Pamela Kiernan

Pamela Kiernan

Founder and CEO

Ware

Learn everything you can about your space, and spaces around your space. Understand your role TODAY in the space, and how that affects everything else. Have a researched, informed opinion about what is to come in the next 10 years. Tech moves fast, and those 10 years will come and go quickly.

Years in Industry  9

Who or what inspired your career in tech? How so?
I fell into tech. As a family we always tinkered, and my brother, growing up, had a real proficiency with electronics (still does). None of what Ware does seems foreign to me, even though I never studied any kind of electronics or tech in school. My first invention came out of frustration at the gym. I reached out to the electrical engineering department at a local university, and wound up with a device that would measure the amount of muscle engagement used working out (this is versus momentum, which can be hard to distinguish unless muscle engagement is measured). This was a basic neoprene strap with some EMG sensors, a signal processor, a battery, and a dial. No algos, no software, just signal. If you can break down tech hardware into small parts, its not complicated. So my inspiration came from the paint point at the gym.

What’s been your best hack ever?
Best hacks are time savers. My favorite one is grocery delivery. You cannot run a house, a family and a business and make impactful, real-time decisions unless you are optimized through rest and nutrition. Grocery stores require a colossal block of time to get through them. Ordering the basic staples and having them delivered is one of my best hacks. Enjoy a trip to the gourmet shop or farmers market for the other stuff, and let the app handle your basic blocking and tackling. Its also a money saver, as you will not be prone to impulse purchases. At the office, my best hack is only reading email at 8 AM and 2 PM. Otherwise I’m tied to it all day. If its important, advise people to call you. Im also a big believer in the delete button and spam folder.

What has been your greatest career challenge and how have you
handled it?

Greatest career challenge is the juggle, and its anyone’s guess if I’m handling it….but it is also why we jump out of bed in the morning. So much to do, and it’s usually all good.

What is your biggest career success to date?  
Ware’s best success, so far, could be its intellectual property, although personally, looking in the mirror and knowing that I’ve done my best that day, is success.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would give to women who are starting out in the tech industry?
1) Learn everything you can about your space, and spaces around your space. Understand your role TODAY in the space, and how that affects everything else. Have a researched, informed opinion about what is to come in the next 10 years. Tech moves fast, and those 10 years will come and go quickly.

2) Be the best worker in the office, with the best attitude. Raise the level of play for those around you, and make it fun.

3) If you are starting your own company, make sure you vet your idea with those you trust, and again, like #1, understand the space and see if there is room for you in it. If all this is a yes, plenty of people will try to discourage you, but you CANNOT LET THEM. Trust your research, your vision and your gut. Learn to love the word NO, because you will hear it a lot. Understand that NO means not now, or I don’t understand, and many other things. You must keep going.

Who are your role models? 
Marie Curie (A lady physicist 100 years ago. Invented and named radioactivity. Yes, please.), Hedy Lamar (invented and patented signal hopping, which became CDMA and bluetooth), Martha Stewart, who never gives up.

If you could go back in time, what’s one tip you’d give your teenage self? 
Go to Harvard.

What do you do when you’re not kicking butt at work? 
The glamorous driving my kids to their various activities, cooking and laundry

Flats, heels or kicks?  
All of the above, and often in the same day.

Best career advice book?  
Winning, by Jack Welch, and The 4 Hour Work Week,  by Tim Ferris

Who are the women in tech that you most admire and why?
Marissa Mayer. Very smart, dresses like a girl, runs a major technology company. Still has time for the symphony and ballet.
Mary Barra. I view the autos as tech companies, as they are automated with tech, and there is a lot of tech in the cars. Huge job she has to run that company, and she is doing great.

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