Quick Bite Interview with Sandra Ordonez of Collaborative Nation


by Lauren Keyson

LK: Who is Sandra Ordonez?

Sandy Ordonez: I’m a native New Yorker from the Bronx and Yonkers who fell in love with the web in the early 90s and has been geeking away ever since.

Sandra Ordonez
Sandra Ordonez

LK: What is your organization, Collaborative Nation about?

SO: We provide developers working on anti-surveillance and anti-censorship open source tools with diverse type of support.

LK: What are your favorite television shows and movies?

SO: Stand by Me is my top movie of all time. Favorite T.V. Shows are Community, Paranormal Witness, American Horror Story, True Blood, and United States of Tara — See a theme?

LK: Any favorite books?

SO: Anything by Pablo Coelho. However, his Veronica Decides to Die might be my favorite.

LK: iPhone or Android or what?

SO: I’m embarrassed to admit, an iPhone.

LK: What areas / opportunities are ripe for startups to tackle?

SO: I think digital is brand spanking new and the opportunities to reinvent different industries are endless. Focus on tools that help people and fill a need. The beauty of the new economy is that you can empower people and still make a good living.

LK: Have you done any previous startups?

SO: My current startup helps organizations change their culture and implement internal tools so they can be more successful online and in the new economy.   I also created and ran a website catering to young entrepreneurs and MBAers throughout the world.

LK: Outside of your startup/work what are you passionate about?

SO: Women’s rights, hiking, creativity, and analytical skills

LK: Who has been or currently is an inspiration to you?

SO: Anyone past 30 who manages to maintain a positive disposition and keep their zest for life.

LK: With your startup/concept currently in prototype stage, what is one problem you are addressing?

SO: Most companies operate in an archaic method which hinders their ability to perform effectively in the new economy. I help organizations transform their culture and processes to be more collaborative, flexible, innovative and frugal in a “real way.” Using both technology and collaborative, crowd-sourcing exercises I help orgs change in a quick way that sticks and minimizes pain.

LK: What led you to this right now instead of anything else?

SO: I find that the best developers in the world are passionate but practical humanitarians who dedicate countless hours making the world a better place through open source projects. For me, working at OpenITP is an honor since I get to now only serve these kick-ass devs but also be at the edge of tech innovation that is literally transforming the world.

LK: What is your current biggest challenge?

SO: In regards to my startup, understanding how to sell a very innovative service as well as understanding which decision makers I should target.  Professionally, getting better at coding. I would like to be able to throw down and build cool technology from scratch.

LK: How can our readers help you get to your next step?

SO: In regards to my startup, I love crowd-wisdom and collaboration, so any advice, tips, suggestions are always welcomed. In regards to OpenITP, if you are a techno-activist interested in getting more involved, join us every 3rd Monday: http://hacktivism.eventbrite.com/

LK: Let’s play a prediction game. Let’s say we are 12 months from now, and you are about to present to your board. How would you describe your progress?

SO: If I have a board in 12 months, then I’m in good shape! My brother-in-law who is getting an MBA from Cornell just volunteered to do my business plan, so I feel very fortunate.

LK: Now let’s reflect on who you were five years ago. What advice would you give the former you?

SO: Girl, keep on being curious, being led by passion, and volunteering your time to serve your communities. You can’t go wrong if you focus on what you love.

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