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Product Strategist

Vannevar Labs

Vannevar Labs

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Vannevar Labs builds next generation defense software for the public servants keeping our country safe. As a team, we exist because we believe in public service, and we think that our democracy and government improve only if we put serious, collective effort into improving them, including the technology our government uses.
This mission has become urgent. Ukraine is engaged in a war for survival with Russia. China regularly flies nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan and Japan’s airspace. The US and our allies are fighting a war of deterrence with woefully outdated technology. We build software to support these missions, including providing battlefield information to allies, identifying malign activity, and helping the US deter and deescalate conflict.
We are a profitable growth startup with some of the best defense investors in the world, including General Catalyst, DFJ Growth, Point72, and enterprise tech investors Costanoa and Felicis.

About the role

Product Strategists at Vannevar build 0 to 1 products to help us enter and scale in new mission areas. This is a multi-faceted and extremely externally oriented role - the day- to-day will include some combination 1) spending a ton of time on military bases with users to understand the problem, 2) working in partnership with engineering to quickly iterate on product hypotheses, and 3) working with our Mission to sell the product your developing. You will be functioning basically as a mini-startup CEO within Vannevar.
Over the last 24 months, we went from $3M to $46M on 3 products all aligned against competition in Europe and Asia, and we have more missions that we want to develop new products against. Your role is absolutely critical in building impactful products for the mission and driving growth for Vannevar.
The ideal candidate has worked in defense or intelligence before and has touched software product management and / or customer deployments of software products before. Some experience with the national security mission is critical for success in this role.

What you'll do

  • Prototype and iterate on a software product to expand Vannevar into an adjacent mission area to where we're currently operating.
  • Become an expert in this mission area by spending a bunch of time on military bases embedded with users and by shipping many rough v0 prototypes as quickly as possible to to learn.
  • Work with a small but mighty 1-3 person eng team to quickly test product hypotheses in this area.
  • Partner with the mission development team to sell / try to sell versions of your product as you are iterating. Enabling growth is a key component of this role.

Things to know about 0 to 1 product at Vannevar

  • We build from the mission backwards. Every product bet we make is informed by a deep understanding of a particular mission that we develop by spending a lot of time on military bases.
  • We know our initial thesis will almost always be wrong. Because of this, we ship hacky things quickly to learn and minimize the amount of time we're on the wrong path.
  • At Vannevar, product is a growth-oriented function. We have growth goals and try to orient ourselves as externally as possible.
  • We get the best 0 to 1 product outcomes when we combine eng creativity + product creativity + mission understanding. Because of this, our job is to empower eng to make the best decisions on what they are building. This means going on base with eng so they have the mission context, and means being loose and light on requirements documents.

What we're looking for

  • Some background in defense / intelligence / national security
  • Experience as a product manager or experience working with users on DoD software product deployments
  • U.S. Person status is required with the ability to obtain security clearance.

What we offer

The salary range for this position is $125,000-$215,000 + equity + 401K match. Within the range, individual pay is determined by experience, relevant education, and/or training.

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • 100% remote - work from anywhere in the US
  • 401k matching
  • Mental benefits
  • Flexible work environment - you manage your workday
  • Pet and child care reimbursement during travel
  • Unlimited PTO
Vannevar Labs is an equal opportunity employer, and qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender perception or identity, national origin, age, marital status, protected veteran status, or disability status.
We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply, even if you don't feel like you're a perfect fit. If you're passionate about contributing to our mission, we'd love to hear from you!