Dylan Field is the co-founder and CEO of Figma, a design and prototyping platform for teams who build products together. With the support of the Thiel Fellowship, Dylan dropped out of Brown University to start Figma with his TA Evan Wallace (who became Figma’s CTO). They built Figma on the web in the hopes of tearing down the walls around the siloed design process. Dylan champions open, accessible design and believes such tooling must evolve for a cloud-based, collaborative world.
The 8-year-old company has raised over $130 million to date with Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, Index – and the most recent investors being Andreessen Horowitz who contributed to the $50m Series D-round closed at the end of April in the middle of Covid.
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00:00 – Intro
02:28 – Dylan’s background and experiences before Figma (internships at Flipboard, Microsoft and LinkedIn, computer science and math at Brown)
03:40 – Beginnings of Figma, Thiel Fellowship
05:14 – WebGL
05:55 – Figma’s premise and early development: “making design accessible to everyone”
09:00 – What technologies are changing the world vs. what technologies are we interested in
09:49 – Opportunities vs. meaning in business
13:15 – Trends on Figma during COVID, new use cases
17:15 – Fundraising for the first time (seed round with Index Ventures)
21:52 – Most recent fundraising (series D with Andreessen Horowitz) during COVID
22:17 – Series D vs. earlier stage
23:27 – Remote fundraising vs. “regular” fundraising
26:35 – Thoughts on remote work and Silicon Valley
29:24 – Figma offices around the world
29:41 – The importance of learning about the basics of management as a first-time CEO
31:07 – Misconceptions about mentorship
32:40 – Personal note: “Your team is there for you, just like you’re there for them. It’s important to be vulnerable as a leader. It’s important to share your struggles. Because people are looking to help and you’re all together.”
33:00 – Conclusion