A Wise Person Once Said...
“It’s impossible to know everything about everything.” [So don’t stress] Charles Hudson said this to me when we met up for coffee in the early days of 500 Startups. To this day, it has stuck w/ me. In the tech world, so much is going on. How many times have you had a conversation w/ someone that started out with, “Hey did you hear Company X just raised X?” or...
My Week In Seoul
Above: A view of the Seoul cityscape from my hotel in Gangnam. I spent this week in Korea attending beLAUNCH and getting a taste of the Seoul startup scene. I head back home today, so here are a few observations and musings while it’s all fresh in my mind. Brand alone can only get you so far. Before, I naively assumed that a few emails and press articles would be enough to get...
Slides from my talk to the n00bs (500 Startups...
How To Hack 500 To Raise Money (500 Startups Batch 6) from Christine Tsai
New Year, New Resolutions
Happy New Year! For those of you who missed PSY & MC Hammer performing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (is it still called that?), check it out here. I haven’t had much time to think about New Year’s resolutions, but now that the holiday hubbub has quieted down, I’ve started to reflect on the past year and what I hope to accomplish in 2013. ...
Why Startups Need Marketing
At yesterday’s Startup School, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann talked about how the secret behind Pinterest’s growth was marketing, not engineering. In the early days at only 3,000 users, they started holding local meetups w/ Pinterest users (largely women) and engaging w/ bloggers to spread the word. Even when you hear him talk about the company, it’s clear that...
500 Startups Batch 5: Behind The Scenes
The 5th installment of the 500 Startups Accelerator program kicked off a couple weeks ago. Since then, a lot has already happened - kickoff festivities, 1:1 metrics reviews with each company, and a field trip to visit Google’s HQ. Blogging is like exercise. It’s critical to focus on building a strong brand that customers connect with, and a strong culture, even when it’s just...
Creating #500STRONG (Part 2)
** In my last post, I covered how we built a strong community at 500 Startups among our companies. In this post, I will focus on how we built the 500 Mentor network. (Fun factoid: “Mentor” is a character in Greek mythology) The 500 Mentors are a tribe of 180 people (and growing) who commit time and energy to help our startups. They: are based all over the world work at startups ...
Creating #500STRONG (Part 1)
The number one reason that entrepreneurs are attracted to 500 Startups is our community. I call it the “500 Family” because it really is a family. Everyone helps each other, is quick to jump in and provide help, gives tough love, and gets into squabbles (or downright fighting). At the end of the day, there is always a sense of unity, of something bigger that connects us all. We call...
Getting Plugged Into The Startup World
In the last couple months, I’ve met up with old colleagues who are curious about getting plugged into the startup/investing scene. They’re currently employed by big tech companies and haven’t actively been on the job hunt, but they’re intrigued by startups. Everyone’s motivations vary, but the most common one I’ve seen is that they’re hoping it will lead...
Instagram Blog: International Sushi Day →
instagram: @ricecake1 @danifoodie @burberriejam @imakattastrophe @lairunthiz Sushi Facts: The word “sushi” doesn’t refer to fish — it refers to vinegar, sugar, & salt seasoned rice. In Japan, an apprentice sushi chef spends years…
Life Is Not Fair
Recently I tweeted this great quote: In life, you do not get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. This seemed to resonate with a lot of people. Why? Because at one point or another, everyone has witnessed and experienced that feeling. You work hard, people around you agree, and you produce awesome results. Yet somehow… you get passed over for a promotion or raise others get...
Faster Is Better
The measure of a truly remarkable (ballet) dancer is not the beauty of her lines or how graceful she is. It is in the quality of her footwork during petite allegro, because that is the most difficult skill to master. Many underestimate the sheer amount of precision, speed, strength, and nimbleness required to look as if you’re effortlessly prancing about. This can be analogized to being...
Startuphood and Parenthood
Last month, I had the honor of having my writing published on TechCrunch. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) at how much the piece resonated with readers, especially parents and/or entrepreneurs (or some who were both). And without further adieu, here it is: Startuphood and Parenthood: Not for the Faint of Heart Parenthood is the closest thing I’ve found to entrepreneurship. Looks cool from the...
Reflecting on 31
Above: A slice of red velvet cake (my favorite kind of cake) 2011 has been an exciting, transformational year for me, to say the least. In July, we became parents when our sweet little boy Brendan joined us, making us a party of 5 including our canine kids Nickey and Snowball. You could say this has been the Year of Brendan. As I turn 31 today, here are a few life lessons I’ve learned...
Prevent The Need For A 24 Hr Plumber
Last night, we had the unfortunate task of having to call a plumber over to fix our drain. Water and gunk had overflowed from the bathtub drain and our toilet was also leaking water from the back, causing a mini flood in the bathroom. We’d noticed some signs of a problem before (occasionally the bathtub would drain slowly, etc.), but it always seemed to clear up on its own. So we let it...
Life Lessons from Carrying Gingerbread
In just a few weeks, my life will change forever. Even though I’ve had ~9 months to prepare myself psychologically and emotionally for this huge upheaval in my life, I realize that nothing will ever truly prepare you. You can read all the books and get advice from all the people in the world, but until you actually experience it yourself, you won’t truly know what being a mother and...
Thick skin is an entrepreneur’s armor. Given how tough it is to get your ideas off the ground and run a startup, it’s no surprise that rejection and failure happen more often than not and that founders should be used to hearing “No.” The problem? You don’t always hear “No.” Talk to any entrepreneur who’s gone fundraising and s/he will talk about...
From Mighty Dog to Underdog
For the last few weeks, I’ve been marinating on an idea for a blog post about going from a big company to the startup world. It didn’t come out the way I wanted, so I shelved it. Yesterday, Michael Arrington published a post entitled “Are You A Pirate?” that talks about entrepreneurs and analogizing them to pirates. It helped re-jigger my post, so I re-jiggered. And...
It Gets Better
When you’re a kid, it’s not easy being different. But, as many are standing up and sharing their story will tell you, it gets better. One from Googlers: No kid deserves to be ostracized for being different. As a kid, I remember being picked on for being the only Asian kid. At Girl Scout Camp, I was hurt when the other girls made fun of me and didn’t want to share...
Blogging is like oxygen... or exercise →
Jotted down some musings from my experiences w/ official/corporate blogs, both currently at 500 Startups and at Google. Take a gander.
Know Your Cultural Fit
Having a clear company culture is critical. It is important for teams to work in harmony and, as a result, make the company successful. It is also important in attracting new employees as you begin to grow. Google and Zappos are examples of companies that took culture very seriously from the beginning, being explicit about their cultural values. This undoubtedly had significant impact on their...
I Hate Poorly-Run Events
If you work in consumer internet/tech, you will know that there is a ton of noise that can easily distract you from your work. These distractions (some of which are good and some of which are bad) come in the form of launch announcements, news, geek gossip, idle gossip, tweets, blog posts, and of course events. There are tons of events happening 24/7/365. You could conceivably attend an event,...
A fun ’90s playlist. Enjoy :)