SurveyMonkey Engineering Leader Selina Tobaccowala Talks About Startup Failure And Success With Kara Swisher

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Today's Women 2.0 Conference on February 14, 2013 is being livestreamed here today and video will be available post-event. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

In a fireside chat with Kara Swisher, SurveyMonkey engineering leader Selina Tobaccowala (and Evite.com founder) answers the question "What did they do wrong?" as an experienced entrepreneur.

Selina Tobaccowala admitted, "The worst business deal [came from] two computer scientists with no business background. And my dad sat me down and said you have to hire a business person."

She followed up with a recommendation for new entrepreneurs. "Finding that right mix of talent was really vital," Selina said. "Secondly, we raised $37 million dollars for online invitations. That's just nuts."

On a more serious note, Selina Tobaccowala talked to growing a company to serve billions and look forward to emerging markets: "You have to think about it from the beginning from an application development perspective."

"People are the absolute key for growing from 20 to 200 in the last 3 years, to find the right people who believe in the vision and are able to execute. When you build the right culture, that is what is going to help you the most when you scale your company," said Selina Tobaccowala.

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A question from the audience came up about getting candidates for women who may one day consider board positions, asking if Selina has considered a board position. "Some but not that many," answered Selina, to which Kara Swisher remarked that her partner, a senior vice president at Google, has never been asked to join a board and is absolutely qualified to serve on a board.

How do we change the ratio of women on boards?

Follow the conversation on Twitter with hash tag #w2conf today and shout out to Women 2.0 at @women2!

Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.