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 their 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 software industry, at least three of which were as a product manager or other key role on a product team. 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 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.
We’re profitable, bootstrapped, and growing. YNAB started 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 last year. 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 your fellow product managers: Elena, Hannah, Ingi, Jacob and Megan.
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.
Ingi has a burning passion for product management as a discipline; and loves to talk and debate about strategies and tactics for delivering value to customers. Ingi’s also known for learning how to operate unusual transportation methods, from electric skateboards to flying planes and driving steam locomotives.
Jacob cares deeply about solving problems with technology. He’s a fanatic about delightful experiences that make life better, and is always sitting on the cutting edge of tech—looking out for the newest life-changing app or gadget. When he’s not working, you can find him building his personal Zettelkasten, taking photos, running, or trying to track down a new plant-based sushi restaurant (yes, it’s a thing!).
Megan’s heart lies in empathizing with users to inform strategy, inspire, and focus her team around what matters. She enjoys observing the curiosities of life and wonders why things are a certain way and if there might be another way. Megan loves climbing and adventure racing, too, or any day out in the mountains! She thrives on challenges, type II fun, and breakfast burritos.
And as we said above, you’ll also cross paths with—well—probably everyone else. People like Buffy and Sebastian (a couple of our developers), Niki or Alan (both designers), Angela (our Director of Customer 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 Crazy Hours
We don’t track hours, but we rarely work more than 40 per week. There have been a few occasions where things got a little crazy 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, no need to go crazy on the hours.
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 out and do something. We’ll look forward to seeing pictures of your vacation 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.
International is Absolutely Okay
If you are Stateside, we’ll set you up as a W2 employee. If you’re international, you’ll be set up as a contractor. (Employee or contractor, it’s all the same to us. You’re part of the team!)
For our U.S. employees, 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, we’ve got you covered!)
We also have a Traditional and Roth 401k option. YNAB matches your contributions, up to six percent of your paycheck. 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.)
We use a leading compensation data provider to set competitive and well-defined pay ranges for all of our positions. Your pay is the same no matter where you live, and our goal is to pay at or above the market rate in the United States. We consider raises every year and have a bonus plan based on profitability, which you’re in on from day one. 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 user to achieve life-changing financial control—and for the whole planet to realize it is possible. No small thing, right? In 2021, we’re focused on making YNAB effortless for new budgeters from their very first experience, and also 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 at creating 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 a chance of improving our organization and processes; and to embrace change as our growth will require.
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 your team’s 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, and not just the one in our apps, but 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 at YNAB for “designers and engineers.” We’ve doubled down on our best ideas coming 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. Conversant across all disciplines is key.
Manage key partner relationships, from day-to-day communication to contract negotiation and management.
“Bonus points” awarded if you already use and love YNAB!
That’s twelve-and-a-half 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.
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 “measure” 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 send all attachments as PDFs. (We know, we know, that was the third time we said PDF. But it really does make our lives so much easier!)
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!