Zuvo Water: Margaret Diesel, VP Finance

Margaret Diesel does not fit the image of a typical public account ant. In fact, she doesn't fit the mold of most finance people.

“We're mostly linear people—what most people are looking for in an accounting finance person—but that's what turns me off in big companies. I don't want the predictable job; I don't want to know what I'm going to be doing this week, this month, this year,” Diesel says.

“Accounting by its nature is a predictable and boring role. If you can find something with more variety, it's a lot more fun,” she says, laughing.

Zuvo Water is Diesel's fourth start-up, each one with its own similarities and differences.

“I think having the right mind-set and the willingness to do everything—soups to nuts and everything in between—is what makes someone successful in a start-up environment,” Diesel says.

“You can generalize and divide finance people into two types: those who want to only operate at their highest level of competency or expertise and others who will do everything that needs to be done—high point to remedial tasks. It's a mind-set and a different style of working.”

When Diesel interviews people who want to come into an accounting role for a start-up and who say, “Oh, yeah, I'm hands-on,” she says that most people think they're like that, but not that many people really are like that.

“People have this romantic idea of a start-up. But you don't know what you have to do until you have to do it—rolling up your sleeves ...

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