Our Udacity Talks series is committed to finding those individuals whose lives and stories will move and inspire our students, and whose achievements and challenges offer real-world examples of how successful careers are built, and how dreams are successfully realized.
We’re extremely excited to host our next guest for Udacity Talks, Polyvore Co-founder & CEO Jess Lee! She joins us for a live video chat on Thursday, June 30th, at 4pm PDT. Be sure to RSVP today to watch the event!
For many people, parlaying a Computer Science Degree from Stanford into a great job at Google would count as the kind of success you can rest on for a while. Not so Jess Lee. Jess Lee actually did the seemingly unthinkable, and ultimately left Google to lead a new company. High risk? Yes. Successful? Yes again! Polyvore was recently acquired by Yahoo for approximately $200 million.
Suffice it to say, Jess Lee has an independent streak. She’s committed to disruption at every level—from her own career path, to the company she left Google for. Polyvore is a community-powered social commerce website rewriting the rules of the fashion and style industries by putting curation power and trend-setting influence directly into the hands of its community.
Because our format for Udacity Talks is built around enabling students to drive the conversation —through questions submitted both in advance, and in real time during the event—this will be a unique opportunity to learn a great deal more about the how and why of Jess Lee’s career path to date, as well as what’s next on the horizon. Remember, as soon as you RSVP, you’ll receive a link to submit your questions in advance!
Here are a few things you might want to ask Jess Lee about:
5 Questions You Might Want To Ask Jess Lee
#1 In Fortune Magazine’s recent 50 Best Workplaces For New College Grads article, Polyvore was listed at number 33. Perhaps you could ask Jess about how Polyvore has built such a welcoming environment, and what people interested in Fashion Tech careers can do to better their chances for finding great employment opportunities?
#2 A recent GQ interview with Jess Lee about Polyvore stated that technology is democratizing the fashion industry. Maybe ask Jess to speak to parallels between Polyvore’s goals, and Udacity’s stated mission to democratize education?
#3 In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Jess Lee spoke about diversity in the tech industry. She acknowledged the challenges, but also stated that, “It never felt unusual for me as a woman to run my own business.” Perhaps you could ask Jess about the current state of diversity in tech, and why she’s focused on helping to teach women computer science and coding skills?
#4 Maybe you could ask her who said the following: “Look around at all the people that you work with. Find the people you love being around, who get shit done, who you want to help win, and then treat them right, always,” and why the quote has stayed with her over the years?
#5 Finally, you might consider asking Jess to elaborate on how she encourages her own employees to pursue their career ambitions, even if those ambitions ultimately take them away from Polyvore. In a recent Fast Company article entitled “This CEO Actually Encourages Her Employees To Go Out And Start Their Own Companies” Jess goes into some detail on the challenges of nurturing and retaining top tech talent, and it’s a great read. But, imagine what you might learn if you ask her directly during Udacity Talks!
Jess Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, Polyvore, joins us as our Udacity Talks guest on Thursday, June 30, at 4pm PDT. RSVP today to watch the live chat, and remember, as soon as you RSVP, you’ll receive a link to submit your questions in advance. See you on Thursday!
“It took me a while to figure out how to be a leader while also being myself. I feel like I don’t really fit the classic mold of a CEO. I had to figure out how to be authentic. So I’m transparent. I think people are more likely to trust me because they know I’m just myself all the time. What you see is what you get.”
—Jess Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Polyvore