After a stretch leading product design teams at Uber, Misha co-founded Morning Recovery with Sisun Lee. Now, he’s the creative force behind all things design at More Labs.
SO HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. I moved to Canada after high school and began studies at an art college. After graduation, I got a job as a designer working on tools for banks, but also working on experimental digital products for our studio. During the early days as a designer, I always asked the hard questions like why? Being obsessed with building the right products for clients naturally led me to my next role in San Francisco. At Uber, I shipped a number of large-scale global products that have had an enormous impact on the business and ultimately, customers. That’s where I met and developed a bond with Sisun. Fast forward four years and here we are building products that we love together at More Labs.
LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
There are a lot of minute details that no one thinks about when starting a company. It could be something as simple as remembering to get a birthday card for your employees or as important as setting up supply chain. You are required to wear many different hats and seek the right talent to help when needed. In order to succeed with your team, it’s crucial to have full transparency. If something isn’t working — say it.
"Seeing someone benefit from what you’ve created is success for me."
ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
Making a baby. Building and shipping our products to customers. I’m also proud of the redesign to More Labs that is helping us expand into new horizons. All of it.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
It’s important to create products that provide value to people. Seeing someone benefit from what you’ve created is success for me.
WHAT ROLE DOES FAILURE PLAY IN BEING SUCCESSFUL?
Failure has played a very important role in my career. It’s helped me see what I should do differently and how to avoid what went wrong next time. As a designer, it’s very hard to create something that works immediately, it often requires many iterations. Sometimes you just have to ship just to learn how to improve it. Failure is an important part of learning.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Being a designer is similar to being an artist. I’m inspired by my day-to-day surroundings. I pay close attention to how things are put together, whether it’s a building, the relationship between materials, or the way people make choices to provide services for other people. I often deconstruct material and function-driven systems so I can understand them better. Really what it comes down to is stripping down to the bare essentials, solving problems, and not wasting time. How can we achieve a goal and provide a service or product that solves a problem?
GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Bose noise canceling headphones is my number one productivity hack. But seriously, allowing myself some quality head-down time without disturbance really goes a long way.
PIECE OF ADVICE?
Focus on what’s important and what’s in front of you, but also try to solve for tomorrow. Make sure that your solution is somewhat scalable for the next day as opposed to it being a dead end.
FAVORITE WAY TO LET LOOSE?
A walk in the park with my family is my definition of letting loose. Or taking my wife out for dinner when it’s just the two of us — which is very rare these days. I can probably count on both hands how many times we've done that in the last two years. [Laughs]
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
There are a lot of exciting things coming up for More Labs. Mainly, it’s building our next product and seeing how the world perceives it. The building aspect is what excites me the most. I am a builder at heart and I enjoy when things come together. I’d also love to be able to start giving back to the community more and engaging in more speaking activities and conferences.