Monthly Archives: October 2015

Monthly Mentions: October 2015

Monthly Mentions recaps my publications, citations, and appearances for the month. My goal is to share broadly my thoughts on women in technology leadership, cloud technology, entrepreneurship, and more.

In the press this month, I published:

Making Collaboration as Pervasive as Dial-Tone on the Huffington Post

Learning the Product-Market Fit Tango on the Huffington Post

On my blog this month, I wrote:

 The Future Is Now

Making Collaboration as Pervasive as Dial-Tone: This Week on HuffPo

Takeaways from RingCentral’s “Magic Quadrant” Recognition

This Month on HuffPo: Learning the Product-Market Fit Tango

On my LinkedIn page this month, I shared:

My Top 4 Productivity Hacks

The Future Is Now

Learning the Product-Market Fit Tango

The Future Is Now


In the movie “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015, to save his children, yet to be born in the original “Back to the Future” in 1985. Watching these movies in the 80s, who didn’t covet the ultimate time machine, Doc’s DeLorean car? Fast-forwarding to today, the future is now. Cars may not be time machines, but they do have some pretty amazing capacities.

Could Doc have imagined that Silicon Valley — not Detroit, or Germany, or Japan — would hold the future of the automotive industry? Drive through the Valley, and, chances are, you’ll see lots of Teslas, built nearby in Fremont, California. Tesla is not just an automaker; it’s also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation. It has revolutionized the automotive industry by taking the maintenance and high gas costs out of owning a vehicle. With a battery that can be recharged at home taking up very little space underneath the car’s chassis, Tesla has changed not only the face of automotive energy consumption and related pollution reduction; it has also altered how we use space in cars, as there are markedly less parts in these low-maintenance electric vehicles.

In Mountain View, California, chances are that you’ll come across one of Google’s self-driving cars. Making the case for such vehicles, their website reads: “Aging or visually impaired loved ones wouldn’t have to give up their independence. Time spent commuting could be time spent doing what you want to do. Deaths from traffic accidents—over 1.2 million worldwide every year—could be reduced dramatically, especially since 94% of accidents in the U.S. involve human error. “ Who knows if and when these vehicles will become mainstream, but those statistics make a compelling case for their ongoing exploration. And rumor has it that neighboring Apple, in Cupertino, California, is also staffing up an automotive division and is about to enter this race for the future of cars.

Amid all of these exciting advances, there remains much work to be done. My iPhone doesn’t interface with my own car. I wonder, are Americans picking their cars now based, in part, on interface capabilities? The New York Times covered this a bit in September in a piece called “Complex Car Software Becomes the Weak Spot under the Hood.” Advances like automated braking have huge upsides safety-wise, but then, too, there is new potential for multiple points of failure. My friend’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has an interface she loves, was recalled for a software upgrade because hackers proved they could take control of one of these SUVs remotely. That’s scary!

Innovation in this industry may never reach time-machine capabilities, but the future is exciting, including what’s available here and now. I don’t doubt that Marty McFly and Doc would be surprised at the technological advances they’d find between 1985 and 2015 — or have much sympathy for the inability of my phone and my car to talk. We’ve come a long way in thirty years, and who knows where cars will be in thirty years — perhaps not only self-driving, but flying! After all, the Terrafugia prototypes are well underway. Now that would really be something.

Making Collaboration as Pervasive as Dial Tone: This Week on HuffPo


This week on the Huffington Post, I discuss workplace communications and collaboration technology. With RingCentral’s acquisition of Glip this summer, we now offer a single stream of communications that flows across all devices and flexes to support multiple modes of communication and collaboration: team chat, document sharing, project and task management, plus voice and video calls and conferences. This blending of synchronous and asynchronous communication reflects the real workstream of a team and allows for maximum communication and collaboration benefit.

To get work done, we need to communicate, and we need to collaborate. The distinction between the two will fade as we break down the barriers between different modes of interaction – all the ways we exchange messages, share documents, or connect in real time.

We built our company around reinventing phone service in the cloud. We recognize businesses need a broader range of communications and collaboration options, but to really make a difference they need to be broadly used. Collaboration needs to be as pervasive as dial tone. Read my case for this on this week’s HuffPo by clicking here.

Takeaways from RingCentral’s “Magic Quadrant” Recognition


As EVP of Innovation for RingCentral, my delight in our company’s positioning as a leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service report is palpable. RingCentral’s position as the most “visionary” company on the quadrant is particularly noteworthy. It is truly an honor for any company to receive this recognition from the most distinguished and capable analyst firm covering technology. Now, the task ahead for me and for my company is making sure that we retain our position as a leader in this space ongoing.

Just because we’ve been recognized at this high level doesn’t mean that we’ve “made it,” or that we can rest. There is a bigger and more receptive mainstream market to which we need to deliver cloud communications, and we are up against some mighty competitors with more resources than we have trying to capture our same market. With today’s workforce being highly distributed, increasingly mobile, and accustomed to ease of communication across devices and locations, we must continue to innovate to stay at the forefront in our industry. This is no time to slow down; this recognition is motivation and is just the beginning of much more growth, innovation, and expansion for our company.

Continuous focus on innovation and strong execution is how we will remain atop our game. I’ve written before on the importance of three types of innovation: invention, acquisition, and partnerships. With the launch of our RingCentral Connect platform for developers, our acquisition of collaboration platform Glip, and integrations with companies like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce, RingCentral has demonstrated our skill in innovating all three ways. Moving forward, we will remain laser-focused on innovation as we execute on our forward-facing vision. Combining our awareness of evolving customer needs and technological progress with building on our core strengths and core products, we will expand horizontally, vertically, and internationally. Expanding horizontally requires broadening our suite of products. Expanding vertically means broadening our reach into other industries. Expanding internationally will extend our global reach. We already serve a global customer base with offices all around the world, and we need to make sure that we stay on top of supporting them.

Product innovation makes great companies. Being recognized as visionary in that realm is incredibly motivating and begets more excitement about more innovation. Supported by our vision, strong overall company execution, an expanding customer base, continuous growth at a sustainable rate, and sound financial planning, our company will continue to balance it all — to fire on all cylinders — in support of our leadership position in Gartner’s “magic quadrant.”

This Month on HuffPo: Learning the Product-Market Fit Tango


This month on the Huffington Post, I discuss the topic of Product-Market Fit. This topic was the subject of a panel on which I participated as part of an Astia portfolio gathering in San Francisco recently. That conversation was moderated by Jamie Lerner of Seagate and joined by David Weiden of Khosla Ventures, J.L. Valente of Seagate, and me.

For our panel, we kicked off with a quote from Marc Andreessen: “Product-Market Fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy the market.” We talked about how you get to product/market fit and how you recognize it when you’ve got it (or when you don’t).

In my experience, the baseline responsibility as an entrepreneur is to build something that people need and want. When you’ve got it right, that’s Product-Market Fit. There are some basics that every entrepreneur needs to know when considering Product-Market Fit, and I share those basics on this month’s HuffPo. Click here to read about how focusing on Product-Market Fit grows companies successfully from start-ups into lasting businesses.