哈囉，各位 CAREhER 的會員大家好，我是今天的主持人 Tiffany，轉眼到了二月，有沒有發現這陣子，有許多提倡在科技業的女性工程師比例的活動或是社團，不過大部份都專注在從事工程師工作的女性，其實在科技業也有許多從事非工程技術相關的女性，她們或為行銷（marketing）、或負責公關，或為產品經理等。今天跟我在現場的來賓是遠從舊金山回來的 Stephanie Lin 林奕帆，她在科技業的工作經驗便是非工程師職務，第一位台裔 全美亞裔小姐 Miss Asian America 本身熱愛打遊戲，曾經為美國電視台 NBC / ABC 的記者，在遊戲產業以及矽谷知名的孵化器 500 startups 幫助許多新創團隊- 更是一個新的線上 YouTube channel Sandbox 的創辦人。Stephanie 這次返台更幫許多台灣的團隊上了一堂如何應對媒體的課。來打個招呼！
Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for having me today! 各位聽眾朋友大家好！
她用完她所有會的中文了，那接下來我們用英文請 Stephanie 分享更多精彩的職涯轉換。有興趣的讀者可觀看底下中文翻譯稿。
Can you walk us through your career and transitions?
After I graduated from UC Berkeley, basically I thought I really wanted to be a journalist, so I moved out to New York. I didn't know anyone out there. I packed my bags and moved out to New York, and I started working as a production assistant at ABC news 2020, which is a program that I grew up watching when I was at a very young age. I did that for a while. Worked really hard, network, knocked on a lot of doors. and finally made my way into the NBC page program which is a competitive program for people who are interested in broadcasting or careers in entertainment. From there, I again networked my way and tested it into an opportunity to report and produce for the NBC local affiliate. From there, I basically reported and produced for NBCnewyork.com and for the overnights show which was called Today in New York, its live and an hour daily broadcast. I did reporting for a number of years, and then I got bitten up by the startup entreperneurship bug. There are a lot of really interesting stories about startups that were coming out of the Bay area which is where I'm from originally Airbnb, Facebook. At the same time, my own brother was running his own start up as well, so those factors combind to encourage me to move back out west to the Bay Area, to kind of explore my own potential career interests in Silicon Valley. So I started it out in gaming startup space in marketing capacity. And from there, I was literally the first marketing hired for the first startup that I was with.
Was your major actually marketing or journalism?
My major was actually Journalism, Mass Communication.（大眾傳播）Even though I wasn't doing what my major was, I was with an inner drive inner passion. I'm just really wanting to figure it out and build my own new career in marketing that I asked a lot of questions or to work those long hours. Put in the time to craft my own career in marketing. So I started out in a gaming company called NGMOCO who were acquired by DeNA, the Japanese gaming social company. From there, I went to a startup called Chartboost. And then I ended up at cabana. And then 500 startups.
I think I see a general theme through all your career transitions, you're someone who likes ask questions and you're a good storyteller. So what were you doing at 500 startups?
At 500, in a nutshell I was working on the marketing, the venture capital firm. so at 500 startups, that is a very well-known, a global VC, we do a lot of investments in the emerging markets. And I believe very active in Taiwan as well.
And my role essentially was to brand and tell the story what 500 startups is about across its global territory, that involved a lot of content marketing which is the blog and social media building community. And the part that I loved the most about the job when I was there was I got to meet a lot of different startup founders. A lot of them just through meeting me would approach me for advice on how to brand and market. Present themselves publicly and on my end and I did my best provide them that mentorship and also whenever there was an opportunity on our blog to showcase the founders, I'd happily providing guidance on storing the biggest contributor to the blog.
That's a good exchange.
Yeah, that was nice because in my perspective, I'm very much giving back supporting those who are so passionately pursuing their own business goals. And then I felt that in that particular way by giving them a place to voice what their business is about was the best way I can help.
You're on your media tour in Taiwan right now, and there's a lot of news coverage, especially you did a talk at 三創 which is with Taiwan Startup stadium about elevator pitching, essentially PR Marketing at startup. Let's bring it down to a more individual level.
People don't know how to answer questions but then how to present yourselves actually essentially when you need to do everyday.For people who really want to make their own personal brand, that's a very important skill. So can we bring that to a more individual level, and can you share with us some tips?
What I can speak to is say that you are a startup founder and you really want to promote your company and your products. I would say like the first thing to consider is the timing. I have seen way too many examples of when founders were too eager to drive attention to themselves or their products. And they ended up wishing I could tell them with a different journalist. And if they're lucky to get a couple of reports to write about them, the product itself and the company itself is not ready for the influx of users that results from that PR. So an example of that would be I know a friend who work at a gaming company, for example, the gaming company was able to secure a lot of great PR and even a feature for the application on Apple, the day that PR was turned on and always reporters writing about it all these users reporting in, the servers essentially crashed, so the developers were not ready, they wouldn't do a proper load test. There's that aspect of it. So making sure that the product is way to go when you're doing your PR and marketing. Timing is key.
The second would be making sure to do your research, and to personalize all of your outreach. I think that it really hits a positive cord with journalists when they receive a pitch and it's got the right name addressed to them, it mentions maybe a previous article that journalist has written about. Ask interesting questions about the article before asking 'Hey, I'd like to meet up with you for coffee or I'd loved for you to consider writing about my products.' So research and personalization are really important because journalists get so many pitches every single day.
Jumping in and comment on that one, because we do get a lot of inquires about some exposures for different products or different stories. It's pretty obvious that they basically BCC a bunch of media in the e-mails. And that type of e-mail won't get the attention. Its not sincere or tailored enough.
Like journalist hate formalist, essentially the copy paste. ' the dear Sir or Madame' without actually address the journalist or understanding where it is they covered.
And third point would be...
I would say to network network and network. I think something that sort of founders especially in Taiwan are not doing enough is putting themselves out there in front of journalists at different events. So it's not enough to just simply lock yourself in your room and just code all night. You got to really put yourself out there and whether it's through e-mail, twitter or even just in person. Like actively be reaching out to journalists with 'Hey I'm a founder of XYZ company. I know you covered this particular type of product. We don't have anything thing to launch right now, but I'd loved to stay in touch with you with any future fundraising announcements. Maybe we can set up a time for coffee so I can tell you more about what I'm working on.' So that sort of relationship building and networking is really going to be beneficial to a lot of startup founders especially in Taiwan.
'Practice makes Perfect.' I mean the first couple of times that you set on e-mail. It might be a little bit too long for the first time you need a journalist, you might come up with a little awkward when you start doing it. You are never going to be able to improve upon yourself. So there's a lot of different tips and tricks interns out there, but that's available in terms like blogs and YouTube references, so I definitely seek out these resources and start practicing.
That would be a good advice. Start practicing, start from your bathroom like talking to the mirror.
Ask people for feedback. You can use it to reach out to a few of your other friends in a startup space. Practice pitching in front of them, tell them about your company, and pretend you're at a party and that you're just trying networking and get to know each other.
Now we are going to talk about women in tech. There are a lot of female advocates around the world trying to raise the number and awareness of "women in tech".
While they focus mostly on the more technical type of jobs, like engineers, as someone who work in tech for non-engineering positions, what are your observations? Is there any disadvantage for women that are not engineering roles in tech?
Right now, there are a lot of women groups out there that focus on the term women in tech. And generally those do indeed focus on more technical types of roles like developers, coders. I think that is great because if you look at the people who are currently in engineering roles, most of them are not women. And certainly in terms of the general audience of consumers to consume technologies is not just men. As a result, we should see more women who are coding and producing products that other women are purchasing.
Even in gaming?
Like 50% of the audience right now in terms of gamers are women. Yet, if you look at females who are in developer oriented producer leadership types of roles in gaming, it's like a very low percentage. So that's a problem. Again, like going back to the question, I think it's great that there are women's groups that are more focus on those technical roles. But the same time, there are a lot of women in marketing role, in a product management role that they also face certain challenges. It would be great if there were more like women groups out there also considered these other types of positions when they're running their programming.
You talked about there's also challenges, barriers for these non-technical positions. As someone in that place, can you talk about it a little?
For me, I've been very much in a marketing capacity and also working in the gaming industry I'm around a lot of people who are not women. A lot of men. A lot of times I be the only woman in the room. Actually the only Asian female in the room. There is a certain way that men carry themselves. When they're trying to negotiate and get things done, there is certain way that women have to operate to get buy-in. So definitely there will be times I felt that I really want to get buy-in on this particular project from my male colleagues, but I thought it was little bit of a struggle there. I couldn't necessarily approach business that the way that men did because they perceive me as a woman. If I were to say go about it in a very brash or outspoken manner sometimes in the way that other men do when they trying to get buy-in, I will be perceived in a more negative way. That's like in a constant inner conflict. How feminine can I be? What style I need to take?
Also, I think you mentioned something pretty important that if you're actually selling the end product to a female audience, it's important to include female perspectives. Behind the design, the product, something that company should definitely address.
Yes I completely agree. I mean this is smart thing to do at the end of the day for your business. Like if your audience or consumers are mostly women for example, then it is probably the smart thing to do to have more women on your team because you're gonna emphasize with consumers.
Going back to the challenges that you mentioned, do you have a solution yet? Have you like hit the balance of what style?
For me, I think my style nowadays is to just be kind and humble. And create as much transparency as possible when it comes to 'Here's what I'm thinking.' 'Do you hear my reasons behind why I am asking XYZ from you?' At the end of the days it's about us working together as a team to meet this particular end goal. And I'd loved to hear from you why my fellow colleague, why you may potentially disagree with me? Or why you think your solution is better? Let's talk about!' So just putting that transparency, so we can come to mutual understanding. I think it's going to help in a very logical rational way.
Lastly, we want to talk about your new venture, the next project - the founder of Sandbox. Can you talk to tell us about your podcast projects?
Yeah! Sure! So basically as you said I'm working on an exciting new media project called Sandbox. It is basically an online YouTube channel that is profiling different startup founders, stories in entrepreneurship and also adventures about startups. So a couple of fun videos that I have in the works are when I part of the City but recently which is another Taiwanese startup ,and they basically pair you up with a local tour guide and a fun local experience. I went with a tour guide from Citybut around different night market in Taipei. I have been eating a lot. That was fun.
Yeah, so hard. My stomach had a hard time. And I've also been interviewing other founders like Alex Chen from EZTABLE. So that's really been a blast and the overall goal is to really showcase the incredible stories for again entrepreneur startup founders. And you can find more information about it on my Facebook page.
從加州柏克萊大學畢業後，我非常想成為一名記者，所以搬到紐約。我在紐約沒有認識任何人，就這樣搬著行李過去。接著我就開始在 ABC news 2020 擔任製作助理。ABC news 2020 是陪我長大的節目。我持續做了一陣子，認真工作外、製作電視廣播節目、也嘗試很多途徑，最後終於進入了對廣播或娛樂產業的人來說，競爭激烈的 NBC program。在那裡，我嘗試做自己的廣播節目，並用這個機會為 NBC 當地分公司進行報導和製作。我主要為 NBCnewyork.com 和每天一小時的夜間實境秀 Today in New York 報導和製作。
在報導幾年之後，我被新創產業吸引。聽了很多從舊金山灣區那邊的新創公司有趣的故事，像是 Airbnb 和 Facebook。在那時，我哥哥也在經營自己的新創公司，這些事情湊在一起鼓勵了我搬回舊金山灣區。去矽谷試著發掘自己職涯上不一樣的潛力。所以我先在新創遊戲公司做行銷。在第一個待的新創公司裡算是首位負責行銷的人。
我的主修其實是新聞－大眾傳播。就算我不是從事和自己主修相關的工作，我也一直保有熱情和動力。我很想找到和建立屬於自己在行銷這領域上的職涯，所以我當時問很多問題或是長時間地工作，試著挖掘出我在行銷領域上的方向。我先在一間叫 NGMOCO 的遊戲新創公司，後來被一間日本的遊戲電商公司 DeNA 收購。我也待過 Chartboost、cabana，最後在 500 startups。
感覺得出來妳喜歡問問題，更是個很會說故事的人。在 500 startups 負責什麼工作呢？
我在 500 startups 負責在創投企業裡做行銷。 500 startups 是很知名全球性的創投公司，我們在新興市場做很多投資。我相信這在台灣也很熱門。
我的工作最主要就是為 500 startups 建立品牌和告訴大眾 500 在全世界各地區做什麼。這個很常牽涉到內容行銷，像是使用部落格和社群媒體。我個人最喜歡這份工作的部分，在於我有機會認識很多不一樣的新創企業創辦人。他們很多人也會跟我請教關於品牌和行銷的建議，我也會盡全力為他們提供業師資源。而當在我們的部落格上面，有讓這些創辦人曝光的好機會時，我也會樂意提供好的故事切入角度，讓他們在部落格客座分享自己的故事。
你現在在參訪台灣的媒體，許多媒體也有報導，特別是妳在三創台灣新創競技場的致詞，講到關於 elevator pitch、新創產業的公關行銷。不過讓我們來聊聊比較個人層面一點的部分。
當妳是個新創創業家，而妳也很想要推廣妳的公司和產品。我會建議第一個要考慮的就是時機。我看過太多創業家們因為太急著在自己或是產品身上吸引注意，向許多不同的記者選秀 (pitch)。他們幸運地會有出現在幾篇報導裡。但不管是產品或者是公司本身，其實都還沒準備好面對大量使用者和公關活動帶來的結果。舉例來說，我有個在遊戲公司裡工作的朋友，這間遊戲公司有足夠的能力應付公關活動，甚至也有 Apple 的應用程式。可是在公關活動開始那天，一直有很多記者報導很多使用者回饋的內容，最後伺服器當機，證明了開發團隊都還沒準備好，沒事先做好適當的負載壓力測試。所以當妳在進行公關活動和行銷時，確認好產品是準備好的。因此我會說時機是關鍵。
第二點，做好功課，並針對不同人有不一樣的應對方法，尤其是當記者們在聽妳的 pitch 時，這樣做可以正中核心。還可以針對記者的背景來發揮，像是他們以前曾跑過什麼類型的新聞。在問記者「嗨，有空和我喝杯咖啡聊聊嗎？我想介紹一下我的產品給您看看。」之前，問一些和文章有關的有趣問題。要記住記者每天都在聽 pitch，做好功課，客製化的應對進退方式才能吸引他們注意。
我會建議人脈非常非常重要。我認為，尤其是台灣的創業家，不太擅長在不同場合找機會在記者面前表現。不能只是把自己關在房間，整晚設計程式。妳必須把自己秀出來，不管是透過 email、twitter 或用面對面的方式。像是主動接觸記者並自我介紹「嗨，我是 XYZ 公司的創辦人。我知道您負責報導這類的產品。我們雖然現在還沒有什麼產品上市，可是我希望在未來集資時，能與您保持聯繫。或許我們可以約個時間喝咖啡聊聊，讓我跟您介紹目前公司近況。」在台灣，建立關係和人脈對很多創業家是很有益處的。
而且「熟能生巧。」剛開始妳可以先寄信。一開始可能會需要花點時間找到願意幫妳寫的記者，妳可能也會遇到一些很尷尬的狀況。當然自己埋頭練習永遠也不會進步更多，所以會需要學不同技巧和訣竅。在部落格和 YouTube 上都會有資料，我自己一定會先找好這些資料然後開始練習。
對，大約有 50% 的遊戲玩家是女性。但是如果妳去觀察在遊戲產業裡從事開發、製作、領導這類的女性人數，其實比例很低。所以這是個問題。我覺得有這些團體多關心從事工程技術方面的女性非常好。但是同時，在科技業裡也有很多在做行銷、產品管理等等工作的女性，她們也面臨挑戰。如果這些團體也能關注在科技業裡做其他工作的女性會更好。
我覺得我現在的風格就是友善和謙虛。當我想表達我的看法或確認「妳有聽到我要問 XYZ 的原因嗎？」時，盡可能地製造出彼此坦誠透明的氛圍。畢竟是一個團隊要在一起工作，我們要一起達成特定目標。而且我也想從對方身上聽到為什麼妳不認同這個意見。或者是為什麼妳覺得妳的解決方案比較好？我們都可以一起來討論！
我現在在新的媒體專案 Sandbox，這是一個讓我感到非常興奮開心的工作。它是一個 YouTube 線上平台，介紹很多新創企業的創辦人，經營公司的故事和在新創產業的一些冒險。有幾個有趣的影片像是我最近參加另一個台灣的新創企業 Citybut，他們基本上就是配對妳和當地導遊，在當地進行深度旅遊。我和 Citybut 的當地導遊去了台北好多夜市，我吃了好多食物！真的很好玩！
我也訪問了幾位創辦人像是 EZTABLE 的 Alex Chen。所以能夠為這些新創企業家秀出這些不可思議的故事是我的目標，也真的很幸運。歡迎有興趣的可以到我的 Facebook page 看看，可以找到更多資訊。