Follow Your Own Path (#AhaNH 2011)


Published on

Abby Fichtner, Evangelist for Startups at Microsoft (aka @HackerChick on Twitter) took an unexpected path to success. As the Keynote Speaker for the "A-Ha!" NH Social Media Business Summit, she brought attendees along the path, and used the "minimum viable product" concept from lean startups to help attendees identify a sweet spot between their passions and strengths.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • My story…
  • “They used to say that everyone should try to be a rockstar at least once in their lifetime. I’m going to add to that and say you should [also] be an entrepreneur”-- Jason Baptiste, On StartupsHow many people here have started their own business?I believe that each and every one of you arerockstars. Because you’re putting yourself out there, and you’re creating something that never existed before. New products, new services – you’re adding to what it’s possible for people to do in this world.And you’re creating jobs! Small businesses account for the vast majority of jobs created. When the government looks at how to fix our job problems in this country – they’re looking to YOU, because YOU are going to be what fixes it.Even if you’re not at a startup or up on stage before millions of screaming fans, you should still be a rockstar. Because when you do that, when you put yourself out there and share what you’re doing – what you’re creating/thinking/building – with the world, I think only wonderful can come of it.And I believe when you’re following your passion, people are going to take notice. I think that has always been the case, for all of history. But today – with social media – it opens up SO many more opportunities
  • “Do 1 thing every day that scares you” - Elanoore Roosevelt
  • But here’s the thing – I don’t think we have to go it alone. I think if we look we’ll find that there are others out there with our same interests.And that’s what we’re trying to do here, right? We’re trying to become part of the communities that we’re trying to reach with Social Media.I believe that by working with these communities, our own efforts are amplified a thousand times over. And we DON”T have to go it alone.So here’s some ways to tap the community…
  • Amazing how many things come to you when you volunteerBoston SPIN Editor– editing articles by top names in software development!!  led to my being part of that community of thought leadersLean Startup Circle Co-Organizer  now I’m one of the top names people think of when they think Lean Startup in Boston
  • Once you’re in – you want to be able to put your all into it – otherwise, what are we doing it for?<quote>Because we want our lives to be about the Hell Yeah
  • The other thing I’ve found is the power of asking>Tell story of Mary Poppendieck, Lisa Crispin, RoyOsherove donating books for my 1st presentationI believe that when you ask someone about a topic that they’re passionate about – when you give them the opportunity to do something that helps spread their message or further their cause – if they can help you, they will.And so, just ask.
  • I talk a lot about communityAs an evangelist, 1 of my goals is to be an influencerEven though that’s different because I’m an evangelistASK: How many people are here to use social media to promote their business/organization or personal brand?I’d argue that you’re ALL evangelistsAnd you don’t become an influencer or thought leader by following the pack-saying what everyone else is sayingYou become someone people notice because you’re doing your OWN thing, because you have a UNIQUE voice. Because you’re talking about what you’re TRULY passionate about and when you do that – you’re authentic and you’re passionate and people HAVE to take notice> Tell story, On a call last week with Microsoft management about how Startup Evangelists can become influentials in their local communities. Do you think LS is the way in? I said…
  • I think SEs should look at their Passions & their Strengths and then think about their venn diagram for how that intersects with what their community is interested in…
  • So – we’re going to do an exercise to start you on your path NOW. No Exceptions.We’re going to think about what our passions & our strengths are – and how they might intersect with what our community is interested in.Now – this is obviously WAY too much to figure out in 15 minutes. But that’s okay, because my specialty is startup…So we’re going to use a lean startup approach and create something called a Minimum Viable Product: the smallest possible thing that will get us to the next stepBecause a lot of times – even if we start with something really crude, it’s always easier once we’ve gotten that first version out there,then we can refine it into what we really want. So, today is just about getting that 1st scrappy version out.
  • Step 1.Grab 3 cardsOn each card write either:- Something you’re passionate about AND/OR that you have a strength in – bonus points if it’s both thingsThe rules are:<read>You have 2 minutes which will go way too fast, so PLEASE no talking, only writingYou WILL get a chance to share after this is over.
  • Step 2:Flip one of those cards over and write down a way in which you can make it intersect with what your community is interested in.Be creative! Don’t just stop at the obvious(just 1 is fine, but if you have time, you can do more)We’ll have 3 minutes. Once again, please no talking – and we’ll get a chance to share after this
  • 3. Turn to your neighbor & share what you wrote on both sides of one of your cards[2 minutes each]4. 5 Volunteers – come to front of room with your card quickly. You have 30 seconds to say:Your NameYour Organization or BrandRead what’s on each side of 1 of your cards w/o commentary
  • 2. Flip one of those cards over and write down a way in which you can make it intersect with what your community is interested in.Be creative! Don’t just stop at the obvious(just 1 is fine, but if you have time, you can do more)
  • Follow Your Own Path (#AhaNH 2011)

    1. 1. “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit #AhaNH FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH Abby Fichtner Evangelist for Startups Microsoft Corp. @HackerChick Presented by Epiphanies, Inc. (, in partnership with@EpiphaniesInc | @NoBullBlog | the NH Division of Economic Development (
    2. 2. #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    3. 3. Be a RockStar #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    4. 4. #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    5. 5. The Power of Community #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    6. 6. #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    7. 7. If I’m not saying “HELL, YEAH!” I’m saying... Derek Sivers #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    8. 8. Just #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    9. 9. @kamccollum #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    10. 10. #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    11. 11. To Change One’s Life:Start Immediately.Do It Flamboyantly.No Exceptions. William James #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    12. 12. Find Your Path #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    13. 13. Find Your Path1 passion or strength/card (3 cards)Use few, simple words (<= 4 words) #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    14. 14. Find Your PathFlip 1 card overWrite down a creative wayyou might make it intersect with what yourcommunity is interested in. #AhaNH : @HackerChick
    15. 15. What’sYOUR Path? #AhaNH : @HackerChick