hi. i’m grace.

i help great companies do good
and help good people do great.

i’ve helped …

i’m thinking about …

“I Want to Pick Your BRAAAAINNNNSSSS!!!”

I posted this on Facebook and figured it’s high time I started practicing what I preach and post it on my blog instead… Whenever someone says to me, “I’d love to pick your brain. Can we grab coffee sometime?” I immediately want to run screaming, “ZOMBIEEEEEES!!!….” The tougher thing now is when a friend introduces someone to me who’d like to “pick my brain”: I want to save face for my friend, but geez, I don’t want to feel obligated to let the FoF (Friend-of-Friend) pick my brain just because they know someone who knows me. I read this article — https://www.linkedin.com/…/learning-say-introductions-sloan… — and decided I’m going to make rules of introduction for myself, just like I did with my “Work With Me” page (http://gracerodriguez.com/workwithme). In a blog post linked within the previous article, Nicole Jordan shared some wise words on brain-picking (http://www.blogher.com/no-you-cant-pick-my-brain): “Time is valuable, and creative thought is even more so. Don’t undervalue either. As women (and compassionate people everywhere), we like to help and can get trapped in giving our time and ideas away for free because we’re afraid to ask for compensation. Or just don’t realize it’s within our right to do so. When you are a creative individual who is a “popcorn machine,” as my mom says, who spits out ideas on a continual basis, doling out advice is no big thing. It’s easy to have coffee with someone whose company I enjoy, most who will ultimately take my ideas and somehow help benefit their business. Whatevs. Creative ideas and connections are the real currency in this digital economy. We are bombarded with fragmented channels... read more

Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

I’m working on a list of resources for women entrepreneurs, not necessarily based in Houston, that include accelerator programs, education, tools, potential funding opportunities, meaningful networking, etc. If you have any to add, please include them in the comments section and I’ll update the list with them. The list will eventually be published on the Women In Tech : Houston website (currently under construction — link goes to our Facebook page). Thanks! Accelerators: https://sb.co/ http://astia.org/ http://www.newmeaccelerator.com/ http://thewinlab.org/about/ http://neverstop.co/upstart/ http://www.womenstartuplab.com/ http://girleffectaccelerator.com/ http://www.refineryct.com/ http://www.prosperstl.com/accelerator/ http://avinde.org/ http://mergelane.com/about Media... read more

Notes for My Talk with Houston New Leaders Council

In the spirit of “radical transparency” and letting go of “perfection,” here are my notes for today’s talk. I repeat a few things a few times because they’re important and deserve many mentions. How do Technology & Entrepreneurship play a role in Progressive Leadership? Author & NYU Professor Clay Shirky: “A revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new tools, it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”  Direct influence: Net Neutrality, FWD, lobbying — with success, comes leverage  New Ethos: Disruption. Radical Transparency (https://buffer.com/transparency). Radical Accountability (http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy/ & https://www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf). Spectrum of Social Entrepreneurship / Social Enterprise / Corporate Responsibility Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, Profit Tom’s, Green Mountain Power, most companies with products on the shelves at Whole Foods B Corporations: Certified B Corporations are redefining success in business. Certified B Corps commit to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance — Differentiating through Business Disruption … 4 P’s of Marketing: Price, Product, Promotion, Place. New P: Purpose Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey explored what tomorrow’s leaders think of business today. According to the results, business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits.” 77% surveyed chose Purpose over pay. Web 2.0: Content + Connection -> Communication -> Community > Content + Connection > … Beyond Social Media: Social Innovation U-Haul & AMERCO Investors Club to enable the market to invest in its trucks, offering a share of the dividends of asset-backed performance GE partners with Quirky, where inventors who submit new product ideas share in the financial rewards. Hasbro partnered with Shapeways 3D printer community to offer up the IP of toys and let makers glean revenue from... read more

Let It Go

I have this habit of wanting everything to appear “perfect” before I share it with the world. The problem with that attitude is that nothing is ever “perfect,” so I sabotage myself from sharing so many worthwhile and fun things, and often prevent myself from being timely with ideas as I push them back until a deadline stops me from procrastinating any longer. I am putting a stop to that with this post. This post won’t be perfect. It won’t be comprehensive. It won’t ask and answer all the questions I have about ideas of “perfection” and lean+agile processes and neuroscience and behavioral psychology and design thinking and concepts of personal identity and the media and social pressures and norms. I just have to let those go until the next post. And the next post. And the one after that. And maybe by letting those items go until future posts, it will help me develop a better habit of posting more frequently. So here’s this simple little thought. And until the next post, cheers to letting go of “perfection”! I hope you’ll join me in embracing IMperfection. It’s actually quite... read more

This Week, I’m Just a Humanist

…okay, so I’m a Humanist every week. But today I felt like changing my Twitter bio to that one identifier: Humanist. Because of Mike Brown and Ferguson. Because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and people are still struggling for equality. The Civil Rights Act is 50 years old. These two pictures were taken 50 years apart. Behold our progress. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/8PNn8eteO2 — Jackie Summers (@jackfrombkln) August 13, 2014 I didn’t want to post any of the graphic photos from the situation because there’s already quite a bit of disturbing footage out there if you search for it. I think this cartoon by Jon Kudelka captures the gist of the situation, though. Interestingly, it’s from the Iraq invasion in 2004. It was recirculated after a fully-militarized Ferguson police force established their presence at a peaceful protest in the days after the killing of Mike Brown: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Before Ferguson, my bio read: @TEDTalks @TEDActive Creative Director. @C2Create Founder. @SXSW & @TEDx Speaker. Houston Innovation & Tech Advisor. @TEDxYouthHOU & @TEDxHouston Curator. Tag heavy. Work and achievement focused. But that’s more of what I do, not all of who I am. And this week, I feel like being more of “me,” without the titles and without having to add the disclaimers “Tweets my own” and “RTs are not endorsements.” So to save any of my affiliated organizations from my opinions, I’ll keep them off my bio for now. When they have their own thoughts on topics, they tend to share them of their own accord, anyway. Like one of them does here, here and here. This week, I’m just a Humanist. If... read more

Work With Me

If there’s a tough question or a wicked challenge you’d like me to help you with, please read my work manifesto first; and if you’re a kindred spirit who gets it, please contact me at the bottom of that page. Thanks!
Work With Me