This maker's tool can help you beat imposter syndrome.

Published on
March 10th, 2021
Despite her success as a software engineer, Aashni Shah struggled with imposter syndrome. She created HypeDocs and now helps others gain confidence in themselves.
Aashni Shah was thrilled when we told her she was one of our February Maker Grant recipients. She created HypeDocs first for herself, to battle imposter syndrome, and then to help other professionals collect their accomplishments regularly and be reminded of them often. As time passes and the joy behind this accomplishment fades, she always has HypeDocs to remind her about it.

The HypeDocs launch got incredible feedback and while it no doubt is a tool for everyone, the comments of early adopters demonstrate its importance particularly for women and women of color, who tend to struggle with imposter syndrome more frequently.

Read on to see Aashni’s insights and plans for HypeDocs.

What was your inspiration behind HypeDocs?

A few years ago I joined a new company with an incredible team but had lost all my confidence and was deep in the trenches of imposter syndrome. My manager recommended I start a living list of my achievements tracked in a Google Doc, the original HypeDoc, and I could feel the impacts pretty quickly. I knew HypeDocs has the potential to be so much more than just a list of achievements, so I started playing around with the format, formed an accountability group, and eventually used it to set goals with my manager. I knew the impact it had on me and I wanted to share it with the world.

What was the first step you took in building HypeDocs?

I'm a software engineer by trade and had learned a lot of new ways to build and launch a website. I drew inspiration from all this new knowledge and built the first version of HypeDocs in a couple of days. I knew the first version would be extremely simple and basic; a place for people to add their Hype, where I could send automated weekly emails to remind them about things they've accomplished to help brighten their day. If I were to start again, I would have started by interviewing potential customers to get a better idea of what they were looking for too.

What has been your biggest challenge as a Maker?

One of my biggest challenges as a Maker is building things in isolation. When I worked at tech companies, there was a team of people I could turn to for questions or validate ideas. I also only had to worry about my code. As I continue being a maker, I have to balance how I spend my time between coding and everything else like marketing. I'm fortunate to be part of The Future Legends and On Deck - incredible communities of people that are always willing to hop on a call and help me out.

What has been your biggest reward?

The overwhelmingly positive feedback and support I've received! So many people have messaged me about the impact that HypeDocs has had on their mental health, happiness, and confidence. Many of these people are women and underrepresented folks that are just starting their careers, and knowing HypeDocs is helping them puts a smile on my face every day.

What are your next steps for HypeDocs?

HypeDocs for Businesses! HypeDocs will make a huge impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion at work. HypeDocs helps employees, especially women and underrepresented folks, actively control their career narrative through a bottoms-up approach, letting employees set goals and personal OKRs with their managers, and create a quantified list of achievements on how they achieved their goals, such as getting a promotion. We're piloting this with a few businesses, and looking forward to onboard more companies soon - if you're interested then reach out!

What other maker projects are you working on?

Yes! I'm currently building Taonga, a way to take back control of your personal documents through an end-to-end encrypted app. I'm also part of a volunteer-run nonprofit called Elixir Labs that builds tools for other nonprofits around the world. We're working on a few different projects such as Source Right, which we'll launch on Product Hunt soon!

Words of wisdom you can share for Makers looking to get started?

10 years ago you had to jump through hoops to build a website or launch an App. Today you can get something basic up and running in a couple of hours using no-code tools. If you ever get stuck, don't consider it a failure - it's only a failure if you give up and don't learn from it. If you've been waiting for a sign to get started, consider this your sign.

Start your own HypeDoc here.
Published on
March 10th, 2021
Comments (4)
I'm a student
A very inspiring story! Some time ago I also felt this syndrome on myself. For some reason, all my merits seemed to me as if they were not mine. My psychologist advised me to write down everything that I do useful during the day at home and at work, and it helped. I did not elevate my achievements, for example, I know that I am bad at writing essays and therefore I always refer to https://www.a-writer.com/profess.... The writers on this service are real professionals, and I turn to them to get an A in college. I do not overestimate myself, I know that I am not very good at this and now I can understand where this impostor syndrome manifests itself. Good luck!
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I am Rani Akther.
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