October 17, 2023

No-BS assessment Parameters when evaluating a Sr. product designer for your early-stage startup (<30 employees)

I could say the obvious - technical skills, behaviour, ethics, etc etc 

But here’s what really are the 5 most non-negotiables: 

  1. Should’ve worked in a startup environment for at least 1.5 years - hiring designers from XYZ $1B unicorn? Congratulations, you’re brilliantly set up for failure.
  1. Should absolutely understand what an early stage company goes through, and the challenges associated with it. People say “system thinking” is important, but in early-stage startups, “GRIT” takes precedence. 
  1. 0 to 1 is not easy. Founders and the team go through a lot of turbulence. The product designer should be a “team player”. He/She should ensure smooth product building with the devs and PM, and vice versa.

  2. Most product designers care about creating an impact with their designs. Whatever said and done, creating impact on an app with close to 0 users is way different than creating impact on an app with 1 million downloads, AND a crazy DAU number. The product designer you hire should care about business more than his/ her resume. 
  1. Last and not the least, do not opt in for frequent flyers - if they see a challenge, they’d fly. 

If you need help with hiring the right product designer for your early-stage business, let me know. I get what you’re going through.