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Sibyl Goldman

For hooking Facebook into Hollywood.

Sibyl Goldman
[Photos: courtesy of iStrategyLabs]

Thanks to Sibyl Goldman, Twitter is no longer the only one with star power. She’s changed celebrities’ perception of the social network from that of a stodgy, promotion-unfriendly platform to a place where they can genuinely interact with their most hard-core fans. She’s done this by emphasizing Facebook’s enormous global reach and image-friendly atmosphere, where movie trailers and behind-the-scenes shots are a natural fit. Goldman is also part of the team behind the Mentions app, which lets verified celebs start live Q&As from their phones, and has worked to increase Facebook’s visibility during awards season. At this year’s Golden Globes, the company set up a red-carpet lounge where celebs like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kevin Hart recorded videos of themselves answering fan questions. “These folks who reach millions of people through what they do,” Goldman says, “are engaging directly with their fans. It’s happening.”

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Bonus Round

Where or how do you seek out creative inspiration?

Through cooking, which I do on weekends. It’s a really satisfying, creative process for me. Because you can have an idea, you can bring it together and get it all the way to completion, which is hard to do with large projects that we work on. I taught myself how to make, with recipes, a chocolate babka. I went from, can I do this? To actually doing it. It didn’t look great, but it tasted great.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Snuggle with my daughter Zelda.

What is one thing about your job that you think would surprise people?

I think it might surprise people to know that our work space is so open that I often share a desk space with people on my team, much to their dismay. We kind of pile together in one space and there is truly no physical structure that defines where we are, where we go, how we work. We’re so fluid and flexible, which can take some adjusting, but once you adjust to it, can be so great. I get a lot of my creative inspiration from the people I work with, so working close together makes sense.

What’s your favorite Twitter or Instagram account and why?

Nigella (Lawson) is one I’m really enjoying. Her stuff is so decadent and unhealthy and amazing. I can’t make anything she’s making, but I like to look at the pictures and it makes me hungry.

How do you keep track of everything you have to do?

The fact that I’m able to fit in my work, be a single mom, and actually speak to a few friends, is an act of creativity in itself. But I think how I manage the stuff, I would say, is by attempting to be pretty aggressive in prioritization. That also goes to being a single mom and to working–you cannot do everything on any given day. Which is why I’m so committed to driving Zelda to school. I carve out time in that way, in the same way I prioritize the things I need to respond to. Getting the right things to the right people so that everything can keep moving forward.

What are some things you do to refresh your mind when you’re in a rut?

I’m a big fan of funny things. I love to watch random, short, funny videos, whether it’s from Funny Or Die or, you can’t go wrong with a Between Two Ferns or Conan. That kind of thing. A little hit of funny always is refreshing to me.

Who outside of your field inspires you the most and why?

I’ve got to say the Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Because I think as a woman of a certain age in a field that is very, very youth-powered, meaning in the tech industry, I look to interesting, strong and pioneering women who have sort of been discounted. Which is not true for me, but for her I think time and time again you hear, ‘She’s going to retire! She’s done!’ Meanwhile, she’s trucking! She’s working. She has a sense of humor about herself and I don’t think she has any plans on stopping working. So I look for role models of strong female leaders who are not going to be sidelined for whatever reason. She’s really an icon in that way.

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About the author

Nicole LaPorte is an LA-based writer for Fast Company who writes about where technology and entertainment intersect. She previously was a columnist for The New York Times and a staff writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Variety.

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