Lessons from the Product Building Trenches

>> WHAT'S UP, PARTY PEOPLE? HOW ARE WE FEELING? HOW WE DOING? OUR NEXT GUEST, I CAN'T SAY ENOUGH NICE THINGS ABOUT HIM. HE STARTED WHEN HE WAS 20. 10 YEARS LATER HE'S A GROWNUP, ONE. AND, TWO, JUST SOLD HIS COMPANY FOR $20 BILLION. SO I'M NOT ONLY SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT HIM BECAUSE OF THAT BUT, LIKE, YOU KNOW, A LITTLE BIT. PLEASE WELCOME TO THE STAGE FIGMA CO-FOUNDER AND CEO DYLAN FIELD AND MODERATOR RON. >> BIG CROWD, BIG CROWD. HEY Y'ALL. GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. WELCOME, DYLAN. >> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. >> YOU BET. YOU KNOW, OVER THE LAST MONTH — YOU HAVE HAD QUITE A MONTH. >> IT'S BEEN A WILD MONTH. >> YOU KIND OF HAVE BECOME THIS SYMBOL OF START-UP SUCCESS. YOU WENT FROM DORM ROOM IDEA TO $20 BILLION EXIT IN ABOUT 10 YEARS. IT'S KIND OF THE START-UP FOUNDER'S DREAM. A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE WHO ARE

FOUNDERS ASPIRE TO WHAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? >> IT'S BEEN WILD FOR SURE. I FEEL VERY, VERY, VERY FORTUNATE. YOU LOOK BACK AND YOU'RE LIKE, WOW, THERE'S SO MUCH ALONG THE WAY THAT HELPED US GET HERE. AND THAT'S NOT JUST THE INCREDIBLE TEAM AT FIGMA, BUT I DON'T OVERSTATE THAT. IT'S AMAZING THE PEOPLE I GET TO WORK WITH EVERY DAY. AND I FEEL SO LUCKY ABOUT THAT. BUT ALSO JUST, YOU KNOW, ALL THESE RANDOM COINCIDENCES. IT IS LITERALLY LUCK. I DON'T WANT TO DISMISS THAT EITHER, ESPECIALLY IN THIS CONTEXT. >> SO WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT FIGMA AND WHERE YOU WERE AND WHERE YOU ARE AS A COMPANY, YOU WERE ON A ROLL. HIGH EVALUATION, GROWTH, BELOVED PRODUCT AND IN A COMMUNITY YOU BUILT THAT REALLY VALUED WHAT YOU WERE DOING AND WAS INVOLVED — >> YOU ARE USING PAST TENSES HERE. >> IS INVOLVED. I'M SO SORRY.

WHY SELL WHEN YOU HAVE ALL OF THAT GOING FOR YOU? . >> YEAH. WE WEREN'T THINKING OF SELLING. I THINK IT IS A VALID AND IMPORTANT QUESTION. YOU KNOW, WE WERE HAVING A BLAST. ARE HAVING A BLAST. WE STARTED TALKING TO ADOBE. A REALLY IMPRESSIVE COMPANY. THE MORE I SPENT TIME THERE, THE MORE TRUST WE BUILT. THE MORE I COULD SEE, WOW, WE ARE IN A PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT BOX RIGHT NOW. FIGMA, JUST TO GET A SENSE OF THE ROOM, HOW MANY PEOPLE HERE USE FIGMA? . >> QUITE A FEW. QUITE A FEW. >>? THAT'S AWESOME. AND THERE'S MORE PEOPLE TO CONVERT. THIS IS GREAT. IT IS TRYING TO GO FROM IDEA TO PRODUCTION. WE HAVE FIG JAM FOR BRAINSTORMING ON THE DESIGN SIDE, FIGMA DESIGN FOR INTERFACES, MOCKUPS, AND

PRODUCTION SIDE, MORE TO COME IN TERMS OF HOW WE TRY TO MAKE IT TO GO EASILY FROM DESIGN TO CODE IN THE FUTURE. BUT THAT'S SORT OF OUR BOX RIGHT NOW. AS WE TALK WITH ADOBE, WE REALIZE THERE IS A SOLUTION IN TERMS OF ALL OF OUR USERS, THEY WANT THINGS LIKE VIDEO, 3D CONTENT, BETTER IMAGING, WORK FLOWS INSIDE THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS. WE ALSO REALIZED, GOSH, THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SCALE OUR IMPACT. GOING TO SCALE ON PLACES WE WEREN'T IN BEFORE. HOW DO WE MAKE IT TO ADDRESS BETTER WORK FLOWS. WE HAVE WORK AROUND PREMIUM, BUSINESS MODELS, MULTIPLAYER TECHNOLOGY. AND THEN FINALLY, I STARTED TO FORM A THESIS OF CREATIVITY IS THE NEW PRODUCTIVITY. WE DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO JUST GO DOWN THAT RIGHT NOW AT FIGMA. IF WE WANT TO GO MAKE IT SO WE'RE ABLE TO GO INTO MORE PRODUCTIVITY AREAS, THAT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF TIME. TO BE ABLE TO GO AND DO THAT IN

THE CONTEXT OF ADOBE I THINK GIVES US A HUGE LEG UP, AND I'M REALLY EXCITE BUILD THAT. >> SO THAT IS KIND OF THE ARGUMENT I HAVE FROM EVERY CEO THAT I TALK TO. BEING PART OF A LARGER ORGANIZATION ALLOWS YOU TO GET RESOURCES YOU DIDN'T GET BEFORE. AND THERE IS A CERTAIN VALIDITY TO THAT, RIGHT? BUT I'M WONDERING WAS THERE INVESTOR PRESSURE TO SELL? THIS IS A TOUGH YEAR. THERE'S A LOT OF WEIRD STUFF GOING ON ECONOMICALLY. WHAT WAS THE STORY THERE? . >> WE ARE DEFINITELY IN A GREAT PLACE TO CHOOSE OUR OWN DESTINY. WE ARE DOUBLING YEAR OVER YEAR IN TERMS OF OUR REVENUE, PRECASH FLOW POSITIVE. IT WASN'T LIKE, OH, GOSH, WE NEED TO SELL THIS COMPANY. THAT WAS NEVER THE CONSIDERATION HERE. IT WAS WHAT IS THE BEST TO ACHIEVE OUR VISION. MAKE DESIGN ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE. IT'S CREATIVITY, PRODUCTIVITY. WE CAN BE PART OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAPPENING IN THE

WORLD. IT IS GOING TO DIGITAL. WE WILL LEAVE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE BEHIND OR GIVE EVERYONE THE TOOLS. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO GIVE PEOPLE THE TOOLS REALLY FAST OTHERWISE, PEOPLE WILL BE LOCKED OUT OF THIS OPPORTUNITY SET. AND I THINK THE BEST PATH FORWARD IS WITH ADOBE. THAT'S WHY I GOT EXCITED. AND TRUST. PEOPLE ARE HUMANS AT THE END OF THE DAY. THE MORE TIME YOU SPEND WITH PEOPLE, THE MORE TRUST CAN BUILD. THAT ENDS UP BEING REALLY IMPORTANT. >> ONE THING I FIND INTERESTING WITH ADOBE BEING THE ULTIMATE ACQUIRER, ASSUMING THIS ALL GOES THROUGH, RIGHT? BUT FOR 10 YEARS, HOWEVER YOU HAVE HAD A MARKETING EFFORT, YOU HAVE BEEN ANTI-ADOBE. IT IS KIND OF LIKE SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY. HOW DO YOU SQUARE THAT CONTRADICTION FROM MARKETING RHETORIC NOW THAT YOU ARE PART OF THE COMPANY? >> I THINK IT IS ABOUT FIGMA AND

SCREEN DESIGN TO DO INTERFACES ON AND HOW DO WE MAKE IT. AGAIN, WE CAN ACHIEVE THAT VISION. THE COMMUNITY WAS DEFINITELY SURPRISED. AGAIN, ADOBE IS VERY MUCH IN THE MARKETING WORLD. WE'RE IN THE PRODUCT AND DEVELOPMENT DESIGN WORLD. WE DIDN'T REALLY SEE THEM COME UP THAT MUCH AS COMPETITORS. I DON'T SEE IT MAYBE THE WAY YOU ARE DESCRIBING. >> IT'S MAYBE NOT COMPETITIVE. BUT IT'S THE LARGE COMPANY, THE LARGE ENTRENCHED INCUMBENT, AT LEAST THROUGH YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS, YOU WERE GOING AFTER. A LOT OF COMPANIES OVER TIME HAVE DONE THAT. BOX WENT AFTER MICROSOFT SHARE POINT. THERES ALWAYS THE BIG BAD INCUMBENT. THAT'S ALWAYS A GREAT POSITION FOR EARLY STAGE COMPANY TO BE AT. BUT IT DOES FEEL A LITTLE STRANGE AFTER HAVING THAT, YOU'RE NOT JUST PARTNERING WITH THEM, YOU'RE PART OF THEM. >> THE REALITY IS, IT'S ACTUALLY BEEN INTERESTING THE AS PART OF

THE ACQUISITION PROCESS, YOU HAVE TO MAKE A TIMELINE OF EVENTS. AND I LOOKED BACK AT ALL INTERACTIONS WE HAD WITH ADOBE OVER THE YEARS. THE FIRST INTERACTION WITH ADOBE WAS DAYS AFTER WE ANNOUNCED FIGMA IN AUGUST 2012. SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A CTO, HEY, JOIN ME FOR A COFFEE TO TRY TO RECRUIT US. WE ALWAYS HAD A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM. I DON'T THINK OF THEM AS THE BIG, BAD WHATEVER. IT'S A SEXY THING TO TALK ABOUT. TECH DISRUPT. [ APPLAUSE ]. >> ALL RIGHT. FAIR ENOUGH. HOW DID YOUR EMPLOYEES REACT WHEN YOU TOLD THEM IT WAS ADOBE? . >> SURPRISED BUT POSITIVE. . >> YEAH? >> YEAH. I MEAN, THEY WERE EXCITED. THE TEAM FOR A SECOND WAS LIKE, WHOA, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? THERE WAS A HIERARCHY OF NEEDS. DO I STILL HAVE A JOB. YES, EVERYONE HERE HAS A JOB.

THEY WANT TO BRING US IN TO GET OUR TALENT AND EXPERTISE. IS THE CULTURE GOING TO CHANGE? AS WE ARE SCALING AT A REALLY RAPID PACE, MAKE THE CULTURE EVEN BETTER AND BETTER. WE'RE GOING FROM PROBABLY 1050 PEOPLE, 1100 THIS YEAR TO 1700, 1800 END OF NEXT YEAR. THAT IS A RAPID PACE OF GROWTH ANYWAY. >>> >>>. >> RIGHT. I SAY WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO ANYWAY TO EVOLVE OUR CULTURE. IN THE CONTEXT OF ANOTHER COMPANY, AS WE OPERATE AUTONOMOUSLY, A CRITICAL PART OF THE CONVERSATION ALL THIS TIME, HOW DO WE DO THAT? AND PEOPLE CAME AWAY MORE BOUGHT IN AND EXCITED THAN EVER. >> THERE IS A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME THAT YOU AND EVAN WOULD AGREE TO STAY. >> HE HAS BEEN TOTALLY CRITICAL IN THE JOURNEY. >> HOW LONG HAVE YOU AGREED TO STAY ON AFTER THE DEAL CLOSES? . >> I DON'T HAVE ANY PLANS TO LEAVE. I MEAN, LOOK, I TOLD THE FIGMA

TEAM, HEY, YOU'RE STUCK WITH ME. . >> THAT'S NOT A BAD THING I'M SURE. YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE THE EMPLOYEE REACTION. BUT THE COMMUNITY REACTED PRETTY BADLY. IF YOU WENT ON TWITTER, YOU WENT ON THE NEWS, PLACE WHO ARE TECHNICAL — IN PRETTY WILD MEETINGS OUT THERE. >> THEY WERE UPSET. AND THEY WERE NEGATIVE. I GUESS HOW DO YOU EASE THEIR FEARS THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO GO SIDE WAYS FOR THEM. THE PRODUCT THEY LOVE WILL STAY AT LEAST SIMILAR TO THE PRODUCT THEY LOVE WITH MAYBE SOME NEW FEATURES. . >> YEAH. FIRST OF ALL, IT IS SHOW PEOPLE A VISION OF HERE'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO HERE. ALSO, TRUST IS CONSISTENCY OVER TIME. JEFF TOLD ME THAT. IT'S TRUE. WE CAN'T ASK EVERYBODY TO TRUST US OVERNIGHT. THIS IS A HUGE CHANGE FOR THEM. SOME PEOPLE ARE IN FIGMA 40

HOURS A WEEK OR MORE. THEY'RE IN FIGMA ALL 28 OF THE LAST 25 DAYS. IF THAT'S THE CASE, HOW DO YOU MAKE IT SO AS FIGMA IS IN A NEW HOME. THE PRICING IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE IT SO THIS IS GOING TO BE A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR YOU. >> WHEN AN EXAMPLE LIKE THIS HAPPENS, IT IS A WEALTH CREATING EVENT NOT JUST FOR YOU BUT FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES. YOUR CHALLENGE WILL BE HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS NOT AN END BUT A BEGINNING. HOW DO YOU GET YOUR EMPLOYEES TO MAINTAIN FOCUS MOVING FORWARD NOW THAT THEY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT EVENT THAT HAS PAID THEM SERIOUS MONEY? >> WELL, I MEAN, IT'S NOT CLOSED YET. . >> ALL THESE QUESTIONS ARE ASSUMING THAT. THERE ARE A LOT OF REGULATORY HURDLES FOR THIS TO GET OVER. BUT EVENTUALLY IT WILL BE THE CASE. I'M SURE IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL NOW.

>> I THINK IT'S JUST STRATEGY. EVERYBODY JOINED FIGMA FOR A REASON. WE HAD A MISSIONARY GROUP. NOT ALL BUT A GOOD PORTION HAVE HAD SUCCESS ELSEWHERE BEFORE. AND SO I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE AT FIGMA BECAUSE THEY REALLY CARE ABOUT THE COMPANY, ABOUT THE MISSION AND ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO FOR THE COMMUNITY. SO THE MORE WE CAN FOCUS ON THAT AND THEN SHOW ITS STRATEGY THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAVE US GOING SLOWER BUT RATHER FASTER WILL BE AN INFLECTION POINT TO SELL EVEN MORE WILL GET PEOPLE REALLY EXCITED. >> HOW DO YOU KEEP PEOPLE MOTIVATED AS THE LEADER? HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE FOCUSED ON THE TASK AT HAND? AGAIN, ASSUMING THIS ALL WENT THROUGH, YOU BECOME PART OF ADOBE AND NOW YOU'RE MOVING FORWARD FROM THAT POINT? . >> YEAH. I THINK THAT THIS IS JUST LEADERSHIP STUFF. IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO MAKE A CLEAR VISION, TO HAVE A CLEAR VISION AND EMPOWER PEOPLE. THAT'S WHEN THEY START TO LOSE

FOCUS. NO ONE WANTS TO BE IN THE SITUATION WHERE THEY'RE WORKING SUPER HARD AND DOING IT IN A WAY THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN WITH A TACTICS OR STRATEGY THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN. >> RIGHT. >> IT'S ALL GIVING TOP-DOWN DIRECTION AND THE CLARITY ON HERE'S WHERE WE'RE GOING BUT LETTING PEOPLE BOTTOMS UP SAY, OKAY, HERE'S HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET THERE AND MEET IN THE MIDDLE AND GET THERE. >> WE HAD A CONVERSATION AND YOU WERE EMPHASIZING THE FACT THAT YOU GOT TO STAY INDEPENDENT AS A COMPANY. YOU WILL REMAIN TITLE CEO. >> CEO, FIGMA. THERE IS ALREADY CEO, ADOBE. >> MAYBE SOME DAY. WHO KNOWS? YOU EMPHASIZE THE FACT THAT YOU WILL STAY INDEPENDENT. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU AND FOR THE COMPANY AS IT BECOMES PART OF THIS LARGER ENTITY AND A LARGER ENTITY THAT PAID A CONSIDERABLE SUM FOR YOU? >> YEAH. AFTER IT CLOSES, I WILL WORK WITH DAVID AND THE ADOBE TEAM.

OKAY, WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO UTILIZE THE TECHNOLOGY, THE RESOURCES, THE TALENT AT ADOBE NUMBER OF THINGS FASTER BUT ALSO WE'RE GOING TO BASICALLY SIGN UP FOR GOALS. THAT'S IT'S MY JOB TO MAKE SURE WE HIT THE GOALS AND WITH THE TEAL. IT CAN BE ME REPORTING TO DAVID. AND THEN, YEAH, WE'RE GOING TO BE ALL IN ON MAKING SURE WE ARE ABLE TO ACCELERATE THE GROWTH OF THE PLATFORM. >> SO YOU WILL BECOME PART OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS? >> I SUSPECT I WILL BE TALKING A LOT WITH DAVID. THEY HAVE REALLY STORIED AMAZING CAREERS. AND I THINK THAT SHAWN, TOO, IS ONE OF THE MOST LEGENDARY CEOs IN SILICON VALLEY. LOOK WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR ADOBE THE LAST DECADE ALONE, LET ALONE BEFORE THAT. A COMPLETE TRANSFORMATION STORY. I THINK IT TAKES COURAGE AFTER YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD THAT WIN TO GO DO THAT. MY HAT IS OFF TO HIM FOR THAT. >> WHEN I THINK ABOUT A SIMILAR KIND OF DEAL THAT HAPPENED, IF YOU LOOK AT SLACK, IT IS SIMILAR

MONEY. IT GOT BOUGHT BY A LARGER COMPANY. SLACK HAS CONTINUED TO STAY INDEPENDENT. BUT SLACK IS ALSO BUILDING CONNECTORS INTO THE SALESFORCE PLATFORM. HOW DO YOU THINK ADOBE WANTS TO INTEGRATE YOU INTO THEIR PLATFORM AND HOW DO YOU KIND OF MAINTAIN WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHILE BECOMING PART OF THIS LARGER ENTITY? . >> SO FAR ADOBE HAS TOLD US THEY WANT TO LEARN FROM FIGMA. AND I THINK IN GENERAL THEY ARE GOING, OKAY, HOW DO YOU GO TO A MORE PREMIUM MODEL AND MAKE IT SO YOU ARE ABLE TO BE BOTTOMS UP. SO CONTEXT, BOTTOMS UP VERSUS TOPDOWN SALES. SOMEONE IS PAYING WITH A CREDIT CARD. ENTERPRISE, STEAK DINNERS, TRYING TO SETTLE INTO A COMPANY. FROM A BOTTOMS UP EFFICIENCY STANDPOINT, WE'RE VERY GOOD THERE. AND I THINK ADOBE IS EAGER TO LEARN ABOUT THAT. AND THEY ARE EAGER TO LEARN

ABOUT THE WEB. DAVE HAS BEEN A BROWSER PLAY. WE BELIEVE IN THE BROWSER. WE BELIEVE IN HOW DO YOU MAKE IT SO YOU HAVE A WEB-BASED TOOL AND CLOUD-BASED TOOL THAT'S MULTIPLAYER. SO I THINK ADOBE SEES THAT AS THE FUTURE, SEES COLLABORATIONS OF THE FUTURE. WHAT I HAVE I HEARD IS HOW DO WE LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE HERE IN ORDER TO MAKE IT SO WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE OUR PRODUCT SUITE EVEN BETTER AS WELL NEIGHBOR I TO MORE CAPABILITIES ON THE PLATFORM. >> RIGHT. I REMEMBER YEARS AGO MICROSOFT BOUGHT YAMMA. I REMEMBER THINKING WHAT A WEIRD FIT. IT DIDN'T SEEM TO FIT. I WENT TO A CONFERENCE AFTER THAT. THEY WERE VERY ENGAGED WITH EACH OTHER. IT SEEMS LIKE IT CAN'T BE A SMART DYNAMIC. >> TOTALLY. ONE OF THE THINGS I EVALUATED IN THIS ACQUISITION WAS, WELL, OKAY, WHAT'S THE CULTURE OF ADOBE AND FIGMA.

IS THERE A MATCH THERE? THE ANSWER IS YES ON BOTH. CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, GROW AS YOU GO MIND-SET. WE HAVE JUST HUGE VALUES ALIGNMENT BETWEEN A TKOEB WHERE AND FIGMA. I WAS AT MAX EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE BIG EVENT. I GOT TO MEET A TON OF ADOBE TEAM I HAVEN'T MET YET. IT ALL FELT REALLY GOOD. >> BRINGING UP THE CULTURE, I READ AN INTERVIEW YOU DID WITH JORDAN A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. AND YOU SAID EARLY ON YOU WERE KIND OF SERIOUS. YOU WANTED TO MAKE A CORE VALUE BEING FUN. NO OFFENSE TO ADOBE, BUT THEY DON'T STRIKE ME AS FUN. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR CULTURE WITH THEIR CULTURE. >> I HAD FUN WITH THEM THIS WEEK. >> MAYBE I'M BEING UNFAIR. >> I THINK YOU GET TO THAT LEVEL, YOU KNOW, SORT OF ENTERPRISE NATURE OF THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE DO IS TRY TO CREATE SPACE FOR PEOPLE. I TALKED ABOUT THIS EARLIER. TWICE A YEAR WE HAVE A FULL WEEK FOR EVERYONE CALLED MAKE OUR

WEEK. IT IS A CHANCE FOR ANYONE TO GO MAKE SOMETHING AS LONG AS IT BENEFITS FIGMA IN SOME WAY, YOU'RE GOOD TO GO. ONE OF OUR CORE VALUES I MENTIONED IS THIS IDEA OF BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE, BE ABLE TO GO OUT THERE TO HAVE FUN TO SORT OF TRY THINGS THAT MAY NOT WORK OUTENING THAT'S CRITICAL TO CREATIVITY IN GENERAL AND TRYING TO MAKE IT SO YOU HAVE INTEGRATED CULTURE. IF YOU DON'T GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU HAVE THAT, I THINK IT'S — THAT'S WHEN YOU START TO LOSE THEN KNOW SRAEGZ IN THE COMPANY. ADOBE, THEY HAVE THAT ACTUALLY. REGARDLESS, WE ARE STILL OPERATING FIGMA AUTONOMOUSLY. WE WERE THAT ASPECT AND THAT BEHAVIOR FROM EVEN FROM A PERFORMANCE CYCLE STANDPOINT, RIGHT. MAKE IT SO YOU ARE ABLE TO STRESS COLLABORATION, STRESSING INNOVATION AS THINGS THAT WE MEASURE. YOU KNOW WHY PEOPLE RISE IN AN ORGANIZATION. WHY THEY ARE HIRED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

ULTIMATELY, THAT'S PART OF HOW YOU REINFORCE CULTURE. >> LARGER COMPANIES LIKE ADOBE, HAVING THE FUN THAT YOU HAD WITH INDIVIDUALS TEND TO BE RISK AVERSE. THAT'S SOMETHING YOU WILL HAVE TO PUSH BACK AGAINST AS YOU MAINTAIN YOUR AUTONOMY IN THE COMPANY. >> TO PUSH BACK, I THINK IT IS ANYTHING BUT RISK AVERSE. INVESTOR RESESSION. PEOPLE WON'T, WHOA, THIS IS A BOLD MOVE. AND THEY'RE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT IN SOME WAYS. WE WILL LOOK BACK AND SEE IT AS A HUGE POSITIVE FOR EVERYONE. WE HAVE TO PROVE IT OUT NOW. SO LOTS OF WORK AHEAD >> ONCE YOU'RE IN THE DOOR AND THINGS — AGAIN, I'M NOT TRYING TO GIVE YOU A HARD TIME. >> YEAH. >> THIS IS A $20 BILLION DEAL. YOU KNOW, THEY BUY YOU BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MAINTAIN — LIKE HAVE THIS INSIDE THEIR COMPANY. >> IT'S VERY OFFENSIVE. HOW YOU MAKE IT SO YOU ARE ABLE TO ADAPT TO THE PRODUCTS THEY ALREADY HAVE BUT ALSO TO BOLSTER THIS NEW PLATFORM.

I DON'T THINK THAT'S RISK AVERSE IN ANY WAY. >> I THINK THAT'S FATHER. WE HAVE ABOUT FOUR MINUTES LEFT. AND I WANT TO ASK YOU A QUESTION THAT'S KIND OF UNRELATED TO ALL OF THIS. YOU WERE A TEAL FELLOW. YOU WERE 20 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. . >> I WAS. >> THEY HAVE STRINGENT REQUIREMENTS THAT YOU HAD TO MOVE OUT HERE, QUIT SCHOOL TO START YOUR COMPANY. IT WORKED OUT PRETTY WELL FOR YOU IN THE END. BUT AS WE KNOW, MOST STARTUPS FAIL. IF A COLLEGE KID CAME TO YOU TODAY AND SAID I HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY SHOULD I DO IT OR NOT DO IT, SHOULD I GET MY DEGREE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? . >> I HAVE NO BLANKET ANSWER HERE. IT'S DIFFERENT FOR EVERYTHING, DIFFERENT ACCORDING TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, TO YOUR IDEA, TO YOUR NETWORK. SO I DON'T WANT TO GIVE A

BLANKET ANSWER. I'LL DETAIL WHAT IT WAS FOR ME. I WAS LUCKY TO ALREADY HAVE NETWORK. TEAL FELLOWSHIP IS AN AMAZING PROGRAM. IT SEEMS LIKE SAN FRANCISCO IS BACK, AM I RIGHT? TO SEE EVERYBODY HERE IS EXCITING. FOR ME, I LOOKED AT THE CHANCE TO WORK WITH EVAN, MY CO-FOUNDER AND WENT, WITHOUT, THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING. SOME PEOPLE ARGUE DO 10 X ENGINEERS EXIST? I KNOW 100 X ENGINEERS EXIST BECAUSE I WORKED WITH EVAN. THE CHANCE TO WORK WITH HIM, LEARN FROM HIM WAS A NO-BRAINER. SO I THOUGHT, OKAY, I CAN GO BACK TO BROWN. BROWN WILL BE THERE. WORK WITH EVAN. THAT IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY. AND IT WAS. IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE COMMUNITY. $100,000 OVER TWO YEARS. SO I THINK IF YOU ARE MAXING OUT CREDIT CARDS, DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO FIGURE IT OUT, THAT IS A MUCH HARDER DECISION. I DON'T WANT TO SAY NOT DO IT

BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE DO THAT AND HIT A HOME RUN. THAT WILL BE UP TO YOU. THAT WOULD BE OVER MY RISK PROFILE, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH. IT WAS TO ME A DECISION THAT THERE WAS — I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THERE WAS RISK INVOLVED. . >> RIGHT. YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO SCHOOL. >> YOU CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL. I WORKED WITH AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND. AND SOMEBODY I CARED ABOUT. JUST AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY. >> WE ONLY HAVE A MINUTE AND A HALF. HOW DID YOUR PARENTS REACT WHEN YOU SAID YOU'RE GOING TO QUIT SCHOOL, GO TO SAN FRANCISCO AND START A COMPANY? >> THEY WERE VERY SKEPTICAL. >> YEAH, I BET. >> VERY SKEPTICAL. MY MOM WAS AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER. SOME I DAD HAD WORKED REALLY HARD TO TRY TO SUPPORT ME FOR COLLEGE. I HAD DONE ACTING AS A KID. SO I HAD SAVINGS FROM THAT, WHICH WAS VERY HELPFUL.

AND, YEAH, I THINK THEY THOUGHT IT WAS A LITTLE BIT INSANE. ONE THING THAT HELPED IS THEY WENT TO THE WEEKEND FOR THE TEAL FELLOWSHIP WHERE EVERYONE GETS INTERVIEWED. THEY GOT TO MEET ALL THESE OTHER FELLOWS. THEY WERE LIKE, WOW, THIS SEEMS VERY RIGHT FOR YOU. THAT WAS SORT OF THE POINT WHERE THEY WENT, OKAY, WE COULD HAVE SUPPORT OVER THIS. >> IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOUGH. YOU'RE GOING, LEAVING SCHOOL. TO NOT HAVE SUPPORT AT THAT AGE WOULD HAVE BEEN TOUGH. . >> AND I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THEM >> OF COURSE. WE

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