Randi Zuckerberg: 5 Ways to Make It As a Tech Entrepreneur
Tina Amirtha was lucky enough to get the opportunity to catch up with Randi Zuckerberg recently. Here she shares the lessons she has learned as a female tech entrepreneur with The NextWomen.
Near the end of 2011 Randi Zuckerberg, publicly known as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s older sister, hit the pinnacle of her young career. Having orchestrated a live streaming Facebook town hall event featuring President Barack Obama, a very pregnant Zuckerberg raced home afterwards with a new surge of purpose in her career. Already on the verge of several life changes, she could no longer hold back an overwhelming one in her professional life. She decided to leave Facebook that day.
Zuckerberg led Facebook’s marketing development for six years before venturing off to start Zuckerberg Media. Inspired by her achievements at Facebook, her new media company delivers quality online content to the public from such clients as the Cirque du Soleil and Brides Magazine.
Alongside her business, Zuckerberg is also on a mission to create a dialog around juggling technology with other aspects of our lives. How do we balance our online selves with who we are when we sit face-to-face with our friends and family? As Editor-in-Chief of the lifestyle community, Dot Complicated, she and her contributors keep a running account of their brushes with technology in every aspect of their lives.
Furthering her media message, she most recently published two books: Dot., a children’s book about a tech-savvy girl who learns to unplug her devices and play outside, and Dot Complicated, Zuckerberg’s account of her Facebook years and contemplations of our social media-laden world.
Zuckerberg shared her lessons learned as a female tech entrepreneur with The Next Women.
1. Unplug Every Now and Then
RZ: One of the things that I’ve always valued in my own life is the ability to be creative, to think up disruptive solutions or, even when I was working in marketing at Facebook, things that just hadn’t been done before. It was only when I unplugged and gave myself a solid hour or two hours with no distractions that I was able to be the most creative.
2. Embrace the Sharing Economy
RZ: There are all of these kinds of online ecosystems to create and sell. Either through Shopify or Etsy, it’s really easy to set up your own store. Through 99designs you can have a design portfolio and get paid to design for anyone around the world. And these are all areas that women, by far, lead in expertise, design and creativity. So I think there’s a lot in this new kind of collaborative sharing economy that’s leveling the playing field for women.
3. Unleash Your Inner Designer
RZ: In the next ten years or so, we’re going to see that designers are going to become as important as engineers in driving businesses and websites because now we’re entering an age where it’s all about the user experience; design. Having women in the forefront of design will allow them to have a lot of influence over these businesses and websites.
4. But Also Realize the Power of Coding
RZ: Hopefully, more schools will start making computer science a required field, just like math and biology. Because it really is a skill that everyone has to have at least some basic literacy in. If you don’t see that a young girl is predisposed to go into coding, design is a great way to keep [her] in a technical field.
5. Accept Failure, But Don’t Give Up
RZ: I think, you know, a given is that you will be rejected at some point. That’s pretty much a given for anyone in business, especially entrepreneurs. But all it takes is one yes. All it takes is one person who wants to give you money or one person who wants to work with you or one first customer, and you’re in the door.
Tina Amirtha spends part of her time developing software and the other part writing. Based in the Netherlands, she has covered female affirmative action efforts in Dutch higher education. As a female engineer, she is interested in how women can gain more visibility in male-dominated fields, like STEM. Follow her on Twitter @tinamirtha.
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