Yue Zhao joined Thumbtack in 2013 as the company’s first product manager. Since starting Yue and her team have been busy revolutionizing the way that work is done on Thumbtack and reimagining how the product looks and acts for both customers and pros. Five years later, Yue’s work is as pressing and high leverage as ever, as Thumbtack transitions monetization models and focuses improving ROI for pros. Here’s why Yue decided to join the Thumbtack team, in her own words.
I heard about Thumbtack back in 2013 — from a Facebook post, I think. I was actively searching for marketplaces that had a mission and the potential to change how an industry works. Thumbtack fit the bill. When I came in to meet with Marco, Thumbtack’s CEO, and Jake, the head of product at the time, it was clear that the people at Thumbtack were down to earth, dedicated and ambitious. I could feel that the leadership team wants to play the long game and build an iconic company — and I was in.
Tackling a little bit of everything.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I began on my journey with Thumbtack July 2013. In the beginning, we focused the team on growth on both side of the platform with creative ways to translate growth on one side into acquisition methods on the other. One of the best parts was that in addition to digging into product work, I would also dig into everything from building out our customer support, analytics, and user research teams to helping reshape content in preparation for our first brand launch in 2014. (We celebrated our second brand launch in May. Check it out.)
Fighting good fights and moving forward with empathy.
In my time here, Thumbtack has grown from a small team of 20 to over 600 people. Team members have come and go, but through it all the same humble, metric-driven, team-first culture remains. It’s still a joy to come to work every day knowing we’ll have passionate debates and move forward with empathy and dedication.
On the product side, it’s been a privilege to help rebuild Thumbtack in the last two years as we transitioned to a totally new quoting model. When we first tested Instant Match in 2015, nobody guessed that it would become this multi-year journey and change every single aspect of our platform.
Transitioning to Instant Match.
It’s not an easy feat to change everything for hundreds of thousands of pros, many of whom relied on Thumbtack for their livelihood for years. I’ve been impressed by the focus and dedication the leadership team has shown in making this transition a reality. By early June, every pro on Thumbtack will pay for contacts — marking the end of a five-year era where pros were charged every time they sent a quote — and later this year, every customer will be submitting requests using the new Thumbtack experience too. I’m proud to have played a role in pushing the product forward and it’s great to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Five years in, I’m still here (a Silicon Valley anomaly).
Working at the same company for more than a few years is uncommon in the Silicon Valley (to say the least). But five years in, my journey at Thumbtack feels like it’s just beginning. When I think about what I want in a workplace it comes down to two things: team and growth.
On team, I’m inspired and challenged by the people I work with everyday and look forward to diving deep into seemingly impossible challenges with them. On the growth side, there’s just still so much to do — so many unsolved questions for the company to face. I’m excited to take on new challenges and grow my skill set as a manager and leader at Thumbtack.
Check out more stories from Thumbtack’s team at Life @ Thumbtack.