So what made you switch from corporate to your own startup? What was the driving factor behind that?
I am a product manager by trade and in Silicon Valley, the role of a product manager is to really go after untapped opportunities and find opportunities to build and create solutions. Being in the innovation capital of the world, you’re wired to think very differently. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, even on the projects I’ve worked on. I sort of had this “let’s do things in an innovative way” attitude. I loved problem solving and creating solutions. When my kids were younger, as a family we prioritized for the work-life balance so a corporate job was a perfect way in my mind to accomplish that. I was really happy to have gone through that experience.
Now that my daughters are grown up and they’re a little less dependent on me, I felt like the timing was right to take on entrepreneurship, which was and had always been my dream. The solid experience that I’ve had will certainly be handy and I’m very thankful for that.
It’s very surprising that you’re saying that it’s easier to be a parent in corporate America than an entrepreneur.
The way I think about this is it’s a personal choice and even to some extent what your personal preferences are. Entrepreneurship is definitely much tougher than a corporate job. Now that I’ve gone through a year of being an entrepreneur, I realized that the buck stops at you and you are almost required to be involved in every aspect of running the company. Even though you hire some of the smartest people, people expect you to sort of guide them and give them the vision and drive the company to where you want it to go, so that does require a lot more mental involvement.
In the corporate world you’re working in a larger team, you have other people that are sort of your guiding forces or guiding factors and there is that sense of you know “I have someone to go to if I’m stuck somewhere, and there are people who can mentor me or guide me.” And within the corporate world, it’s much easier to reach out to people so to me it was less of a mental challenge than what it is in the entrepreneur world.
Plus you get to share a little bit of responsibility. Even though you’re not ultimately responsible, you’re not alone and you’re not the only one guiding the company or setting the goals, so yeah I understand. But it’s still surprising because a lot of women have a very hard time going back into the business world with children. It makes it a lot tougher when you have to take care of two children at home and still go back. It’s 8-5 or 9-5, it’s 45 hours a week, 50 hours a week, it’s not 80 hours a week that you put in as an entrepreneur. I would totally agree with you on that one as well.
So your startup — what is this about, why don’t you tell us a little more about it?
Please see part three here.