<![CDATA[Woman Startup! - BLOG]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:34:42 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Fake Door Testing]]>Thu, 08 Aug 2013 17:53:47 GMThttp://www.womanstartup.com/blog/fake-door-testingPicture
Blogger: Mita Mayoraz

Last month I had the privilege of listening to Jess Lee of Polyvore who has an interesting idea to test hypotheses.  “Fake Door Testing” is what they call it at Polyvore – a technique to build just enough to validate a basic hypothesis.  MVPs and “Fake it till you make it” gets thrown around a lot in my entrepreneurial circle, but what is the minimum you need to build to actually test that hypothesis and make it? Jess Lee’s Fake Door Testing caught my attention.

According to Jess, a fake door test has 4 basic steps:

  1. List your key assumptions
  2. Identify the biggest unknowns
  3. Build the unknowns, fake the rest
  4. Measure your success

Listing your key assumptions should be easy enough. Once you have articulated what assumptions need to be true in order for your idea to succeed, the next step is identifying the biggest unknowns. This is the hardest as most people are bad at predicting what they want. However, people are good at reacting to things that exist. Here comes the notion of fake door testing. Build some, fake some. Build the most important bits and test on real users. Measure user’s reactions.

So, in essence, fake door testing is A/B testing and you need an existing user base for this. You also have to be mindful of what you test, You don’t want to betray your users. Finally, it’s not a replacement for ideation and it’s only as good as the constraints and metrics you set.

What are your thoughts? Do you want to share an anecdote or a personal story where you had to fake it? 

<![CDATA[The Pink List: What Women Entrepreneurs want]]>Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:17:13 GMThttp://www.womanstartup.com/blog/the-pink-list-what-women-entrepreneurs-want
Blogger: Preetha Ram  

Do women and men entrepreneurs have different needs in order to succeed?
If this were a multiple choice question, many of you may check the "No, Duh!" box.  We here at Women Startup would disagree. 

We are different and proud of our differences.  There is plenty of research that supports the  "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" line of thought: our relationships are different. In the boardroom and in the workplace, we respond differently, react differently and make decisions differently.   Our responsibilities are skewed differently.  Until they invent the mechanical womb, we won the biological lottery, we get to carry that baby for nine months and worry about it for years after.  We organize pickups and dentist appointments, dinners and school bakeathons much more than our male counterparts. We typically do a lot more of the family/children related worrying.    Our interests are different.  We learn differently.  So, it is hardly surprising to us that women entrepreneurs would need a slightly different environment to thrive.  

At Woman Startup we did a lot of research to understand what that environment might be.  With that we came up with our Pink List #1  
of top 5 things Woman Entrepreneurs need.  

1. Helpful community (I want to hang out with women who understand me, who are willing to help, who I can help, who are facing the same issues I may be facing, who have solutions to some of my problems, who I can reach out to for a 10 pm phone call the day before an investor pitch and have them take the call.)
2. Resources to get things done:  We all need resources and recommendations: coders, legal, biz dev, interns, sales people...My full list includes: engineers, MongoDB gurus and investors and an occasional need for a recommendation for hosting a birthday party for a teen.
3. Space:  CoWorking has so many benefits for the early stage entrepreneur.  It will get me out of the house and out of my sweats, into comfy spaces, in cool neighborhoods with shops and cafes, so I can have that occasional water cooler chat.
4. Inspiration and Advice: Speakers who get me out of my current rut, who help me think up new solutions, who energize and inspire me to achieve greater heights.  I want to hear other peoples stories and learn from them.
5. Team: We are always looking to expand the team: cofounders, tech people, biz dev people, partners and others.  

Folks, we are describing a community of practice.  Cognitive anthropologists Etienne Lave and Jean Wenger noted that a community of practice or a tribe, is when a group of people come together around shared goals, help each other, appoint tribe leaders who mentor and counsel, and then inspire each other to achieve success.  Communities of practice succeed where individuals don't because of these supportive relationships - when someone takes an interest in your success and helps you.  And that is what WomanStartup is about.  We want to create that Community of Practice so we can all thrive - and succeed.

As I look at this list, it is probably the same at the top level as the list for male entrepreneurs - but the details that color my list turn it into a Pink List.  Did I miss anything?  Join the conversation.  Tell us.