GHC 2020 Diaries

Akshata Revankar
4 min readSep 29, 2020


GHC 2020 through the eyes of a first timer!


8 AM EST Wow! The day is finally here! This is my first GHC, I’m beyond excited. The eastern time zone makes the wait feel longer :)

9 AM EST I’m IN!

2 PM EST It’s begun!

Host : Jeanne Sparrow

Jeanne Sparrow

Welcome Note: Brenda Darden Wilkerson

Brenda Darden Wilkerson

Amazing opening! Brenda touched upon the all the hard topics — virtual career fair, black lives matter, gender disparity, and that too with so much grace and clarity.

My takeaways from Brenda’s opening note..

  1. Break the Myth — One should do it alone!
  2. Our ideas need to be seen and celebrated — diversity.
  3. We can’t be what we can’t see — be a role model.
  4. Be an advocate — support.
  5. Let down your ladders — so others can climb.
  6. User your influence to help others.

2:30 PM Time for speaker sessions! Today’s theme “Entrepreneur”

Michelle Zatlyn : Lessons Learned in Founding A Meaningful, Thriving Business — So You Can Build Yours Faster

From GHC introduction : Only three women have founded public infrastructure companies worth $1B+. One being Michelle Zatlyn, who co-founded Cloudflare during the last US economic downturn and transformed it into a leading Internet company. She’ll share her perspective and lessons learned in creating a diverse workforce and navigating times of crisis while building a thriving company so you can build yours faster.

My Takeaways:

  1. Lesson#1 Solve a big, meaningful problem : What I plan to build can it impact 100 million people and generate $100 million dollars?
  2. Lesson#2 Get great people to come work with you : Diverse teams lead to better results. Talented people care about doing things that matter.
  3. Lesson#3 Retain all of your great people : Be intentional of what you do and what you don’t do. People you start your journey with , may not be the ones with you end the journey.
  4. Lesson#4 Building a good business : Compare business metrics.
  5. Lesson#5 Picking investors : Chase the person.
  6. Lesson#6 Scaling yourself : Always keep learning. Be open to change.
Slide from Michelle Zatlyn’s presentation
Slide from Michelle Zatlyn Presentation : Ask yourself : What should I start doing, What should I stop doing, that is not helping me and What should I keep doing?

3:05 PM Speaker session #2

Holly Liu (Founder Kabam) : How to Evaluate Startup Ideas?

From GHC Introduction “Curious about starting a company but haven’t settled on an idea yet? Holly Liu, Co-Founder of Kabam, will walk you through a framework for thinking about and evaluating startup ideas. Holly will talk about her experience as a founder and her perspective on when it is time to turn an idea into a company.”

My Takeaways:

  1. “Make something that a lot of people want” : “Want” is the problem, “Something” is the solution, “a lot” is the business.
  2. How to find the problem (The Want) : Listen to users. Get them to show you. Watch them do.
  3. Good problems to solve : Wants that are Urgent, Valuable, Frequent, Common and Not already addressed.
  4. Is my start up idea good? : Check the Growth Rate(Time/Money, How quickly is the money growing) & Market Size (number of potential customers)
  5. If stuck : Evaluate if the “want” is still a problem for many people
Slide from Holly Liu’s presentation

4:45 PM Excited! Its “Serena Williams” time!

Katrina Adams and Serena Williams

My takeaways:

  1. Time is the best investment.
  2. Be humble and work hard.
  3. Quote : “Success to me is who you are”
  4. Quote : “My key message is to be yourself. Be humble. Work hard — there’s no way around it…you have to know that it’s not always easy. It may look easy in a post or a game, but it’s not.”
  5. Serena’s daughter is a co-owner of the sports team!! Wow! Legacy, Ownership.
  6. Quote : “Think big to empower our communities and our futures we are pursuing”
  7. Always have a Plan B.

Wow! Amazing day 1! Can it be tomorrow already??

#vGHC20 #TogetherWeBuild