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SETH MELNICK

Trying to make the world smaller through tech

 

ABOUT ME

I started my career obsessing over public data and trying to understand why people make the choices they do.


Professionally that lead me to studying infant and maternal mortality rates with the UN and then eventually a full-time role studying transportation patterns at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (side note: never doubt the impact of working in local government!).


Feeling stuck in bureaucracy, and inspired by the start ups I worked with on behalf of the NYCTLC, I left for the private sector. I started this journey at IHS Markit, developing auction platform products that allowed farmers and municipalities sell environmental commodities (think fresh water and clean air) to big businesses in an effort to curb climate change.


From there, I jumped to Lyft as the first hire outside of San Francisco in 2014. I became obsessed with the idea of making the world smaller and reducing emissions by sharing the ride. While there I did everything from standing up the first operations team - working on everything from local promotions to driver growth to - scaled local from me to hundreds, and tested and developed driver incentive programs that are still used today.


That lead me to my most recent adventure at TikTok, where I've gotten to work on an incredible product that allows artists to express their truest self broadly without fear of judgement. A place where you can find an audience is a creator or something informative or entertaining as a consumer.  My mandate at TikTok has been to stand up user and product operations, and over the last year I've gotten to build an incredible team of talented and thoughtful folks, itching to do good and fight for our users!

More personally: I was born in San Francisco and raised in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, where I spent the first 30 years of my life before relocating to the West Coast (first San Francisco and now Los Angeles), where I enjoy living by the beach and going on runs with my dog Mozart.

 

ARTICLES

TIKTOK'S DIVERSITY & INCLUSION COUNCIL: HOW WE #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE

March 31, 2021

At TikTok, one of our core values is to champion diversity and inclusion both in the workplace and on our platform. This Women's History Month, we spoke with three Council members -- Nicky Raghavan (Global Head of HRBP), Seth Melnick (Head of User & Product Operations), and Dan Habashi (Canada General Manager) -- to uncover their stories, learn more about their work on the Council, and hear how they #ChooseToChallenge to uplift and empower women at TikTok.

HASHTAG VIEW COUNT DISPLAY ISSUE POST-MORTEM

Jun 16, 2020

A technical explanation for a data flushing issue we encountered in June 2020 and how we addressed and fixed it.

#SFSNYC ONE-ON-ONE WITH LYFT

October 25, 2016

Interview with Anthony Ha - Senior Writer, TechCrunch - at Street Fight Summit on building Lyft in New York and the future of the share economy.

LYFT’S MELNICK: ‘NO MAGIC BULLET’ FOR BUILDING A MULTI-SIDED MARKETPLACE

October 6, 2016

Seth Melnick, senior operations manager for Lyft, will be a speaker at Street Fight Summit on October 25th in New York.  Street Fight caught up with him recently to chat about what the company is doing to extend its reach in the local market and differentiate its services from its competitors.

WHY THE FUTURE OF THE ON-DEMAND ECONOMY IS IN GOOD HANDS

March 17, 2016

The on-demand economy has been written about extensively in the past couple of months. We felt that not enough ‘insider’ perspective was secured as part of the reporting so we organized a Meetup featuring the CEO of Handy and NYC General & Operations Managers from Lyft, Luxe and Breather. We wanted to hear straight from the frontline leaders. What is the future of the on-demand economy? What is truth and what is fiction? Our Meetup recap below:

SETH MELNICK - #65 ON THE SILICON ALLEY 100

October 8, 2015

Listed as one of the most inspiring and influential people in New York tech in 2015 for my work building the new York market as the earliest employee outside of San Francisco.

Artsy Magazine
 
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The Cold Reach Out

I posted on the subject of the bot written cold reach out a few months ago after receiving a number of them on LinkedIn (pre-COVID), and...

 

RESUME

April 2021 - Present

GLOBAL HEAD OF USER OPERATIONS - TIKTOK

  • Scaling all below teams globally.

July 2019 - April 2022

HEAD OF USER AND PRODUCT OPERATIONS - TIKTOK

  • Built three new teams: Global Product Operations, Tools and Reporting, and User Communications. 

  • Grew team from 1 (me) to 350+ across four international offices.

  • Scaled full team from supporting the US, Canada and Australia to handling all priority markets.

September 2018 – July 2019

SENIOR MANAGER, GROWTH - LYFT

  • Managed team in the product organization that worked alongside Engineering, Research Science, Data Science and Global Operations to create, iterate and rollout driver facing products. 

  • Owned and developed new product rollouts across the company and multi-million dollar P&L.

  • Built a new driver incentive program (power zones; featured in S-1 filing) and scaled it to all American markets.

  • Designed tools that measured and controlled payment and incentive programs used companywide.

February 2016 – September 2018

SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER - LYFT

  • Managed New York State operations team of 60+ FTEs, launching 9 new  New York State markets. 

  • Led support and execution of local supply/demand planning and capital project ideation and testing. 

  • Created a new app module -  the first of its kind for the company. 

  • Oversaw P&L, local product, and continued New York State market scale. 

October 2014 – February 2016

MARKET MANAGER, NYC - LYFT

  • First local employee for Lyft outside of HQ.

  • Built and scaled Lyft’s presence in New York City from 1 employee to 40, and +65x rides. 

  • Managed and oversaw operations while serving as liaison to HQ to implement new initiatives locally.  

  • Awards: Recognized in the Silicon Alley 100 list as one of the most influential people in NY Tech.

September 2013 - October 2014

 ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCT - IHS MARKIT

  • Developed and built auction platforms.

  • Built and maintained auction platform analytics to improve product.

  • Managed multiple Markit auctions.

  • Interfaced with international clients in Portuguese.

May 2012 – September 2013

SENIOR ANALYST - NEW YORK CITY TAXI AND LIMOUSINE COMMISSION

  • Spearheaded long-term policy projects and initiatives.

  • Researched and analyzed competing mobile payment technologies and developed a pilot to validate recommendations. 

  • Led all Commission technology development projects.

  • Built pilot products with startups like Square and Uber.

July 2010 – May 2012

POLICY ANALYST - NEW YORK CITY TAXI AND LIMOUSINE COMMISSION

  • Performed research and analysis on Commission related initiatives.

  • Managed policy projects and pilot projects.

  • Managed our social media presence.

 

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I set three hours aside a week to meet with folks. Feel free to put some time on my calendar to chat about careers and your path.

I started this as a way to make space for folks effected by the COVID-19 layoffs. I hope you'll pass it on if you are able and feel up to it.