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Michele Serro
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Michele Serro is the founder and CEO of Doorsteps, owned by Move, Inc., the operator of Realtor.com. Doorsteps helps future homebuyers make smart decisions on the path to homeownership. A former opera singer, Michele has spent a majority of her career as a design consultant, before turning her sights and passion on changing the way that people find, buy and own homes. Michele is fascinated with finding better, more human-centered ways to harness the Internet to support people through major life events. Recently, she was an Associate Partner at IDEO, an innovation and design consultancy, and co-founded the New York City office. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Indiana University.

Entries by Michele Serro

Smart Design Shows Me Why and How

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 11:31 AM

Last week, I got into in an elevator with a friend of mine. There were the usual rows of numbers and buttons, so I pressed "5" and stood ready to ascend. Nothing happened. I pressed the button again, this time a little harder. Still nothing. Finally, my friend reached over...

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The Joy of Constraints in Business

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 3:07 PM

Before starting Doorsteps, I was lucky enough to spend a handful of years leading the New York office of IDEO, a well-known design and innovation firm that's probably touched your life in some way, whether by a product, service or experience. While at IDEO, I spent a lot of time...

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Perfect House, Perfect Spouse? How Finding Your Dream Home Is Like Dating

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 10:52 PM

Do you prefer them long and narrow? Clean and well-maintained? With heavenly hardscapes and a nice backyard? Most women don't know what they want in a home until they have explored their options. Sound familiar? Shopping for a home isn't so different from dating, as I learned firsthand while trolling...

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Is It Your Time to Buy a Home? The (Emotional) Transition From Renter to Owner

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 5:03 PM

There is a homebuying myth that needs dispelling. It has to do with mathematic certainty. The truth is, no formula exists for knowing if and when you should buy a home. Ask most economists and they'll tell you that there are far too many emotional factors involved for there to...

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Design for a Moving Target

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 1:54 PM

Every entrepreneur thinks they are designing for a complex and dynamic system. In the case of the housing industry, though, there really is very little one can take for granted, especially when designing for Millennials.

If you were born somewhere between 1980 and 2000, you've probably...

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Top Resolutions for Startups in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 12:21 PM

There is no one way to start a company. Making mistakes and learning from them is just par for the course when it comes to startups. However, when I look back on 2013, I saw several areas of opportunity emerge, ones that may help other startups gain the attention of...

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Designing for Firsts: A Primer for Premier Experiences

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 2:39 PM

Everyone remembers their first, no matter what it was -- first kiss, first car, first house or first kid. Most first-time experiences are charged with emotion, from pangs of anxiety to flutters of excitement. When you find yourself designing for a "first" moment, especially as a product designer, there's a...

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What Agile Development Taught Me About Life

(3) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 2:19 PM

The startup world has made a religion of killing the sacred cow: anything that reeks of business-as-usual is frowned upon. Graduating from university? Unnecessary. Cubicles? Please. PowerPoint? Shame on you.

And while this very dismissal of orthodoxy has become its own status quo, there is one particular approach that has...

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The Secret to Any Successful Brand? Design or Die

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 3:39 PM

We've received a lot of compliments about the design of Doorsteps, which I'm always eager to pass along to our team. It makes us feel good. But it depresses me at the same time. Why? Because design should be a cost of entry. For us, "great design" is just another...

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The Best Possible Outcome for a Startup: Maximize Your Upside

(3) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 10:48 AM

If launching a startup has taught me anything, it's this: the best possible outcome for a startup is inexorably linked to how -- and why -- that startup was conceived in the first place.

The assumption is that people launch startups to get obscenely rich. It's all about the...

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Has My Entrepreneurial Mindset Done Me a Disservice in My Personal Life?

(23) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Over the past ten years, while my friends were openly panicking about how they didn't have a boyfriend, husband, or babies yet, I listened but almost always found my mind wandering. It wasn't that I was not interested in their stories -- it was more that I couldn't relate. I...

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The Millenial Mind-Meld

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 6:26 PM

Millennials enjoy a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with the press. They've been called everything from the most community-minded to the most narcissistic generation; the most entrepreneurial to the least financially-literate. Name your bipolarity and there are plenty of research papers happy to park Millennials at either end.

What is clear, though,...

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The Emotional Side of Homebuying

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 2:48 PM

Homebuying is an inherently emotional experience and brings with it feelings that don't always serve our best interest in the heat of decision-making. That said, this emotional baggage doesn't just affect the individual home-buyer, but the industry as a whole.

Consider the 25 percent of Americans who are currently underwater...

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The Most Common Formulas for Startup Success

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 4:50 PM

We're all familiar with the common cliché of entrepreneurialism: Joe or Jane McEntrepreneur were trying to book a flight/find flattering support garments/rent a car and were profoundly dissatisfied with the experience. Incensed, they set out to design a better more streamlined way -- and did, earning millions in the process....

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I Just Sold My Company. So Why Do I Feel Sad?

(4) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 3:56 PM

Last month I beat the abysmal startup odds to become one of the very few that finds meaningful traction, intrigues one of the big players, and gets acquired.

My gamble paid off. The blood, sweat, and tears that I left on my keyboard for almost two years was worth it....

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The School of Hard Knocks: Can We Teach Entrepreneurship?

(6) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 2:12 PM

Whether we can teach entrepreneurship is actually a question about whether entrepreneurialism is fundamentally a mindset or a skill set. For years we've assumed that it is the former. "Entrepreneurial" has been used primarily to describe a personality trait, as if to imply that one is born entrepreneurial in the...

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