Sheryl Ryan
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Sheryl Ryan

Operations Exec with 15+ successful years of turning ideas and what-if's into meaningful goals, tangible action plans, and profitable results. Special skills: Operational strategy, deep analytics, large scale process improvement, training & morale.

Los Angeles, California, United States
Member since March 11, 2015
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Investor interests
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Credentials None
1998 Boston University , MS , Computer Information Systems
1993 Rutgers University, School of Business , BS , Finance

Companies I've founded or co-founded:
If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

I want to change the world.

My favorite startups:

Thesis Couture, Good Egg, Warby Parker, Rent the Runway

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Most rewarding - Getting to share the lessons learned, so that others don't have to go through as much pain. Most frustrating - Going thru that pain.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Thinking through their strategy from their own point of view, instead of from their customer's. We've all done it!

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1 - Don't assume you know what will work. Find your audience, ask relevant questions, and experience it first hand.

2 - Don't be afraid to whittle down your target audience. It's not that you can't sell to a wider market... it's just easier to do one slice of the segmentation pie at a time. Filtering out large portions of your audience will leave you with a smaller audience, yes. But if you've done it right, that small audience will be far easier to communicate with than a broader group, will have higher conversion, and will more quickly get you to the next phase of your business, where you can then take on the next segment of your market.

3 - It might look like a good idea to take shortcuts and leap to the finish line. But don't be surprised if no one is waiting for you when you get there. Take steps, not leaps! It's all about iterating in small chunks, so you don't spend all your time and money on a big end goal, only to find out that it was the wrong one.

Full bio

Everyone is gifted with a special talent, and mine is the ability to make things easier and thus pave the way for success.

I work with startups and growing teams to solve complex problems and turn big ideas into tangible solutions. In simple terms, this starts by assessing a company’s current state, comparing it to where they want to be, creating/prioritizing the strategies that close the gap, and assessing/redirecting along the way.

I help to set high-level goals that balance the immediate needs with longer-term vision, and then break those goals into digestible action plans for each functional team. I then work with each team to streamline processes, implement tools, devise policies, clear obstacles, provide training, measure progress, and reward success.

Together we increase overall business intelligence, build a more cohesive team, boost morale, make more informed decisions, lower costs, increase profits, and pave the way for success.

I also speak fluent tech and effectively minimize the frustrations that often arise between the business & tech teams.

I’ve spent 15 highly successful years in Sales and Operations with companies ranging from small startups like to large multinationals like Toyota. I also spent five years in Aviation Electronics, when I joined the Marine Corps after college because I thought that running obstacle courses would be more fun than working on Wall Street. (It was!)

I'm currently the Head of Operations for Thesis Couture, working with an intimidatingly brilliant team that is melting high tech into high fashion to re-architect the high heel shoe from the inside out.

I have an undergrad in Finance and a master’s in Computer Information Systems. I’ve lived and worked in Australia, South America, and across the US, and I speak pretty bad Spanish as often as possible.