Episode 34: Sarah Nahm, Founder and CEO of Lever, on Managing Relationships with a Designer’s Mind

Sarah Nahm and Glenn Solomon recording Founder Real Talk at Lever’s office in San Francisco.

Sarah Nahm is the Founder and CEO of Lever, a recruiting software company that is tackling the most strategic challenge that companies face: how to grow their teams. Prior to Lever, Sarah worked at Google as speechwriter for Marissa Mayer and later joined the product team that launched Google Chrome, helping it become the world’s top web browser. A self-taught programmer, Sarah received her BS in engineering and product design from Stanford University, where she occasionally returns to coach design students at Stanford’s d.school.

In this episode, we learn how Sarah’s inclination to pick the uncertain path over the logical path eventually lead her to Lever. Having grown up in Birmingham Alabama where she was one of two nonwhite people in a high school of 800, Sarah’s commitment to diversity and inclusion runs deep. The Lever team has been a 50/50 gender ratio since 2016 and inclusion is ingrained in the company culture Sarah has built. Her message to operators who are hiring: “If you’re not building a database of talent the same way that you’re investing in your sales and your marketing database, you’re throwing away the opportunity to have cumulative value over time and you’re always going to be hiring.”


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GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Cloud/Enterprise and Smart Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance, Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LAIX, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xiaohongshu, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing.

Learn more at ggvc.com and @GGVCapital.