Nat Friedman - CEO, Xamarin

Building Culture

Nat Friedman, CEO Xamarin

Nat Friedman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Xamarin, a platform that provides development tools to build and test native mobile apps. Xamarin is a Lead Edge Capital portfolio company. Prior to Xamarin, Nat was Chief Technology and Strategy Office at Novell, an infrastructure software provider. Nat started his career as the CEO, Co-Founder, and VP of Products of Ximian, a company that provided application software for Linux and Unix.

Summary Notes on Building Culture

  • Best practices
    • Hiring rule: ‘Maybe’ means ‘No’ – when unsure about a candidate, don’t take a risk
    • Apply the Layover test: if you were stuck on a 5-hour layover, would you be psyched to spend time with this person?
    • Provide ability to take salary or scale down with more equity
    • Enthusiasm can overcome a lack of experience or other deficits
  • Maintaining Culture across multiple offices
    • Be disciplined about getting everyone together regularly both online and in-person
    • Do not be exclusive, keep discussions or big decisions online
    • Xummit – Xamarin Xummit: An annual company retreat