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Nathalie McGrath Talks About Coinbase Team Growth The Past 4 Years



Nathalie McGrath, People Operations at Coinbase, uploaded a blog post in which she explains how Coinbase’s team has been growing during the last years and reached the current position in the market.

Big companies like this one, take time and effort to be built. Indeed, she said that when she joined Coinbase they were working in a small apartment with almost no privacy or comfortable offices.

Now, Coinbase has offices in six different cities located in three countries. The company is currently serving 20 million accounts in 32 countries. At the moment, Coinbase offers free and stable wifi, proper places to take calls, and free launch. And this is impressive considering how they started working at Coinbase.

Mrs. McGrath explained about Coinbase and its beginnings:

“When I joined Coinbase in 2014, we were 10 people in a tiny loft in SoMa. The master bedroom served as our conference room, and when we needed privacy, we took calls in the laundry room. Every so often, one of us would have to restart the router to kick the wifi back into action.”

Currently, Coinbase has hired the 500th full time employee.

McGrath says that she never imagined that the company could grow so much as it did during the last years. Moreover, she explains that her old work at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business was not related at all with handling a team of over 500 individuals.

‘Hypergrowth comes with growing pains,” she says.

But she is now learning how to scale an organization and that they will keep learning until getting to 5,000.

More Is More When We Talk About Context

At the beginning, when she started working at Coinbase, she was giving bulleted updates that were saving everyone’s time. And yes, the communication using notes was efficient. But then, she understood that people needs to understand why a particular decision was made or how.

“It’s important to remember that transparency isn’t just about showing outcomes, it’s about sharing rationale and holistic context,” she explains.

Coinbase trusts its employees, and trust means provide them with information. Now, McGrath improved the lists by including presenting the ‘why’ behind each decision.

Changes Are Normal

Things change at all times. Everywhere. And a company that is rapidly and exponentially growing, is also experiencing changes. But those modifications can only feel okay if there are expectations about them as something normal.

People at Coinbase are creative, resilient and optimistic, and they are able to handle any change if they know what is coming.

The Language Of The Company Is Quite Important

Another point that McGrath says is related to the language the company communicates itself. If someone wants to give a message, is important that it will be able to give it in an efficient way.

Every single month, they share ten different metrics with the entire company, but the interesting fact is that most of them are related to the people working there.

McGarth commented about sharing data with the company:

“Speaking the language of data has allowed our People Ops team to be a strategic part of our business, and it’s allowed us to create and retain our seat at the leadership table over the last four years.”

Conflict Happens – Do Not Spread It

It is very important to build a very functioning leadership team. The relationship and dynamics at play between leaders, can affect their teams.

She disagreed with several things that Dan, the General Manager of Coinbase Consumer, was doing. And the teams behind them were following them in this argue. Later they realized that the best was to shift the framing they had and solve problems together.

Now, the teams are much more collaborative. Investing in relationships is worth, even when it takes a long period of time.

After writing the article, she said that if there is people interested in joining the team, they are hiring!

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