As a kid, I loved Legos. When somebody told me that programming is like Legos, I applied to a school without having knowledge of what programming is like. A year later, I found myself in Pittsburgh - learning about the world of computer science and human computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.
Upon graduating, I wanted to work on phones. And at the time, Nokia and Samsung were the top innovators in that space. Nokia was in Finland and that sounded a bit cold for me. So I joined Samsung to work on phones, tablets, wearables, and new product visions. I loved it at Samsung. But 5 years in, I didn’t want to fixate on a single way of looking at problems and designing just yet.
As I started to seek ways to broaden perspectives, Microsoft reached out - for a Program Manager position. This seemed like great learning opportunity to push design from a different side of the table, so I took on the new challenge. I had the fortunate opportunities to work on Windows 10, Office, and Incubation at Microsoft. First year as a PM, and then the following years back as a designer. This is also when my love for productivity and tools became clearer.
During my time at Microsoft, I began forming my own point-of-views on how to run a team to spark ideas and turn northstars into tangible products. When NAVER reached out with an opportunity to build my own team, I decided to take the risk to put these views into practice. Reporting to the CEO, I built a new studio around incubation and new product experimentation. I failed and learned a bunch (not just in terms of product ideas, but also managing people and building teams), shipped two new products focused on productivity, and ultimately scaled the team to support emerging products that grew to a few million active users.
One of the things that became crystal clear by this point was how much I love productivity and tools to shape ideas. While NAVER was great, productivity was not a core of its business (its focus was on search engine, ads, shopping, fintech, and user generated content). I found myself longing to re-immerse myself with others hyper-focused in this space. When I connected with Coda, I felt a similar level of passion from the team and decided to take a leap onto a new adventure.