Humbly Confident Director of Product
About Us and Why We’re Hiring
We’re YNAB (“why-nab”), a financial education company with a budgeting app. We teach Four Rules that create a new relationship with money—one where you love how you spend and celebrate how you save. For more than a decade, people have been using YNAB and then telling their friends what a difference it has made in their lives. Check out our community on Facebook, TikTok, or Reddit (really!), or read some of our app reviews, and you’ll see what we mean. We love building something that has a huge positive impact on people’s lives.
YNAB is growing, and so is our leadership team. You’re the Director of Product we’re looking for if you understand the cross-functional nature of product deeply. You’re adept at creating priorities and actions out of larger ideas, helping the necessary work cascade throughout our product org and achieving desired outcomes. You take ownership of integrating components of the product org, including strategy, execution, management, and communication.
If you’re the one we’re looking for, you have high standards for all aspects of product development. You nurture, evangelize, coach, and teach these standards—and hold the organization accountable for them. You don’t dictate roadmaps by fiat; you build and nurture a system of empowered experts and work alongside them to surface the best decisions. You help everyone to achieve their best work—including making the necessary mistakes along the way.
Requirements (these are real, actual requirements)
It basically goes without saying that we’re looking for a leader in product, but just to be clear: That doesn’t mean you’ve held a certain title for a certain time. But we expect that you’ll be most successful in this role if you have deep and rich experience as a member of a product org (whether that be in product management, design, or engineering), including opportunities to have exercised consequential leadership.
In this role, you’ll have four main responsibilities:
Your primary focus will be organizational clarity, so you should have experience seeking and communicating clarity in all directions from a product org.
You’ll partner with others to inform our product strategy and—most critically—lead on making it actionable, so you need to be a master strategic decision-maker who can connect the dots between our high-level mission and vision, company strategy, and business needs.
You’ll foster a world-class product culture at YNAB, which you know from your experience means obsessing equally about our people and our product.
Finally, you’ll be responsible for making sure that everyone has the chance to execute, especially in the product management team, so you should be skilled at collaborating with others across all company functions to establish key routines and practices that remove roadblocks.
That’s a super brief intro to what you’ll be working on. But first, you need to know if you’ll even like working with us. Let’s talk a bit about life at YNAB, and then we’ll go into more detail about what we’re looking for.
YNAB started in 2004 and we haven’t taken any outside funding—we’re established, profitable, and in this for the long haul. We have one overarching requirement when it comes to joining our team: our original Core Values Manifesto has to really click with you. If you’re nodding emphatically while reading it, you’ll probably really like it here, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
We live our Core Values every day at YNAB, and we mean it when we say we are an equal opportunity employer. We believe that a diversity of backgrounds, abilities, beliefs, and experiences is critical to our success, and we are passionate about creating a welcoming, supportive, and collaborative environment for all employees. All are encouraged to apply as we continue to grow a smart, hard-working, and diverse team that loves working together to build something that matters.
We also work really hard, together, to make working at YNAB an amazing experience, and we’re (humbly) proud to have received many of Fortune’s “great place to work” awards over the last several years. We have a team full of truly exceptional people—the kind you’ll be excited to work with. We’d love to introduce you to a few of them!
Who you’ll be working with:
You’ll be a close partner to Todd, our CEO, in the entire product process. Todd started at YNAB in 2010 after a search for a budgeting solution ended up in a conversation with YNAB’s founder, Jesse. One job led to another, and since then he’s been a part of developing and scaling up Support, Product Design, and Product Management at YNAB until, in February of 2021, he became YNAB’s CEO. He lives in a small New England town with his wife and three teenagers, where he keeps life as simple as he can—eating, sleeping, sitting, feeding the birds, cutting flowers, and ultrarunning.
You’ll function and lead most closely with Buffy, our Director of Engineering, and Dylan, our Design Director.
Buffy has been a Buffy since before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one of her life regrets is not buying buffy.com while she was in college. She loves a good debugging session. When she’s not cleaning up our infrastructure, she’s probably knitting socks, biking, or otherwise frolicking outdoors with her family. She’s a lifelong New Englander, so be sure to tell her you love vacationing “in Cape Cod” and then please, watch her face very carefully for a reaction.
Dylan loves organizing design systems, obsessing over typographic details, and everything in between. Above his desk (ahem, kitchen table, it’s a small apartment after all) sits an inconspicuous letterpressed card with Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of good design on it. In his spare time he’s probably taking photos or running—sometimes at the same time.
Truthfully, you’ll have interactions and influence across the entire product org, and you’ll also cross paths with—well—probably everyone else at YNAB. We can’t even list them all, really. But we can say that people like Jacob and Brenda (a couple of our PMs), Kathryn and Jack (both designers), Sebastian and Lindsey (our Heads of Technology and Marketing), and Eva and Rachel (our data scientist and product operations specialist) sure are excited to work with you.
How You’ll Work at YNAB
Now that you’ve met some of your potential future teammates, let’s talk more about YNAB as a company. Here’s how we operate:
Live Where You Want
We’re a distributed team, so you can live and work wherever you want. Proximity doesn’t influence productivity. Taylor, our Technical Fellow, was traveling who-knows-where for a couple of years before he settled back in the U.S. Want to up and move to France for a year? Sure, Todd did that. Don’t like France? How about surfing in Hawaii, where Rachel trotted off to for a month. Tulsa Remote? Can do. Product manager Megan officially lists “nomadic” as her home location on her Strava profile. The remote Canadian wilderness? We’ve got people there, too. Not all of us move around, but the fact that these folks have is totally okay because we’re all adults. Just make sure you have a willingness to make your location work for others, too. Oh, and a reliable internet connection. Like, a really good one. Please.
Work Four Days a Week
We’ve adopted a four-day work week (still 100% paid!) and rarely work more than that. There are occasions and seasons where things get busy and people put some extra time in—but then we encourage them to take some extra time off, too. We work hard and smart and we care deeply about what we do, but we also love our families and about 2,000 other things. We have perspective and, ultimately, we think it makes us—and our work—even better.
Flex Your Work Schedule
We’re fully remote, so a lot of our work is done asynchronously, but we love working together in real-time when it makes sense. We try to schedule most meetings between 12-3pm Eastern time (16:00-19:00 UTC) Monday-Thursday. Outside of your meetings, we trust you to set your own schedule by balancing your team’s needs with your own needs. You don’t need to ask for permission to take off early one afternoon to see the doctor, or be “active” on Slack if you’re working deeply on a project. We look at what you accomplish—not when or how long you’re in front of a computer.
Take Vacation (Seriously)
We want you to take vacation. In fact, we have a minimum vacation policy of three weeks per year, and we encourage you to take up to five weeks (plus you get an extra two weeks for our company-wide December Break every year). It’s important to get plenty of downtime and to get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your adventures in our #office_wall Slack channel!
Meet Your Team
Some of our best work (and bonding!) is done in person. You’ll generally have the opportunity to meet with your team once or twice a year, at a small-team work-focused meetup or at our company retreat. At the YNAB retreat, we love to catch up on spreadsheets and powerpoints in a Best Western conference room. Just kidding. (It’s actually hard to write that sentence, even knowing it’s such a good joke.) So far, we’ve gone to Costa Rica, a gigantic cabin in the mountains, a beach house in the Outer Banks, a ranch in Montana, Laguna Beach, and most recently, Palm Springs. We work together, play together, and reinforce the bonds we’ve made as a team and company. Every time we meet up, we leave refreshed, motivated, and excited for the year ahead together.
Up Your Game
We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. It’s the most important work of our managers, and we budget for it, too (hey-o!). Think conferences, online courses and subscriptions, dedicated time away from work to learn something new… It’s really up to you and your manager. But we love to see our people growing.
Our team is spread all over the world—mostly in the United States, but also in the UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and several other countries. Team members who live in the US or UK are set up as employees, and those who live in other countries set themselves up as independent contractors. No matter where you live, you’re eligible for our generous paid family leave, vacation, holidays, and sick time.
If you’re in the US, we also offer fantastic health, dental, and vision insurance, where we cover 100% of the premium for you and your family. No need to check your vision, you read that right—100%. (Although if you did need to check your vision, NBD, we’ve got you covered!) We also have a Traditional and Roth 401(k) option, where YNAB matches your contributions up to six percent, and matches vest immediately. (Are you a personal finance junkie like our founder Jesse? He set up YNAB’s 401k to have the lowest fee structure possible, where all plan costs are paid by YNAB, not your retirement nest egg. The investment funds available are fantastic, passively-managed, ultra low-cost index funds. You’re not a PF junkie? Trust us, it’s awesome.) If you’re in the UK, we also contribute six percent to your pension.
At YNAB, we’re committed to equitable, market-driven, data-based compensation and we aim to offer a competitive benefits package to our team members. The starting salary for this role will be between $130,000 – $180,000 USD annually (with the top of that range reserved only for the most experienced candidates). If we decide to make you an offer, we’ll determine the most appropriate number based on what we know about your experience and competency for the role, and then we’ll make you our best offer and hope that you accept! If you join our team, you’ll also be eligible for a raise once a year and for our profit-share twice a year. (YNAB wins, you win—that kind of thing.)
A Few Final Tidbits
Once you start, we DEMAND (in a friendly, ALL CAPS IS YELLING way) that you fill out your “Bucket List” spreadsheet with 50 items. (That’s harder than it sounds!)
We love to celebrate with you when you complete something on your bucket list—AND, we love using your bucket list as inspiration for your best birthday present(s) ever.
We want you firing on all cylinders, so we’ll set you up with a shiny new computer and replace it every three years.
Did we mention that YNAB makes a huge, positive difference in people’s lives? You may not think that matters much, but then a few months down the road you’ll realize it’s made your job really, really enjoyable. Don’t underestimate this one!
If this sounds like your ideal environment, read on because now we want to talk about you, and how you’ll play a big part in changing people’s lives.
Now back to you, our new Director of Product….
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll be responsible for providing organizational clarity and informing actionable strategy, while fostering a world-class product culture and making sure that everyone has a chance to execute. That’s it, huh? We believe in you.
Let’s talk about our vision for each of those a little bit more.
To provide organizational clarity, you’ll:
Facilitate key communication and decision making structures in the product org.
Connect aspects of vision to strategy to concrete pieces of product work, all the way through our product development process.
Provide consistent updates and feedback on the execution of product work, using metrics that are appropriate to our strategic goals.
Evangelize the purpose, success, challenges, and needs of the product across the company.
To inform actionable strategy, you’ll:
Act as a partner and sounding board for the executive team, and our CEO Todd in particular, to develop a thorough understanding of our strategy and its implications.
Create and maintain opportunity roadmaps at the level between company strategy and team problem-spaces.
Work with others to develop, communicate, and clarify measures of success for our product, guide us toward them, and build collective accountability for achieving them.
Have plans and contingency plans for the long-term development of the product beyond the quarter or the year. Prioritize work based on the long-term plan, including what we want to emphasize in the future and what we’ll likely sunset.
Take ownership and act where empowered to, and hand-off where you need to.
Mine for conflict, collaborate, and act as a sounding-board on product vision and strategy.
To foster a world-class product culture, you’ll:
Frame our decisions and actions in the context of key, enduring ideas.
Establish the structures, practices, and expectations necessary to do product well. (Seriously, that’s a whole job right there.)
Provide mentorship and coaching to direct reports and to individual contributors throughout the organization.
Multiply the expertise and passion of others to help them lead on important aspects of product culture.
Build connections across the diverse elements of capital-p Product, from design to product management, engineering, data science, product marketing, customer support, delivery, and more.
Facilitate the exchange of ideas in both formal and informal ways.
Maintain and improve upon the features of our product process that are unique to us.
To make sure everyone has the chance to execute, you’ll:
Work most closely with the product management team for leadership, management, and accountability.
Work with other functional leaders on resource allocation—at regular cadences but also when the need arises off-cycle.
Work hand-in-hand with Rachel, our ProductOps Specialist, on routines and communication within the product org.
Use 1:1’s, retros, and other tools to continuously mine for blockers, obstacles, and bottlenecks in the organization. Oh, and obviously, clear them.
Consume status updates more consistently than anyone else in the company (and everybody is pretty good at this, so high bar!).
(Really, to list the bullets here might be a step overboard. Product organizations are highly complex, which you know, even when we’ve made and kept them as simple as can be.)
That’s a whopping twenty-two-and-a-half bullets, but let’s still say that your success as our Director of Product comes down to your ability to approach product development as holistic, simultaneous, problem-solving of both user and business goals. You see the nuance in everything, but also bring clarity out of it. You manage to empower and nurture the people in our product organization—while also providing a clear and compelling direction. Because (if we haven’t yet spilled enough metaphorical ink on this idea) we work collaboratively here from bottom to top—not because that’s nice, but because we see this as critical to our shared success. And inside of that, we know you know your stuff and can eloquently and logically explain decisions and, not for nothing, make them when the rubber hits the road. Full stop.
Want fewer words for a summary? You’re amazingly genuine and genuinely amazing, and with your help and leadership, our product and product organization will be without peer.
How to Apply
Please apply at this link (https://ynab.hire.trakstar.com/jobs/fk0xg7e?source=Diverse%20%26%20Remote) by Sunday, September 10th at 11:59pm PST.
Attach a PDF of your cover letter. In your cover letter, please:
Introduce yourself and explain why you’d be a great fit. (Please limit this to 1 page at most.)
Then, on a new page, please answer these questions three:
1. What attracted you to this position? (This is not about what attracted you to the software.)
2. We love someone with a perspective about product development. Answer, in one paragraph: How early is too early to ship? How late is too late?
3. What’s the biggest challenge any product manager faces? As a product leader, how would you help them meet that challenge?
Attach a PDF resume.
Though we know it’s customary in some areas, we’d prefer it if you didn’t share a headshot anywhere in your application materials. Thank you!
Our hiring process
We wanted to give you a quick outline of what our process looks like. It’s rigorous, but we also hear that it’s fun (truly!). We enjoy getting to know you throughout, and we make sure you have plenty of chances to get to know us, too.
We’re planning for the process to look something like this:
A written questionnaire (mid-Sept)
First video interview with 2-3 team members (early Oct)
A paid, skills-based project and a second video interview to review it together (mid-Oct)
Third video interview with another 2-3 team members (late Oct)
Fourth video interview with some of our executive team members (early Nov)
In-person interview with Todd (mid/late Nov)
Decision made (early Dec)
A few final notes
Our goal is to make the recruitment and hiring process as accessible as possible. If we can help you with an accessibility need, email us at email@example.com and indicate in the subject line that you’re applying for the Director of Product role.
If you have a question about the role that we haven’t already answered here, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll do her best to help you. (You’ll also receive an automated confirmation email from her when you apply, so please be sure to add her email address to your safe sender list so that you receive it.)
We’re excited to hear from you!
P.S. If you’re not interested in this position right now, but know someone who might be, we’d appreciate you passing this along!