By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) On February 14, Caterina Fake delivered the opening keynote at Women 2.0's PITCH Conference stating the need and opportunity to "humanize technology before it dehumanizes us." She underlined that "the Internet is built on a culture of generosity" and fear of missing out, urging the audience to build technology products that bring people together instead of driving them apart:
"Make it human, make it fun, work hard."
Another keynote speaker, ZipCar co-founder Robin Chase emphasized having focus in product development:
"Know what you have to prove."
She stressed the importance of asking yourself what the minimum viable product you need to ship is - then doing that and iterating fast.
Ship The Product - Then Iterate.
Katie Mitic, Facebook's Director of Platform and Mobile Marketing, recommended for the audience to "let go of the idea of a perfect product", and highlighted the importance of shipping:
"Builders love to ship. It's the way that we get progress - users tell us what's working or not. Build it, get it out there. Shipping isn't the end but the beginning. Learn and iterate. Happy shipping!"
Women Have A Bigger Issue (And It's Not Lack Of Confidence)
Care.com CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo, a former product manager herself, had a strong message for women to let go of "that image of perfection" because this will give you more confidence and help take risks:
"More than suffering from a lack of confidence, women can handicap themselves by overpreparing."
90 Days 'Til Launch
Marcelo launched Care.com in 90 days, a practice in line with Chomp CTO Cathy Edwards's presentation advocating 90-day new product launches. Rapid market validation and user feedback are necessary to move forward as a lean startup.
Women's power lies not only in our purchasing power of households and consumer habits, but in our ability to innovate and build great technology products.
Photo credit: James Saturnio from Ezebis. About the guest blogger: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006 with Shaherose Charania. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management, web UI design, and entrepreneurship. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.