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Cindy Eckert co-founded the company Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which created the first FDA approved drug for low sexual desire in women (read: female viagra). In a made-for-TV twist, she sold the company for $1 billion… but then, had to take the company back. Intrigued yet? Same. Now, Cindy’s the founder of the investment and management firm, The Pinkubator, with the goal of making other women “really f***ing rich.” Talk about a mission we can get behind. 

On Navigating Your Career Path

Cindy: We think of careers as a ladder, and I'll tell you, the exciting stuff didn't start happening for me until I thought of it differently. And I thought of it as a jungle. Once I started swinging toward the things that excited me or the jobs that I felt totally unqualified for, but I wanted to learn, that's when things heated up. I think there is real value in going to learn from entrepreneurs. Be in that entrepreneurial environment. You don't have to be in big corporate, but go and learn how they do things before you maybe step out on your own.

On Hiring People

Cindy: I care almost nothing about the pedigree and I care deeply about whether or not they fit the culture of the organization. I'm looking for that it-factor. The truth is, they're probably abundantly qualified right by the time they've made it to my desk, but it is that differentiator of, do they fit the culture? I hire owners who are all in, in every way. And my commitment back to them is I make them owners. I give them a piece of the company, because that's why I did it in the first place. 

Skimm'd by Alex Carr, Andrew Callaway, and Blake Lew-Merwin.


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