We're Hiring a Head of Marketing for our Products

Ben Orenstein

thoughtbot is a twelve-year-old consultancy with a focus on Ruby on Rails, mobile development, and design.

Along with doing great work for our clients, we’ve always enjoyed building tools that help us work faster.

Sometimes, we turn these tools into products.

Currently, three of those are generating substantial revenue:

  • FormKeep provides form backends as a service (particularly useful with static sites).
  • Hound ensures all your code adheres to a style guide.
  • Upcase provides videos and exercises designed to turn junior Rails developers into senior ones.

The situation

We employ quite a few excellent designers and developers, so our products are technically sound and well-designed.

However, few of us are great marketers, so the marketing funnels for each could use quite a bit of work.

We’re looking to hire a senior-level person to raise our marketing bar dramatically. The sort of person that will ask “why the heck aren’t we doing X yet?”, and then go off and implement it.

The challenges

1. Budget.

The three products combined bring in about $60k/month in revenue. This means your budget will be limited, and you’ll be our only marketing hire for some time.

At first, you’ll need to focus on techniques that can succeed with just hard work from a small team.

2. There are three products.

You’ll need to determine where the biggest opportunities lie not just within a product, but amongst all three.

3. Recent growth has been flat.

Right now, growth and churn are about equal on each of the products.

4. You’ll need to understand developers.

Our target market is developers (and sometimes designers). We’ll need to be confident that you understand this world well enough to market to people inside it.

The opportunities

1. thoughtbot’s marketing assets.

Our blog gets ~2M uniques a year, our Twitter account has 47,000 followers, and our Playbook is widely read and shared. Our podcasts receive ~20,000 listens each week.

Overall, our brand is very strong and well-respected.

2. An allergy to bureaucracy.

Our default answer to policy questions is “use your best judgment.”

We value shipping and iterating quickly, and eschew meetings and unproductive debate.

3. A desire for change.

We know we can do better, and are actively seeking to do so.

You won’t find the usual roadblocks to making even deep, systemic changes.

4. Strong design and development capabilities.

When the products need changes made, we have a deep bench to pull from.

5. Your ability to have an impact.

Our products have never had the benefit of full-time marketer, so there’s lots of low-hanging fruit and an opportunity for you to have a tremendous impact on growth.

The job

  • You’ll report to me, Ben Orenstein.
  • You’ll work out of our Boston office. Sorry, no remote. We can help with relocation expenses.
  • The time commitment is flexible: you can work full-time or part-time and we’ll scale your salary accordingly. Anywhere between three and five days each week is acceptable. If you’ve ever wanted to try a four-day work week, here’s your chance. If you choose to work 30 hours per week or more, you’ll receive full benefits (100%-covered medical, dental, vision, and 401k).
  • Your performance will be judged based on how much you can improve the number of qualified trials and signups entering the products.
  • We offer five weeks of paid time off each year (plus personal days and six weeks of parental leave).
  • Salary: $85,000-$100,000.

How to apply

Send an email to ben@thoughtbot.com. Please include [marketing] in the subject line.