Last week, I shared that Coinbase is a mission focused company. The post received quite a bit of attention, and sparked a lot of debate about how companies should operate.

We subsequently decided to make a generous exit package available to any employee who didn’t feel they could be on board with this direction. Today, I sent the following email to the company. Hopefully it sheds some light on how it has unfolded.

Hi team,

I wanted to send you a follow up now that the deadline has passed for people opting in to the exit package.

I know there have been many difficult conversations happening to help clarify what our apolitical culture means in practice. It’s been great to see the whole team come together to reach understanding here, and support each other through it. It’s not easy to get through, but I think it will result in us having a stronger and more united team. …


There have been a lot of difficult events in the world this year: a global pandemic, shelter in place, social unrest, widespread protests and riots, and west coast wildfires. On top of that we have a contentious U.S. election on the horizon.

Everyone is asking the question about how companies should engage in broader societal issues during these difficult times, while keeping their teams united and focused on the mission. …


Coinbase is an exciting and unique company and as we continue growing, it’s important that we create a strong culture. A few years ago, I wrote in the Coinbase culture doc:

Hire builders
We hire people who are passionate about creating new products with technology. We look for entrepreneurs who are comfortable with ambiguity. We prefer to work with people who actually execute toward ideas, instead of just coming up with them. When the creative moment strikes, we try not to let big company process get in the way or slow them down.

Today, I want to expand on this concept, and flesh out what it means to hire builders, so that people thinking of joining Coinbase can make an informed decision. …

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