“To This Day, My Jewish Mother And Father Still Think I’m Unemployed” Words of Wisdom with Jessica Naziri of Tech Sesh

Everyone in my family is either a doctor or a lawyer. To this day, my Jewish mother and father still think I’m unemployed. But the other day, my Dad turned on the TV and caught a glimpse of me speaking on CNN, now he thinks I “made it.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Naziri, Founder of TechSesh, a modern woman’s destination to all things tech. A true multi-hyphenate in trade, Jessica is a tech and social media expert and named as Inc’s 2017 top rated female in tech. Jessica is one of the most-in-demand tech personalities for her first-look technology stories and gadget round-ups, and curates videos and online content for tech brands who are trying to make themselves accessible to a larger demographic- due to her ability to both raise awareness. You can see her regularly on FOX LA, CNN, CBS, and Delta Studios where she’s brought on as a tech expert and on-air commentator. In addition to running her business, she is also a Mobile App Marketing professor at FIDM.

Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

As a woman in technology who never expected to be in this industry, I have now spent more than eight years working with some of the most amazing tech outlets, brands and start-ups on the planet. I have experienced the subtle and not-so subtle discouragement, outright harassment, being stereotyped as someone who doesn’t understand tech simply because I am a woman. This only challenged me to keep hustling and working harder.

I started out reporting on the tech industry for CNBC.com and later the Los Angeles Times. Along the way, I decided to stop writing about start-ups and their high valuations and start working at one instead.

I still remember looking around at all my co-workers who were the ones building the product roadmap, debugging and testing the latest version of the app and I felt inferior. At the time I didn’t touch a line of code and I felt that I needed to prove myself even further because I was female — so I took more initiative, wore many hats, wrote and pitched content, and was able to make a huge impact in the company. Still, the reality of it was, no matter how hard I worked, the problem wasn’t me. It was my gender. I promised myself that day that I would never allow gender bias to affect me and I would never overcompensate because I was a woman.

Flash-forward to now, I am cracking the code of all things tech and rewriting it with the modern woman in mind. I could have never imagined anything like this, leveraging tech to get ahead in business and start my company,TechSesh.co. It’s pretty simple — I saw a void and I wanted to make a difference in order to encourage people to break the stereotypes in the tech space. I taught myself how to be confident in a mostly male dominated industry, how to market myself using social media platforms and how to get noticed by big tech companies and start-ups. I am beyond thankful for leaving the world of journalism to start my own platform and change the branding in technology and empower women.

When I am not running my business,I’m teaching tech to the masses as well as in classrooms at the famed Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I also a write for TechCrunch, Mashable and Entrepreneur.

TechSesh is a combination of my passion in technology, fashion, and lifestyle where I offer my knowledge in these areas through gadgets reviews, videos, and interviews with female CEOs, founders, and influencers. I like to think of myself as a creative technologist, aiming to bring my own vision of tech into the mainstream. My goal is to raise awareness and empower women in the tech world by sharing stories that I have come to know. The intersection of lifestyle, technology, and entrepreneurship may seem like an anthesis, but I’m here to break it down and show how tech can enhance our lives and our careers.

It is important for young women to know they can have successful and impactful careers in the tech sector without committing to a life of coding. I want to set the stage for women to learn python, or create their own start-up or even just learn that cookies are not only a baked good.

I want Techsesh to be the Vogue for Tech. I want to do it all.

Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company

Everyone in my family is either a doctor or a lawyer. To this day, my Jewish mother and father still think I’m unemployed. But the other day, my Dad turned on the TV and caught a glimpse of me speaking on CNN, now he thinks I “made it.”

Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Innovation and women’s empowerment are rarely discussed within the same context but each has tremendous value for human progress.

My success as a tech influencer has allowed me to work with a number of tech companies from small to large, to help shape their products, branding and messaging, which in turn helped deliver better services and better products designed and marketed to women that are not just covered in pink (pink is not a strategy).

Most companies have a lot to learn about the benefits of understanding women and gender parity. Rather than taking women into account, many companies bundle men and women into the same category. It’s no secret that women control the spending in most categories of consumer goods; meanwhile, companies continue to offer us poorly conceived products, services and outdated marketing narratives that promote female stereotypes.

Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why.

  1. Hiring people to join your team is one of the most difficult things to do. It really challenges your leadership skills. Whenever you hire someone, look for potential. You always want to bring on people who are hungry. I always like to text candidates before I hire them at 11 pm to see if they respond and if they’re truly dedicated.
  2. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be the best business. You just have to be really good at what you do and give it your all.
  3. Your network is your networth.
  4. Authenticity is single-handedly the most important message and I can sit here and write about how successful I am, but it’s more important to talk about my failures and how I learned from them.
  5. Being your own boss is great if you want to choose which 20 hours a day you work in your pajamas and where. Here I am, running on almost no sleep because I typically start chipping away at my emails at 6 am and I will keep working on my blog, travel for my site, attend business meetings, get on business calls, shoot/style tech and outfits, edit photos, and write posts all until I go to bed at midnight only for me to wake up at 6 am the next day and start all over again.

Yitzi: I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.

I want to meet the guy who put the dongle on the iPhone 7- I still can’t hear my music while I’m charging my phone! By the way, did you know his name is Mr. Don Gall?

Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!