Ashley Lightspeed Explains The Importance Of Consumer Feedback

Graduating cum laude from Durham Academy in North Carolina, Ashley Lightspeed was accepted into Duke University. Earning her B.A. in 2012, she became a consultant at Bain & Company. She joined Thumbtack in San Franciso in February 2015 which exposed her to the world of startups and venture capital.

She became very interested in venture capital and investing. So much so that she enrolled at Stanford so she could earn an MBA and enter that industry. To put herself through their Graduate School of Business she worked part-time as a consultant and growth advisor. Within a month of graduating she was hired by Lightspeed Venture Partners. She is a partner at this firm and a leader in the consumer investing team. See more on Ashley at

Ashley Lightspeed enjoys helping entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality. She works with them to develop their startup’s growth strategy and improving their products. She is a big believer in prototyping a product and then getting consumer feedback on how it can be improved.

She says that focusing on consumer products at Lightspeed Ventures was an easy choice to make. She had worked with these types of products both at Bane and Thumbtack. This included doing focus groups and having consumers fill out surveys. Ashley Lightspeed says she finds it interesting how consumers say what they will buy certain products but, once actually faced with a choice, will buy something else entirely. She likes investigating what drives actual consumer behavior.

She says that product and marketing people need to be involved in a product from the get-go rather than being brought in later for this very reason. If a product is built in a silo, it can be an abject failure once launched because the designers didn’t take into account what consumers actually want. She says the best startups involve marketing teams from the start.


Business and Life Tips for Entrepreneurs from Ashley Lightspeed

Ashley Lightspeed, a successful businesswoman with a wealth of experience in venture capital investment, finance, and tech, was formerly employed at Thumbtack before leaving the company to start at business school at Stanford. Ashley was employed previously by Bain, working with all-star companies, including several Fortune 500s.

Early experiences with prototyping and design, under the tutelage of her father, an architect, led Ashley to develop a creative approach to business consulting, which focuses on iterative prototyping and other unique approaches to product development.

During her time at Stanford, Ashley immersed herself in cognitively challenging academic work, applying what she learned at school to work on real-world problems at the same time, which was an approach to learning and personal development she’d sought for some number of years. After graduating from business school, she worked with companies like Fundbox and BetterUp to help them create effective growth strategies and long-term plans, focusing on future trends. See more on Ashley at

Ashley Lightspeed eventually moved on from consulting work to commit to a new full-time position as a partner of Lightspeed Venture Partners. Ashley’s typical day is spent with entrepreneurs where she either introduces herself to new entrepreneurs or consults with existing customers on the next step of their investment plan.

She highlights the importance of keeping a personal journal, which was a hobby she developed at Stanford as a meditative, self-reflective exercise. Journaling is a healthy habit which offers busy people a chance to clear their mind, improve mental hygiene, and organize thoughts while putting everything into context.

Ashley Lightspeed also talked about the importance of keeping in touch with people and never sacrificing personal time. Maintaining relationships is crucial. It is easy to let our lives get away from us as we focus on business, but Ashley agrees that it is important to keep in contact with friends outside of our workplace, especially those we knew in childhood.


Breaking New Ground With Ashley Lightspeed

Ashely Lightspeed is a well-known businesswoman. She has made quite the impression on the banking world; in a short time. Ashley has played an integral role in some of the largest companies to flourish over the last ten years. When she was a youth, she remembers being intrigued with creating; of all sorts. Ashely’s father was an architect and his constant creating inspired her drive.

Currently, Ashley Brasier is a key part of Lightspeed. Serving as one the elite venture firms in the country, Lightspeed has been the perfect fit for Ashley’s creativity. As a leading partner to the company, she assists with product developmental and establishing trends. Women-focused retail markets has also been another key component to her work. Ashley Lightspeed has helped the company break new ground in numerous areas.

Get the latest update on her twitter to find out more.

Although she states she is not a morning-person, her day starts around 6:00 am. Ashley Lightspeed sees early mornings as a time of tranquility before her day gets hectic. The first work-related task of her day is normally a community investment meeting. This gives an opportunity to asses goals and track progress. Investment ideas are generally presented in these meetings; as well as Ashely Lighspeed’s new concepts. She commutes to her work in San Francisco and this is normally an hour drive. One advantage of taking an Uber to work is being able to fully enjoy the sunrise, Ashely states. She also uses this time to catch up on emails and mentally prepare for her day at the office. One piece of advice that she would give others, is to remain flexible in business.


Isabel dos Santos a voice for African female entrepeneurs

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest businesswoman, has garnered international attention recently for her philanthropic work that is seeking to challenge the establishment model of an African entrepreneur. As countries within the continent are building the necessary infrastructure to spur economic growth, she believes that a traditional norm will stagnate Africa’s economic viability unless it is emphatically addressed; that problem is gender disparity.

Addressing a cultural problem

Since stepping down as CEO of Sonongol, Isabel dos Santos has shared her experiences of the struggle of being a woman in a male-dominated business space. In a recent interview with she stated:

“Women employed at any level of the African business world are well aware that discrimination and sexism are very real concerns. Even at the height of my career, people doubt my opinions, as if they were unable to negotiate agreements on their own just because they were women. As a result, all the decisions I make and all the ideas I present are immediately questioned, which has forced me to be more creative and effective in the way I stand for my value, my experience and my abilities.”

While her experience as top executive is not indicative of every African country’s diversification efforts, it does convey a shared problem that was until recently internationally implemented. Isabel dos Santos believes that economic success cannot be one-sided and alienating or suppressing half of their entrepreneurial potential creates an unintentional vacuum to allow foreign competition to usurp national growth.

Building a new economic vision

Isabel dos Santos is aligning herself with entrepreneurial women to educate communities, assist in female start ups, and help the disadvantaged pursue their dreams of economic freedom. She wants to reach women through education and eliminate diversity barriers. She understands that even now, there is much resistance to gender equality as is a cultural issue. Men are open to change but are also hesitant due to peer pressure and fear of losing their position. She is hoping that with repeated efforts, the enhanced productivity will speak for itself on an international level.

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Ashley Lightspeed, A New Digital Wave

After recently raising over 1.8 Billion USD in capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners decided to add to its team, new members. Stunning was that this addition was a progressive move by the company to have 50% of the new employees as female, among them, Ashley Lightspeed. Herself not a novice in this sector of venture capital firms, she plans to bring her expertise in consulting and digital media to boost the consumer investing practice at the firm.

Education and Experience

Prior to joining Lightspeed Venture Partners, Ashley had tremendous success at Thumbtack, an online platform bringing customers and professionals together. She ran the events and weddings section and saw it grow exponentially during her time as Category Manager.

After her work at Thumbtack, Ashley sought to further her education by going to graduate school, one of the best. She enrolled at Stanford University for her MBA. It was during this time that Ashley Lightspeed honed her skills, ready for the market.

Ashley attended Duke University for her undergraduate studies, BA, Visual and Media Studies. After graduation, she worked at a consulting firm, Bain and Company, as first an associate before later being promoted to Senior Associate. The Firm’s list of clients includes elite movers and shakers of all sectors of the economy. After her time there is when she joined Thumbtack, founded in 2008, to close the gap between experts and clients. View Ashley’s profile at Linkedin.

Personal Drive

At an early age, Ashley Lightspeed was fascinated by architecture, her father’s profession. This fascination led her to become one of the most meticulous and innovative people. Her work at Lightspeed Venture Partners includes working mostly with start-up companies and other companies at various stages of development. This way, she prides herself in the ability to build companies from scratch and to see them grow.

Ashley’s keynote to entrepreneurs is that their success is highly dependent on their flexibility.


Isabel dos Santos – A Woman Worthy of Admiration


Isabel dos Santos is a woman making history for her home country of Angola and for Africa. Today, she is Africa’s first woman billionaire, worth about 2 billion. Her success in the business world is largely due to her own efforts, despite being the eldest daughter of Angola’s former President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

She spent most of her younger years in London where her mother continues to live. Isabel dos Santos received an Electrical engineering degree from King’s college and took her first managerial position for Urbana 2000, a company tasked with cleaning up the city. Following the completion of this project, she decided to establish her first business, a trucking company. Visit on her twitter for updates.

After noting the deficiencies in the telecom industry of the 1990s, she decided to invest her profits in the emerging telecommunications industry. Around this time, she also became the owner of Luanda’s first night club, the Miami Beach Club.

During the subsequent 20 years, Isabel dos Santos expanded her interests into other industries that brought needed services, income and technology to Angola. She also continued to expand her interests in foreign holding in Portugal, the Netherlands and Spain. Since 2008, Isabel dos Santos has held most of her investment holdings in telecommunications, media, retail, finance, energy and mining.

In Africa, Isabel is known as a woman who has it all, beauty, wealth and brains. She has achieved her success on her own with little help from her political influences.

Today, she is considered one of the most influential business women of the world. Isabel dos Santos is an inspiration to women seeking business success. She has held directive roles in world leading companies and has made very successful investment decisions. Isabel is certainly someone to admire, a self-made billionaire who achieved success solely with her own knowledge and efforts.

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The Richest Woman In Africa

Africa is often thought of as one of the poorest continents in the world but it would seem not everyone there is wallowing away in poverty. Isabel Dos Santos holds the distinction of being the richest woman on the continent. As the daughter of the former president of Angola, it’s not hard to deduce where the majority of her wealth came from but rest assured she is not taking any of her good fortune for granted. Born in the capital of Azerbaijan, Isabel Dos Santos went on to study electrical engineering at King’s College in London where she met her future husband. A couple years after graduation, she started her first business when she opened up a new beach club in the capital of Angola and subsequently expanded her interests into many other departments (BBC).

As someone in a position of power, Isabel Dos Santos has dedicated lots of time and effort to bettering the lives of people throughout Africa. A few years ago, Isabel Dos Santos gave a talk at an annual conference for the Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development. Most recently, she spoke at a student-led event being held on the campus of Yale University where she discussed many different themes including democracy, identity and sustainability among others. Back in June of 2016, stated by her father, Dos Santos is Sonangol Chairwoman, an Angolan state oil company. However, she was later dismissed from the position less than two months after her swearing in.

A few months prior to this, her father announced his intentions to retire in 2018, although he failed to disclose a particular reason for his sudden departure from office. In more recent years, Isabel Dos Santos has put down stakes in various different companies and businesses. This includes but is not limited to Trans Africa Investment Services, Unitel International Holdings, Santoro Finance, Esperanza Holding and Condis. At the moment, it’s not quite clear where she plans to go in the future of her entrepreneurial career but, from here, she has nowhere to go but up. We wish her the best of luck.

More information about Isabel dos Santos at


Founded by Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, the Ford Motor Company opened its doors in 1903, providing some of the first automobiles to individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Using two to three men to work together on a single vehicle, Ford’s system introduced the assembly line system of work. The automobile manufacturer may be as well-regarded for his production line innovations as the automobiles his company produced.

As Henry’s great-great granddaughter, Elena Ford is continuing with that type of forward thinking with her eagerness to improve upon the customer experience. Elena currently serves as the auto maker’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, so her focus is on giving Ford customer’s a more personalized experience. She has taken the time to consider what areas need improving and analyzing methods for addressing those aspects of car ownership.

In an effort to customize the Ford customer experience, Elena Ford is promoting the company’s new mobile app, FordPass. The app will help propel Ford into a future, where selling a car is just one step in forging a relationship with tech-savvy consumers. Ms. Ford says this change in how the company relates to its customers is necessary, because people are changing how they use their vehicles.

Elena adds that people are viewing transportation in general as a means to an end, so car ownership isn’t really the status symbol it once was for past generations. While people will continue to buy vehicles, functionality will be far more important than luxury.

The Ford Motor Company began by conducting extensive research in customer satisfaction, analyzing how companies like Nike and Amazon have adapted to new consumer demands. Those companies have received recognition in providing “best in service” customer satisfaction. Embracing that as a goal, Elena Ford looked at customer experiences people have with the automotive industry and tried to determine the best ways to resolve those issues. The most common “pain points” that FordPass seeks to alleviate is the car buying experience, obtaining financing, and getting the vehicle serviced.

FordPass is a mobile app that works in conjunction with specially equipped vehicles to provide auto owners with a better experience. The app monitors the vehicle’s health and provides special functions, such as remotely starting and stopping the vehicle. In the future, Elena hopes the mobile app will help vehicle owners locate and pay for public parking and may even provide ways to borrow or share vehicles.

For Elena Ford, improving the buying experience is just one way she hopes her great-great grandfather’s company will address consumer needs. Beyond car ownership, Elena wants to see FordPass address other transportation issues and provide related services that will be customizable for each individual. In much the same way that Henry Ford used the assembly line to imp-rove the production experience, Elena Ford hopes FordPass will improve transportation experiences for Ford customers.


Deirdre Baggot advocacy on Bundled payments

In the last five years, Baggot has researched and advised healthcare actors on the impact of the Affordable Care Act. According to her, the act will have a massive effect on the overall USA health sector and more importantly on the result of bundled payments. She points out that the policy wave will have an effect on the prepared and unprepared actors in the medical sectors. In her opinion, Baggot era for fee-for-service is slowly exiting. She explores the alternatives both the patients and caregivers have in the new payment dispensation.

As an expert in the payment systems, Ms. Baggot advice the healthcare facilities to maximize the use of data in modifying the bundles and payment plans. The purpose of data according to her helps the hospitals in identifying shortcomings in their overall payment plans. Besides, Baggot advises the health facilities to build a good environment for a better relationship between both the caregivers and the patients. Learn more about Deirdre Baggot at

Deirdre Baggot is optimistic that the current payment method is the solution to the affordability question on the healthcare. To her, this is one of the best innovation towards universal, affordable health care to both sides of the healthcare. Both the caregivers and patients are presented with a win-win situation with the bundled payments. She believes that as much as the human body is prone to diseases, the solution and remedies do not have to be complicated.

Deirdre Baggot is one of the most experienced personalities in the USA health sector, both in the academic and practice. Although she has worked in the academic world, her expertise in payments methods and business of healthcare has made her synonymous with innovations. Ms. Baggot has one of the best qualifications any medical strategists may have. In summary, she has a Ph.D. in Philosophy (University of Colorado) and MBA from the prominent Quinlan School (of Business). This vast knowledge makes her the ultimate expert in the sizeable medical sector.

You can find Deirdre Baggot on Twitter:


Susan McGalla is a Prime Example of Female Leadership

There are statistics that show businesses with a diversity of gender have a 15% chance of outperforming other companies while companies that are ethnically diverse have 35% more of a chance to outperform compared to others that are not as diverse. The belief is these kinds of companies have been able to outperform their peers is because they are more welcoming to new ideas. Diversity in the workplace will bring more perspectives to the table and one of the finest examples is Susan McGalla.

McGalla is one of the prime examples of women leaders has proven herself to be highly skilled in her position. For women, reaching a high-level position in the business world is a challenge and it can feel like an uphill battle.

McGalla has credited her success to how she was raised which has made her so at ease with working women and men. She grew up with a football coach dad and two brothers and was not given any breaks just because she was a girl. McGalla had to work for the things she wanted which led her to develop a strong work ethic early on as a little girl. She carried this attitude forward in life and it has helped her to be incredibly successful while also being able to hold multiple, high-level positions in the business world.

Just like in her childhood, McGalla had to earn what she wanted and rose through the ranks of American Eagle Outfitters. When she first started working in these high-level positions all the executives at the top were men. Before she had left the company, she had managed to work her way up to being the president. She then went on to found the P3 Executive Consulting and now holds the esteemed position of Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers.