TSW #14: Mari-Liis Lind

12 February 2014


How did you discover and first become engaged in technology?
I guess my first contact with a computer was back in late 80s, when my father bought us our first PC. Back then, as a pre-teen, I used it most to play games though. I remember I became more attached to computers in mid-nineties when I started actively using e-mail for communication with friends abroad. Until today, I still appreciate the most the technology as the enabler of communications (both direct and indirect). I dug deeper into technology in 2007 when I joined the venture firm Ambient Sound Investments, where I started as a project manager for a startup in their incubator and later worked as an investment associate scouting for new interesting startups and managing a number of portfolio companies. During that time we initiated a series of best-practice sharing events for our portfolio companies which later evolved into the Startup Leaders Club.

What are your current projects related to technology?
Currently, I am an advisor to Garage48 Foundation that arranges 48-hour hackathons and hosts a co-working space in central Tallinn. I am also one of the co-founders behind Tech Sisters. My main focus is getting teenaged girls excited about technology. Last autumn we launched the first Digigirls event in Tallinn - a practical 1-day workshop where women working in tech introduce the field and career opportunities to girls. We cover the fields of programming, design, testing, databases, marketing and project management. This year we plan to take the concept nation-wide.

If you could change the world with technology, what would you do?
Technology is changing the world. With or without me. While I prefer to see tech mostly as facilitator (democratization of information, communication, better self-awareness, personalized medicine etc), I realize that it can also isolate us from the actual world and thus make us lonelier.

What are the top 5 (technology) blogs you’re following?
I regularly follow TechCrunch, Wired, Mashable, Venture Beat and The Verge. I also keep an eye on Kickstarter blog to discover new cool grass-root level inventor / tech projects. As an Apple-addict, I read the Mac Rumors. Out of person blogs the first ones that come to my mind are Ben Horowitz’s and Guy Kawasaki’s for tech and venture capital related stuff. That’s already many beyond 5 and it’s just the beginning of my list.

Where would be the best place for women to start experimenting with technology?
The internet. It is full of free resources and tutorials. For learning to code, I would recommend Codecademy, tryruby.orgScratch.mit.edu and codecombat.com. I also recommend to take a look at Khan Academy’s computer sience course. In Estonia, I would recommend to take part in Garage48 hackathons and at Tech Sisters events.

What is the most exciting part of your work?
The most fascinating part of working in a design agency is to get to think of how people actually use products / services (what are their desires and motivations) and how to make the products and services add value to people’s lives.

What are the top 5 apps you can’t live without?
Spotify for my daily dose of music. For time management I use two calendar apps - Peek - a beautiful and simple calendar app for my most personal stuff and Sunrise - for everything else. I track my notes with Evernote and use Skype for communication with friends and family. The most recent discovery and favorite is Pocket for organizing and storing all the content that I want to read but am unable to read right away upon discovery.

Again, that was six. Duh.
All news