Debate! Flat vs. Hierarchical Organizations w/ Farhan Thawar & Jerry Krikheli #60

Notes

Welcome to our community’s FIRST DEBATE! Farhan Thawar (VPE @ Shopify) & Jerry Krikheli (Sr. Director of Engineering @ Facebook) hash out which org structure should rule them all… Should you go flat? Or should you become a hierarchy? You’ll hear how each structure impacts culture, innovation, and velocity!


FARHAN THAWAR, VP OF ENGINEERING @ SHOPIFY

Farhan Thawar is currently VP, Engineering at Shopify via the acquisition of Helpful.com where he was co-founder and CTO. Previously he was the CTO, Mobile at Pivotal and VP, Engineering at Pivotal Labs via the acquisition of Xtreme Labs. He is an avid writer and speaker and was named one of Toronto's 25 most powerful people. Prior to Xtreme, Farhan held senior technical positions at Achievers, Microsoft, Celestica, and Trilogy. Farhan completed his MBA in Financial Engineering at Rotman and Computer Science/EE at Waterloo. Farhan is also an advisor at yCombinator and holds a board seat at Optiva (formerly Redknee).
 

JERRY KRIKHELI, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING @ FACEBOOK

Prior to Facebook, Jerry was VP of Engineering at Houzz where he oversaw all infrastructure, platform, and engineering across Consumer, Marketplace, and Industry Solutions initiatives. Jerry was also an engineering director at Google responsible for developing early versions of the display ad serving infrastructure and launching YouTube ads as well as video ads on mobile apps. He has a passion for building high-performing systems, products, and people.
 

SHOW NOTES

  • The rules of the debate (2:45)
  • Opening Statement: Why hierarchical organizations? (3:39)
  • Opening Statement: Why flat organizations? (6:25)
  • Culture in flat organizations (9:09)
  • Culture in hierarchical organizations (10:55)
  • Culture rebuttals (14:19)
  • Innovation in flat organizations (19:49)
  • Innovation in hierarchical organizations (22:01)
  • Innovation rebuttals (24:57)
  • Velocity in hierarchical organizations (26:05)
  • Velocity in flat organizations (28:42)
  • Closing Statements on Flat vs. Hierarchical (30:16)
     

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