Every Wednesday, our Lightning Lessons speakers share their experiences and hard won wisdom. Who are these founders offering such intimate insight into their businesses and lives? Read our weekly Lightning Lessons Q&A series to find out! By Lauren Kim (Events Coordinator, Women 2.0)
This week we’re starting with all around rock star Laura Yecies, acting CEO of Catch and former CEO of SugarSync. Laura is a software and Internet services industry veteran with two decades of experience leading top brands. Read on to learn more about her and if you missed it, watch her Lightning Lesson in the video above.
Laura joined the Catch team as acting CEO to help develop the company's business model, expand the product footprint and build strategic alliances. Previously, during her four plus years at SugarSync dramatically increased the company’s revenue and user base.
Prior to SugarSync, Yecies was general manager of the ZoneAlarm consumer and small business division at Check Point Software and served as global general manager of the Yahoo Mail division. Earlier, she was vice president of the Netscape browser division at AOL where she was responsible for the development and launch of Netscape 7.0. Yecies received her MBA from Harvard, plus an MSFS from Georgetown School of Foreign Service.
That’s the professional side of Yecies, but what about the woman behind the impressive resume? Here’s how she described herself on her blog.
I’m a high-tech CEO by day and a mom of four (plus two daughters-in-law that I adore) by night. I have always been a night owl so I suppose I’m also a late-night CEO. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, grew up on Long Island in the ‘golden ghetto; of Great Neck. I’ve lived in Northern California since 1988 – long enough that my husband reminds me, whenever I say I’m from New York, that I’ve lived in California longer than I ever lived in New York.
I’ve worked or been in graduate school during my entire parenting career. With all the juggling that implies, I didn’t have time for many hobbies unless they involved my children – fortunately most of them do! I love music (playing and listening), travel, reading, family dinners, photography, and hiking in the beautiful hills around my Woodside home. Family, both immediate and extended, is incredibly important to me. My husband Steve (an entrepreneur himself) and I love spending time with our 13 nieces and nephews, siblings, parents and cousins.
What is the one thing you wish you knew at the start of your entrepreneurial journey?
I wish I knew more about the VC model. I recommend Brad Feld's Venture Deals: How to be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and VC book.
What do you love most about your job?
Building the team.
Where is the one place you go to relax and get away from the pressures of startup life?
Hiking the trails of the peninsula - Windy Hill, Hidden Villa, Montara Mountain, etc.
What Is Lightning Lessons?
New to Lightning Lessons? Each week on Wednesday morning Women 2.0 sits down with a tech innovator for a live broadcast in which we learn about the game-changing stories of their startup journey and the hard lessons they learned along the way. Take a quick 10 minutes out of your day to learn from the mistakes and feats of your predecessors. Innovators jump in a Google Hangout On Air moderated by a Women 2.0 team member for a bit of story-time and the entire session is broadcast on Google+ for your viewing pleasure. See the full lineup of past and upcoming speakers, and catch up on last week’s session with Mitali Pattnaik.
Watch Laura's Lightning Lesson above!
Lauren Kim (@LaurenJisoo) currently serves as the events coordinator at Women 2.0. Lauren holds a BA in Development Studies from U.C. Berkeley and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and women’s issues. In her spare time, she competes in hackathons and snowboards.