This month we chatted with Mimi’s newest Product Manager, Matt to learn more about him and find out what it was that brought him all the way from South Africa to the start-up capital of the world; Berlin.
1. Can you tell us about yourself? Where you are from, what is your score on the hearing test, and what you could not live without?
My name is Matt Aberdein. I’m from the East Coast of South Africa; from a small town called Hillcrest. I regularly forget my age but when I last counted I was 32.
My mother tongue is English and I speak a little bit of German, some Afrikaans, and lastly, a little bit of Zulu. In my spare time, I have dabbled with playing a number of ‘real’ musical instruments but my main instrument is Ableton Live.
My score on the hearing test is L 87% – R 78%.
What I could you not live without… I thought about this quite a bit. I’m adaptable so I feel I could live without most things. But I think when it comes down to it I couldn’t live without people, their engagement and affirmation, as well as nature and finding an occasional space for calm
2. What do you do at Mimi Hearing Technologies?
My title is Product Manager (PM). What does that mean to me?
I aim to effectively deliver as much value as possible to the business by helping to build scalable solutions to big problems identified in the market. I also aim to streamline processes and get the most out of people by understanding them, caring for them, and encouraging autonomy and growing psychological safety within teams.
My role is all about the product, people, and processes. What I aim to bring to the role are simplicity, structure, and clarity. And on top of that, a sense of calm and focus as it can be easy for people to get caught up in the small details and lose track of what is important.
3. What attracted you to Mimi?
I have had ear issues most of my life which stem mostly from swimming. And I love music, so I am always looking for anything sound-related whether it’s production, jamming or hearing enhancement; so Mimi felt like a natural fit!
I also suffer from mild tinnitus and as I make music, I am aware of the frequencies I cannot hear, particularly bass frequencies in my right ear. This can be quite frustrating for me, so I can empathize with those who suffer from hearing loss. Hopefully, this helps keep me empathetic towards our Mimi users.
4. What do you like the most about working at Mimi?
I’ll cheat and say a few. The people are amazing. They are friendly, transparent, open, questioning and inclusive. The product can genuinely improve people’s lives and the company is scaling up so there is room for growth and opportunities to define and refine processes.
5. What influenced you to pursue a career in technology and how did you end up at this point in your career?
My Dad knew that I liked computers so he suggested that I study a degree that was half business and half computer science. I then chose an Assistant Product Manager role instead of pursuing music and became involved in startups.
After receiving my first job offer in Berlin I have worked at two other companies before discovering Mimi, and now… here I am!
What is really great about the Product Manager role is that I can move between different industries, new technologies and learn new things all of the time. I have worked in bigger corporations before and after being persuaded to try a startup, I haven’t looked back. Things move faster in a startup environment and you get to work on all aspects of the business, including shaping how it is governed.
6. How has it been for you as a new start at Mimi and what have you learned about yourself?
It has been great. Everyone has been helpful and accommodating and all whilst being fully remote! The atmosphere is friendly, welcoming, and people are open to me asking lots of questions. Everyone is also continuously questioning and challenging themselves in an attempt to optimize what we do as a company.
Not only this but the people are really motivated. It can be terrible working in an environment when the people aren’t driving things forward but the culture at Mimi allows things to happen. The team is full of curious people, open to feedback, and implementing new ideas.
My time at Mimi has reinforced that I love learning about new things and getting involved in strategies and processes. I have also learned that I love remote work as it allows me to focus, and think of strategies to improve processes on a deeper level (without office distractions). I hope my ability to improve and change systems is something that I am able to apply to Mimi.
7. What is the Soundtrack to your life?
It may sound egotistical but it’s my own music. It is always new and inspired by artists that I like and I have sculpted it to match my palette 🙂
Interested in joining the team?
We are currently hiring for a Senior Product Manager to join the product team.