Hi! I'm Molly.

For better or worse, I am probably best known for coining the term “Give Away Your Legos” as a way to talk about what it’s like to work inside of rapidly scaling companies. 

Here’s other things you may not know about me: I can sing row row row your boat backwards, and I'm a semi-professional inner-tuber. I'm terrible at doing math in my head, but I'm great at figuring out who people are and what motivates them. There's nothing I love more than a weird metaphor that works (see: legos).

I have been the COO/head of operations for multiple organizations including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), philanthropy founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan; Quip, a start-up founded by Bret Taylor that sold to Salesforce for $750m; and Lambda School. I have also served as a board member, an advisor or interim exec at a wide variety of start ups focused in fintech, climate, education, healthcare and Web3. Early in my career, I spent five years at Facebook in multiple different roles doing things like developing Facebook's long-term mobile strategy and building a lot of it's early People philosophy and systems.

As you can see, I've spent a lot of time inside of startups and scaling companies, and there is nothing I love more than talking about what it takes to build and scale a company well. I've made every mistake in the book and quite a few that aren't in the book. That’s what this Substack is about. I wrote a bit more about who I tend to think about when I write to help give context to the posts here.

Other than the Legos article and this Substack, I’ve published a couple other articles with my friends at First Round about battling monsters that live inside you (or designing start up compensation or start up culture.) I also regularly post stuff on LinkedIn.

You’re always welcome to send me questions, feedback or thoughts at molly@andthen.com.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Things I've learned from years inside startups and scaling companies.


Molly Graham

Company builder. Lover of weird metaphors. Can sing row row row your boat backwards Current: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Previous: Lambda School, Chan Zuckerberg, Quip, Facebook