The Hacker Chick Blog

creativity, innovation, and pushing the edge on what's possible

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How to Build an MVP

The week before I started at Harvard Innovation Lab, I was there as a guest lecturer – giving a talk on How to Build Your MVP to a bunch of Harvard undergrads who were working on creating – for many – their very 1st startups. I wanted to show them that they didn’t have to […]

Lean Startup 101 For Everyone

Lean Startup 101 for Everyone

The intersection of students & startups is a really happy place for me and so it’s been awesome that I’ve gotten to teach students about how to do startups at four (!) different universities over the last 4 weeks (yes, it’s been a whirlwind!). MIT, Harvard, London Business School and Northeastern. Developers, designers, business students, […]

Focus in Chaos: Why I Like Kanban for Startups

Focus in Chaos: Why I Like Kanban for Startups

It’s okay if you don’t know exactly where you’re going  – because things are always changing – just so long as you’re focused on the Right Things. BUT, this is really hard at a startup precisely because everything is always changing. It’s essential that your developers are okay with these points. It drives me a […]

Reflections on 2012

Reflections on 2012

2012 was quite a rollercoaster year for me. It kicked off coming off of an unexpected December divorce and so I started the year by giving away over half of my (remaining) possessions and moving out of the house I’d dreamed of since I was a kid. It was time for a change, to hell […]

Blog Update

Blog Update!

Decided The Hacker Chick Blog needed a bit of a face lift. Nothing major – just hopefully a little cleaner, maybe a little more playful. Hope you like. A couple things: I finally managed to update my About to reflect that I’m no longer at Microsoft (yeah, I’m a bit behind) and to use a […]

Who Are You Imitating

Who Are You Imitating?

When I first started writing The Hacker Chick Blog, I was incredibly taken by Kathy Sierra and her Creating Passionate Users blog. I loved how fun and edgy she was. I was in awe of her fearlessness in advancing her own ideas even when they flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Not only was […]

Moving on From Hack Reduce

Moving on From hack/reduce

I am incredibly proud to have launched hack/reduce, Boston’s Big Data hacker space, which will be officially opening it’s doors next week. Everything about this process has reinforced why I love the Boston startup community. The upswell of support from every corner of the community has been amazing. People reaching out that I’ve only met […]

My Story from the Women in Tech Trenches

My Story from the Women in Tech Trenches

Elise Kovi from SoftArtisans interviewed me for their Women in Tech series. Reposting here with their permission: This is the ninth in a series of posts exploring the personal stories of real women in technology. Every woman in tech overcame, at the very least, statistical odds to be here; this blog series aims to find […]

Hack the Planet

Hack the Planet

After an amazing couple of years at Microsoft as their Evangelist for Startups, I found myself ready to move on. To step it up. I fell in love with Boston’s startup community and wanted to do more. I spent months trying to figure out what my next thing would be. Talking to to people, brainstorming […]

Community Rules – Creating Companies based on Networks of Contributors

Community Rules – Creating Companies based on Networks of Contributors

Eric Paley of Founder Collective facilitated an awesome panel at the 2012 Nantucket Conference around startups whose businesses are built on the contributions not of their employees but of people in the communities they’ve created: uTest (testers in-the-wild for software), Skillshare (learn anything from anyone anywhere), and GrabCAD (GitHub for engineers). In each case, without […]

Hypothesis-Driven Development

Hypothesis-Driven Development

You’ve got your vision of what you want to build. You’ve also got a ton of unknowns and uncertainty. You know you can’t just go build it and hope they will come. You have to do it iteratively. Put a little bit out there, see how people react, figure out what to do next. But […]

Agile for Startups (MIT Guest Lecture Slides)

Agile for Startups (MIT Guest Lecture Slides)

MIT’s Entrepreneurship Center asked me to give an Agile Product Management workshop for their Hacking IAP course. The course is a special seminar in management they’re doing for MIT student entrepreneurs. It takes place over the IAP (January) term and is open to all MIT students that have startups already underway. The first week of […]

Kanban is the New Scrum

Kanban is the New Scrum

Maybe it’s all the time I spend with startups, but while I strongly value Scrum’s ideas behind self-organizing teams & continual feedback – I can’t help but feel Kanban represents the next level of agility, giving us more flexibility and capitalizing on the lessons we’ve learned from Lean. Scrum A lot of people tend to […]

Agile Vs. Lean: Yeah Yeah, What’s the Difference?

Agile Vs. Lean: Yeah Yeah, What’s the Difference?

Is Agile the same as Lean? When people say “agile” do they really mean Scrum? Or do people still use different types of agile – and if so, why? Been getting a lot of questions lately, so thought I’d take a stab at this… Lean Lean comes from Lean Manufacturing and is a set of […]

On Shipping More

On Shipping More

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I believe that every day gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and so it’s silly to put so much stock into that one day each year. Nonetheless, with the new year starting this weekend, I find myself longing to create more and – in the words […]

Fuck SOPA: How to Transfer Your Domains off GoDaddy

Fuck SOPA: How to Transfer Your Domains off GoDaddy

If you’re one of the many disgusted with GoDaddy for “actively applauding” the Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) act then here’s how you can stand up and – pretty easily — transfer your domains off of them. For background – I had 11 domains pointing to two different hosting providers and forwarding to a few different URLs. […]

Follow Your Own Path

Follow Your Own Path

Wanted to share my keynote from last week’s A-Ha! Social Media Summit. My marching orders for this were: “Abby – We just want you to give the people what they want: A fun, entertaining, inspirational, idea-filled *POW*!” So, just to set the stage – this is not going to be about lean startup or agile […]

Imagine a World Where Everyone Followed Their Passion

Imagine a World Where Everyone Followed Their Passion

Now I’m really embarrassed to admit it, but if I’m truly honest with myself then I have to admit I’ve got some stereotypes around people who…