SXSW Interactive 2015

“Lean On” is the New “Lean In”


Two successful co-founders sit down for a tell-all about founding and leading a Silicon Valley tech startup as a man and a woman. For the first time, they are sharing the biases that came out, completely based on chromosomes. Yes, people wondered if they were hooking up. Yes, well-known investors made it clear that they wouldn’t support a woman on the founding team. Yes, there were some things that took getting used to. And yes, they will give details on all of the above.

Join Matthew Prince and Michelle Zatlyn in a session about the “male and female” dynamics in business. As co-founders of CloudFlare, a high-growth technology company that has moved into the “Billion Dollar Startup Club,” they’ve been through a lot as partners. A cross between “The Dating Game” and “21 Questions,” this humorous--yet raw--joint interview will cover how co-founders of opposite sexes struggle and succeed.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What makes mixed-gender leadership teams successful?
  2. Does having a woman co-founder have any impact on your ability to raise venture capital? (hint: the answer is yes--and we’ll share who turned us down for that reason!)
  3. What are some strategies for maintaining a healthy and open professional relationship with your co-founder?
  4. What other companies have benefited from both male/female co-founders?
  5. What’s the greatest misconception about working closely with the opposite sex in the workplace?


  • Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder and Head of User Experience, CloudFlare
  • Matthew Prince, CEO and Co-Founder, CloudFlare


Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder and Head of User Experience, CloudFlare

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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