Wearing Many Hats As a Designer for a Software Startup with Andrew Berkowitz — The Busy Creator Podcast 89

The Busy Creator 89 w/Andrew Berkowitz

Andrew Berkowitz (@TheWitzCarlton) is the Head of Product for Tradeversity, a buying-and-selling platform for university students. After gaining experience in a large corporate setting, Andrew has jumped in to startup life, enjoying the struggles along the way.

In this conversation, Andrew shares some of the workflows required in a young, small, and nimble company, as well as his experiences testing personal productivity methods and morning routines.

Catch up with Andrew on his own show, The Global Startup Movement

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Show Notes & Links

  • Andrew is “Head of Product” for Tradeversity
  • Early stage startups require the wearing of many hats

"Design is the question of taking what's in the mind and manifesting them into reality."

—Andrew Berkowitz

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  • Tradeversity is exclusive to higher education students
  • Andrew graduated from Virginia Tech
  • .edu, .ac.uk — educational TLDs
  • Sharepoint, and other internal marketplaces within corporations are rather outdated

"Product Design is more like being an inventor than a designer."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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"The most important aspect of building a product is gaining empathy for users."

—Andrew Berkowitz

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  • Ideo
  • Design Thinking can mean different things
  • 5 elements of D-Thinking: gain empathy → define problem → ideation → prototype → test & iterate
  • Andrew worked at a large bank before joining a startup
  • Scrum Master (in Agile Project Management)

"The speed at which a project is moving is directly proportional to the energy involved."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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"Innovation comes from failure; Having the freedom to fail allows us to innovate."

—Andrew Berkowitz

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"The culture and the habits are more important than the tools."

—Andrew Berkowitz

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"The tool you use should reflect the system you've set up, and the mindset behind that."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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  • The 1800 Exercise
  • Tradeversity was launched from a content award — $20k and a year’s worth of office space
  • Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill on Amazon and on Audible
    Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Conspiracy, from the Latin conspiratare, meaning “to breathe the same air”
  • Virtually Reality, and opportunities for collaboration
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline on Amazon and on Audible
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

"A Virtual Reality device is an empathy machine."

—Andrew Berkowitz

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Tools

Techniques

  • Understand the emotions of your users. This will bring insight.
  • Employ Design Thinking; bring in real people and get your hands dirty
  • Experiment with “packaged services”
  • From a corporate setting, the thing you can learn most is working with diverse teams
  • The 1800 Exercise: describe how projects get done in the year 1800 (using only parchment & quill)

Habits

  • Keep Trello tidy; not started → in-progress → done
  • Have regular Sprint-planning and Retrospective meetings
  • Wake up around 6:00am for yoga, weightlifting, or running
  • Feed your subsconscious mind until it takes over

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About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.