SOC082. Namrata Ganatra, CTO at Lambda School, on Big Tech vs Startups from a CTO in Silicon Valley WCW004.


Namrata Ganatra, CTO at Lambda School, formerly Senior Director of Engineering at Coinbase, Head of Engineering for Payments at Facebook, and Senior Engineering Manager at PayPal has had in incredible career trajectory.

Namrata has worked her way up in the engineering departments of some of the most prominent tech companies in Silicon Valley. But rather than simply gloss over the fact she’s done all this as a woman, she’s now CTO at a paradigm shifting startup… one of the reasons why I launched this Women in Crypto podcast series is to can get into a discussion on what it all means.

The landscape is changing, and Namrata is someone who is breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of young women in tech.

We talk about one of the double standards that she was met with in her early days in a leadership role. We talk about some of the successes she’s had. And we discuss what some of her biggest learnings have been.

We get into:

  • How Bill Gates first inspired her
  • Taking risks + landing your dream job
  • Pursuing a Professional Master’s Degree at Stanford
  • Delegating and managing dependencies
  • Scaling at a fast pace
  • Implementing an engineering bootcamp at Coinbase
  • Belief in David Marcus’s ability to deliver
  • Libra vs Bitcoin
  • Libra connecting the unbanked to a global financial ecosystem
  • How Lambda School only gets paid when their students do
  • Designing curriculum based on industry needs
  • Lack of diversity in tech
  • Lack of women in leadership in crypto
  • The double standard when women vs men lead teams
  • Three Ps for joining any startup

“In my early days of leading teams, I really used to get this feedback that I’m aggressive and I’m hard charging and hold people accountable. But my male colleague would get positive feedback that they’re assertive for similar behavior.”

“People undermined me in the past, during my early days, because I didn’t look like a typical stereotype of a tech leader in a in a male dominated industry. So it always felt like the bar was higher for me than my colleagues, and I had to work harder than many people to constantly prove that I belong here.”

We had a great conversation and I’m so happy that I was able to chat with Namrata Ganatra today for this Women in Crypto Wednesday series. Some of my biggest takeaways are around making sure our voices are heard, moving forward despite biases or unwarranted criticism, and considering the three Ps, product, people, potential when approaching new opportunities.

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Lambda School

Namrata Ganatra

  • Point of clarification: We discussed the Income Share Agreement on the podcast. Please note that it is as we discussed:
    • Pay $0 tuition until student gets a job at $50k/year or more
    • Once payments start they are at 17% of income, paid monthly
    • The total amount is capped at $30k

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