Around the same time she embarked on starting Super, our founder Vika also moved into a new condo, and has since joined the board. Moving into a new building always comes with its share of headaches, but in Vika’s case she channeled the experience into a source of inspiration and took the opportunity to use the experience as firsthand research.
It’s this user experience lens that Vika brings to solving real-world problems—for people, at scale—in all of her work. Throughout her career, she has designed and iterated on some of the world’s most-used products for companies including Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Bloomberg and JPMorgan Chase. Prior to founding Super, Vika spent 8 years at Facebook building influential products like Live Video, Pages, and Stories. There, she held leadership roles in both the IC and Manager tracks, helping teams and individuals thrive.
What made you decide to take the leap from Facebook to building a venture from scratch?
I’ve been fortunate to have had a varied career with many experiences and learnings; I’ve worked at agencies as well as in big tech, had the opportunity to work on a range of different products across industries, and the pleasure to both be an individual contributor as well as manage teams.
As I was wrapping up my tenure at Facebook and reflecting on what might be next for me, I wanted to be thoughtful about how I would put all of the collective learnings from my experiences into practice. I knew I wanted to have a bigger scope of impact. I considered a number of options, and starting a venture was the right choice for how I wanted to evolve personally and professionally at this stage. It’s the ultimate test for my skills and past experiences.
What excites you about the journey you’re embarking on at Super?
Being able to build and grow both the product and the company.
When it comes to product, I find great joy in building useful tools that solve a concrete problem for people. That’s what is so exciting about Super; we are building meaningful, high quality, and performant software that makes people’s everyday lives easier and more efficient. It’s exciting to see that vision come to life from the ground up.
For the company, one of the more fulfilling things in my career has been helping people grow and seeing them succeed. I’m excited that we’re able to think about the type of team we want to build and their individual and collective growth at Super from day one.
My co-founder Lindsay and I have a strong perspective on how to build upon our previous experiences to create a unique type of tech company together. We are committed to fostering the type of environment we both want to see more of in the tech industry—a company where we’re consistently delivering a successful product experience, creating opportunities for people to collectively succeed, and on top of it all, building a sustainable work environment.
What is your goal for our customers and their experience of using Super?
Real estate is one of the biggest investments and expenses people make. My goal is for Super to help make property ownership more of a financially sustainable and transparent endeavor, so that people can feel more secure and confident in their investments.
I also want to build software so good it becomes an invisible part of our customer’s lives; it just makes sense. I believe the best software is so useful and integrated into your life that you don’t even realize you’re using it—like texting or email. Super should improve (and eliminate) a lot of the manual processes that go into maintaining a property today, while also building more confidence in the experience.
What are some key learnings and lessons you’re bringing to how Super is being built?
Throughout my career, I have taken the perspective that I will do whatever job it takes to get it done. That can mean focusing on execution, supporting a team member, developing strategy, or whatever hat needs to be worn. We have to remain flexible in order to get through these foundational moments. This mindset builds resiliency for the ups and downs that will inevitably come, and allows me to be a stable and steady force for the team, while also being in the weeds with them when needed.
I also believe that it’s critical to set the right metrics and incentives for the company, the product and for the way people are compensated; at Super for example, we want to ensure we’re driving innovation but also rewarding the important efforts of maintaining a product so it’s sustainable for the long term. We want to remain focused on building a product rooted in solving our customers’ needs. This alignment has to come from the top in order for our team to be empowered in how they prioritize customers and what’s best for the product. That goal should never be in conflict with their personal opportunities at the company.
Lastly, I’ve learned that you don’t have to burn people out to do good work. But in order to create a flexible work environment, we have to establish norms and expectations, like our four-day work week. At Super we’re doing this early on so that we can provide a balanced work environment that focuses on productivity, not hours, and be in a position to build a team of people at different stages of their lives or career trajectory.
You are passionate about creating inclusive, supportive environments for talent. How are you shaping the company around these goals?
Being a woman in male-dominated industries, and Lindsay being a woman of color, we’ve each experienced certain challenges firsthand. We’ve also seen what our peers who are traditionally underrepresented in tech have had to navigate. These experiences have, frankly, been very difficult at times.
With Super, we see this as an important opportunity to create a company that we want to work for and are proud to work for; the type of company that welcomes a variety of perspectives, prioritizes equity, and acts on its values.
With that in mind, we bring an intentional approach to how we establish processes and norms. For instance, before we brought our first full-time hire on, we created a robust compensation philosophy and framework that emphasizes equity and transparency. And even though we are a small team, we are investing time and resources on mentorship, support, and coaching. We want to meet people where they are in their career and provide them with opportunities to grow with the company.
You are a new condo board member. What are you hoping you can solve for yourself with Super?
Governance, alignment, transparency.
I’ve been an owner in a small condo for over a year, and we just had our first board meeting since I’ve joined the condo. I have been craving a system where as an owner, and now board member, I can get visibility into what’s going on, the status of issues, how we’re managing the building finances. Important things that can help us plan for the future of our building which are not accessible today.
You’ve been selected to give a TEDTalk—right now. What’s a topic you could give a 10-minute presentation on without any preparation?
Nurturing a growth mindset. The reality is that no one has all of the answers and you have to balance being honest and open to learning with being confident in forging a path forward. When there’s proficiency to draw from, you can both foster a growth mindset as well as leverage your strengths.
What’s something you’re proud of, but few people know about you?
I’m proud of the journey I’ve taken as an immigrant. It’s so special to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream and to arrive at this point where I can say “yes” to starting a company and get a chance to bet on myself. I have been privileged and had a lot of help along the way—I hope I share the opportunities with others through how we run our venture with Super.
On a different note, I’ve been boxing for 10 years and proud of how much personal and professional growth the sport has given me. It has helped me be at peace with not landing everything (I’m a perfectionist) and not giving up in the wake of misses; it taught me how to stay focused through the ups and the downs and build resilience to keep working at things. I think a lot of the lessons boxing taught me apply to my everyday life outside the ring.
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Super's co-founder & CEO is interviewed by CNBC about the skills and traits needed to succeed in a 4-day work week.