Working Geek: Why Remitly Product Chief Karim Meghji has different workspaces for different tasks

Remitly Chief Product Officer Karim Meghji.

When Karim Meghji joined Remitly in late 2016, CEO Matt Oppenheimer said he was “ecstatic” that someone with such a “unique set of experiences scaling up and managing large businesses” was joining the team.

Meghji developed that skill set over 25 years of working in engineering, product development, and executive positions. Before Remilty, he led Buuteeq’s engineering department through the company’s acquisition by Priceline Group. Prior to that, he held leadership roles at Seattle-area tech companies big and small.

As Remitly’s Chief Product Officer, Meghji leads product, design, and engineering teams for the mobile money transferring company.

“I’m most fulfilled when I have the ability to coach, support and lead thinking end to end — from product ideation through development and realization with actual customers,” he said. “I’m both lucky and thankful that I have the privilege of doing this every day at a company that carries a strong social mission and changes peoples lives.”

We caught up with Meghji for this Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.

Current Location: “Seattle, Wash.”

Computer types: “MacBook Pro 13-inch”

Mobile devices: “iPhone 6, iPad 4”

Favorite apps, cloud services, and software tools: “Evernote, Any.Do, Slack, Google Drive, Google Docs, Box”

Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? “My workspace is wherever I’m at or specific environments that I’ve learned work best for different types of work…although I do have a desk in the office, I’ve shifted to a nomadic work style and approach choosing my location given the work. Cranking through emails = desk at work, quick email responses = anywhere I have cell coverage, heads down working on a short doc/presentation/analysis = the Remitly quiet room, heads down working on a long doc/presentation/analysis = at home.”

Karim Meghji’s workspace at Remitly.

Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? “Visualize what a successful outcome looks like and then ruthlessly prioritize to turn that vision into reality.”

Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? “Coffee or beer :-)  I’ve regressed to using email/SMS to stay in touch with those that are most important and face to face social interactions to care, water and feed both professional and personal networks. Let’s just say I value quality over quantity.”

Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? “The majority are unanswered — very few are unread. Most emails I receive are informational communication — if I have a follow-up, in many cases I’ll follow up face to face to ensure no lost in translation. For those specifically directed to me, almost 100 percent will be read and responded to.”

Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? 42

How do you run meetings? “I’m not a believer in one size fits all — I am, however, a believer in structure. So, it depends on the outcome I envision for the meeting.  Regular one-on-ones? I keep an agenda list for each one and go through them.  Problem-solving?  Diverge (discuss, brainstorm, debate) and then converge (synthesize, build consensus, pros/cons, decision). Informational? Prepare a document, share background and context, walk through highlights of the document then questions.”

Everyday work uniform? “Depends on the weather — the basics though are jeans, a collared shirt or sweater, and casual shoes.”

How do you make time for family? “I calendar everything including personal time…helps me stay disciplined — this includes leaving the office at a reasonable hour, being present with family in the evenings and then doing one more check in on work before unplugging at night. Also, I set aside and plan time on weekends and it’s on the calendar — as a reminder to me and my family of the commitment of time to my family.”

Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? “Almost anything active — which usually entails one of the following: tennis, hiking, golf or a run by the lake.”

What are you listening to? “‘Master’s of Scale’ with Reid Hoffman.”

Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? “Finextra, a mix of Flipboard Magazines, GeekWire and once in a while Aeon Magazine.”

Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? “Illuminate”

Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? “Both!”

Where do you get your best ideas? “During quiet moments walking, running or sitting where I’ve given myself a chance to clear my head and lucidly reflect on things.”

Whose work style would you want to learn more about or emulate? “I’d actually like to continue improving my current work requirement vs. style which is interrupt driven — as a person with a more focused brain and style, the ability to jump from thing to thing (leaving some things unfinished for a later time) is a skill I’m still building.”