VP of Product

Help Scout is an all-in-one customer service platform that enables more than 10,000 businesses in 140+ countries to convert, support, and delight their customers.

Our customers are mostly small to midsize businesses of 3 to 300+ employees. Software and eCommerce companies represent more than 60% of our customers, but the platform is a great fit for any team engaging with their customers online.

Our team of 100+ works remotely from more than 75 cities globally — we’ve always viewed optimizing for talent and work-life harmony as a competitive advantage.

The Opportunity

Help Scout has been product-led from day one — all three founders are product people. Over the years we’ve hired a couple of Director-level product leaders, but at this stage of the business, it’s time to bring in our first VP.

Why now?
Help Scout is a $20m+ business today, but the journey to $50m is very different – and we suspect more challenging. We’re doubling down on our vision for the product, for the business, and for our customers. It’s difficult to imagine this pursuit being successful without a strong product leader helping to steer the ship.

What’s the team like?
You’ll have great partners to work with from day one. The other two legs of the stool are Megan Chinburg (VP Engineering) and Linda Eliasen (VP Design). You’d also be partnering with my co-founder and CTO Denny Swindle, along with several other folks across the team.

The Engineering team is 50+ people, Design is 10, Product is 2. Based on those numbers it’s probably clear that part of your role will be to build the team.

How is the business doing?
Help Scout is a $20m business and it’s been a really fun ride. We’ve grown 38% over the last 12 months, and are hoping to sustain or increase that growth rate for a couple more years. We’ve raised just under $13m in capital and operate the business sustainably today.

What undergirds everything we do is a fundamental belief in balancing profit and purpose. Our purpose is to build great products and to leave the world better off than we found it. While growth is very important to our business, we won’t compromise our purpose to do it.

We’re always looking to improve our product, but from a quantitative view it is very good: 99.99% uptime, 140% net dollar retention, and 10,000+ paying companies. This isn’t a turnaround effort – it’s an opportunity to do your best work.

Isn’t the market crowded?
We have a differentiated product, and we’re the only company fully committed to the SMB segment of the market. Help Scout is easier to set up and use, it delivers a superior customer experience, and it’s more affordable than enterprise products like Zendesk and Salesforce. If we ultimately do not succeed, it will not be due to a competitor – it will come down to our failure to capture the opportunity.

About the role
– You’ll be part of a 9-person (currently 70% women) leadership team at Help Scout. You’ll also manage and grow our 2-person Product team, ideally adding two new people in 2020.

– We will partner on the product vision together, as our partnership is critical to success in the role. We’ll lean into healthy conflict and respectful debate, because the important decisions are rarely easy. We’ll set clear boundaries and stick to them, and you’ll have space to make mistakes and disagree.

– You’ll be given the space – the mandate, in fact – to build delightful user experiences, to get the last 10% right, and promote a design-led process. Excellence is a core value at Help Scout. However, this does mean you’ll ship fewer things. Choosing the right things to build has an elevated importance.

– You and your team will learn to finish our customers’ sentences. You’ll develop a way to process all the inputs, identify the right problem statement(s), then build solutions that are delightful, performant, and reliable.

About you
– You are an outstanding collaborator, bridge-builder, and communicator. You leverage this skill to collect data that informs our product strategy, and to make sure all teams in the organization feel informed and inspired by the work the team is doing. Since everyone has an opinion on the product, you make sure they are heard and that they ultimately understand why we’re going where we’re going.

– You have a process for developing products that’s empowering to other teams. A phrase we use a lot to describe the role of a product leader is “leading without authority”. One of your key success measures is whether the designers and engineers feel they are shipping their best work. They feel included, heard, and informed.

– You are excited to be part of a remote team and organization. The people you work with will almost always have at least 4 hours of overlap with you in a given day, but you feel well-equipped and eager to manage the tradeoffs with enthusiasm, highly organized information, and excellent communication skills (sync and async).

Why should you join Help Scout?
We’re remote. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked remotely before — we’ve been doing it for nine years and are helping to write the playbook — we’ll show you the ropes. At least two remote companies will go public in the next 12-18 months (Automattic and Gitlab). Stripe just started building a remote hub and more will follow. The perception is quickly shifting.

We’re leading the way when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Our leadership team is majority women, and across the team we have equal gender balance. The data is abundantly clear about diverse teams being more successful, and we’re committed to those efforts. Here’s our 2019 report.

Our product will always solve one of a business’ top three challenges. The market for our product will continue to grow. Trends will come and go, but great customer service will never stop being important to businesses. How cool would it be to build a software company that outlives us? We’d love to try.

We have long-term options. We’ve never compromised our values for short-term gain, and we’ve always been thoughtful about capital allocation. We’ve raised less than $13m in capital and operate sustainably today — keeping several options on the table for our long-term future. That said, we’re happy to raise more capital if there’s a clear plan for us to leverage it for growth — we just don’t want to use capital to fund the operation of the business.

We’re a certified B Corp and we’re leaving the world better than we found it. Legally it means that we have the same fiduciary to shareholders as we do to customers and the small business community. We think that’s more aligned with the way businesses will work in the future, and we want to give the next generation of entrepreneurs a playbook.

Competitive salary – Our salary formula is public to all employees (but doesn’t divulge your specific salary) and we update it at least once per year. Your salary is the same no matter where you live. Our goal is to pay at or above the market rate of a US-based tech hub like Boston or Seattle.

Health and dental insurance – We cover you and your family’s health/dental insurance 100%. If you are based in the US, we’ll cover you on our Aetna policy. If you’re based outside the US, we’ll reimburse your out-of-pocket health and dental insurance costs.

Long-term/short-term disability insurance & life insurance – we cover 100% of the premiums for LT/ST disability insurance and base life insurance. You also have the option to purchase supplementary life insurance through our provider (currently US only).

Flexible vacation – Take time off when you need it! We recommend 3-4 weeks in addition to public holidays, but there are no firm rules. We trust you.

Sabbatical – After you’ve been at Help Scout for 4 years, you get a month of paid vacation (in addition to regular vacation) and $2,500 to spend towards travel, learning, projects or anything else during your time off. Read about what our CEO did.

Paid parental leave, including adoption – 12 weeks of paid leave for all new parents.

401k with 1% match- via Betterment for Business (currently US only)

Personal Development stipend – Up to $1,800 per year to improve your craft

Great tools – Each employee will be provided with a Mac laptop and display (or equivalent equipment of choice). We’ll also purchase any additional software or hardware you need.

Home office stipend – Every new hire gets $1,500 USD to furnish their home office, and up to $350 USD per month if you’d like to rent a co-working desk somewhere.

Complete transparency – Everyone has full access to business metrics and financial information about the company.

About Us
Help Scout is made by roughly 110 people in 80+ cities around the world, all with a passion for helping others. We come from diverse backgrounds and are united by an enthusiasm for great products and delightful customer experiences. Help Scout launched in 2011 and today we have more than 10,000 paying customers in 140+ countries.

Why Help Scout?
We’re remote. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked remotely before — we’ve been doing it for nearly a decade and are helping to write the playbook — we’re happy to show you the ropes. Most folks that get a taste of working in a “remote first” company have a hard time going back to the old way of doing things.

We’re passionate about diversity and inclusion. The data is abundantly clear about diverse teams being more successful, and we’re dedicated to setting the team up for success. Today our leadership team is 62% women, and that’s just the start. Here’s our 2019 report.

We’re committed to SMBs for the long term. Help Scout is focused entirely on serving small and midsize businesses, typically up to 500 employees, because those companies view customer service differently. It’s not a cost to be optimized, it’s their most effective marketing tool and a key differentiator from the competition. We built Help Scout for companies that truly value being customer-centric (like us) and want a product that shares their values.

We’re leaving the world better than we found it. Did you know Help Scout is a certified B Corporation, with a mission to give away at least 1% of our product through Help Scout for Good? Our company exists not just to help ourselves, but to invest in our team, our customers, our community, and our environment.

Our commitment to you
We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to building a company that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We have read the studies and understand that diverse teams build better products, bring more perspective to the table, contribute to a company’s financial success and help foster a more inclusive environment for all employees, but the bottom line is that it’s the right thing to do.

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