Why I Joined the Product team at Lattice

Melissa Chenok
6 min readFeb 17, 2022

I loved the products, but these three key factors really got me excited about joining the Lattice team.

I was a massive champion of the Lattice products at my previous organization (spoiler alert — still am now that I work here!). My colleagues often joked that “Melissa loves three things: chocolate, cats, and Lattice,” and those who used Lattice understood why. The combination of tools to help you advance your career, ensure your teams are thriving, and maintain a culture of making work meaningful personally helped me become a better manager and now inspires 3700+ teams who currently use Lattice’s products.

The idea of getting to work on products that positively impacted me and get them into even more users’ hands felt like an absolute dream to me. Before I joined, I was passively monitoring the Lattice careers page. When I was ready to make a jump, I reached out to folks on the product team through LinkedIn to hear more about their experiences.

I am lucky to have joined Lattice six months ago to lead product for our platform teams. I loved the products, but the three key factors that got me excited about joining the Lattice team were: The Product, The Potential, and The People. ‍

1. The Product

Lattice solves pain points that I have as someone navigating their own career and helping others as a manager. There is also major potential that our products have to continue to expand in breadth and depth to help other organizations.

The UX and UI are clear, consistent, and concise across the platform. They make sense and put the user first. The products work together to make my experience as an employee and manager incredibly easy. I’m able to set goals for myself and my team, talk about those in my one-on-ones and weekly updates, share out on my successes in my reviews, and soon will be able to connect compensation decisions with my reviews. I genuinely feel like my whole user journey around experience, performance, and goals is taken into account and connected seamlessly.

2. The Potential

There’s potential everywhere when joining a fast-moving startup. As the company grows, we get to iterate and move quickly on roadmaps that have a positive impact on our teams and customers. There is room for team members to learn and try on different hats; I love seeing them be able to move between teams. For example, a product manager who has been working on adoption for a mature product for the past few years moved to a new pod where they can build their skills with zero-to-one product development last week. These moves and abilities for team members to tackle new challenges outside of their core work happen regularly and allow me to envision a long-term career here.

Company potential:

When I applied, Lattice was a Unicorn, and I knew that our valuation would grow as we improved existing products and built new ones. Within eight months of a $1 billion valuation, we tripled our valuation to $3 billion! All this investment gets me excited about moving more quickly on roadmaps that the teams and our clients are excited about.

Career potential:

The growth of a company and personal growth often go hand in hand. With a growing organization, I knew that I would have the opportunity to manage and build a team, a suite of products, and my Product management and people management skills. I am also excited about working with other product engineering and design experts and teams to learn more about the craft from folks with diverse backgrounds and experiences and build new connections.

Impact Potential:

We spend a lot of time at work — this is a high level of investment, so I want to make sure that what I am doing will positively impact the people I’m working with daily and on end-users. The world’s highest-performing teams are adopting people success tools, especially with the shifts from employer-centricity to employee centricity through the past two years. I saw the chance to join a fantastic team that was already building incredible products.

3. The People

When deciding whether to join a company, I look for five qualities in the people I’d be working with: intelligence, passion, inclusivity, transparency, and most importantly, kindness.

Looking at Glassdoor or “Great Places to Work” or even the book “People Strategy” written by our CEO and co-founder Jack Altman, you can get a sense of the significant level to which Lattice exemplifies all these qualities. My interactions throughout the interview process were a clear indicator that folks were bright and cared not just about what they were working on but also who they were working with.

After six months here, I have seen that the ratings you can find on the web hold up. Our engineers, designers, and product managers are of the highest caliber I’ve ever worked with, and I am learning from them every day. The EPD team cares deeply about making work meaningful and about building our skills and processes as we scale. We hold pairing exercises, weekly critiques, book clubs, and team activities together. Team members go out of their way to share best practices and help each other learn across domains.

Last month I sat in on a design team meeting where one of our awesome UI engineers, Jack Hanford, shared his experiences for what makes positive collaboration between design and engineering. The team then had a lively conversation about how we can continue to support each other and best practices from each individual team for others to leverage. This inspired me to give an overview to the design team last week of how I use our metrics tool for experimentation, and am already seeing folks incorporate this into their toolbelts.

In addition to kind colleagues, I trust our leadership team’s judgment and motivations. They both care about the business growing, and they want to make sure that team members thrive in their careers. The leadership team is transparent about what is happening, which not only builds my confidence in what I’m working on but helps me do my job more effectively.

I had been at Lattice for just a month when my team was conducting headcount planning for the upcoming year. I asked our SVP of Engineering Stephen Poletto what constraints we should consider, and his response both deepened my trust in our leadership team and validated my choice to join the team. Stephen said that we have ambitious goals, and the team that I lead needs to scale quickly to meet those. The primary limiting factor that I should consider is how effectively I can onboard team members and allow new teams to gel. Ensuring that team members have a positive experience during a life transition into a new role and ensuring that groups can foster healthy culture is of utmost importance, above all else, in enabling us to meet and exceed our goals.

Our team is inclusive and diverse and aware that there is always room to improve. The first feature that I worked on here at Lattice enabled users to be referred to by their pronouns across the site. I also had the opportunity to present with my colleague Julia Markish about this feature and educate the whole company on pronouns — a small example amongst others of the importance that Lattice puts on inclusive cultures. We also have a policy to discount or provide free instances of our software to nonprofits whose primary mission is to fight racial injustice.

When an organization’s culture and mission align with my values, I feel motivated to stretch myself and give my work my all. Because the culture at Lattice is so mission-driven, I’m excited to go to work every day (even on the days that I am sleepy!) and apply my energy and effort to work on behalf of a mission that I believe in and with inclusive team members who support me in becoming my best self.

The past six months at Lattice have met and exceeded my expectations. The products continue to add value to hundreds of thousands of user lives. The potential for the number of clients we will work with, career progression, and company growth are incredibly motivating. The people are brilliant and kind, and I enjoy learning from and working with them every day. If I’ve gotten your interest in joining us here at Lattice, we’re hiring!