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Meet Ojai, Uber product designer and expert problem solver

March 20, 2018 / US

We sat down with 4 Uber employees to learn more about their day-to-day and what inspires them outside the office. This week, we’re sharing Ojai’s story:

Hey, Ojai! Tell us about your job here at Uber.

I’m a product designer working on financial products for riders, like Uber gift cards and the Uber Visa Card. If you’ve ever sent or received an Uber gift card, that’s something I worked on.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is iterating. I love getting a problem and finding as many ways as I can to solve it, then standing back and trying to figure out which one works best. It can take a while, but I find it really rewarding to get to that level of detail.

How do you stay inspired?

I love listening to podcasts and watching documentaries, especially the kind of feel-good stories that reinforce your belief in humanity. Some of my favorite podcasts are the Tim Ferriss Show, Revisionist History, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab. I’ve also been reading more books lately.

How do you stick to your resolutions?

If you want to get better at anything, commit to a class. You’ll have a teacher waiting for you and a class full of students cheering you on. Last year I took a drawing class to challenge myself, and now drawing has become a part of my regular routine. The class helped me practice being intentional and meticulous, which also helped me at work. 

What are you working toward this year?  

I wanted to try something totally new, so I’m motivating myself to learn German by planning a trip to Germany. I study every day with Duolingo and a flashcard app called Tinycards. At work, I’m hoping to practice more motion design.

What advice would you give someone trying to stick to a resolution?

Things go wrong all the time, and you just have to embrace it. Once you get into the rhythm of doing things, you won’t notice those little mistakes as much. I probably made a mistake this morning, and I’ll make more before the end of the day—but I’ll learn something from it and it’ll make the next attempt that much better. The goal is to be as comfortable with the failure as possible. If I’m not failing at anything, I’m probably not pushing myself enough.

If you do make a mistake, remember that time brings perspective. Whatever’s bothering you today won’t matter as much tomorrow or a month or year from now—so don’t let it consume you. You’re going to be just fine.

The statements contained herein are those of the individuals and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views, opinions, or policies of Uber Technologies, Inc.