The Hacker Chick Blog

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

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…

The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

In 1935, Bill Wilson – an alcoholic whose doctor had given him 6 months to live if he didn’t quit drinking – had a vision. His vision was that while experts were ineffective in curing alcoholism, the addicts themselves were the keys to helping one another overcome the disease. And with that, Alcoholics Anonymous was […]

Lean Startup: It Rocks Far More than Agile

Lean Startup: It Rocks Far More than Agile

Joshua Kerievsky posted this most excellent table illustrating some of the differences between Agile and Lean Startup. I think this is so awesome because it shows how much more real everything is in Lean Startup. Take Velocity vs. AARRR (AARRR are Dave McClure’s startup metrics that measure things like how many people are visiting your […]

Indistinguishable From Magic

Indistinguishable From Magic

A couple of months ago, Fantasy Magazine approached me to write a non-fiction piece for them on how computers in the real world compare to those in the movies. I decided to write about some of the really mind-blowing technologies we’ve got that would blow those sci fi writers away. Had a ton of fun […]

10 Years Later, What’s Next For Agile?

10 Years Later, What’s Next For Agile?

I just got back from Agile 2011 and I have to admit, I was skeptical. It’s been 10 years since we signed the Agile Manifesto and I just had to wonder, “it’s been 10 years – why do we still need a conference on this? We get it already!” But I was also excited because […]

Startup Weekend Boston

Startup Weekend Boston

Over 130 people – half techies, half business folks – converged on Microsoft NERD this weekend to start their own companies, have some fun & make some noise. Friday night, 50 of them stood up and pitched their ideas in quick 60 second spots, interrupted only for a quick game of multiplayer rock-paper-scissors. Pitches ran […]