helping the children complete homework or taking care of the household, is now cooped up in the den working countless hours on the business plan, marketing ideas or he is out networking or promoting the business,” says licensed psychologist Dr. Tiffany D. Sanders. “His lack of availability can build resentment especially if the wife feels her work is not being appreciated.”
Cutbacks on family expenses and activities are also inevitable. “It can cause a financial strain because discretionary income is now being diverted into the business, which can cause tension because the family may feel deprived from doing fun things it loves,” notes Sanders.
The couple needs to remember they are in it together. “Through joint contribution, both husband and wife play a role in the husband’s personal accomplishments. A wife’s supportive role often creates the time, space and opportunity necessary for the husband to succeed. Every accomplishment should, therefore, be attached to a shared vision for their marriage, their family and their future,” explains relationship expert Hasani Pettiford of the Couples Academy via email .
Being supportive is a must, but being naive is another thing. A wife — or husband — shouldn’t support every whim of their mate. Before any new venture is undertaken that will affect the household income, discussions need to take place, outlining the kind of commitment that needs to be made, says Sanders.
“To keep the marriage intact, a system must be implemented. Seeking hired help or assistance from family is essential. Scheduling both spousal and family time together is non-negotiable. Allocating funds to adjust for the change in finances is paramount,” adds Pettiford.
And don’t put your own needs—emotionally or professionally — aside. “Just like some businesses have weekly meetings, couples need to make regular time to cultivate their relationship, whether that’s dinner dates or frequent communication,” suggests Sanders. And wives need to continue to pursue their dreams to avoid resentment from either party, Sanders adds..
But who can forget the classic scene in Waiting To Exhale when Bernadine, played by Angela Bassett, having been dumped by her husband — a man who she supported while he got his business up and running — burns his car and clothes in blaze of revenge? What if the Bernadine scenario plays out?
“The more she’s recognized as a partner in the business the less likely he will want to ditch her after his success because his success is her success too,” advises Sanders.
And if that isn’t enough insurance, check the law in your state to find out about spousal rights to startups. Your spouse is your first investor, regardless of their role, reports the Financial Post. If necessary, draw up a legal document with your husband prior to his starting the venture, laying out your interest in the company.
“Wives should be the number one beneficiary of all success obtained by their husbands. Any person who financially invests in another person’s venture, company, or dream deserves a return on that investment,” Pettiford sums up.
So, here we are already with another Behind The Click. Get ready because this is a particularly interesting one. I recently had the opportunity to connect with Katrina Miles who is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Roscoe.tv , a mobile first news app that bring together news junkies, casual journalists, and old pros locally. She’s responsible for creating, communicating, and executing and sustaining strategic initiatives, a startup that builds news focused mobile applications. Her background is not the norm so it is particularly inspiring to connect with her.
LDC: I love to always start with education first. So how did you come to select Florida A&M University?
By Charlotte Young
For entrepreneurs in the US today, both men and women have an equal shot at creating startups when and how they please. But in the tech world, investors are still giving the money to men, and women don’t seem to mind. According to writer and founder of Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk, women know what they want, and it’s not a business start-up.
When it comes to offering financial support, venture capitalists not only market to women, they go out of their way to do so. But women aren’t making sales pitches. It’s all about personal choice and women know exactly how to make them. Around the nation you will find that women outnumber men at many schools, and academically they’re also outperforming men. After graduation, women are more likely to earn more than men in their 20s.
Billionaire and venture capitalist Peter Thiel advices women that the best age for them to start a company is from 20-25, but it seems that most women don’t care to take this advice. The academic and professional gender ratio starts to shift as women reach their 30s. But why? It seems that as women start their families, they make the choice to take care of their children instead of create a startup business, especially in the lucrative tech business.
In choosing family over careers and business ventures, Trunk finds that the decision isn’t weighing heavily on a woman’s contentment. According to her, women are happiest around age 28. This leads one to believe that most women aren’t regretting the fact that they didn’t take that business opportunity. She finds that in contrast, men are most unhappy at 28, perhaps it’s because they’re so worried about their new business startup.
While Facebook Executive, Sheryl Sanberg recommends that women “lean into their careers, ” Trunk doubts that many women would want the busy, stressful life that Sandberg has in addition to two young kids and a husband.
Women have spoken. And what they want is not funding or start up opportunities. Pew Research finds that most women with children want part time jobs as opposed to stay at home full time or working full time. They also want jobs with flexible hours. For the women that do want to start their own business, Trunk relays that women are starting business at high rates without the help of venture capitalists.
So for women wondering pondering whether or not they made the right decision to delay that business start up, you were probably right. As they say, a woman knows best.
If you are a driven, up-and-coming entrepreneur hoping to get out from working under others and think you have a million dollar idea, you probably think that’s all you need. Well, there’s a lot more too it boo. Other than a big wad of money, you also need to be willing and able to work with others to help your idea grow, and have the fortitude to take some risks, among other things.
Read the full list of ways to launch your startup big time according to a successful business development expert, and also to learn about the opportunity to apply to get your minority-led business some business contracts, funding, and free office space at Blackenterprise.com.
(Inc.) — As the saying goes, don’t quit your day job. Launching a part-time business can be just as rewarding—and potentially as profitable—as full-time entrepreneurship. It can also reduce many of the financial risks associated with entrepreneurship while you continue to generate income and maintain the benefits from your full-time job. “Chicken entrepreneurship,” as Michael Masterson puts it in his book Seven Years to Seven Figures, is becoming an increasingly popular, and feasible, way to start your business. “I think there are thousands and thousands of potential chicken entrepreneurs out there in the world, dreaming of quitting their jobs and starting their own businesses, but afraid to do so,” he wrote in a recent article.
by Liz Burr
If you haven’t heard about mobile social startup FourSquare, then you must not be paying attention to the news, your TV or your local Starbucks. A location-based application for your phone, FourSquare is seen as the frontrunner among the crop of location-based services vying for your attention. In charge of business development over at FourSquare is Queens-bred Tristan Walker, a recent graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and former Wall Street oil trader turned tech shot-caller. Walker leads FourSquare’s partnership development with media, brands and retailers such as MTV, Bravo, American Eagle, CNN, The New York Times, Louis Vuitton, and VH1.
Walker talked with The Atlanta Post about what it’s like juggling a full-time exec-level position at a hot startup while simultaneously finishing up his MBA at one of the leading business programs in the country. Find out how he landed this position, how he became interested in the Silicon Valley hustle, and what he thinks about diversity in technology.
Name: Tristan Walker
Position: Vice President of Business Development at FourSquare
Hometown: Queens, NY. (Born in Jamaica Queens, raised mostly in Flushing)
Located: Palo Alto, CA
Undergraduate School: Stony Brook University
Marital Status: Married
Last Book Read: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Favorite movie: The Godfather
Tell us a little bit about FourSquare.
[At Foursquare], we’re trying to make things that make cities easier to use. What I mean by that is that we’re trying to get people out exploring the cities in which they live or visit and incentivize them to do so. FourSquare is part friend finder, part social city guide and it uses game mechanics to tie it all together and encourage people to check in and share their location with their friends.
What does your position as VP of Business Development involve and tell us about your journey to this position.
Before business school, I was an oil trader on Wall Street. Hated it. I did that for a year and half, almost two years. I started out with this ambition to get as wealthy as possible [laughs]. I grew up with humble means and thought, I am never going to live like this again. How can I get rich? I felt that there were really three ways you can do it: 1) Be a professional athlete 2) Work on Wall Street 3) Start your own company.
At the time, I thought I didn’t have the money to start my own company, so I couldn’t do that. The professional athlete thing was just not working out for me [laughs]. So I really hustled to get on Wall Street. I had the fortune to do so, but then I realized that it just wasn’t for me. So I said, now that two of the three [options] are gone, I might as well try this entrepreneurship thing.
I applied to Stanford Business School. It was the only place I applied and fortunately I got in. I knew Stanford had this appeal toward entrepreneurship, so I wanted to dive in with both feet first. I got out here and started exploring. I didn’t know much about the Silicon Valley tech thing until I got out here. Once I learned about it, I just started getting really obsessed [with] it. I tried to read every blog and book I could about technology in general. Then I started to narrow it down to social media and particularly how brands are starting to use it in interesting ways.
I hustled and got my way into an internship with Twitter. I did that in January of last year until June of last year. I helped them with what is now Twitter 101 for Business. Essentially my internship [involved] talking with a bunch of brands on how they use the service, and helping give Twitter ideas around how they can potentially monetize the engagement brands are having with their consumers.
Last summer, I had some experience at a consulting firm with a consumer retailer. I helped them think through their operations and so on. Then I got this fascination with retail brick-and-mortar in general. Transactions are something that have always fascinated me. I wanted to blend what I learned at Twitter (how brands engage consumers online), with how they engage consumers offline with brick-and-mortar. And I wanted to do something at the intersection of that.
With starting my own company I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something, so I kept researching. Then one day I heard about this thing called FourSquare back in June 2009 and right away I got it. They work perfectly at that intersection. That night I emailed Dennis [Crowley] and Naveen [Selvadurai], it was only them at the time, and I didn’t get a reply back. I think I emailed Dennis about six or seven times before he got back to me. And when he got back to me, he said, “You know what I just may take you up on some of this. Are you ever in New York?” And I said, “Yeah, coincidentally I’m in New York tomorrow.” When I got home I booked my ticket and flew out the following morning and hung out with him for a week.
What did your email say?
The more Dennis was busy, [the more] he couldn’t think through the business and locations. I was more fascinated by the transactions and the point of sale when people swipe their cards. I wanted to get as close to the point of sale as possible. When I heard about this thing called “the check in,” I thought, you can’t get any closer to the point of sale than that, right?
So I told [Dennis] all the implications of what this could mean for business. [I said] give me a chance, and I’ll work for free, I’ll do whatever it is. I get it and I want it. I kept reiterating that over and over again. I was a big fan of his from Dodgeball, which he started like 10 years ago, so he’s been in the space for a while. Then he let me in, [I] hung out with him for a week and we just brainstormed together, and a month later I was doing biz dev for the company.
(Huffington Post) —In the latest version of our HuffPost Innovators Series, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting and promising startups from the HuffPost community. These firms, all of which were submitted by HuffPost readers, are doing everything from a crowdsourced approach to corporate innovation — which has attracted investment from Silicon Valley’s elite — to devising an eco-friendly solution to restaurant and food waste. One firm, which bills itself as an Expedia for personal appointments, just wants to make it easier to book a massage.
(Entrepreneur) – Beyond profit in a business, cash flow is king. For startups, establishing cash flow as quickly as possible is vital to keeping your operations going through your critical first year and beyond. The key to maximizing cash flow in your business is to understand the things you can actually work on and measure, to create a clear target number or objective.
(Read Write Web) – Never underestimate the importance of having a good story when pitching your startup to potential investors, clients, partners, and journalists. As Seth Godin writes in his 2005 bestseller All Marketers Are Liars, “Either you’re going to tell stories that spread or you’re going to become irrelevant.” Godin’s book addresses a shift in marketing – away from simply presenting factual information and towards telling great stories. As Godin suggests, these stories make us want to believe – in a product, in an idea, in a company.