Executive Profile: Adam Nathan, CEO and Cofounder of Almanac
Adam Nathan is the CEO and Cofounder of Almanac, a cloud-based platform for professionals to create and share open-source work documents. Founded in San francisco in 2019, they already have the world’s largest library of customizable business documents and standard operating procedures, with specific versions of documents that users can copy and customize.
Just a few months before the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, Adam and his team raised $9 million in seed funding, which they announced in May this year. The Round was led by Mike Maples Jr., a Partner at VC firm Floodgate.
Adam likens Almanac to GitHub for software developers and Figma for designers. With user growth doubling month-over-month, and an impressive list of investors, Almanac is on a mission to democratize access to knowledge.
After studying systems engineering at Duke, Adam worked in strategy roles at The White House and Hawaiian Airlines. He then completed an MBA at Harvard Business School, and moved into product manager roles at Apple and Lyft.
Adam says he started Almanac because he noticed how much time he was spending on work that wasn't actually work, including copying and pasting text, feedback, comments across files and folders and apps. He says he watched all of the engineers and designers around him use cloud-based tools like Github and Figma, which enabled them to collaborate more seamlessly in one place. This inspired him to create Almanac, to bring that reality to everyone else.
Adam has loved the satisfaction of delivering a product “that should have existed long ago” into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people. “My favorite part is seeing the sparks in our users' eyes when they realize how much time they can save with Almanac — it's the same "lightbulb moment" I had two years ago,” he says.
He says the hardest thing about his job is having the patience needed for the platform to grow. “While our amazing team has beat every expectation so far, we're building a massive product we hope will help millions of people around the world, and good things always take time to become great.”
When asked for some wisdom from the rapid success journey he’s experienced as a founder, Adam says no one should start a company for the founder/CEO title. His advice for aspiring founders is to find a problem that keeps you up at night, that you already obsess over, and don’t mind thinking about for the next 10 years.
He also stresses how important the leadership aspect of being a CEO is. Through becoming a CEO he’s learned the true meaning of leading by example, “Your team watches your every move to understand how they should react and behave” he says. “Start paying attention now to how your actions influence others, even if it's just your friends and peers—that awareness will serve you well as you start to lead others!”
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