From Start to Finish: A Conversation with Winemaker Thérèse Martin

I’ve spent my weekends for two years working for two of the best people around in Dan and Thérèse Martin at Martin Ranch Winery. My natural urge is so share my enthusiasm for their award-winning wines and bucolic setting with others by writing about it. Fortunately for me, I was given the opportunity by the publisher of to contribute a detailed interview and article that features Thérèse.

To read about Martin Ranch’s Santa Cruz Mountains wines and hear firsthand from Thérèse about growing grapes, crafting them into wine, and creating a congenial winery that begs you to linger, head on over to IntoWine and check it out. 



Down-to-Earth Angel Investing

The face of angel investing is fast evolving. Who are the new angels? What attributes do they share in common? And what, exactly, are they looking for in companies they back?

For my latest contribution to Women2.0, I caught up with the ladies of Pipeline Fellowship- an angel investing group focused on generating more diversity – on both the investor and entrepreneur sides- within the angel community. Give it a read and as always let me know your thoughts.

So You Want to be a Venture Capitalist? My Q&A w/ Beth Seidenberg, KPCB

Venture capital is not for the faint of heart. The special sauce needed to make it includes experiential acumen, an entrepreneurial spirit and nitty-gritty-roll-up-your-sleeves action.

Beth Seidenberg’s name had come up a few times in recent months. A partner with the venerable Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, she’s a no-nonsense lady who leverages her years spent as a physician and executive to identify the best companies to back as a partner at KPCB. Naturally, when I turned my attention to spotlighting a VC for an upcoming piece on Women2.0, I made a bee-line for Beth. Amidst her hectic schedule, she took time to answer my questions for our readers. Check out her insight and, as always, let me know what you think!

How to Pitch Your Startup to the Media on Women2.0

You’ve got a product. Super savvy team. Maybe even a nice little cushion from a funding round. Now you just need people to discover your start-up. Enter the press.

Entrepreneurs can tout many enviable attributes, but they often fail miserably when it comes to pitching to the press and developing relationships with us that last.

I put my thinking cap on for my latest piece on Women2.0, offering up my own list of suggestions for pitching your startup to us writing types. There is no one-size-fits-all, so I reached out to three of my favorite fellow writers for their take as well. You’ll find golden nuggets of advice from Thomson Reuters’ editor Alastair Goldfisher, Forbes staff writer Hollie Slade and Ubergizmo co-founder Eliane Fiolet.

If you’re a founder or a startup communications and PR team member, give it a read and let me know your thoughts!

Disruptors: 5 Women to Watch in Health Tech

Women in tech may remain a minority, but don’t tell that to the majority who work in health tech where they are innovating, problem-solving and collaborating to create uncommon opportunities.

I recently spotlighted 5 such women who represent just a smidgen of those tackling obstacles in wide-ranging areas including digital health, wearables and biotech. Though they are as diverse as the technologies they stand behind, their shared passions urged them into new frontiers.

Read my latest piece for Women2.0 here (and if you’re an entrepreneur, don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming San Francisco Fall Conference while you’re over there!)

Chrystal City, VA: From Concrete Jungle to Thriving Tech Hub

Haven’t heard of Chrystal City, Virginia, yet? You will.

Whether you’re a startup founder, investor, innovator or just looking to make your next move, Chrystal City is a budding tech ecosystem ripe for the taking.

My latest piece appears on the singular Women 2.0 website (if you haven’t checked out their site, Meetups and media platform, do it now… great insight shared for women and men alike). Check out the article and, as always, let me know what you think!

Why Chrystal City Just Might Be the Perfect Place to Launch Your Startup


Why Advice to Younger Self is Worthy of Our Reflection

“Don’t worry so much about all the things you’re thinking. I’ve learned a different way of thinking; instead of getting wrapped up in my thoughts full of fretting and contradictions and worry, I’ve learned to just appreciate my thinking as it comes and goes.”  -Norman Fischer, abbot San Francisco Zen Center

I gotta hand it to my parents’ generation. Baby Boomers, it seems, aren’t satisfied with blending into the background as they age. Instead, they are resolute in their continued efforts at life- at living, at offering their insight and experiencing each day as something new to be cherished and to be learned from.

Though America has long been known to shun aging in all of its forms, perhaps we’re at a tipping point; a place where finally those among us with the most experience have a platform to share their wisdom.

It falls to us ‘younger ones’ (however young or not our years may reflect) to listen, to assess our own ever-evolving lives, and to accept that we- all powerful in our careers and family lives and spending power- may not, in fact, have all the answers… now, or ever. Perhaps that’s the secret of it all.

I’ve witnessed myriad blogs, articles and books devoted to the concept of offering advice to one’s younger self. Lessons learned through lives lived oozes from the pages of some of my favorite new readings (check out Arianna Huffington’s latest Thrive to see what’s on my bedstand currently). And just this morning, as if on queue from my own readings and inner-thinking, KQED’s Forum featured an hour-long program of ‘What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self’.

As I sat in my car at the delayed red light, I turned up the volume and listened to the words of wisdom spoken from 40 and 50 and 80 year olds to only themselves. No lectures. No judgments. Just reminders of love and introspection that comes from experience.

“Relax,” said many of the show’s call-in participants, famous and otherwise. “Things will happen as they happen.” And, “Follow your passions. Even if you can’t make any money off of them, do them anyway.” (I like to think this blogging thing falls into that latter category).

One woman’s advice to herself was particularly poignant for many where I reside in Silicon Valley- an area swarming with youth and excitement but always tempered with an air of uneasiness, expectation and stress.

“I spent my 20s being a good girl, being a graduate student, working hard to please my bosses, to climb the career ladder and do what I thought was expected of me,” spoke a woman from San Jose whose thick Indian accent offered such calmness. “But I was plagued by analysis paralysis. I was on the linear part of life back then. I wish I had written to myself reminding me that I should not have stewed in misery, spending too much time over-thinking things and living for others.”

The abbot of San Francisco’s Zen Center, Norman Fischer, spoke eloquently about minding to the little things in life. Cleaning, gardening, cooking… these are things that youth often relegates to chores and dismisses them as something where no meaning can exist. But Fischer reflected that in fact meaning exists in everything that we put effort into, from our relationships and friendships to the things that make up our days.

He then closed with his final piece of advice to his younger self, which dealt with what so many others have articulated so well… with many words and with few. Our thoughts dictate our lives. When we dwell on the negative (something I recently wrote about), we do a great disservice to all that we might have accomplished.

“Today, I can discriminate between a thought that can be beneficial and a thought that comes from confusion; I don’t need to be thinking about the latter,” said Fischer, a man whose spent the better part of his life living, reflecting and meditating. “To be able to tell the difference between a thought that is useful and noble and a thought that comes from our confusion is worthwhile to learn how to do. Relax around your thoughts- don’t be pushed around by them.”

As a thirty-something, these remain lessons I’m still learning. And however painful they may to acknowledge- to suck in- to gulp down- to confront inside- they deserve my attention. Not because someone told me to do so, but because one day I too may write an ‘Advice to my younger self’ piece. In fact, I think I’ll start one now.