Lead(H)er: Lillie Green, Head of Product for Wix Experts at Wix
Making the switch from brand management and marketing to product management was seamless for Lillie Green, the Head of Product for Wix Experts. She found plenty of similarities between the two, particularly in terms of their main goals.
“Because of my marketing background, I really am interested in the user,” Green said. “I want to understand the user, know everything about them, and analyze all of the data we have about them. When you’re talking about building good product, you have to have that passion.”
Green has always had it. She got her MBA in strategic brand management at Cornell, but when she graduated, there were few jobs in the field available. Instead, she began working in marketing for tech companies like Fox Mobile Group and Jesta Digital. In those roles, she worked closely with developers who were building marketing products, giving her an inside look into both the marketing and product management sides of the businesses.
She jumped into product management at WhoSay Inc., where she worked to relaunch the company’s website and create an iOS app from the ground up, among other responsibilities. In her next role as Head of Product at flok, Green built a product team and established its operational structure, relaunched flok’s app, and oversaw the company’s rebranding from its former name, Loyalblocks.
Flok was eventually acquired by Wix, and while some employees worry about the changes to come when their companies are acquired, Green considered the sale a major recognition of the work she and her coworkers had put in to create a valuable brand and product.
Now, Green oversees the product side of Wix Experts. These Experts are groups of users who build websites professionally, and Green and her team supply them with the resources they need to be successful.
“Our users are so excited by the product itself and what it allows them to do,” Green said. “A website can be a very powerful thing for small businesses and change the way they operate, and it’s also a really personal thing, the same way many of these businesses feel personal to their owners.”
Green has seen this excitement and joy herself. She’s created sites for friends and family who weren’t able to build the sites themselves, and their happiness becomes a fulfilling reward for her.
As Wix Experts’ Head of Product, Green gets to create those same reactions on a larger scale. Her main goal remains the understanding of her product’s users and the ways in which she and her team can create the best resources possible for their success.
“Part of what I love about working in product management and in the tech space in general is that there’s always something new to learn,” Green said. “It’s always changing, and for me, that’s what really keeps me excited and drives me to really build the best products we can.”
However the next evolution of technology and product looks, at Wix and beyond, Green knows she wants to be a part of it. To her, there will always be more to learn and more excitement to bring to users in the process.
Quick Q(uestions) & A(dvice)
What do you like to do in your free time?
I do so much in my free time! One of my friends recently said that I don’t idle well, which is true. I’m not really a sit-down-and-watch-TV kind of person, which is why New York is such a great city for me. I’m always doing something like taking a class or going on a tour. We’re members of both of the botanical gardens. I love to cook, and sometimes I’ll do cooking classes. We also do a lot of traveling, but there’s always something for me to do here in the city, so I’m always taking advantage of that.
How do you manage stress?
I try to do a lot for stress. I exercise a lot and find that’s really helpful. I love pilates, yoga, and running. I actually find cooking to be really relaxing as well. It’s the opposite for most people, but being able to go home and chop a bunch of stuff for a big stew or something like that helps me feel really calm.
How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?
I’m not much of a coffee drinker, especially now that I’m pregnant. I’m a tea drinker usually. We have an office in Tel Aviv, and I’m out there pretty frequently, so I’ll drink a lot of coffee there.
What’s one of your favorite places in the New York City area?
There’s so many! I think some of my favorites are the botanical gardens, both in Brooklyn and the Bronx. I’m from New Hampshire originally, so sometimes it’s nice to be around trees and flowers. It’s very comforting to me. One of my other favorite places is actually the Tenement Museum. It’s amazing. If people are visiting New York and they haven’t been, they just have to go.
What do you consider one of your greatest accomplishments so far?
I’m really proud of a lot of things I’ve done throughout my career. I think being part of the team at flok, which was acquired by Wix, and building a product and working to create a brand and a team and a product that was then acquired by this amazing public company was an amazing journey for me. I'm really proud of those connections and everything that we've accomplished together.
Is this where you saw yourself 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was in business school getting ready to go to an internship in brand management at a global wine and spirits manufacturer. I'm pretty sure I thought I would end up doing that. I certainly did not see myself ending up in the tech space. It's not something that they teach you in business school. It's not a primary trajectory that they are teaching people. For me to end up here was very lucky, because it is such a good fit with my personality, learning style, and management style. It really ended up being the right space for me. So I did not expect to be here at all, but I feel so fortunate that I am.
What’s your advice for recent college graduates?
It's so important to take whatever you do in terms of careers and just learn as much as you can from it. It might not be the best job or the one you want. You might love it, you might hate it, but there's always something you can learn from it—probably more so from the ones you hate, actually. Really try to see whatever you're doing as more of a foundation for what's coming next and try and understand what you like about it and what you don't like about it so that you can make the next best step. When I was right out of college, I worked in politics for the governor of New Hampshire for four years. It's nothing like what I’m doing now, but it was a really wonderful foundation that I was able to create, and I learned so much from it. I really think that's important when you're that age.