Ellen Chisa

About | Portfolio | Teach | Speak | Write | Press

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I make digital products that encourage people to lead more fulfilling lives in the real world.
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I'm the Vice President of Product at Lola, a Boston-based startup that provides on-demand, personal travel service for hotels, flights, and more. Our first public product, an iOS app, is available on the app store. Personally, I love to travel. I'm going to Montreal later this month - it's my second trip, but the first time I was only there for an hour or two.

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Before Lola, I worked at Kickstarter as the Product Manager for the backer experience. I helped design a new suite of Discovery tools - letting 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'm 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 will be teaching Human Factors and Interface Design with Amon Miller.

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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.
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Want more personalized advice? I book office hours on Clarity.fm. The time is for whatever you want. It can be about how to get into Product, or a Product challenge you're facing.
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 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.

If you like this work, let's collaborate on something.

Still here? I do things outside of work, too.
I love to scuba dive, play pinball, and read. Right now I'm reading The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity by Alan Cooper. I also spend a lot of time at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville. Interested in hanging out? Here's more information.