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Vision, conviction, and hype: How to build 0 to 1 inside a company | Mihika Kapoor (Product at Figma)

Vision, conviction, and hype: How to build 0 to 1 inside a company | Mihika Kapoor (Product at Figma)


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Mihika Kapoor is a design-engineer-PM hybrid at Figma, where she was an early PM on FigJam and is now spearheading development on a new product at the company that’s coming out this June. She’s known as the go-to person at Figma for leading new 0-to-1 products, and, as you’ll hear in our conversation, beloved by everyone she works with. Her background includes founding Design Nation, a national nonprofit focused on democratizing design education for undergraduates; spearheading product launches at Meta; and community building within the NYC AI startup scene. In our conversation, we discuss:

  • How to effectively take ideas from 0 to 1 at larger companies

  • How to craft a compelling vision

  • The importance of vulnerability and feedback

  • The role of intuition and product sense in making decisions

  • How to practically communicate your vision

  • How to balance collaboration and strong opinions

  • Advice for building a strong team culture

  • Pivoting with grace and enthusiasm

  • The current AI revolution and its impact on PM

Some takeaways:

  1. Putting ideas out there, even if they are wrong, can lead to better solutions and more productive discussions. It’s not just about having a great idea or building a prototype; it’s about actively engaging and rallying others around that idea to create momentum and excitement. Whether it’s pitching ideas at events like hackathons or simply asking colleagues for assistance, the key is to not let perceived limitations hold you back from pursuing your vision.

  2. Mihika likens the role of a 0-to-1 team within a large company to that of Hestia in Greek mythology, who is the “keeper of the hearth.” It is Hestia’s job to always keep the hearth burning, even while other gods go out on separate quests. This means always keeping the 0-to-1 project alive and helping it spread to others, mostly through setting vision and building hype.

  3. To set the vision for a new idea, ask: “If I and my team do our job correctly, what does the world look like?” Then convey the pain point, solution, and proof in a format that can “show, not tell” stakeholders what you’re doing. For example, use prototypes, Figma mock-ups, and customer testimonials.

  4. Internal hackathons are a great way to encourage innovation. Figma has a Maker Week where the entire company—including technical and non-technical employees—goes on pause for a week to work on ambitious ideas. Maker Week and other internal hackathons have led to many successful Figma products, including Jambot and Figma’s entire widget platform.

  5. Figma implements a fun “hot seat” tradition, where each person takes turns being in the hot seat for a set amount of time. During their turn, the person can be asked anything by the other members of the group. By understanding what motivates each team member and building strong relationships, collaboration becomes more effective, leading to a more enjoyable work environment and ultimately better outcomes for the product or project. The key is to create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere where everyone feels open to sharing.

  6. Make time for fun! “Play” is one of Figma’s core values, and Mihika makes a concerted effort to have enjoyable team gatherings. When people have fun together, they get to know each other more deeply and can feel more appreciated within the group. One tradition Mihika’s team uses is “The Figgies.” The team gathers to give out absurd awards for things like “most likely to go their entire career without writing a PRD.”

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Mihika Kapoor:

• X: https://twitter.com/mihikapoor

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mihikakapoor/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Mihika’s background

(04:29) Core attributes of great product managers

(07:34) Crafting a compelling vision

(12:12) The vision behind FigJam 

(18:25) Delivering a vision without design or engineering skills

(21:52) Creating momentum

(26:36) The importance of strong conviction

(27:45) Direct communication

(32:48) Building hype

(42:20) Immersing yourself in user insights

(47:16) Operationalizing user insights  

(50:33) Caring deeply about what you build

(54:01) Finding passion in your work

(57:00) Building a strong culture

(01:07:07) Pivoting with grace and enthusiasm

(01:11:48) Design Nation

(01:13:15) Mihika’s weaknesses

(01:16:07) Building new products at larger companies

(01:20:50) Coming up with a great idea

(01:22:49) The key to going from 0 to 1

(01:26:47) Spreading the idea across the company

(01:29:15) Closing thoughts

(01:32:11) Lightning round


• Figma: https://www.figma.com/

• Sho Kuwamoto on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shokuwamoto/

The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation: https://www.amazon.com/Medici-Effect-Preface-Discussion-Guide/dp/1633692949

• FigJam: https://www.figma.com/figjam/

• Cognition: https://www.cognition-labs.com/

• Devin: https://www.cognition-labs.com/introducing-devin

• David Hoang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhoang2/

• Replit: https://replit.com/

• The Making of Maker Week at Figma: https://www.figma.com/blog/the-making-of-maker-week/

• Yuhki Yamashita on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuhki/

• Jeff Bezos’ Simple Decision-Making Framework Will Give You Clarity, Conviction, and Courage: https://medium.com/illumination/jeff-bezos-simple-decision-making-framework-will-give-you-clarity-conviction-and-courage-adf8d0183625

• Alice Ching on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliceching/

• Karl Jiang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karl-jiang-4a07424/

• Kris Rasmussen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristopherrasmussen/

• Config: https://config.figma.com/

• Dev Mode: https://www.figma.com/dev-mode/

• Asana: https://asana.com/

• Julie Zhuo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-zhuo/

• StrengthsFinder test: https://www.gyfted.me/personality-quiz/strengthsfinder-test-free

• Dylan Field on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dylanfield/

• Vishal Shah on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vishalnshah/

Design Disruptors: https://www.invisionapp.com/films/design-disruptors

• Daniel Burka on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dburka/

• Jamie Myrold on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemyrold/

• Design Nation: https://dn.businesstoday.org/

• Stuart Weitzman on X: https://twitter.com/StuartWeitzman

• Joe Gebbia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jgebbia/

• Building a long and meaningful career | Nikhyl Singhal (Meta, Google): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/building-a-long-and-meaningful-career-nikhyl-singhal-meta-google/

• Jambot: https://www.figma.com/community/widget/1274481464484630971/jambot

• Hestia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hestia

Harry Potter series: https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Paperback-Box-Books/dp/0545162076

Pachinko: https://www.amazon.com/Pachinko-National-Book-Award-Finalist/dp/1455563927/

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration: https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Expanded-Overcoming-Inspiration/dp/0593594649

The Overstory: https://www.amazon.com/Overstory-Novel-Richard-Powers/dp/039335668X

Severance on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/severance/umc.cmc.1srk2goyh2q2zdxcx605w8vtx

Dune on Max: https://www.max.com/movies/dune/e7dc7b3a-a494-4ef1-8107-f4308aa6bbf7

Dune: Part 2: https://www.dunemovie.com/

• Arc browser: https://arc.net/

• Pika: https://pika.art/home

• The power of recognition: Why you should celebrate your employees | Josh Miller: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/the-power-of-recognition-why-you-should-celebrate-your-employees-josh-miller/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

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Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.