Tiffany Yu

Founder of Diversability, Millennial speaker & social entrepreneur, ex-Goldman Sachs

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 15, 2017

Discussion

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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi, I’m Tiffany Yu, thrilled to be here! I’m the founder of Diversability, an award-winning social enterprise to rebrand disability through the power of community. I’ve had a multi-passionate career: I’ve been an investment banker and a campus recruiter at Goldman Sachs, a segment producer at Bloomberg Television, a corporate finance executive at Sean Diddy Combs’ REVOLT, and most recently, completed a coding bootcamp at the New York Code + Design Academy and was working at Common in San Francisco. A lot of my work and story can be found in press outlets like Forbes, the Guardian, the Ford Foundation, etc. Join me for a conversation around building community, side hustling, making career transitions, moving across the country (any other NYC > SF transplants here?), and more. Ask me anything! **EDIT** Thank you for the great questions and thank you Product Hunt for the opportunity to chat live with you! If you'd like to connect further, don't hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter at @imtiffanyyu.
TypeOfGraphic
@typeofgraphic · Product Manager. Apps & Analytics
Hi Tiffany, Given your extensive experience in finance and business, what is your opinion on the choice between working on a number of side hustles/projects versus putting all your effort into one big idea? Diversifying is common advice for investing money, but is it the same when you're investing your time?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @typeofgraphic, great question! It is of course a deeply personal decision. I feel extremely grateful that my full time experiences have also allowed me the time to work on projects on the side. When I first relaunched Diversability, I actually made a list of all my commitments and cut out most things other than my full time job and Diversability. At the time, it made sense to focus my energy into that. This is a piece I wrote awhile back on managing a side hustle: http://fortune.com/2015/12/29/en... In terms of money though, I'm a big believer that, like investing money (and diversifying your portfolio), we should have diversified streams of income (full time job, side hustle, investing, etc.) I've been thinking a lot more about personal finance these days, so happy to chat more about this if interested.
TypeOfGraphic
@typeofgraphic · Product Manager. Apps & Analytics
@imtiffanyyu thanks, that's a very insightful answer. Last year I also cut everything but my thesis and part-time consulting work out, so it good to know I am not alone there. I am finishing my time in academia in the coming weeks, and a number of possible projects have accumulated (that I have written down, sketched out but avoided working on so far) that I could do; some are small apps that would be fun to do and small, but others are giant projects that need time, a bigger team, and considerable financial resources. There is a small group of awesome people I know that are all interested in working on side projects and diversifying their income. So perhaps the answer then, now that I have reduced my commitments to finish my academic work, will be to introduce projects into my work stream (and theirs) and ask myself “does this bring joy to my life or help me propel my [plan] forward?” - as you suggest in your Fortune article. I have been trying to read more about where to invest money in the medium and long term, so if you have any advice or thoughts on personal finance I'd be grateful to know more, thank you.
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
@typeofgraphic Great to learn more about you! Excited about your next chapter post-academia. For active investing, have you heard of Robinhood? There are a couple of other platforms like Wealthfront, Betterment, Ellevest (for women), etc. This is more of a personal interest, so feel free to take with a grain of salt!
Bradley Jones
@indiaccelerates · COO, the House of M
Changing career paths can be...risky to say the least, what do you feel was the biggest, scariest business risk you took? Was the risk worth the reward?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @indiaccelerates, thanks for the question! The biggest risk had to be the first one... making the move from finance to media earlier in my career. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Goldman but had always had a dream of working in a live newsroom. I didn't end up staying in the newsroom, but it was so worth it. It provided me with clarity that this "dream" I had wasn't actually my dream and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity. I know I won't look back and wonder "what if?" I was interviewed awhile back on making a career change if you are interested in reading some more stories: https://www.themuse.com/advice/h...
Bradley Jones
@indiaccelerates · COO, the House of M
@imtiffanyyu Thank you Tiffany. I will definitely check out the other stories...
Thomas Lui
@thomas_lui
Hi Tiffany As an Adult Allies and Mentor how do we work on getting our work better to spread messages about inclusive?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @thomas_lui, great to see you here! The best way to get the word out is by making as much noise as possible. ;-) And let us know at Diversability how we can help spread your message across our social platforms. Without the people and organizations doing awesome work, there would be no Diversability. At the same time, the media plays a huge role in how people with disabilities are perceived. We need to do our best to get as many of our stories shared so we can highlight how colorful our community it. There is no such thing as one disability experience or narrative. As an ally, the best thing you can do is get to know as many of us as possible. This was a great piece of advice I came across from blogger Bitter Butch. We've also highlighted 8 other ways on our website: http://www.mydiversability.com/b.... If you have any comments or thoughts to add, I'd love to hear them.
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Andrew Ettinger
@andrewett · Product Marketing, Twitter (ex-PH)
I've been temporarily living in NYC (couch surfing for 6 weeks) and moving permanently to SF next week. What are the most glaring differences? Favorite and least favorite part of each city?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @andrewett, an early welcome to San Francisco! Don't hesitate to reach out as you get acclimated in SF. I lived in New York for 6 years (and the majority of my adult life) so I still consider myself a New Yorker at heart ;-) A friend described San Francisco as a "sleepy" city to me. People dress "comfortably" here, ha! I also think people wake up earlier here (even on the weekends). I'm a huge foodie, and I have my favorites in NYC (highly recommend Scarpetta and Uva in your last days), but have yet to find those in SF. I've heard from most NYC-to-SF transplants that it takes about 6 months to a year to get acclimated here. To me, the biggest differences are in getting around: I used to walk anywhere within a 3 mile radius in Manhattan and if not, the subway and buses were so convenient. In SF, Google Maps doesn't warn me that there are hills and I find myself turning to ridesharing services when it looks like I'll have to make multiple BART/Muni transfers to get somewhere. I also felt like anytime I met an engineer in NYC, it was like meeting a unicorn. Here, if you don't work in tech, I'm like "whoa."
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Andrew Ettinger
@andrewett · Product Marketing, Twitter (ex-PH)
@imtiffanyyu So you prefer NYC 😏
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
@andrewett Too early to tell ;-) The weather has been pretty glorious here over the past couple of days, I love hiking, and I've heard that the best things to do in SF are what you can do outside of SF. I'm still exploring!
Kelly Ann Collins
@itskac · Social Media Ninja, CMO, Founder
Hi Tiffany! How can we help rebrand disability in the workplace? What's a good first step?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @itskac, great chatting with you yesterday and thank you for the question! In the workplace, we need to create environments that respect all differences. It could start with having a conversation about it to start to remove stigma around disability. I'm grateful that I've been able to be a part of these conversations at the places I've worked. Oftentimes, if we are not affected by it, we overlook it. I gave a presentation on this here: https://www.slideshare.net/Tiffa... From a hiring perspective, I wish it were as easy as telling a company's hiring managers to hire more people with disabilities. There are great organizations like the US Business Leadership Network and Lime Comment, but there is still more work to be done that transcends disability. Project Include, Inclusion Ventures, Change Catalyst are a few that come to mind that are working in the diversity inclusion space.
Kevin Suh
@kevinsuh34 · Software engineer, Nova Credit (YC S16)
Do you prefer fish or shrimp tacos?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
@kevinsuh34 I will consume anything made my Chef Kevin. <3
Hinda Rafai
@hinda_rafai · Hinda rafai
Hi
Hinda Rafai
@hinda_rafai · Hinda rafai
Howar are you
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @hinda_rafai, I'm doing well! Look forward to chatting with you on Wednesday!
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Hoan Do
@hoandesign · UX Designer, PPCLINK MOBILE
Do you have any prediction about the future of the US under Trump's era?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @hoandesign, big question! First, I have to give a shoutout to my friends at theSkimm (http://bit.ly/skimmthis) for keeping me informed. I'm not sure I have any predictions about the future other than the fact that we are still here (and will still be here) and how empowering it has been to see communities come together, mobilize, and talk to each other. My friend Yvonne launched The Hello Project to help facilitate this conversation: https://medium.com/the-hello-pro....
Seth Williams
@sethbwilliams · Web Designer
What made you found Diversability? How did you get it started at the beginning?
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Tiffany Yu
@imtiffanyyu · Founder, Diversability
Hi @sethbwilliams, thanks for joining! I started Diversability based on my own personal experiences. I was involved in a car accident about 20 years ago where I broke a couple bones in my leg and sustained a severe nerve injury that would limit the use of my right arm to this day. More here: https://www.theguardian.com/side.... Diversability started as a campus organization in 2009 as a way to raise disability awareness and continue the disability conversation on campus. It literally started as one person (me) hanging up flyers around campus and continued to grow on campus through the next couple of years after I graduated. I relaunched Diversability in 2015 (with a gentle push and support from my friends at Dreamers // Doers) to humanize disability through the power of community and continue to facilitate this conversation around disability. Sometimes when it comes to disability, we feel like we need to "fix" disability... but what about the reality that this is part of our identities? Ability/disability is very much as aspect of diversity. Also, I could not have felt more isolated and alone in my experience and I wanted to create safe spaces where people could come together and just be. Finally, I feel like we oftentimes don't talk about disability because we're afraid of the "right" language to use. What if we threw "political correctness" out the door and address the "elephant" in the room?