Shefaly Yogendra

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.


  • 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.


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


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.


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.

Bringing decision-maker and startup mentor Shefaly Yogendra to RocketSpace

Did you know decision making is a discipline?

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 11.39.21 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.57.06 AM Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.57.15 AM


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

Dynamite Waiting To Happen: My Fantasy Speaker List For A Conference On Global Women Entrepreneurs

Thinking about who I'd want to hear from on the topic of global women entrepreneurship, started a list of women whose thinking, feats and contributions in those three colliding spheres happen to bowl me over, and have, for YEARS. And when I write 'global' I don't mean 'outside of the US'. I mean global thinker. Global acknowledger. A woman owning her spot that's bigger than a particular place. Someone who considers deeply on a regular basis what it takes to operate in the world, and in the world today. This incorporates media, and politics, the economy, culture and society, business and tech.Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 11.44.45 AM

To me, 'global' means people connecting dots that have never been connected before. These global women entrepreneurs are necessarily feminist, they are people pioneering their lives and work in ways we can all learn from.

I'd love to see them all speak together, both separately and in panel discussions.

Female wisdom nurturer, creative thinker and author Justine Musk. Haven't met her in person yet, but will soon, and we will compare some odd overlaps in our lives, like rocket scientist pasts, and writing books influenced by The Great Gatsby featuring characters with multiple personalities. Know her mind and her heart, and her capacity to help us all be who we really want to be.

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Multidisciplinary strategist, educator and jeweler Shefaly Yogendra, whose principled verve and deep perspective I've been enjoying on Twitter and Quora for many years. We've only managed to spend a morning together in London but I know there are many more adventures and discussions yet to have.

My fellow global nomad, Istanbul writing group colleague and author Nassim Assefi, who's the director of stage content for TEDMED'14 as well as a global women's health doctor and single mama extraordinaire. The woman attended at the birth of her own daughter. She wins everything in my book.

Worldwide people connector and super-techy Joyent SmartOS community manager Deirdre Straughan, a fellow international operator I met through a Twitter friend who went to boarding school with her in India. She's forgotten more than most of us will ever know about digital publishing, and the Italian culture. She's also the kind of woman to say, "I rock!" and be quite right.

LadyBits founder and "feminist cyborg" Arikia Millikan, who's pioneering a new media model for writing that tech-savvy women want to read, and she's doing it during a year's trip around the world.

Future thinker Nilofer Merchant, author of the totally prescient Social Era Rules and role model for me in making good use of her resources, and telling us what she wants and what she cares about and what she sees, even (and especially?) when it costs her to do so. Nilofer suggests Al Jazeera politics and economy columnist Sarah Kendzior, whose writing on Central Asia has also captivated me.

More names started coming.

Another Bryn Mawr woman, an immigration and startup specialist who I met through the expatriate network and then in person on the Expat Harem book tour in Washington D.C., Kirin Kalia.

There's global entrepreneurship author of "Steve Jobs Lives In Pakistan" Elmira Bayrasli, who I met through the Expat Harem blog's discussions about our mirror-image lives as she is a New Yorker of Turkish descent. Elmira's launching FPInterrupted, a startup to raise the voices of women in foreign policy.

More insistent names are coming to me.

Like new media-old media-McKinsey social media dynamo Aparna Mukherjee, who I've had the pleasure of being wowed by in Manila, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, New York, San Francisco and Istanbul since we met at an Asia-Pacific college reunion in the 1990s.

Like Michele Wucker, author and president of World Policy Institute.

I think we SHOULD make it happen, Fifi Haroon, mediamaker and political activist. (Fifi was my mate at college and we've been working our way back to each other for 30 years!)

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My Advice To 40,000 Professional Services Pros On How to Make Your Digital Strategy Sustainable

Thrilled to contribute my perspective to this month's "Ask The Expert" column on how to combat digital overwhelm in the business-to-business (B2B) space. Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 2.45.34 PM

I answer this question from the community of executives and services professionals:

"I’m mentally exhausted from my social media responsibilities. What can I do differently with my digital strategy to make it more sustainable? Automation? Passing it to the intern?"

As you can imagine my approach and method for sustainability hinges on making your engagement with your online social networks one that nourishes you rather than depletes you.

Your network should delight and challenge you; bring you fresh insights and curated news you can use; it should activate you and engage you.

Once you start receiving true value from your network by curating your connections, you’ll have a better sense of how to provide value in return.

As your online communities begin to sustain you, participating in them will become sustainable.


Thanks to my fellow editorial pro Meryl Evans (who I met on Twitter many years ago!) for the invitation to share my perspective with the 40,000 subscribers of this 11-year-old newsletter for consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professional services professionals.

Women Have To Reinvent Ourselves & Our Careers, We're Lifetime Learners With Fundamentally Different Outcomes: Sallie Krawcheck, Owner Of 85 Broads

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.22.10 PMPleased to meet Sallie Krawcheck at her fireside chat at Fenwick & West for the San Francisco branch of 85 Broads (a network of 30,000 trailblazing women in 130 countries) thanks to my friend, colleague and investor member in London Shefaly Yogendra. The feisty Southern Krawcheck -- once called "the most powerful woman on Wall Street" -- recently bought 85 Broads and came to talk to us about what the global network of pro women needs. She told us surveys showed that some members want financial advice, mentors and reverse mentors, while others want to invest in women.

Takeaways from Sallie's far-ranging interview with Shamini Dhana, president of the SF Branch of 85 Broads, included:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.22.01 PM

  • Coming out of banking crisis it seems they've double-downed on white middle aged males
  • If you aren't on social media, research shows you look older & less tech savvy
  • Her first news of day comes from Twitter, it's a way to talk to the world
  • There's no career fairy godmother -- it's down to networking and sponsorship
  • Women have to reinvent ourselves, piecing together careers. We're lifelong learners w/fundamentally different outcomes
  • It's economically viable for women to start a biz today using tech & entrepreneurialismScreen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.16.43 PM
  • Diverse teams outperform more capable teams
  • Women outperform men without home runs and less flameouts
  • Choose a job in your 20s you think you can do in your 30s
  • #1 rule of business success is networking (that means loose connections and you need a ton of them)

Local members I met at the event include (listed by their Twitter handles) executive coach @Barbara Mark; Barbara Kamm, President of the Technology Credit Union@TechCu; Emily Hall @OGemilyhall, president of the Olive Grove which partners philanthropists, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders;  futurist, future of work visionary and woman after my own heart @ayeletb; user experience expert @MicheleMarut; advisor to the Turkish Prime Ministry's Investment & Promotion Agency Olivia Curran; and Sydney Alfonso, founder of @Etkie_Official, a venture to support women artisans around the world.

Being A Year Ahead Of GigaOm On Future Of Communication

Mathew Ingram of the emerging tech & disruption of media site tackles a topic close to my heart in his column today: "The Future Of Online Etiquette Is Already Here, It's Just Unevenly Distributed". Ingram comes to the same conclusion we arrived at in our GlobalNiche webchat series more than a year ago with our guest speaker and world citizen, international worker and multidisciplinary strategy consultant Shefaly Yogendra on Communication Styles of Mobile Progressives.

In that hour-long live discussion (listen to the recording at the link!) we asked,

Do your friends and family and colleagues think you enter an 'international cone of silence' when you leave their physical sphere?


Out of sight, out of reach. Apparently, that’s how our global existence sometimes feels to people who aren’t in the habit of connecting every which way like we’ve grown used to doing. Someone left me a message on my new American phone line  in 2012 saying “I’ve been waiting 10 years to talk to you” — yet I know I’m more connected now than ever.

The GlobalNiche community talked about this literal and figurative disconnect, and how forward-looking, world-flung types like us can maintain our connections across vast geographical — and perceptual and behavioral — divides.

Our conclusion, which GigaOm just got to?

The more progressive party has to communicate with people where they exist, and that may be somewhere in the past.