Lisbeth McNabb, 47, has more than 20 years of experience working in high-growth environments -- and she wouldn't have it any other way. A couple of months back, she left a two-year CFO position at Match.com to found w2wlink.com, a Website geared toward professional women in times of growth. In early 2008, she plans to launch a networking concept on the site, where women fill out confidential profiles and w2wlink.com matches them in appropriate groups. Why women, and why now? McNabb says the marketplace is ripe: There are more than 34 million professional women in the United States, and 70% to 80% of small business launches are by women. Their buying clout tops $2 trillion. "I'm leveraging a lot of realities," she said. "The market is gigantic and the buying side is very compelling." McNabb was interviewed by Correspondent Karen Nielsen.
Q. What's it like to go from a Fortune 500 company to an Internet startup?
A. I'm very atypical for someone at a Fortune 500 company. I'm very entrepreneurial in how I approach things, and I've had a lot of success at going into new cultures. Match.com was very entrepreneurial. I did some soul searching; my biggest risk was choosing to step away from a salaried position and taking out my own capital for the founding. It's about the enjoyment and believing in the passion in what you're doing. And it's a lot about the people around you; you have to have high regard for those around you.
Q. What is your 30- 60- 90-day planning strategy?
A. You need to have a short list and be really clear about what you're trying to get done in 30-, 60- or 90-day windows. As a CEO, you have to have an activity-based plan and keep a common visibility with your key players. The short list specifically says what has to get done ... by when, for example, building the team by next week or month. Our site will provide articles on these type of topics. Keep a defining short list and use it throughout the life of the company.
Q. How have dot-coms matured?
A. For people to get resources and partnerships, the business has to be profit-minded. The maturity is there because you have to make it into something that creates value and can later monetize it.
Nielsen is a Plano-based freelance writer.
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w2wlink.com was founded by former Match.com CFO Lisbeth McNabb. Her background includes 20+ years in finance, operations, sales and business development and planning growth and emerging stage businesses. Previously she led efforts at Sodexho, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay and American Airlines.
Linda Mihalick serves as the Chief Marketing Officer. She has led the interactive and marketing at GroceryWorks.com, TheGift.com/1-800-Flowers.com and Thomas Nelson Publishing Live Events, as well as held key leadership roles at American Airlines and JCPenney. Heading up Business Development is Chris Phipps, who has worked as a technology and software startup consultant for PMC-Sierra, Oki Electronics, Hyundai Semiconductor, AMD and NCR Electronics. He has also served as an advisor for a venture capital company.