In 2017 I worked at Facebook Inc. as a product designer on Messenger. The experience taught me about collaborating across product teams at scale and designing effectively between interdisciplinary teams which can impact more than 1 billion people.
More imporantly I learned about discipline.
Also in 2017 I left my job as the Chief Product Officer at Bunz.com.
I learned a lot in the 3 years at Bunz HQ, starting with 0 users and working up to 400,000+ users before I left. The experience taught me how to lead effectively in small teams and what kind of effort and dedication it takes to focus on growth.
Over the years at Bunz I helped grow the product, the team and put in a lot of hours figuring out what worked and what didn't. I spent time conducting user feedback sessions, asking for feedback and prototyping to keep iterating on the product.
There were a lot of challenges and hardships along the way, I enjoyed and at times felt swamped by the challenge.
It all paid off as the experience made me a better designer and molded me into a leader.
There used to be 3 of us working out of a Starbucks in the first year, while working full time. Year 2 got us a seed round of funding. Year 3 brought us a Series A round to expand into new verticals and cities.
Between the years of 2013 - 2015 I spent a lot of time developing my personal skills in the world of product design. I worked with a lot of startups in Toronto, Ontario.
I worked with the Shoebox team on a photo backup application, which lead to some interesting ux challenges around photo rediscovery. The Shoebox team found a huge increase in retention as they provided a way to rediscover old memories from backed up photos daily. As the product grew, so did the team, and the product is still successfully running and is profitable.
In 2013 I got my first "real" job as a product designer at a music messaging application called Rithm. The Rithm team took a chance on me and for that I am forever grateful. They helped me become a designer; I learned about what makes a team tick and how to work on and scale mobile applications.
Moreover, I developed my product intuition, improved my ui skillsets, built HTML5 card applets for Kik, an AngularJS web app for Rithm and grew to love making product decisions based on data and user feedback.
Around late 2013 I met up with 2 likeminded individuals in Toronto to form a company called Basmati Labs., which was later merged with Bunz.com. We worked on a project called Rice, a local bartering platform.
This experience helped me grow as a designer, and ask a lot of questions about myself and the product at hand.
When we merged with the Bunz team, the team grew from 3 to 6 and from 6 to 15 in 2017. If I can say one thing about the years between 2013-2016, it would be that they made me who I am today.
Between 2010 - 2013, back when product design wasn't really a thing, I got involved with a lot of startups in Toronto through a tech conference.
I got added to the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference (CUTC) team by some sheer coincidence as the team lead thought I went to OCAD University in the design program, when really I went there to learn about film, video and sound art.
I quickly grew to love designing and prototyping during this time. I took great inspiration from up and coming startups, products and pitches I would hear about in the early days of mobile app development and design.
Most notably I worked on a social rewarding and reengagement platform called FanCrank. I worked with the CUTC team during these hazy years which lead me to introductions to the founders of FanCrank where I started learning about web development an designing web and mobile products.
Also learned how to use Twitter's bootstrap html and css toolkit to start designing mobile-first.
During 2009 - 2013 I went to OCAD University where I earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in Integrated Media. Hint: if you don't know what that is it's because no one else did either. I had a great time though; I learned about working with film, with mixed media, working on sound, working with arduinos, and collaborating with other artists.