Our Story

We all know we get the best information from our friends, and with technology, it doesn’t have to be any different.

But women are largely left out of the technology conversation—90% of developers and 94% of Silicon Valley investors are men. Technology isn’t designed by us, for us, with us in mind. This often leaves us feeling bewildered, overwhelmed, and completely lacking in any tech-savvy.

Heard it From A Friend wants to change this by bridging the gap, and helping Our Friends to get up-to-speed on the technology that infuses daily family life. Many of us now find ourselves playing Chief Technology Officer for our kids, so we’ve started by tackling the big issues—screen time and social media. 

We hope our guided experience helps you to feel more confident and comfortable with the technology that you have, or inevitably will be putting in your children’s hands. Your many questions are the same ones that hundreds of others are asking which is why we’ve developed Our Texting Line with ready responses. With the ease of accessibility, you never have to go it alone.  

Above all else, we want Our Friends to feel like we’re rolling out the red carpet for them. Really, it’s high time.

Julie

Communications Expert, Business Strategist, Visual Designer and Technology Advocate 

A collision of experiences led Julie to found Heard it From A Friend. After exiting the corporate over a decade ago, Julie was more worried about losing access to the IT help desk than she was about becoming a first-time Mom. In search of some support, she became an Apple-everything customer, but the role of Chief Technology Officer for her family was rife with frustration and overwhelm, and she found that the introduction of mobile devices added many layers of complication to the parenting role.  

In September of 2015, Julie serendipitously dropped into Saleforce’s world-renowned technology extravaganza and was instantly energized. Sitting in a sea of mostly male developers and conference attendees, she could see in plain view the statistics and how underrepresented women are in the technology conversation. She wondered about the impact of this in her own life and the life of her peers.

When a dear friend shared a tragic story about her young son’s accidental exposure to the dark side of the web, she was deeply concerned at how easily this could happen and the lack of support for parents from Silicon Valley heavyweights. Inspired to take action, Julie wrote several Op-eds, lobbying Apple for better parental controls, and six months later, Apple unveiled its complete overhaul, reflecting many of her requested improvements. 

Julie believes it’s ever-important to hold Silicon Valley companies accountable and to amplify women’s voices, so that our perspective is represented in the technology of our future. Today, through Heard It From A Friend, she aims to engage more women in the technology conversation by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be effective in ‘Parenting Technology’. Ultimately, the goal is to make our everyday with technology better in whatever C-level role we’re playing on the home front.  

Nicole

As a technologist and tech enthusiast, I started working with Apple computers about 25 years ago, when I was a graphic designer. I later spent four years in retail at Apple Computer as a Mac Specialist, training customers and new employees. While at San Francisco’s Union Square Apple store, I worked to design and implement a robust custom employee training program specific to the Flagship’s systems.

At the Apple Store, I noticed that most customers who bought a pile of Apple and related gear were a like deer-in-the-headlights when it came to taking it home and setting it up. I decided to leave retail and launch Appleseed Consultants, allowing me to provide premium quality, in-home support to address this issue. My focus has always been on teaching clients how to be more efficient and to feel empowered, not fearful, when it comes to technology.

Many of my clients take notice and appreciate the fact that I’m a woman working in technology; some people even look specifically for a woman to work with them in this area. There is a demeanor and special way of communicating that comes with being a female; a calm, understanding and patient attitude helps people feel at ease about the issues they’re facing with technology, and energized to give it a try on their own after a bit of guidance. 

I first met Julie when one of my clients scheduled a photo organizing session for the two of them. I could immediately see the value in their interchange and how the tools I was teaching them came to life as they discussed different use scenarios. Afterwards, Julie told me her about her plans for Heard It From a Friend. I loved the idea, especially as I could see such a need in my client base, and wanted to be a part of realizing its mission.

Alyson

I am a passionate Technology Go-to-Market leader with more than 20 years of experience building Enterprise sales capabilities from the ground up and have held Sales Executive positions at Zignal, Akamai and now Twilio. I love working with problem solvers who are eager to disrupt the accepted path, and I love that in any given day, I work with a range of skills sets from engineers to marketers, and from people early in their career to those who are setting strategy based on years of experience.  I have always found my work and my colleagues extremely motivating. 

People always ask me what it’s like being a women working in the industry.  Aside from actually carrying and bearing two children, I honestly have never felt a difference or separation from my male peers and the opportunity at work. Yes, I have some funny “cocktail party” stories, and there is the “boys club” dynamic at times where last minute late night drinks turn into important strategy meetings, but I have never felt excluded from them. 

I currently sit on the board of Girls in Tech and also enjoy consulting with start-ups, providing guidance on fundraising, marketing strategy and execution.  Not surprisingly, I primarily advise to businesses led by women.

When I first met Julie, I was excited about Heard It From A Friend’s mission to help women get more leverage by focusing on technology to help us be more efficient and effective.  As for running the “Family Business,” it’s a shared job in my household, although we each have our specialties .

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