Who is Sarah M Worthy and What is it Exactly that She Does?

Many people ask me what I do. I usually reply with something that feels nebulous and off-center. I’m going to try and explain why meeting me and learning more about me can sometimes really feel like a struggle for you, and I admit – I have lots of iterations to go before my average user experience inside an introductions meets my extremely high standards.

Few people ask who I am. That’s something that saddens me to type, but it’s important to me that I stress who I am to you before we form any kind of relationship with each other. You’re reading this – if now you wish to leave, I encourage you to because our time is precious.

My Role Models: Einstein, Franklin, Lincoln, Twain, Bradbury, Asimov, You…

I’m not brown-nosing with the “You” and once you’ve met me, you’ll know I’m genuine. I won’t spend much more time there – however you’re totally right if you questioned my sincerity with the “you” because – well, I would in your shoes.

What’s wrong with the list if we leave the “you” off? They’re all boys. I’m a girl. What’s a genius look like? The best response I can give is don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Best to assume there’s far more below the surface than what you are seeing above.

I started reading before age 2. I was reading above an 8th grade reading level before 2nd grade. I grew up reading the daily newspaper at the breakfast table and to this day, I start my mornings off with breakfast and the daily news.

I learned how to code in the 4th grade on a Commodore 64 in Visual Basic and Turtle Tracks. Prior to that, I was using the computer to dial in to local area bulletin board services on an IBM PC with one of the first color monitors. It cost $5,000 total and had 64kb of onboard storage.

I spent my first 2 years of high school reading a new book everyday throughout my classes. Mostly I read scifi and sometimes fantasy or mystery. I didn’t really have trouble with high school other than being completely bored. Sadly, they’ve made high school too easy now so I flew by my honors courses with A’s and sometimes a rare B, and didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of D’s like Einstein had to when school was harder. 😉

I was also teaching my family how to use the computer, and with Prodigy and AOL around now – I was teaching them how to use email and “surf” the web.

I spent my last 2 years of high school in college at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged someplace. It was kind of like the program in the movie “Real Genius” with Val Kilmer, only way less cool and way more like high school. I took one semester of computer science while there before I quit programming because I  got sick of being the only girl because everyone not only wanted to copy my notes and get me to help them understand arrays – they also wanted to date me.

I started a lot of small businesses, including a fishing worm stand (it’s like a lemonade stand, but I dug up earthworms from my backyard and stood out front trying to sell worms for fishing during the summers.) I made $0 sales.

sarah m worthy fishing worth more than once

I grew up in San Antonio, and there’s really not a strong fishing market plus I learned later that no one really uses worms for fishing. This was probably my first lesson on the importance of having a Product-Market fit. I was 9, and trust me – there’ve been many more lessons since then on how crucial to a startup to get this single element right.

I admit that writing original code isn’t my passion, and I’m not really great at it. If I need to learn something technical or a new programming language, I learn it for the project, then usually forget it because I don’t keep using it over time to really remember it. This confuses people at work often because they lack the ability to learn something quickly, and don’t understand why I would want to forget how to code. I don’t let this worry me, I just want you to feel totally normal if you also feel confused by this.

I’m the Unicorn and I’m used to being the sole person in the room that knows what’s really about to happen.

My Recent Professional and Volunteer Work

I’m the CEO and Founder of Door Space Inc. and the President/Owner of Worthy Technology LLC.

I combine marketing strategy, user experience design, and product management to identify and create engaging online experiences that build audiences for organizations.

If you’d like to learn more about my past work history, visit me on LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/sarahworthy.

Just some of my day to day activities include:

  • Researching and Developing Forecasts on Technology Adoption Trends
  • Identifying new partnership opportunities with other technology platforms
  • Creating and implementing content marketing strategies
  • Developing engaging social media campaigns
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Event Marketing and Management
  • Software Testing
  • Bridging Communications between Clients and Programmers
  • Supporting our Sales Team with Online and Offline Lead Generating Campaigns

sarah worthy nasa johnson space center flight simulator test pilotI have over 15 years in information systems architecture, user experience design, marketing, sales, and e-commerce across a variety of platforms with a strong focus on teaching people how to use technology to do great things in business and nonprofit industries.

I also volunteer with many organizations in the Houston community and have a passion for entrepreneurship and technology, in particular.  In addition to active participation in the Houston American Marketing Association, Social Media Breakfast Club, Social Media Club, Houston Chapter, and Houston Interactive Marketing Association, I also play key roles with the following organizations:

2013-04-NTC Sarah and Kraabel

  • I’m the Houston Startup Digest curator.
  • I’m a co-founder/organizer and formerly the PR and Marketing Manager (volunteer/unpaid) for SpaceUP Houston.
  • I’m the Project Manager and a Developer of the Spacepoints social outreach platform for Space Enthusiasts
  • I’m a co-organizer for the Houston NetSquared Meetup Group to bring nonprofit organizations together with technology professionals for learning and making the world a better and more tech-savvy place.

Somehow, I am also lucky enough to be the mother to my awesome 9-year old son. 

Public Speaking Engagements, Interviews, Appearances, and Published Work

Here’s some of the recent places I’ve had the honor of presenting my opinions, sharing my story, and publishing my thoughts. If you’re looking for a speaker or guest author to come talk about the latest and greatest tech tools and how to use these tools if you’re with a nonprofit, membership association, or startup then I hope you’ll consider requesting me.  Just send me an email with dates, location, and other information to schedule time for us to chat!

Recent Public Speaking and Interviews

sarah worthy amanda coolong sxsw 2010

Sarah and Amanda Coolong, COO Tech Zulu, at SXSW 2010

APMP of Greater Houston | February 2010 “Researching Competitive Intelligence Online

SpaceUP Houston Winter 2011 UnConference | February 2011

High-Tech Conference at Lone Star College | October 2011

SpaceUP Houston 2012 Unconference | February 2012

Citizen Science Quarterly Interview | March 2012 | “CSQ Interviews Sarah M Worthy on Spacepoints

SXSW 2012, Austin Texas | March 2012 | “Spacepoints – Space Outreach at Ludicrous Speeds”

SpaceUP San Francisco 2012 Unconference. “What’s Next for Spacepoints”

TEDx Sugarland | August 2012

Melbourne, Australia Netsquared | September 2012 | “The Secret to Increasing your NPO’s Online Donations using Social Media”

BlogTalkRadio’s Inside Computer Explorers Interviews Sarah M Worthy | November 2012 | “Space Organizations with Sarah M Worthy

Upcoming Public Speaking Engagements in 2013

SpaceUP Houston 2013 Unconference | February 2013

SXSW 2013 Austin Texas | March 2013 | “How to Crowdsource Your Mental Health, Free

Executive Services Corps of Houston | February 2013 | “Factors Every Nonprofit Website Needs for Effective Online Fundraising”

NTEN.org NonProfit Technology Conference (NTC) | April 2013 | “Level Up Your Fundraising: Understanding the Psychology of What Makes People Donate Online in 7 Steps”

Executive Services Corps of Houston | May 2013 | “Getting a Handle on Your Nonprofit’s Content Marketing Strategy”

Co-Host for 2013 Houston NetSquared Monthly Meet-ups | Visit http://meetup.com/NET2Houston to Join Us!

Samples from My Portfolio of Work

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Here’s a few examples of work I’ve had published that I’m proud of!

NonProfit and Association Technology Guides

Is Your Fundraising Platform Ready for My Generation?, June 2012

Make Your Website a Donor Magnate, August 2012

Non-Profit Social Media Strategy, August 2012

Lessons on Website Manage, September 2012

Installing Tendenci on the Rackspace Open Source Cloud Platform, November 2012

Google Plus Communities – The What, Why and How to Use Google’s Newest Social Media Tool, December 2012

Regular Contributing Author | Final Draft – the Bi-Monthly Publication of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals of Greater Houston

Schipul Blog | July 2011 | “What’s Next? Predictions for Technology, Space and Social Media

Schipul Blog | April 2012 | “Gary Hoover Shares How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Succeed at Your Business

American Marketing Association, Houston | 2012 | “B2B Marketers Share Their CRM and Marketing Automation Secrets to Success