Yvette (@lolarobot) is the CTO of Exos where she leads the product and engineering teams with a focus on continuous improvement, iteration, and using data to launch products that help our members become healthier and achieve their wellness, life, and work goals.
Prior to joining Exos, Yvette led Product and Engineering at Haven, a health tech startup, and was the CTO at Meetup. Yvette’s career has included leadership roles at startups and product development firms building products like Grindr and the Olympics video player. She’s on the Board at Chloe Capital, a VC firm that invests in women-led seed-stage companies.
Yvette lives in Brooklyn and Rhinebeck, NY with her wife, daughter, and wheaten terrier.
“Yeah, of course during the conversation I will bring up, ‘Hey, I'm looking for a head of engineering. do you know anything? Do you have any advice? What have you thought of are the best characteristics for someone in that role?”
It's a long-term play, but I think the important thing is to be really upfront with your intention for the chat. And to deliver on that in an authentic way. And to not BS someone and say, ‘Hey, I wanna network!’ And then throw a job in their face and a job description.
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- Building technology with community in mind at MeetUp and Exos (2:20) (0:07)
- How community and in-person experiences inspire Yvette’s career decisions (5:40)
- What Yvette learned about networking / community building from MeetUp (7:10)
- Principles for creating meaningful, authentic gatherings (10:54)
- Why setting boundaries & expectations encourages group psychological safety (12:38)
- How Yvette successfully navigated her Head of Eng search without a recruiter (14:32)
- Strategies for targeting potential hires that you haven’t met before (17:40)
- Ask others for advice (21:31)
- Tactics for reaching out to people in an authentic way (23:40)
- Prioritizing time for networking conversations (27:55)
- Behind the digital transformation at Exos from a primarily coaching model (32:37)
- How Exos continuously models growth mindset (37:42)
- When digital transformation reaches a turning point (39:44)
- Rapid fire questions (42:38)
LINKS AND RESOURCES
- The Pragmatic Engineer by Gergely Orosz (blog/newsletter) - The #1 technology newsletter on Substack. Highly relevant for software engineers and engineering managers, useful for those working in tech. Written by engineering manager and software engineer Gergely Orosz who was previously at Uber, Skype/Microsoft, and at high-growth startups. (follow Gergely on Twitter @GergelyOrosz)
- Software Lead Weekly by Oren Ellenbogen (newsletter) - A weekly email for busy people who care about people, culture and leadership.
- Level Up by Patrick Kua (newsletter) - Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.
- Lenny’s Newsletter by Lenny Rachitsky - A weekly advice column about product, growth, and your career.
- The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker (book) - Priya argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive — and they don't have to be. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play. (Patrick’s most gifted book)