SlideShare – Many of us have heard about SlideShare and are even using it for businesses, content strategies to share the presentations. This amazing concept has undoubtedly captured many businesses further influencing them to use it as a marketing tool to promote attractive, creative and useful presentations. Lesser do we know about the driving force behind this wonderful concept that took its inception which later emerged to be a popular slide hosting service. The creator of the entire concept of SlideShare is Ms. Rashmi Sinha who is an Indian-American businesswoman and CEO of San Francisco-based technology company SlideShare. SlideShare is an online community that allows users to upload and share PowerPoint presentations, documents, and infographics.
Rashmi Sinha, who is a designer, researcher, and entrepreneur, was born in Lucknow, India. She grew up in India and done her M.A. in Psychology and B.A. from Allahabad University. She has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University in 1998 and researched search engines & recommender systems at UC Berkeley. After moving to UC Berkeley for a PostDoc, it was then she realized her passion for web and switched her focus to human-computer interaction. She believed that good software comes from a true collaboration between developers and designers. Her love for one has what persuaded her to build products and she co-founded Uzanto, a user experience consulting company and worked on projects for companies like eBay, Blue Shield, AAA etc.
Her first foray into products was with MindCanvas (a game-like software for customer research) released in November 2005. MindCanvas is a rich online survey platform for designers and a remote research tool that uses Game-like Elicitation Methods (GEMs) to gather insights into customer’s thoughts and feelings. It was developed by Uzanto Consulting under the leadership of Sinha and has been used by companies like Microsoft, CitiBank, Expedia, and Yahoo. With the successful launch of MindCanvas, her appetite for products was whetted and the outcome was SlideShare as her next venture.
Founded in 2006 by Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. The website was the brainchild of Sinha’s husband and co-founder Jonathan Boutelle, which is responsible for partnerships and product strategy. It also provides users the ability to rate, comment on, and share the uploaded content. The platform covers topics such leadership, technology, education, marketing, design, entertainment, data analytics, economy and finance, engineering, environment, food, health and medicine, real estate, recruiting and HR, retail, social media, travel, and more.
The website which was originally meant to be used for businesses to share slides among employees more easily has later expanded to become a host of a large number of slides that are uploaded merely to entertain. Since its launch in 2006, the company witnessed more than 9 million presentations being uploaded to SlideShare, helping professionals across the globe connect through content. This female-founded startup was later acquired by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members worldwide, for $119 million in May 2012. SlideShare which is often described as the “YouTube for slideshows,” has let people store and share presentations as well as documents, PDFs, videos and webinars since 2006.
Her contributions and innovations in the field of technology have earned her name amongst the one of the World’s Top 10 Women Influencers in Web 2.0 by FastCompany, in 2008. Later in 2012, Fortune named her No. 8 on its Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs list. Continuing to inspire many, In January 2015, Sinha was listed as one of 20 “Most Influential” Global Indian women in The Economic Times, India’s leading business publication.
Rashmi Sinha, who is an active blogger, writes about social software and entrepreneurship at her blog; Rashmisinha.com. She also shares her thoughts about people, technology and running a company. She keeps motivating and influencing people across the world through her writings in the blogs. Many, indeed, have been inspired by her talks on search interfaces and recommender systems, designing great websites and marketing and social media. Rashmi Sinha has broken the glass ceiling in the realm of technology by heading in the race with the male counterparts. Sinha who was trained as a scientist got interested in designing technology and has started multiple companies. She also serves as a Venture Advisor at 500 Startups.