Mina Radhakrishnan was employee No. 20 at Uber, joining the company as it rapidly scaled from being a small operation to one of the world’s biggest and most significant technology companies.
Ms Radhakrishnan, who was Uber’s Head of Product, told The Australian, Uber was the first place she felt deeply passionate about a company’s mission, despite a long software and technology career.
“One of the things unique and special at Uber was how software can affect the real world,” she said. “It’s different to typing something in a browser. With Uber, you press a button and a car just shows up to where you are, and takes you to where you want to go. You don’t have to think about the payment, or how the car gets you there — it’s all handled for you.”
That idea — making everything feel seamless for the user despite the underlying complexities — has flowed into her new role as co-founder of property management start-up :Different.
Uber was criticised for moving too quickly, at the expense of culture and ultimately its values, but Ms Radhakrishnan said for good tech companies, there was always a sense of urgency.
“For the industry I’m working in today, the real estate industry, it’s people’s biggest asset,” she said. “I want to solve this problem people have with buying and owning property … For me there is an urgency in solving the problem, so stuff needs to be built and built quickly.”
She said the best metaphor for being at Uber in its early days was like building the car while you’re driving it. “You just need to keep accelerating,” she said.
Ms Radhakrishnan will speak at Above All Human, a tech summit in Melbourne on August 29, and said she would focus on “the hard thing about easy things”. “People don’t want to be thinking about apps and technology, they just want stuff to work,” she said.
Written by David Swan
Originally published in The Australian: https://bit.ly/2Mp6l8B