Susan Lyne is the CEO and president of BBG (Built by Girls) Ventures, an investment fund that focuses on business startups in technology with at least one female founder. Before she started BBG, she led Martha Stewart’s Omnimedia, Gilt Groupe, a movie magazine, and ABC entertainment. The following are 10 things you didn’t know about Susan Lyne.
1. She started her career working for magazines
After dropping out of college, Susan began working for magazines. She ended up founding one magazine. While working as an editor for different magazines, she was also responsible for managing the magazines. Her first job at the magazines after dropping out of school was as an editorial assistant with City magazine. Later on, she joined Jane Fonda as her development person. She founded the Premier magazine, which revolutionized Hollywood. She has been keen on success and how to impact people’s lives by improving their lives and promoting upcoming female entrepreneurs.
2. She was raised in Boston
Susan Lyne grew up in Boston and was the eldest child of a lawyer. She has four brothers and a sister. She started school in an all-girls school and later joined UC Berkeley for college after being turned down by Harvard. She did not finish college because she dropped out and went to work for a magazine known as City that Francis Ford Coppola founded. Unfortunately, the magazine collapsed, and Susan Lyne went to work for Jane Fonda.
3. She worked for a movie production firm
Jane Fonda had a production company that made interesting movies based on true stories, and from this, Susan learned a lot, and all the things she learned there helped her start the magazine Premiere, which she founded some years later. The magazine was about film making, actors, directors, and writers and all about Hollywood and the business of film. She also got to get into television, where she worked for Disney and ABC, but she was replaced after some time in television.
4. She prefers to invest in women-led technology firms
From an interview she held with a reporter at Business Insider, Lyne says that success is what drives her. Seeing female entrepreneurs succeeding in the business world making a great impact is her motivation as she knows that she is making change. Investing in women founders who understand consumer intuition is the best bet, and that is why Susan Lyne is involved with BBG. She is focused on investing in women-led technology companies.
5. She looks for vision in a business before investing in it
According to Susan Lyne, a person's intuition plays a big role when you are investing in a founder because that is a human being you are investing in. Going through the business analysis, looking at the market size, and asking questions like “is there a vision in this business?” is vital. Seeing the business's challenges and how realistic the person is about running it is enough to know that the entrepreneur is willing to face what is put in front of her. Her vision has been to invest in a person that keeps going and has the zeal to do that particular business. Lyne believes that for a business to be successful, the founder must be very focused on what they want the outcome to be rather than just having an idea and thinking that it will work automatically. One has to have a good idea because you cannot just start a business from an idea that is not scalable. An entrepreneur has to be able to nail the idea and have a successful business. Even businesses that seem to have become successful overnight were once an idea. The people behind them focused on what they wanted the businesses to be and ended up having a successful business. Before the success of the business, they did not have an easy time.
6. Fear motivates her to do her best
Susan Lyne’s motivation comes from having a little fear, and to operate at her best, she is always a little bit scared. She has described herself as a laid-back person if left to do what she wants. According to her, fear ups her game. There are times in her career that she has felt that she does not know what to do. But in that moment of not knowing what to do about a certain issue, she has been able to break down the hurdle into parts and solved the problem piece by piece. She has concluded that solving a problem piece by piece is less daunting. The fear of losing is what has brought out the best in her throughout her career life.
7. She takes inspiration from her family
Regarding how family inspires her, she says that she lives in a matriarch and the idea that there is still no equal playing field makes her insane. She has two daughters, two step-daughters, three sisters, and a granddaughter. She says the family is the light of her life, and there is no question about it. She constantly thinks of where their lives will lead them and wants her girls to have every opportunity to impact people’s lives and shine.
8. She loves to renovate homes
Susan Lyne loves renovating homes. She loves living with construction, contrary to most people, as most of us hate having constant construction done in our homes or offices. When she is not remodeling her own house or space, she helps a friend with their remodeling. She says that she feels excited about helping out a friend do their renovations.
9. She is a keen listener
Another attribute that Lyne has is being an excellent listener. She has an interest in hearing other people’s stories and experiences. She listens keenly and gets to know what experiences people have encountered in their lives. She also a good judge of talent. She can identify talent, recruit the person with the talent and nurture the talent. This is the key to succeeding in the world.
10. Lyne likes reading novels
Susan Lyne unwinds by reading novels, playing scrabble, spending time with her family members, and doing yoga 3 times a week. She is thrilled when her family members are around her.
Written by Allen Lee
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