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Mastering The Angle Look & Feel: Meet Matthias

November 10, 2021

Matthias Karg is one of the three co-founders and the CPO at Angle. As the design expert in the team, he is in charge of deciding and designing what you see when you open your Angle app — for example our recent slight brand refresh. To introduce you to the man in charge of the look and feel of Angle, our head of marketing asked him a few professional and personal questions. Enjoy the read.

In Palo Alto, USA and Munich, Germany, you worked for IDEO, one of the world’s most prestigious design companies. Why on earth would you leave that job, to then work with startups and even found your own startup?
Already at IDEO I realized I wanted to work in tech. At first it felt like a big step, but I love the focus on product and having to deal with a lot of constraints. In any case, people I met along the way, especially at IDEO, helped me get there.

One of your co-founders and namesake Matthias S. is not only an entrepreneur, but also a physicist. How is it to found a company with a scientist?
I enjoy that Matu questions everything, which often leads to interesting discussions 😆

That sounds like a very diplomatic answer. 😄 What has been the biggest surprise so far in your one-year Angle journey?

I’m again and again amazed by how difficult it is to predict the future, and how easy it is to post rationalize in hindsight.

At every given moment it feels like we’re encountering something we cannot solve. Then, a couple of weeks later we made it past, and it felt somehow always obvious.

What’s a useless feature you would really love to have on Angle, just for fun?
As a designer I have to say dark mode, of course 🤦‍♂️. But really, it would have to be something related to the arts. I would love to have some states designed by artists.

What’s the best advice you ever got and who gave you that advice?
After graduating high school I didn’t know what to do with my life. I thought I’d have to know exactly what I want to do for a living, and then perfectly plan my education and path leading there. Back then a psychologist told me that another way of looking at life is thinking about a pond with stepping stones in it. You start somewhere, and if you’re curious you’ll spot the next one you can jump on, and on and on. This combination of being open for new things and taking opportunities has been a red thread for me — at least that’s what I tell myself. 😉

What’s your favourite digital product to use and why?
I’m not good at answering this question. It’s actually a typical interviewing question for hiring designers 😆.

That’s not why I asked — I swear! Never hired a designer before. 😄 Sooo…?
So, the digital products I like the most, are the ones that feel like a utility, or almost like personal infrastructure. One that stands out is Notion. It combines so much functionality but at the same time feels incredibly light-weight.

How are you fighting or preventing the lockdown blues?
I’m lucky enough to have a partner that pulls me out into nature all the time. We’ve been spending quite some time in the mountains the last months. In Switzerland that’s a very convenient escape from the city-life.

iOS or Android?
iOS

What inspires you?
People of great integrity that maintain a level of happiness throughout their lives. From what I can see it’s a combination of personal expression and building close social connections with other people. Definitely something I’m striving for. 🤞

Form follows function or form before function?
Feels like back in design school 🙈. Both have their place.

Dark mode or light mode?
Can’t decide won’t decide. But if you look at my paintings, in some of them I only use the color white. I began to appreciate the subtle differences between shades of white when I read “Designing Design” by Kenya Hara.

Rumour has it, you like to cook. What’s the most experimental recipe you ever tried?
Risotto Cacio e Pepe by Massimo Bottura. It’s so simple, yet so deep and unique in flavor. Not too experimental though.

What’s the most interesting food trend at the moment?
In my opinion the rediscovery of local produce. I’m very intrigued by seed-saving and understanding the difference in taste and outcome of food that becomes indigenous to an area over time. For example looking at potatoes grown in high altitudes.

Does food taste better if it looks nice?
It depends on your personal aesthetics. I like if a dish gets the attention it deserves. This doesn’t mean it has to be plated in a very fancy way. But plating is one part of the process that can help people understand a dish, or be surprised by it. Depending on the plating you’ll also frame how to eat it. Think about a family style pot in the middle of the table versus many individual plates.

Back to Angle: Who would you love to have a conversation with on Angle?

I would love to talk to our 1MM User and see how far we made it as a product at that point.

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