Ellen Chisa

About | Portfolio | Teach | Speak | Write | Press

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We're building a new devtools company.
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Paul and I want to make it possible to build a complete scalable app in an afternoon. We’re building a platform that will make it 100x easier to build applications and bring the ability to write software to a billion people. We're hiring! If you're interested, you can learn more about our philosophy and who we're looking to hire here. The company does not yet have a name or a logo. (Icon from asianson.design on noun project).

I've made digital products to encourage people to lead more fulfilling lives in the real world.
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I was the first employee and VP of Product at Lola, a Boston-based startup that provided on-demand, personal travel service for hotels, flights, and more. Now, Lola focuses on making things go smoothly for frequent business travelers.

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I worked at Kickstarter as the Product Manager for the backer experience. I helped design a new suite of Discovery tools to let people find exactly the project they wanted to back. I also helped revamped the "Start" page to provide creators with more resources to start their projects, and created "preview comments" to allow creators to get feedback before launch.

I advise and teach others how to make user centered products for mobile and web.
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I'm a Product Advisor at Flybridge Capital, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Boston and New York City.

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I was an instructor at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. I've taught a seminar in Product Management (available here) and in Fall of 2016 I taught Human Factors and Interface Design with Amon Millner.

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Based on my popular post "Want to be a PM? Do a Project." I made a short video-based class on how to think through building your first product. It's available on Skillshare, and you can get access for three months for just $0.99 using this link.

I speak on how the products we make impact our lives.
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I spoke on using checklists to improve Product Development processes at Industry Summit 2015. The two most important times to use checklists? At the beginning of the project and right before shipping.

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One of my favorite talks was about the balance between art and product, at #ProductSF in 2014. A video is available on YouTube.

I love to write.
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I have the first draft of a book that is my existing essays on Product Management, and ten new essays. The Kickstarter ran for one week. I shipped it to backers and I'm going to keep revising before launching, but if you're impatient you can order here. (Icon from Charles Riccardi on noun project).

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I love to share what I learn. After completing my first year at Harvard Business School, I wrote a piece summarizing the lessons from each of the ten key classes. My favorite was about how to motivate employees via "the entrepreneurial gap." The piece has been viewed nearly 400,000 times across Business Insider and Medium.

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I believe in having a thoughtful and intentional career. I collaborated with First Round Review on The Magical Benefits of the Quitter's Mindset. The piece covers when it's time to make a career transition, and how to make the most of any role before leaving.

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I wrote a guest post for Stratechery on Crowdfunding and creating a sustainable Crowdfunding platform. Stratechery is a subscription based platform, and only members will be able to view the piece.

Still here? I do things other than work, too.
I love to travel, scuba dive, play pinball, indoor rock climb, and read. Right now I'm reading The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald. You can contact me here.