Maria Colacurcio: Finding Focus [Built in Seattle Ep. #33]
2 min read

Maria Colacurcio: Finding Focus [Built in Seattle Ep. #33]

Maria Colacurcio, Syndio CEO, talks about category creation, leadership lessons from parenting, skills over experience, and the power of focus.

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Fixing gender and racial pay equity gaps is important, but also very complex.

Syndio just raised a $17M series B to help companies with this problem. They already have 100+ customers like Nordstrom, Salesforce, and Adobe. The company's growth impressed investors and the category is taking off as pay equity issues are finally getting attention.

Maria is a tech veteran – she previously co-founded Smartsheet, had marketing roles and multiple startups, and spent time at Microsoft and Starbucks.

She talked about how her "religion of focus" has helped her face complexity, create a category, and build a team.

Maria shares her story on this episode of The Built in Seattle Podcast.

Episode Highlights

  • The precision required to create a category.
  • The parallels and differences between Smartsheet and Syndio.
  • Why pay equity matters / why now.
  • What really matters when serving big enterprises
  • How parenting 6 kids helped Maria become a simplifier at work.
  • Why skills matter more than experience.
  • Lessons from working with veterans and "team over self."
  • How to let people fail, but not become a failure.
  • The trust <-> candor loop.
  • How Maria learned the "religion of focus" from marketing.
  • The difference between busy-ness and effectiveness.
  • Why she took a risk and hired a lawyer as the first seller.

Maria's Bio

Maria is Syndio’s Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Maria is responsible for the company’s vision and strategy for delivering innovative solutions, building an organization of the industry’s most talented people and developing organizational excellence to deliver the highest levels of business value to its customers. Most importantly, she is passionate about issues surrounding equal pay, employee wellness and equity at work.

Recognized as a thought leader in the HRM/HCM industry, Maria is a frequent speaker and author for various organizations, publications and conferences delivering the latest trends and solutions in workplace equality. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - the voice of all things work; and the WorldatWork Organization - the total rewards association.

Prior to joining Syndio, Maria co-founded Smartsheet.com, a work collaboration tool for companies of all sizes. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in technology and communications at companies including Microsoft, Starbucks and technology start-ups you’ve never heard of, she has a proven track record of building successful companies with strong core values that are dedicated to its people and customers.

She is a mom to six kiddos and makes sure to talk about family finances at the dinner table.