Glamour Magazine just published an article entitled Top New Women Leaders in Technology. As I read through each of the stories I find one thing in common…each woman identified a need and created a solution.
Have you ever been to a meeting where there is one person that has a complaint about everything?
- We tried that before and it didn’t work
- We’ve never done it that way before
- We don’t have the resources for that
- That is just stupid
I think we should institute a mandate that if you are going to complain about an idea that you can only do so if you have a solution to offer instead. That is what these women did. They found a problem and rather than just voice empty complaints, they did some research and in these cases, used technology to create a solution. That solution led to a business which led them to be one of the top 35 women in technology to watch.
And we aren’t talking finding solutions to the common cold or the energy crisis, we’re talking simple, real problems. Take Leah Busque’s story:
Leah Busque, 35, founder and CEO, TaskRabbit
The idea for TaskRabbit came to Busque one wintery night in 2008 when she was confronted with a hungry pup and an empty dog food bowl. “I thought, Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone online we could connect to and have them get us some dog food?” Four months later she quit her job at IBM to build the first version of TaskRabbit. Now the platform, which allows users to outsource home services to pre-vetted “taskers,” is in 19 U.S. cities with more on the way. Says Busque, “We want to revolutionize the way people work on a global scale.
It is almost like the common story of calling your neighbor for an egg or a cup of sugar – on a bigger, more organized scale.
Technology allows us, in the words of Camp Tech Online creator Candace Benson
, to “create endless possibilities.”
The sky is the limit. Technology is changing our world and women who are tech-minded are seizing the opportunities. Here is what one woman leader has to say on the subject:
Shaherose Charania, 33, cofounder and CEO, Women 2.0
What’s changing in tech: “Women no longer have a ‘if I can’ mindset,” she says. “Now it’s more about ‘how I can’—be in tech, start something in tech, fund something in tech. That shift is exciting! And it happened because we created a network where we show, daily, that women are innovating.”
I invite you to read the individual stories of each of the women. Each saw a problem, viewed it as an opportunity and then used technology to create a solution. Their energy is boundless, their ideas are creative and their entrepreneurial spirit is inspirational.
One last story to whet your appetite:
Clara Shih, 32, founder and CEO, Hearsay Social
Before she even turned 30, Shih was named one of Fortune magazine’s most powerful women entrepreneurs, became a New York Times-featured best-selling author, and was elected to the Starbucks board of directors. But as an undergrad at Stanford University, she says, she suffered from “imposter syndrome”—the gut-wrenching feeling you’ve faked your way to success. “There’s a really intense geek culture at most university engineering and computer science departments, and a lot of women don’t fit in,” she says. Graduating at the top of her class boosted her confidence, and she eventually went on to start Hearsay Social—a social-media dashboard for businesses that allows them to engage and build relationships with their customers—with her friend and fellow Stanford grad Steve Garrity. Says Shih, “All of these people from all around the world were sharing unprecedented amounts of information about themselves, and we decided to start a company around that.”
Look around your world today and identify a problem that you encounter on a regular basis. How might you use technology to create a solution?