Amanda Kahlow

CEO & Founder at 6Sense & Advisor to Girl Rising

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 18, 2016

Discussion

Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
Hi - I'm Amanda Kahlow, founder and CEO of 6sense and an advisor to Girl Rising. I'm committed to creating a different kind of Silicon Valley technology start-up. One not only led by a woman, but run with passion, discipline, integrity and accountability. I'm delighted to be here to share my story - ask me anything!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What does it take to run a different kind of SV tech company? What are the biggest challenges your are facing with it?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell it takes patience... persistence... and be ready to make HUGE life sacrifices... to run a company... to run a different kind of company it take a big heart. To truly be ready to put your employees first, and love them and care!
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell Biggest challenges is to be PRESENT in every moment. not let the little shit bother me or throw me off course. remembering this is a marathon ... and every moment matters most
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What have been some of the biggest challenges getting 6sense off the ground? How have you overcome these?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@ems_hodge staying focused on OUR mission. I am a big big believer not to focus on the competition... of course know your competition, but don't try to emulate it... you know what is best for your biz. stay true to yourself and your vision. don't let ONE persons opinion move you... listen but be confident
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@ems_hodge another big challenge ... the more successful you are, the more you need to succeed. we've had great success and the bar just gets higher and higher... harder and harder. But truly its so wicked fun when you know you are doing something very different and are solving real problems.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What industries would you place your bets on in the next 10-20 years?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jacqvon easy ... AI ! any and all that are truly data driven...
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell great question. I wanted to be a teacher. Of Kindergarden. Then in college i thought well, theres muchc money in that... so i'll go out make money in the biz world then be a teacher.... then i later in life thougght no i'll just start a school. See my answser above... i wrote a biz plan... then entered GirlRising,.... now I think i'll start a billion schools in Africa one day. :) its still my dream. and my passion.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@amandakahlow I wanted to be a teacher too!!!
Ramo Raccoon@rasmus_moe
Hi Amanda, as a founder how were you able to assemble a good team. Did you create 6sense alone or co-found it with an entrepreneurial team?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@rasmus_moe i started it alone... then after 66 VC No's ... i knew i needed a stronger tech team... and co-founders. so I merged w a very strong big data team... YC backed. And enter 6sense.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Was there one thing that led you down the path towards empowering women? Did you always know you wanted to focus on that?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jacqvon i think the path found me... i have been fortune that my message has resonated w women, and projects and opportunities to help have been presented to me... i a believer in listening to the signs and it just was really clear when i tuned in to myself and to the universe
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What would you do with a billion dollars?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell whos to say i don't have it?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell be on the cover of Forbes magazine... "i want to be a billionare' song reference :)
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell but okay i would start w my boat w a sand volleyball court w dolphins that toss the ball back when it goes over... then i would focus my time my life and my money on spreading the word about the power of educating girls in developing nations...
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
Martin Skakala@mskakala · Founder & CEO WakesApp.com
Hi Amanda, great to have you here! What is the difference in the marketing you guys did in the first 6-12 months as opposed to what works best at the moment? Thanks & good luck to your team!
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@mskakala great question... we were very events driven. in the first year we got me on every stage we possibly could. I love speaking so that helps... :) and we always try to stay one step ahead of the trends... we came up with the category 'predictive intelligence' and today its where everyone in our space puts themselves. We also did a ton of marketing thru partners ... find thought leaders and work with them.... to reach their audience.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What are your favourite questions to ask founders?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell are you ready to make hard choices? how fast can you think on your feet... ??? this shit is not easy. and have to be willing to put it first if you truly wnat to succeed. I don't think you can actually 'have it all' ... life is about choice. great technology is nothing without the market being ready... so go learn your market before you try to build what you think is cool
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell ps this is NOT for everyone. i do not recommend all try to jump in
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jacqvon i need to visit my house more
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jacqvon but that aside i've traveled to 36 countries... so feel very well traveled. that said, we just hired 2 amazing developer from @andela and they live in Lagos Nigeria. i want to go visit them soon as possible. They were just here for 9 weeks and had to go home on friday. I was in tears. As i love them so much ... just as any other 6ensor. ..
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
How did you first get involved with Girl Rising? Can you tell us a bit about the work you do there?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@ems_hodge great question for me... a year before i started 6sense , or even thought i would, i wrote a biz plan to start a charter school. an emersion school bringing together rich kids and at risk... then my brother @thadKahlow saw a ted talk from Tom Yellin the exec producer... he said "amanda meet this guy, learn from him before you go do your school'. GR was just 3 people, and i fell in love w the vision and the mission ... not bc it was helping girls get an education but bc it was the 'solution of our time' to all major problems facing developing nations. i am a numbers person and the numbers didn't lie. So i had to be a part of it. And i have NO doubt that my giving my time to GR w NO expectation of anything in return ...karma then brought me @6sense.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Can you tell us about your story :)
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@bentossell what do you want to know ?
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@amandakahlow how did you get involved in the whole SV scene and how did that then develop into wanting to create something different?
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@amandakahlow @bentossell He wants to know your favorite emojis, probably.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
If passion, discipline, integrity and accountability make a startup "different", which qualities would make it the same?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@andrewett actually those aren't really the difference.. the different qualities are heart, love, mindful, presence, no ego, ease, patience...
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@andrewett the same, what i think others are living by are... big egos, arrogance, loud...
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Have your found being a female founder there have been challenges that you've had to overcome that your male counterparts might not have faced? - And if so, what can we as individuals be doing to make a positive difference to change this?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@ems_hodge yes i do feel 'coddled' sometimes by those trying to give me advise...or in positions of authority over me. i find that others may mistake my direct answers w being a 'bitch'... and i had to realize that's on them not me. I will be unapologetic. i know my core... i know where my heart is... but in the end there are a million reasons why being a women is a huge advantage and i would never change it
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jakecrump 420am alarm, 440am ish... wake... 5am walk dog, 545 yoga, then run to work... 645 sauna at work... working by 8. :) then home by 8, sleeping by 820. rinse repeat. and a whole lot of fun in between .... i truly love my life and my days... as crazy as they are
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jakecrump ps, lots of snacking around 4pm bc i'm so tired... and sometimes a nap tossed in there... and dinners and events at night w 99% men...
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What 3 things should every young or new founder constantly be thinking?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@ems_hodge be ready to be tired. be ready to give up your life. but my life has never been better bc i truly love it here... if you are going to succeed, the one thing i think you need is super fast decision making and the ability to look ahead NEVER back, and never even now... you can't be in the details of the minutiae of daily stuff...
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What has most surprised you about founding a company?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@jakecrump how much i love it! how much fun i am having .... that you truly can create a culture... and here we have created this crazy loving family... its so freakin cool to see everyone everyday working so hard to your dream. its surreal
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Hi there. I was in a conversation the other day with a group of people where we were discussing the intonation that women sometimes use when presenting. The genesis of the conversation was that men should feel comfortable giving women feedback about speaking clearly and directly when presenting. After reflecting at the conversation, I was wondering if the conversation should have been focused on people getting comfortable with various intonations and accents. This is particularly important given the various dialects and speech patterns of people all over the world. I realize I am only sharing part of the story, but I would love your thoughts on this matter.
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@corleyh not following the question ... yes, we should all be giving and receiving constructive feedback. i also don't think the audience should just be ok w any tone... we have to entertain when speaking... and you can't be a wall flower ... your job is to inspire and motivate and own it...
Shankar Murugesan@shankar_murugesan · Ui designer
What is your best time in a day to work with full energy? And how much hour do you work in a day?
Amanda Kahlow@amandakahlow · CEO and founder, 6sense
@shankar_murugesan my best hours are 7am - 12 ... i try to do all my 'brain' work then... then save meetings for later in the day ...