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Bobby Giangeruso's Desk

Bobby Giangeruso is an eighteen-year-old product designer from New Jersey. Despite his young age, Bobby already worked for companies like Layerful and DigitalOcean. His current gig brought him to New York where he works at Microsoft Outlook. He is also the co-founder of Kazmik. A two man team which designs and builds apps.

Bobby was referred to me by previous Desk Hunt interviewee Mike Moloney. Because I’m a sucker for simplicity and minimalism I instantly fell in love with Bobby’s home office desk.

Let’s take a look.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

I work on a mid-century desk from Westelm — which stores things really well. We all have our own way of working, but for me, I constantly try to keep my desk — like anything else I organize — simple. With that, I think about what equipment is essential to work with and what is causing clutter.

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

I’d like to get rid of my Eames plastic chair and look into a proper office chair by Herman Miller. It’s doing a number on my back which is unusual to hear from an eighteen-year-old.

How did you decide what you wanted to do at such an early age? What was your motivation to become a product designer?

It all started when I was a freshman in high school. I was given the opportunity to miss school for two weeks and work at a startup in California. Fortunately, my parents were super supportive and my school even allowed me to miss homework. But essentially, being so young and working for a startup made me motivated to do whatever it took to pursue my career as a product designer.

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

I switch workspaces quite often, actually. Typically, I’m at my desk in the Microsoft Outlook office in SoHo, Manhattan. My desk at home, however, was where I spent most of my days during high school taking on freelance work. So I thought it’d be neat to keep that setup and work remotely occasionally.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

Besides the equipment on my desk I use to work, I usually keep something to read on my left. This can be Offscreen, Kinfolk, or even a book. I think it’s important to take short breaks to disconnect and read.

Any recommended resources for aspiring product designers?

I just recently finished reading Product Design for the Web by Randy J. Hunt, which was fantastic. I’d also recommend listening to Design Details, StartUp Podcast, and TED Radio Hour. I also find myself studying the people that inspire me most. These people don’t have to be designers, it can be anybody. I think it’s important to dig a little deeper into why you find somebody interesting and learn from that.

What are you doing to stay focused?

I spend a lot of time thinking about what tools to use. At work, we use Github for project management and I love it. In the morning, I check my tasks for the day. The idea is to use zero tools, which has helped me stay focused tremendously. There is a lot more to this method of working, which I might expand on in a Medium article.

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

Not really, maybe a bottle of water to keep me hydrated. Anything else added to my desk would distract me.

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

Taking weekend trips to places I never thought I’d be able to see. I’ve been having a lot of fun meeting new people and documenting my travels on Instagram.

What’s next for Kazmik?

Kazmik’s vision has always been to build apps that make everyday life easier and that belief still remains. We began to create apps contributing to our way of thinking, but I wasn’t confident that our products would make a difference. About a year later, I was able to gather a better understanding of what Kazmik could improve, and that’s exactly what we’re starting to do. We have a few ideas lined up which I’m excited to talk more about soon.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

It’s hard to say because what I predict now will be different than what I want in 5 years. So I guess we’ll have to chat again and see where my desk takes me by then.

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by Daniel Puglisi