Anchor List: Jared Erondu, VP Design at Lattice
The Anchor List recognizes extraordinary operators in the startup ecosystem. Learn more at anchorlist.com
In our highlight series of Anchor List honorees, the first designer we’d like to spotlight is Jared Erondu, selected for his exceptional work as the VP of Design at Lattice.
“Customer experience and growing the business aren’t an ‘either-or’—they’re directly linked. If you solve for a customer’s full experience (which even spans outside the time they’re physically using your app), you stand a higher chance of growing a successful business.” -Jared Erondu
Born in New York City, Jared’s diverse background—including time in Sweden and Trinidad—has had a formative impact on his design work.
Originally a writer, blogger, and journalist, Jared pivoted his life when he discovered his love for design. In 2012, he co-founded Evomail, a company focusing on providing a professional-grade email experience for iPad. After a year owning the product’s UX end-to-end and building a large sign-up list, Jared parted with the business, although he still credits it with dramatically accelerating his learning. Looking back, it is largely through the twists and turns of his career that Jared grew to be the exceptional designer he is today.
In 2013, after moving to San Francisco, Jared joined Omada Health as their first full-time designer. It’s during this time that his passion for community and startups deepened, which he pursued by becoming Greylock’s founding Design Ambassador. Later, Jared joined Teespring (YC W13) as Director of Design, where he met Jack Altman and Eric Koslow who would go on to later start Lattice in October 2015. They brought Jared on as an early design contractor and advisor, later hiring him as Head of Design in 2017.
Currently, Jared leads Lattice’s design org, including brand design, product design, and UX research. As a company, Lattice helps over 2,500 organizations around the globe (including industry leaders like Slack, Asana, Figma, Pinterest, and Reddit) to develop engaged and high-performing teams. Jared reflects fondly on his continuing time at Lattice, with successes that include starting a design podcast series with over 6 million listeners.
Highlights and Advice
Jared’s trait as a connector has significantly helped accelerate his career. He adores connecting various data points, problems, people, and ideas to accelerate ambitious agendas. For those designers just starting out, however, he’s careful to be honest about this trait’s flipside:
“I can sometimes have trouble delegating large efforts. I’m much better at doing this with small/medium-sized efforts, but with large projects I instinctively take the lead and often go 2-3 steps too far. I literally have a post-it note on my laptop to remind me to shift this instinctual response.”
At Lattice, Jared’s emphasis on design has even had an impressive impact on the design of his team, which is noted for its diversity, talent, and enthusiasm, arriving with dedication and action every day to accelerate their skills and the company.
Jared’s emphasis on design and diversity has led him to a unique, balanced perspective on design methodologies as well. As he puts it, “Every design methodology has its strengths. The biggest danger comes from blindly applying them, completely ignoring the context in which they were created.”
When approaching complex problems, Jared truly comes from a customer-first approach, adding, “When interfacing with non-designers, I’m particularly fond of the double-diamond as a high-level framework because it’s easy for them to understand.”
How Jared Anchors his Team
At Floodgate, we’re particularly impressed by Jared’s commitment to collaboration and interaction across viewpoints and departments. At Lattice, Jared’s emphasis on design has even spread to many of his peers in other departments, including marketing, product, engineering, and customer success. Perhaps Jared puts it best when he says: “Design is one of the key ingredients to a successful business, so it should be practiced by everyone.”