Brown-Bag Lunches at Redfin

A startup can be its own strange little place, which is good if you’re a little lonely or intense or if you need a sense of purpose and belonging. But working at Redfin can also be like trying to watch a swim meet while splashing around in your own end of the pool; many of us often find ourselves wondering how the rest of the world works.

So a few years ago Redfin launched a brown-bag lunch program in which we invite bad-a** operators to talk about how they built a small company into something big. Big blog publishers have talked about pitching the press; game designers about how to delight consumers; Amazon executives about how to design an e-commerce site; deal kingpins about negotiating tactics. We’ve also asked traditional brokers to speak to us about what it’s like to work with us. The lunches have been a galvanizing force, a shot in the arm, a recombinating splice of freakishly strong alien DNA.

This week, we’re launching our 2010 brown-bag program, beginning on Wednesday at noon with Greylock’s James Slavet.  Like a few other speakers, James is discussing management best practices, a topic especially important to us now as more folks within Redfin dive into management for the first time.

I asked James to speak after noticing how good he was at managing me, which usually involves the kind of riot gear worn by extraction teams in supermax prisons. Before joining Greylock, James founded his own startup, and later ran Yahoo’s search & marketplace business, honchoing hundreds of millions in revenue.

James is the first of several folks scheduled to pitch in over the next couple of weeks:

  • March 10, management best practices: James Slavet, Greylock partner
  • April 2, agile engineering at scale: Neil Roseman, Amazon VP of Engineering, 1998 – 2007
  • April 16, management best practices: Brian McAndrews, former CEO of aQuantive, acquired in 2007 by Microsoft for $6 billion
  • April 28, community-based marketing: Michelle Broderick, former Yelp marketing director
  • May 7, training and growth: Christine McHugh, Starbucks’ interim VP of Global Learning

We’re still working on a few folks to discuss consumer branding and customer service, which we’ll have to announce later. For now, many thanks to the amazing folks who’ve already agreed to help us out.

As before, we’re inviting folks from outside of Redfin to participate. Just leave a comment below and we’ll save a spot for you.


  • Noam Lovinsky

    Sounds awesome. Given your previous post about being recorded, any chance you can post these up on the web?

    • Andrew Sherry

      sounds like a great event. put me down for (2+).

  • Glenn Kelman

    Ha ha! It’s up to the speakers Noam…

  • Anthony Gonzalez

    This would be my first Brown-Bag and from all the previous comments it sounds like great stuff. Sign me up. I happen to be reading “Winning” by Jack Welch, perfect timing.

  • Brian Soligon

    Sounds like an interesting series, sure would appreciate the invite.

  • Meg King

    Would love to attend. Thanks for the invite.

  • Gus Gostyla

    Outstanding. Sign me up!

  • Savan

    Hard to pass up free knowledge. Plus I’d love to see the new digs. Put me down (+2)

  • Glenn Kelman

    Savan, Gus, Meg, Brian, Anthony… you’re in! See you tomorrow.

  • Adam Waters

    Sounds great Glenn – I’d love to attend.

  • Tiffany

    Would love to come. Thanks for the invite!

  • Anthony Gonzalez

    Glenn, Im not local will I be able to dial in?

  • Joyce Guan

    We bought our house on Redfin; would love to attend with a +1 (the significant other). Thanks!

  • Becky Yoshitani

    Sign me up …. Thanks!

  • Glenn Kelman

    Becky, Joyce, Tiffany, Adam you’re on the list.
    Anthony, I’ll send you dial in details…
    Best, Glenn

  • Joyce Guan

    Glen, what time is this happening and where? Can you send me details?


  • Glenn Kelman

    As we said in the blog post, James is speaking Wednesday, today, at noon here at our offices in Seattle. The address is 2025 1st Avenue, 6th Floor, Seattle. Look forward to seeing all of you there!

  • Art Plata

    Will future Brown Bags be open as well? If so sign me up.

  • Anthony Gonzalez

    Good stuff Glenn. It’s always interesting to hear from someone who has been on the ground and in the field. Looking forward to the next Brown-Bag.


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  • Ron Diver

    I’m sorry I missed commenting in advance of the James Slavet brown bag. I’d love to be invited to future events, and perhaps we can reprise the yoga pose contest… I can take on all comers in Savasana pose. If nothing else, it will make for a nice crisp meeting!

  • Neal Freeland

    Little late on commenting but would love to attend. Thanks!

  • Amy Ring

    I’d like to attend the April 16 and April 30th brown bag discussions. They sound great!

  • John Paris

    I would like to attend future brown bag events. Please send details.

    Thanks for extending the invitation to the redfin community!

  • James Hua

    This will be my first as well. I would love to attend!

  • Harold

    I would love to attend these events.

  • Amit

    Sounds like a great series. I would love an invite

  • Michael Walton

    Hey Glenn – Would love a spot at Neil’s (4/2) and Michelle’s (4/30) brown bags.

  • Ayush Agarwal

    Very cool set of talks. Look forward to attending!

  • Tom Phillips

    Sounds awesome, and look forward to attending.

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  • Art Plata


    Count me in for tomorrow and April 30th.



  • Brian McManus

    Would love to attend brown-bag with Neil on Fri 4/2.

    Many Thanks,


  • Andrea (Schwarzenbach) Rogers

    Count me in for Michelle’s Brown Bag on 4/30, community-based marketing.

  • Anthony


    Count me in for tomorrow 4/2. Can you forward a dial in.

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  • Shalendra

    Hi Glenn,

    This is great.

    1. Are recordings of these talks going to be made public?
    2. Can I please request a spot for Brian’s talk on 4/16? Also, please let me know if there is a dial in for Brian’s talk.

    Thanks and regards,

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  • Joseph Sunga

    This sounds awesome. Look forward to attending.

  • Jeff Day

    Sounds great! Very glad to see someone leading a seattle startup community knowledge sharing event. I plan to attend the April 30th community marketing session. Thanks.
    Jeff Day
    Director of Marketing, Apptio

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  • Rebecca Schwartz

    I would like to attend on May 7th.

  • Amanda P

    I would like to be on the mailing list & attend some of these!

  • RJ Humphries

    I would like to attend on April 16th – thanks!

  • Kristen Morgan-May

    I would like to attend May 7th.

  • Gabe

    I would love to attend on 4/16.


  • Matt

    I’d like to attend the 4/16 dicussion and be on the mailing list. Thanks.


  • Matt

    I’d like to attend the 4/14 discussion as well. Thanks.

  • Jeremy

    I’d love to attend on 4/16.


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  • Elise

    Please sign me up for Brian’s talk tomorrow. Look forward to seeing everyone.

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  • Gwen

    Please count me in for 4/30 – sounds great!

  • Jessica McIntire

    Sign me up pretty please! Looking forward to the talk by Michelle Broderick of Yelp on the 30th.

  • Jeremy

    Count me in for Friday, 4/30. Thanks!

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  • Katherine

    Please sign me up for Michelle Broderick’s talk. See you tomorrow. Thank you for hosting!

  • Andrew McCaffrey

    Please count me in for tomorrow’s talk.



  • Amanda Schaufler

    Plan on attending 4/28 to hear Michelle Broderick. Thanks!

  • Anthony Guarino

    Please sign me up for the 4/28 and 5/7 sessions. Thanks!

  • Kim Sharpe Jones

    I’d like to attend the April 28th brown bag with Michelle Broderick. Thank you!

  • Eric Peters

    In for 4/28. Thanks!

  • Kathleen VanDerAa

    I’m in for Wednesday, April 28th. Gracias!

  • James Phillips

    Sounds great! Thanks so much for this notice.

    James Phillips

  • Diane Vincent

    is Michelle Broderick of Yelp on Wed the 28th or Friday the 30th? I see both listed

  • Brett Frosaker

    I look forward to hearing Michelle’s story.

  • Inna Borovik

    I’ll be there on the 28th to hear Michelle speak!

  • Tiffany S.

    I’ll be coming from the dentist’s chair but wouldn’t want to miss Michelle!

  • Rene Fabre

    Wouldn’t miss Michelle (4/28)… Looking forward to it.. Thanks!

  • Khris Lloyd

    Fantastic opportunity, count me in!

  • Rob Porter

    Please squeeze me in for 4/28. Thanks!

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  • Teddy Zmrhal

    Hey Glen & Co – love to know when they are make a few of these!

    Hope all is well!


  • Brant Duckett

    Please squeese me in for 5/7. Thanks!

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  • Matt

    I’ll be there today for Christine McHugh’s talk. Thank you.

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  • Sophie JoyLover

    Undoubtfully interesting blog you have here. It would be nice to read a bit more about such theme. Thanks for giving this info.

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  • cameronplommer

    The brown bag on 5/18 sounds like a great chance to meet the Redfin crew and learn something. Sign me up!

  • lusciouspear

    Hook me up wit' 'dat, yo ^_^

  • Anthony

    Count me in for a dial-in on 5/18. Thanks!

  • Andrew McCaffrey

    I'm in for 5/18.


  • Andrew Sherry

    Sounds like a great event. Thanks for putting this together. Put me down for (2+)

  • Brett Frosaker

    I'll be there… Frosaker

  • Meghan O

    This looks terrific…I'd love to attend. Where can I find the upcoming schedule?

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  • Akif

    Well, what can i say. thanks for invitation. Everyone would love to Go!

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