October 23, 2021

Info IEC

Business & Finance Information

The place Nextdoor’s CEO Seems to be for Neighborly Recommendation

In Private Board of Administrators, prime enterprise leaders discuss concerning the individuals they flip to for recommendation, and the way these individuals have formed their perspective and helped them succeed. Earlier installments from the sequence are right here.

When Sarah Friar landed in Silicon Valley, she thought it will be a short lived keep. 20 years later she runs a San Francisco social media community utilized by one in 4 U.S. households.

It began within the late Nineties when Ms. Friar was a younger guide with McKinsey & Co. in London, and lots of of her colleagues wished to attend Stanford College’s enterprise college in California. She adopted go well with, pondering she would return residence to the U.Ok. in two years. However dot-com mania struck, and after getting her M.B.A. she took a job analyzing expertise shares for

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“I’m most likely, frankly, higher fortunate than good,” mentioned Ms. Friar.

After greater than a decade at Goldman and stints as a finance govt at

Salesforce.com Inc.

and Sq. Inc., Ms. Friar in 2018 turned boss of Nextdoor Inc.—a neighborhood-focused social community the place locals come to swap suggestions for babysitters and handymen and put up rooms for hire and gadgets on the market.

Nextdoor got here into its personal through the pandemic, Ms. Friar mentioned, with the variety of every day lively customers rising by 50% in 2020. Neighbors turned to Nextdoor seeking assist with navigating college closures, securing vaccine appointments and coping with the stresses of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Nextdoor says it’s now in use by one in 4 U.S. households.

“Native by no means mattered extra,” Ms. Friar mentioned.

Exterior of labor, the Northern Eire native coaches different feminine executives on their skilled improvement, together with recommendation on how they need to domesticate their very own private boards of administrators.

“Go discover somebody that just about scares the life out of you. Go ask [them] to be a mentor or board member for you personally,” mentioned Ms. Friar, who serves on the boards of

Walmart Inc.


Slack Applied sciences Inc.

“These mentors have typically been considerably profession and life-changing for me.”


  • Age: 48
  • Training: grasp’s diploma in engineering, College of Oxford; M.B.A., Stanford College Graduate Faculty of Enterprise
  • Household: married with two youngsters.
  • First job: engaged on her uncle’s farm
  • Favourite e-book: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling and “Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson.
  • Pet venture: Girls Who Launch, a nonprofit occasion sequence centered on feminine entrepreneurs that Ms. Friar co-founded and that she helps handle world-wide.
  • Interest: mountain climbing
  • Time alarm clock goes off on weekdays: 5-5.30 a.m.

Listed below are 4 of her most trusted advisers:

Clockwise from prime left: Harry Friar, Mary Meeker, David Viniar and John Hope Bryant

Harry Friar

former supervisor at Herdman’s Mill

Ms. Friar grew up within the village of Sion Mills in Northern Eire throughout The Troubles, the three-decade battle between Catholics and Protestants that killed and injured hundreds. She credit her father, Harry, the personnel supervisor on the native mill, with serving to foster kinship amongst residents within the midst of that sectarian strife.

For years, Mr. Friar volunteered with the village’s college board and different civic organizations there, service that earned him an honor from Queen Elizabeth II. Ms. Friar mentioned she seems to be to her father’s instance as she tries to construct nearer neighborhood ties at Nextdoor.

“Regardless that our nation was technically at struggle and we had been on totally different sides, finally if we had been going to construct a extremely robust group that did proper by the children locally, by the seniors locally, then all of us needed to suppose as one slightly than consider the 2 separate populations,” Ms. Friar mentioned. “My dad was an enormous a part of that and continues to be.”

Mary Meeker

normal associate at Bond Capital

When Ms. Friar joined Goldman’s analysis division, there was maybe no larger identify in her subject than Mary Meeker. A expertise analyst at Morgan Stanley within the Nineties, Ms. Meeker had been dubbed “Queen of the Internet” for prescient calls on shares equivalent to AOL and Dell Pc. Ms. Friar considered her as a task mannequin.

“This phrase ‘You possibly can’t be what you may’t see’ is a extremely essential one to me,” Ms. Friar mentioned. “It’s particularly essential for younger ladies coming into the world of any type of enterprise that they want to have the ability to search for and see feminine CEOs, feminine engineering leaders, feminine founders, feminine bankers, no matter.”

In 2019, Ms. Meeker, now a enterprise capitalist, invested in Nextdoor and joined its board of administrators.

David Viniar

former chief monetary officer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Ms. Friar helped persuade former Goldman govt David Viniar to hitch Sq.’s board in 2013, bringing Wall Avenue experience to an organization that was rooted in Silicon Valley. When Sq. expanded into the lending enterprise round 2014, Ms. Friar used Mr. Viniar as a sounding board.

She additionally relied on Mr. Viniar’s regular nerves and recommendation to get by way of Sq.’s rocky 2015 preliminary public providing, which valued the corporate beneath the vary its bankers sought and fewer than the extent the place it beforehand raised cash from buyers.

“David saved telling me over and over…‘You’ll by no means keep in mind the value the inventory went out at,’ Ms. Friar mentioned. ‘Your solely job is to execute and finally, the market will worth you in your execution.’”

From the time of Sq.’s IPO till simply earlier than Ms. Friar introduced her departure in 2018, the worth of Sq.’s inventory elevated 10-fold.

John Hope Bryant

founder, chairman, and chief govt officer of Operation Hope Inc.

The lending operation that Ms. Friar helped construct at Sq., known as Sq. Capital, was designed to ship loans to small companies that had been ignored by banks. As Sq. Capital was increasing, she was launched to John Hope Bryant, an entrepreneur who ran a nonprofit that aimed to lift the credit score scores of individuals from underprivileged teams and slim the racial wealth hole. The 2 turned associates and stayed in contact when Ms. Friar left Sq. for Nextdoor (she attended Mr. Bryant’s Zoom celebration earlier this month).

Final yr, when protests flared nationwide after the killing of George Floyd, Ms. Friar sought Mr. Bryant’s recommendation about how Nextdoor might be extra helpful to underrepresented and minority communities. Mr. Bryant helped her understand the significance of getting moderators on Nextdoor which can be as various because the neighborhoods they serve and of staying the course in addressing racial issues even when options could also be far off.

“John has been actually good at at all times pulling me again from feeling impotent,” Ms. Friar mentioned.

Write to Peter Rudegeair at [email protected]

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