Susan Lyne

BBG Ventures President & Founding Partner

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

The worst piece of advice I got was from a very successful producer out in Hollywood. He called me the day I was appointed to the President of Entertainment job and said, "Here's what you…

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What Is the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

I would say the best advice actually came from my husband. And it was hours after I had been fired as the President of Entertainment at ABC. So I was running primetime, and it was…

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What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Manager?

I think the best advice I would give to a first-time manager is that your reputation is going to follow you everywhere you go. So that means that the way you treat people—you are a…

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How Do You Conduct Performance Reviews?

I am not a fan of number-based performance reviews, where you give someone a four or a five, and it's a zero-sum game, so someone else has to get a one or two. I think…

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What Is Your Must-Ask Job Interview Question?

What would someone say if I asked them what your weaknesses are?

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What Is the Most Important Soft Skill for a Manager?

I think the most important skill is being able to recruit and keep talent. Because at the end of the day, no one is able to do everything. Your success—more than whatever organizational skills you…

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How Do You Put Workplace Diversity Into Action?

It's not just the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, but if we are going to build companies that succeed with what is an increasingly multicultural consumer base, you need to have…

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What Is Your Biggest Time-Saving Trick?

The fact that you don't have to go to the grocery store, you can use Instacart. The fact that you can get Glam Squad to come to your house and blow-dry your hair instead of…

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What’s Your Biggest Career Mistake?

I don't like to think about my career as mistakes, even though there have been many, many moments where, you know, I stalled or something didn't work. But they always led to something more interesting.…

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How Do You Find a Needle in a Haystack?

So, honestly, if I had a limited period of time, I would go like this until something pricked my finger.

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Are Entrepreneurs Born or Can They Be Made?

I think it can be learned. I think there's definitely a personality, somebody who likes to work for themselves, who is proactive, who is a self-starter, who is impatient with waiting for something to happen…

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What’s the Biggest Mistake When Raising Money?

I think the first mistake people make when they're raising money is to assume that they have to raise money. I see so many people who are starting businesses that are going to be revenue-positive…

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Was There a Moment You Realized You Made It?

Honestly, I know very few people who would tell you they feel like they made it. Whatever it is you've done, you also are very aware of the things that either slipped away, or the…

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How Do You Deliver Bad News to Your Team?

I think the only way to deliver bad news is face-to-face, and in a conversation that lasts more than 45 seconds. I am not a believer in this idea that you call an employee in,…

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How Do You Deal With Enemies in the Workplace?

I don't think I've been great at it. So, I may be the wrong person to answer that question. I think that I am often not willing to go in for the kill. And it's…

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"Led AOL’s Brand Group, overseeing TechCrunch, Engadget and Moviefone"

Susan Lyne has had a long career in media, commerce and consumer products. She has held leadership positions at companies of all sizes and stages, from startups to public companies, often during periods of internal or external change.

She began her career in the magazine industry, where she founded and led Premiere Magazine. She spent almost a decade at Disney, rising to President of Entertainment at ABC. She was the CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; CEO and then Chair of Gilt.com; and she led AOL’s Brand Group, overseeing such brands as TechCrunch, Engadget and Moviefone, immediately before launching BBG Ventures.

She has four daughters, three sisters, and a wide circle of entrepreneur-advisees who give as much as they get. Her biggest wins have all come from listening to, building for and betting on women.