Hint’s Kara Goldin: “I would take passion, curiosity, and commitment over experience any day of the week”

Kara Goldin's new book (Undaunted) recounts the personal doubts and challenges she overcame to build one of America's most successful beverage businesses.


September 21, 2020

Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of Hint, the leading unsweetened flavored water company (estimated annual revenue = $200m+).

In her new book, Undaunted, Goldin recounts the personal doubts and challenges she overcame to build one of America’s most successful beverage businesses.

We caught up with her last week for a Q&A:

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Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever met? 

(Editor’s note: We received this response prior to the news of Justice Ginsburg’s passing.)

I would have to say Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When she was a young woman living in a man’s world, she decided to dedicate her life to leveling the playing field and she never stopped pushing.

She has changed the world we live in, making it a fairer place for girls and women by overturning hundreds of years of discriminatory laws, first as a lawyer and then on the Supreme Court of the United States.

To have such a big vision about the way things should be and to actually see it through is awe inspiring. What a badass!

https://twitter.com/karagoldin/status/1307114754071236609?s=20

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

Early in my career at Time, Inc., I told my boss about a meeting I had just finished. I felt really good about it and told her how nice the people were.

She said “everybody’s nice” and went on to explain that I would know if the meeting was a success based on what they did, not what they said.

She taught me to judge people by their actions, not their words. That’s great advice. And, what flows from that is that it can sometimes take a lot of follow up to get people to do what they said they would do.

What’s one mistake you made in your career, and what did you learn from it?

When I first started Hint, I didn’t know anything about the beverage industry and I thought that I needed to find some beverage experts, people who had the experience to help me solve my problems. None of those people knew how to solve the big problems and very few of them were willing to work hard and innovate.  

Today, I look for smart people that are curious and have a work ethic.  I would take passion, curiosity and commitment over experience any day of the week.

What’s your favorite book that you’ve read in the last 12 months?

I really enjoyed Scott Galloway’s The Algebra of Happiness.  A quick, no nonsense read by someone who: 1) really gets it; 2) I admire a lot; and 3) have known for years.

What’s one thing you splurged on recently?

Since home time is — well, let’s say — more than usual for me lately, buying toys like an outdoor cinema experience was a must. 

The Anker Nebula Capsule Max (Pint-Sized) Wi-Fi Mini Projector has made many nights with teen kids memorable!

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