This text is a personal collection of lessons learned while working at the Munich-based startup tado°. Disclaimer: This was my first experience working for a high-paced consumer product startup — these lessons might not be big news for everyone. 😉
Tado° creates smart heating and cooling solutions to help the savvy consumer save money while keeping the comfort of returning to a warm home. Although tado° is quite large now — around 80 people work here — the design team is pretty small. There are just a handful of people responsible for the industrial design, product design and marketing. I was with tado° as an interaction/product design intern for 6 months.
Digital products can change fast ?
I had never worked on a living product before. Coming from an internship at a different digital agency working with close to no communication with the developers, I was baffled by the speed things in the product could change.
On a Friday afternoon I created a small prototype for a known request. I helped to refine and implement it the following week. A release was cut, and in just over a week I downloaded the update in the App Store that included “my first feature”! The realization that nearly all tado° users would now be downloading the same update was both exciting and scary. All this with no loop of creating and endlessly detailing a spec guide in InDesign! Phew.