Community needs its own CxO level representation at social tool companies

https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/617350986508558336 https://twitter.com/_danilo/status/617131584349560832

https://twitter.com/_danilo/status/617132655025393665 https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/617365827243765760 https://twitter.com/sarahjeong/status/616483621495554048

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Disruptive Strategies for the Future of Venture at PreMoney 2015

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Besides the Fbombs, 500 Startups founder Dave McClure's trademark, investors discussed financefunding, froth and fundamentals in the startup world.

Here's how the event at SanFrancisco's Intercontinental Hotel in June 2015 went....

Among the field of investors and founders discussing finance, funding, froth and fundamentals in theworld: Marlon Nichols of Intel Capital, Shauntel Poulson of Reach Capital, Heidi Roizen of DFJ, Michael Kim of Cendana Capital, Hunter Walk of Homebrew, Charles Hudson of SoftTechVC, Shadi Mehraein of Rivet Ventures, Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC, Hamet Watt of Upfront Ventures, Diishan Imira of Mayvenn, and Ellen Pao of Reddit.

Dave McClure's 500Startups PreMoney starts with a lot of F-words

Venture is a high IQ, high EQ, hustle business: Alfred Lin, Sequoia

Lunchtime: pioneering family funds, how culture is the invisible rug we trip on

Former Marine Paige Craig is an adrenaline investor

Series A is the new Seed round, declares micro-VC Manu Kumar

VC = product, Founders = customers, says Phineas Barnes

It's obvious, and yet...Black entrepreneurs and ventures hold untapped value

Takeaways: Develop a brand, build a thesis, hustle

Speed Advice Clinic for Female Founders

This was a fun day, meeting female founders and hearing what you're up to, like

and what you're up against, for instance

  • product/market fit
  • VC or no C
  • marketing technology in human terms
  • CRM
  • how to be a better boss to yourself
  • finding the next platform for your market

Some notable quotes:

"Give people tools to reach their own goals."

"I want to bridge the gap between science and art."

"Charge. With a new venture, there's no precedence for getting it free. Make money as soon as you can. Everything costs."

"Roadmaps are a symptom of distrust."

"Survey your existing customers to get a description of your product in human terms other customers will recognize. Outsource the writing of case studies in an authentic voice."

"By 2020 50% of the population will identify as freelancers."

"Get champions for your community, beach heads that bring in others."

Thanks for coming out, and here's to your next steps!

https://twitter.com/shefaly/status/606532214470361088 https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/606594832102916097 https://twitter.com/gracenordin/status/606553394879160320 https://twitter.com/leslieforman/status/606655705660059648 https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/606663455748300800

Female Startup Founders in SF 6/4: Free Speed Advice Clinic

Hi there, female founders of San Francisco-area startups -- and their friends!

Got a micro question holding up your progress? 

Here’s an answer to get you on your way.

My fellow startup veteran Shefaly Yogendra and are offering a free speed advice clinic for startup up founders when Shefaly’s in town from London next month.

OPPORTUNITY DETAILS

  • What: Speed Advice Clinic for Female Founders
  • How: In 20 minute slots, the two of us will listen deeply to your problem and offer possible implementable steps
  • When: Thursday June 4, from 11am to 3pm
  • Where: A central spot in SOMA-SF

As you probably know, I just spent a year leading early growth, product strategy, community building and operations at a visual story app in SF. I also bring extensive global media and content experience including NYC tech journalism and Hollywood entertainment.

Shefaly recently exited her fine jewelry venture, and has 2 decades of international business building and CXO advisory experience. She's been named a top writer at Quora for the past three years.

ASK US ABOUT THESE TOPICS

  • product strategy
  • content and community building
  • branding
  • market outreach
  • governance
  • global growth

HOW TO JOIN US

In the comments below or by private message, let me know you want to come. We’ll get you a spot, and tell you exactly where we’ll be. We’ll also take walk ins, so even if you're not sure you can make it, reach out now to get the address.

CAN'T COME? TWEET US

Time permitting during the clinic, we’ll also reply on the #founderclinic tag to your tweets directed in advance to @anastasiaashman or @shefaly. Try that right now!

Let’s do this. Share this with someone you think will like it.

Listening deeply: getting to know you, developing products, advising startups

This is my last week at the Storia App by Selfish Inc's headquarters in San Francisco. After more than a year leading early growth, product strategy, community building and operations management of this visual story sharing app at RocketSpace, I’m moving on…

I’ve really enjoyed exploring a new realm of expression with everyone in the Storia development, design and product management team and the Storia user community, the gift of getting to know creative thoughtful people better through your creations in the app, sharing stories with hundreds of people around the world, and all the candid discussions we've had about our life and passions.

I also admire the vision of so many beta testers and content creators for this new storytelling service and its budding community. The feedback shared with me about shaping Storia as a technology that supports your life and most important relationships and pursuits has been insightful, and generous.

To everyone I've talked with in the past 16 months -- whether you used the app or not, whether you're on Android or iOS or only the web, whether we've known each other for ages or just met on the side of the road for a few minutes, believe me, we talked about it -- I thank you for your contributions to the development of this story sharing social network and want you to know that I was listening deeply.

Even as I move on, I'm looking forward to what Storia has planned, and what people everywhere are going to do with Storia in the future.

What's next for me? I'll be around, and engaging with you about where we're headed with content, community, visual storytelling, and all things digital media and startup.

I'll also be talking with startups about chief product or chief community builder roles, and consulting on product, operations, marketing, growth.

On June 4, I'll be holding a speed advice clinic for startup founders in San Francisco.

With CXO advisor visiting from London Shefaly Yogendra -- who recently exited her fine jewellery venture and has two decades of international business building, and has been named a top writer at Quora for the past three years -- in 20 minute slots, we'll listen deeply to your problem and offer possible implementable steps.

Let me know if you want to come that day with a question related to product strategy, content and community building, branding, market outreach, governance, global growth. We'll get you a spot, and tell you where we'll be.

Can A Visual Story Become A Book Proposal?

That's what Toronto celebrity chef Zane Caplansky and I are going to find out, and you're invited to join us.

We're collaborating at Storia.me (formerly named Selfish), the new visual storytelling service where I've been heading content and community for the past year, to create the foundation of a book about his adventures building a deli empire.

Zane's a great storyteller, and his quest for the perfect smoked meat sandwich has taken him on a personal and professional journey around the world, from dive bars and divorce into foodie business ventures on wheels and construction lots, and onto the shelves of Whole Foods and television shows judging donuts and national radio airwaves talking about what makes Canadian food uniquely Canadian.

He's changed his name and returned to his roots and now he's serving handmade, homemade Jewish deli food the way his mother and grandmother taught him, and sharing his biggest lessons about life and how what we crave -- yes, it could be a sandwich -- holds the key to our future.

It's a story we can all enjoy.

In fact, a major Canadian literary agent requested Zane's book proposal.

Two years ago.

Does that sound familiar?

It's a common story and nightmare of many promising writers. You're busy. It's a lot of material to get your arms around. It's overwhelming! It takes time to pick out a narrative, pin down the content you want to draw from when you start writing. It also takes time to compare and contrast other related titles.

So here's what Zane and I are going to try at Storia.me, with its topic-specific, ongoing stories and its moments of photo, video and text:

We'll start capturing chapter ideas for his memoir in an exclusive story, and in this collaborative story Proposing Deli Man we'll walk you through what we’re doing together. Kind of like a blueprint for how we're doing it.

If you're a writer you'll probably find it interesting in a behind-the-scenes-in-publishing kind of way (and you might want to try it yourself, right along with us).

If you're a fan of Zane's food and his life stories, you might like to see him put together this book like he puts together his lovingly made smoked meat sandwiches.

He'll also be sharing about this project on all his platforms -- like a media- and audience-savvy book author needs to -- and inviting people to come peek in and comment. That includes you. We want to hear your thoughts every step of the way.

"It's a good example of collaboration, as well as a brilliant idea and useful for me," Zane says.

We can't wait to get started. So subscribe right now to our behind-the-scenes story Proposing Deli Man, and Zane Caplansky's Storywhere we'll be capturing all the delicious material representing his story, and be sure you're following Zane too so you don't miss any new stories he starts.

If you know anyone who would like to watch this unfold, or take part themselves, share this right now.

See you in the story!

Displaced Nation calls Expat Harem a "blog tailored to the thinking expat"

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.04.25 PMThanks to Mary-Lea Awanohara of The Displaced Nation for these kind words! "When the Displaced Nation first started, Anastasia Ashman, an American living in Istanbul, was running a blog tailored to the needs of the “thinking expat.”

"It seemed almost too good to be true: a group of women who were passionate about telling stories that illustrated the impact of the expat life on a person’s psyche. Had Anastasia rubbed a magic lamp to conjure up a kind of foreign harem? After all, her site was called Expat+HAREM. The work she created on the basis of her Turkish expat life has lived on in her wake."

So glad to see this great interview with Katie Belliel and Rose Deniz about their upcoming anthology Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

See other posts on this site about Displaced Nation.

Are You On Flipboard?

Are you on Flipboard? I'm testing it out as a curation platform. Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.01.45 PMHere are my magazines on social justice, "SJW: There's nothing wrong with wanting to right the world", and forward thinking in culture, media, tech & digital life. See what you think!

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#FilmHerStory: Anicia Juliana

For women's history month,  #filmherstory, an addictive Twitter meme calls attention to female protagonists and their forgotten, ignored, or too-little-known stories we want to see on screen...there are so so many. As far as I can tell, it was started by  curator Shaula Evans, film producer Cat Cooper, Miriam Bale and film and TV creator Lexi Alexander. Read through the suggestions in that Twitter hashtag, and suggest your own.

I suggested a story I've been researching and developing for years, the story of a forgotten monumental woman builder who built the most decorated building in the world and spurred an emperor to best her.

Here's where you can see more about my Byzantine princess story in development, including images and research:

 Click on this mind map to get the scope of the story:ANICIA JULIANA & her church of PolyeuktosScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.04.21 PM

I’ve been developing this story since, while creating an Istanbul walking tour for National Geographic Traveler, I literally tripped over the foundations of a social grudge between my superlative-but-forgotten 6th century princess and Justinian — which prompted the Holy Roman Emperor to build his world-beating Haghia Sophia Church a mile down the road. The man needed to best Anicia Juliana. See my Pinterest board about it.

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Bringing decision-maker and startup mentor Shefaly Yogendra to RocketSpace

Did you know decision making is a discipline?

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Thrilled to be able to bring my longtime friend and global woman entrepreneur peer Shefaly Yogendra, visiting the San Francisco area from her base in London, to speak at RocketSpace.

She'll be leading a decision-making workshop on the co-working campus tomorrow.

Check out Shefaly's answers on Quora, where she's been named a Quora Top Writer for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

And here she is, talking about "risk literacy" after Angeline Jolie announced her decision to get elective mastectomies.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 6.58.36 PMSee the photos here at Storehouse.

Key takeaways:

  • problems are dynamic, solutions are dynamic
  • going with your gut feeling is as good as rationalizing a decision
  • we all make imperfect decisions, they are only perfect at that moment in time

Facebook As Ferguson Firewall

When protests were erupting in Ferguson, Missouri (and in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Washington DC and Seattle) after the Darren Wilson Grand Jury ruling in his fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, my Twitter timeline was nothing but Ferguson. (I also had Ferguson-devoted Twitter lists to dip into.) But same as in August, when the shooting spurred protests which were met by a disproportionate show of force from a militarized local police, my Facebook timeline was animal videos.

In his reply, Tobin Davis is referring to the Orwellian scrubbing of the media that occurs in the Facebook newsfeed algorithm, which controls 30% of the news accessed by more than a billion people: 

“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”…George Orwell, “1984″

And it's Facebook's declared intention to become "'the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world'." 

Technosociologist Zeynep Tufekci writes: "algorithms have consequences."

Shun social media? You might get lost or left in the past.

Heard from 2 friends who shun social media:

"I don't want to lose you, what's your mailing address?"

"I don't want you to get too far in the past that I can't catch up with you in the present."

Who's in danger of being lost, who's being left in the past?

It struck a nerve on Facebook...

I feel connected with both of these people when we do meet up.

All we're missing is the daily details and the months and years of lost opportunities to act on them.

I'm doing an AMA on Reddit. Come ask me a question.

EDIT: Here's where you can see my completed AMA.

 

Wut.

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I'm doing an AMA on Reddit this Thursday February 5 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern.

AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything", an interview where everyone can participate.

Come ask me some questions?

 

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My topic is "What's so wrong about being Selfish?" and in true AMA fashion, that's just a starting point for what we'll be talking about. I'll be joined by Brock McLaughlin, manager of the Luke Austin Band and a Canadian Selfish brand ambassador who racks up karma points with his obsession of dressing up his pug Sidney Vicious, and Selfish's iOS project manager Marat Kinyabulatov checking in from the Ural Mountains.

 

Here's one of my favorite questions from the day: "Do you think the name "Selfish" might turn people off from joining the network?"

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My answer:

"Yes, it's a hurdle because our associations with the word are so one-sided. Since childhood we've been admonished "don't be selfish." When someone's breaking up with us, we dread hearing the reason "you're selfish." But we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can help anyone else, right? And there's also a growing trend that we need to take care of ourselves, and nourish what we care about.

"We have an assortment of interests and relationships and ways of being. Social networking and mobile apps and visual capture tools should be able to map to those realities, and give us the control and power we desire."

Ahoy mateys!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 5.21.37 PM As you probably heard somewhere, we launched the Selfish iPhone app in Canada last week.

Mobile Syrup says it's "providing a, well.. social element that has been lacking" from other visual story apps.

Now we have lots of fun Canadians coming onboard, including our spokesperson Jack Greystone who’s been on the cover of a Harlequin Romance, as a pirate hipster, if you like that sort of thing.

He just started his Selfish profile and first visual stories...

You can join us right at the website -- even if you're not in Canada, no iPhone required.

Take a dunk with us, the water's fine.

Successor to Expat Harem Launches: Expat Sofra

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Katherine Belliel and Rose Margaret Deniz, (Expat Harem book and blog writers you'll recognize whom I've had the privilege and pleasure of working with for many years) are now calling for submissions to their new anthology for expat women writers who've lived in Turkey.

It's called Expat Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.18.54 PM As they explain,

"Follow in the footsteps of Tales from the Expat Harem by going deep into personal, introspective experiences that have a love and respect for the local culture and traditions.

"Sofra invites you to a second course by taking a seat at the Turkish table.

"Just as the sofra is the heart of the Turkish hearth, we want stories that are steeped in the experience of being an expat in Turkey. The editors have a combined twenty-five years in Turkey and are editing this compilation of essays to give back to the culture that has nourished their lives abroad."

If you've lived in Turkey for at least a year, or know someone who has, take a look at the call for submissions, open to April 1, 2015.

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"At the heart of every story is a flavor. Expats pack their bags with spices from home to find that incorporating it into meals, and subsequently their life abroad, can require trial and error, a sense of humor, and even failure. Relationships flop. Meals get burnt. Life abroad does not taste the same. But it evolves. Becomes enriched. And can even become decadent."

Tending Relationships In The Technological Age: Multiminding

My worlds colliding -- no, integrating! -- at Estee Solomon Gray's Mmindding Symposium on what she calls agile attention management. It's a movement toward our reality as relational beings, supported by the technologies of today. We can do this. We want to do this. We are doing this. The talks were by academics who study things like proxemics and chronemics. The audience was filled with people who are carving out lives and work in just this post-industrial age reality. We're returning to our natural rhythms.

Pictured and not pictured, friends and colleagues and acquaintances from GlobalNiche, future of work thinkers, expat entrepreneurs, TEDxBayArea, Wisdom 2.o conference, Exceptional Women in Publishing, Bryn Mawr College alumnae, Women's Startup Lab.

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Held at Rodan-Fields HQ, pictured: Leslie Forman, Pamela Day, Karen Jaw-Madson, Tanya Monsef Bunger, Maria Judice, Monika Ashman, Shirley Rivera. Also seen at this afternoon of theory and practice of "multi minding", relational thinking and acting for a qualitative life: journalist Liza Dowd, Kevin Marks, creativity expert Austin Hill Shaw, Bonita Banducci, Minda Aguhob of Peak Foqus, salonista Betsy Burroughs.

 

Make A Living Holiday Letter With This Collaborative Visual Story App

Note: This free tool is so new it's not in the app store yet. But I'm giving you a special link to download it on your iPhone, and make this story your whole family can enjoy and participate in. +++

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.57.32 AMEvery year you send out a newsletter with holiday greetings, recapping the year's events, and spreading good wishes for the year ahead.

You craft it (at the last minute, just another thing on the to-do list), you scrounge for the right photos and agonize over the fonts and the formatting and the text, and you send it all the email addresses you can think of. It's done and gone.

This year, why not give yourself some breathing room and try a living Selfish story to recap 2014's most memorable moments in images and text and your hopes for 2015 -- and have fun with your friends and family while you do it?

It's quick and informal. You can start a Selfish story in 1 minute. Pick a cover image, a title, and your first moment wishing everyone a happy holiday. Anything you might decide to add after that is a bonus!

It's interactive: your friends and family everywhere can comment right in your holiday letter from their desktops, laptops, and mobile phones.

It's ongoing. You can start now, today, with that first moment, and share the link. Then you can keep adding highlights and chatting with your loved ones in the comments.

Download Selfish, a brand-spanking-new visual story app on your iPhone.  It's not even in the app store yet, so you're looking at the public beta before everyone else gets it!

It's free, as always.

Here's what you'll get when you start your holiday letter as a Selfish story:

  • one easy link you can start sharing today
  • one easy link you can send or post everywhere including Facebook, Twitter, email, Pinterest
  • a gorgeous display of images and text all viewable on the web, or in mobile phones
  • if you add more than one image to a moment, it shows on the web as a slideshow!
  • just one simple seasonal greeting moment will work great, or
  • you can add all the moments of your year if you're a detail person, at any time -- hours, days, weeks -- after you start your story. The link you share doesn't change!
  • invites everyone on your mailing list to comment and talk to each other so your holiday letter comes alive

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Get started right now

  • Do a 12-days of Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza or New Year's story, or
  • Top 10 fun times in 2014
  • Best image and happenings of each month of the year
  • A moment for each family member -- add as many images and captions as you want. Don't forget Fido. He had a big 2014 too.
  • Or, start capturing real-time just what you're doing this holiday: running errands, gazing at decorations, digging out ornaments in the attic, preparing special meals, enjoying the store windows, the snow on the ground, the lights, the trees, the presents, the crowds. What the season means to you. You may find you want to share your real-time holiday letter more widely by the end of the month!
  • If you'd like the rest of us to enjoy your holiday letter too, add a hashtag in the text or comments on one of the moments: #holidayletter

Open the app on your iPhone and get started. Happy holidays!

On the road to Slush, the startup conference in Helsinki

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 5.12.42 PM In an ongoing, collaborative Selfish visual story, here's what happened this week at Slush, the massive startup conference in Helsinki, which I attended with the founders of Selfish Inc, Rostem Hairedin and Moody Fayed.

Pitching contests, Vegas-worthy light shows, avant garde gentlemen's grooming, Marimekko prints, exhibits and panels by Finns you've heard of, Finnish humor, a sauna in the sky, SuperCell's blowout after party, human androids and oculus rifts, meetings about user feedback analysis, bean bags, Estonian tech sisters, Facetimes home, spontaneous ice cream picnic with Istanbul Teknokent Turks, a party in a casino with RocketSpace mobile ad regulars Fiksu, Tune and Ad Colony.

View the story "On The Road To Slush" to see the details.

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Workshop For Startup Founders: Build A Powerful Network With Social Media

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