Humbly Confident Product Manager
About Us and Why We’re Hiring
We build “You Need a Budget,” the best budgeting software around. (But people in the know call us YNAB, which is pronounced “why-nab.”) For more than a decade, people have been buying YNAB and then telling their friends what a difference it has made in their lives. Google us, or read some of our reviews on the app store, and you’ll see what we mean. We love building something that has a huge positive impact on people’s lives.
We’re a software ecosystem that includes personal budgeting apps for web, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android phones. Our mission is to make sure the whole world knows that a budget is the best life and financial planning tool ever invented—and help make it simple and joyful to use one.
YNAB is growing, and so is our product team. You’re the product manager we’re looking for if you’re collaborative, results-oriented, creative, persistent, and disciplined. (So far, so good?) You love solving complex problems—both internally and for our users—and know what it means to build a mature, evolving product. You’re customer-centric and have a knack for developing a deep understanding of users’ needs, and you could say the same about understanding the challenges a SaaS business like YNAB faces in the larger market landscape. You probably organize things in your sleep and enjoy making sense of chaos, but you’re also comfortable living in spots where messy is THE place to be. You communicate for a living and you know it, so you understand the language of development and design, marketing and support, and use those languages well in all mediums, from face-to-face, to long-form, to comments in a Figma file. You expound on decision-making strategies for way too long at summer barbeques, but somehow keep people listening.
Requirements (these are real, actual requirements):
- You must have at least five years of experience working in the SaaS industry, at least four of which were as a product manager. Complex, data-rich applications are a plus.
- You must have experience in cross-functional product development. And we really mean that cross-functional part.
That’s a super-brief intro to what we’re looking for. 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 this role.
We’re profitable, bootstrapped, and growing. YNAB was founded in 2004 and we haven’t taken any outside funding—we’re in it 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 are 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 who loves working together to build something that matters.
We also work really hard, together, to make working at YNAB an amazing experience, and we were (humbly) proud to be named Fortune’s #1 Best Small Company to Work For for the last two 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’d be working with:
We’re talking product management here, so you’ll be working with a lot of different people. We can’t even list them all, really. So we’ll start with (just a few of) your fellow product managers: Elena, Hannah, Lee, and Milène.
Elena started at YNAB as a support specialist, and empathy for the user experience remains a big focal point for her. Elena is an ever-optimizer, constantly trying to make our processes more efficient. Pre-YNAB she worked in the cheese industry—if you’re a fan of fromage, you can look forward to many tasty recommendations!
Hannah loves building empowered, innovative, and trust-filled teams and is deeply invested in helping individuals and communities change their financial narratives and realities. She has a penchant for prepositional phrases and an abiding absorption with acronyms (and alliteration). She’s also a dancer and performing artist.
Lee is passionate about pattern recognition and paring down complex problems into simple solutions. He loves trivia, word puzzles, and finding the exact right vacuum attachment for the job. Lee firmly believes that some leftovers are better when not reheated.
Milène joined YNAB from the data world and is eager to make YNAB more data-informed but not data-obsessed. She regularly helps her friends better manage their finances and can now scale this passion through her job. Outside of work, you can find Milène trying the latest NYC restaurants, planning her next travel adventure, or emptying her mind with a jigsaw puzzle.
And as we said above, you’ll also cross paths with—well—probably everyone else. People like Sophie and Scott (a couple of our developers), Niki or Adam (both designers), Angela (our Head of Support), and Kelly (our product marketing specialist).
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 fully remote team, so you can live and work wherever you want (with a reliable internet connection!). That said, you’ll be working predominantly with folks based in North America, so we expect that you’ll be willing and able to work North American hours for a significant portion of your time. Proximity doesn’t influence productivity, but it sure does help with communication sometimes.
No Outrageous Hours
We want everyone to have a full life outside of YNAB, and we seldom work more than 40 hours per week. There have been a few occasions where things got busy and people had to put some extra time in. But then they took some extra time off, so it all balances out. We work hard and smart but we’re in this for the long haul.
Take Vacation (Seriously)
We want you to take vacation. In fact, we have a minimum vacation policy of three weeks per year. Five weeks feels about right (plus two extra weeks for our company-wide December break). It’s important to get plenty of downtime and get out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your adventures in our #office_wall Slack channel!
The YNAB Retreat
When the pandemic isn’t keeping us from traveling, we get the teams together once a year to catch up on spreadsheets and powerpoints in a Best Western conference room. Just kidding. So far, we’ve done Costa Rica, a gigantic cabin in the mountains, a beach house in the Outer Banks, a ranch in Montana, and most recently, Laguna Beach. We work together, play together, and reinforce the bonds we’ve made as a team and company. Every year, we leave refreshed, motivated, and excited for the year ahead together.
Up Your Game
We’re serious about helping you improve your craft. We budget for it (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.
U.S. or International? Great!
Our team is spread all over the world, including Switzerland, Argentina, Scotland, Canada, Iceland, and all over the United States. We currently set up team members who live in the U.S. or U.K. as employees, and those who live in other countries as independent contractors. You’re an equal part of the team no matter where you live!
For full-time W2 employees in the U.S., we 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!
For full- and part-time W2 employees in the U.S., we also have a Traditional and Roth 401(k) option. 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.) For U.K. employees, we also contribute six percent to your pension.
The starting salary range for this position is $105,000 - $121,000 annually. We consider raises every year, and have a bi-annual profit-share bonus. YNAB wins, you win—that kind of thing.
- 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!)
- The bucket list really helps in deciding what we should give you for your birthday and the holidays.
- We’re all adults. There’s no need to punch a clock, or ask for permission to take off early one afternoon to go see the doctor. We look at what you accomplish, not how long you’re in front of a computer.
- 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 Product Manager...
What Success Looks Like:
Our goal is for every YNAB user to achieve life-changing financial control—and for the whole planet to realize it is possible. No small thing, right? In 2022, we’re focused on helping all users see YNAB fit their needs—functional, social, and emotional—as they resolve financial struggles.
Looking inward, you’ll also help us evolve our systems and processes to deliver top-notch, dare we say life-changing, experiences to our users. We’ve been growing. A lot. We’ve worked hard to create teams that are autonomous and outcome-focused, but we’ll never be ones to rest on our laurels. We expect you to speak up when you see an opportunity to improve our organization and processes, and to embrace change as we continue to grow.
You’ll need to:
- Regularly ship real value to our users. You can both live two years ahead of your team and support them in the present moment as you shepherd work from discovery to ideation to release to follow-up. In particular, you’ll work hand-in-hand with a product designer on your team to jointly develop vision, prioritize, and execute on strategy.
- Understand the user journey, not just the one in our apps, but also the one in the real world as users resolve their financial struggles.
- Be comfortable with multiple discovery and ideation strategies in your quest to make YNAB consistently better. You enjoy talking to customers in user interviews and usability testing and have a knack for summarizing research in a concise way for teammates.
- Be a curious, persistent, and quick learner, staying ahead of new ideas, technologies and other opportunities to help YNAB users take total control of their money, and maybe even sleep better at night.
- Understand deeply that at YNAB “cross-functional” isn’t code for “designers and engineers.” We know that great ideas can come from anywhere, so Support Specialists and Marketers are also members of our flat product teams.
- Learn the design principles and financial logic of our apps like the back of your hand. Then learn our engineering processes like the back of your other hand. Then find another hand for internalizing our brand, marketing strategies, and support ethic.
- Synthesize and make sense of ALL THE DATA and information about our products, for yourself and to help others across the organization make better decisions. You’re fluent in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis—and are cautious about the failings of each.
- Communicate, explain, persuade, explore and otherwise get all the things done in asynchronous formats. Yes, we like talking to each other in real time, but as a remote team, much of our collaboration is asynchronous and written.
- Be intensely curious. Period.
- Oh, also, not to the exclusion of anything else, but you’re intensely curious about how people learn, what motivates them, how they change and develop habits, and how behavior inside a product might change behavior outside it.
- Be comfortable speaking the language of software development and product design. If you’re also comfortable diving into HTML and CSS (or even one of the programming languages in our development stack!), that’s a plus, but it’s not a requirement. Being conversant across all disciplines is key.
- Manage key partner relationships, from day-to-day communication to contract negotiation.
That’s twelve bullets, but let’s still say that your success as a product manager comes down to this: Your ability to approach product development as holistic, simultaneous, problem-solving of both user and business goals.
And if we haven’t yet spilled enough metaphorical ink on this idea: We work collaboratively here so you’ll listen to ideas, questions, and critiques from teammates with grace and patience—not because that’s nice, but because you see this as critical to our shared success. That said, 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.
How to Apply
- Apply directly on our site here by 11:59pm PST on Sunday, January 23rd. Firm. It’s a real deadline. The kind you love.
- Attach a PDF of your cover letter.
- In your cover letter, introduce yourself and explain why this position is of interest to you, and why you would be a great fit. Please limit this section of the cover letter to 1.5 pages at most.
- Include the word “evaluate” somewhere in your cover letter.
- On a separate page of your cover letter, answer the following questions (with each response being about a paragraph in length):
- What attracted you to this position? (This is not about what attracted you to the software.)
- What criteria do you look for when searching for your next company or position?
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your current job?
- Tell us about a time when you had to learn something new to excel at your job.
- 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?
- If you have a prepared resume, attach it in PDF form. If you don’t have a resume because you aren’t even sure you’re looking to change jobs, that’s fine! An informal list of your work and education history is all we’re looking for.
- Please let us know if you would like to disclose a need for accommodation in connection with the recruitment and hiring process. If so, contact us at email@example.com and indicate in the subject line that you’re applying for the Product Manager role. Please only use this email address for that purpose.
- Note: though we know it is customary in some countries, we’d prefer if you didn’t share a headshot in your application materials. Thank you!
We’re excited to hear from you!
P.S. We'll send you a confirmation email once you apply. Please add that email to your safe sender list, to ensure that future emails come through. (If you don’t receive it, please check your Promotions inbox, junk folder, or any filters you may have set up.)
P.P.S. If you’re not interested in or available for this position, but know someone who is, we would really appreciate it if you passed this along!