advertisement
advertisement

How Instant Pot designer Yi Qin makes top-selling products

He uses family meals for product tests and recharges by playing hockey and badminton.

How Instant Pot designer Yi Qin makes top-selling products
[Illustration: Denny Rahayu]

Editor’s Note: This story is part of our feature, “Secrets of 13 of the most productive people.” See the complete 2018 list here.

advertisement
advertisement

Our objective is that you’ll press the button on an Instant Pot, and dinner is cooked. But for us, it’s a lot of work. How do we make sure that the press of the button creates the results that the consumer wants?

In the morning, I reserve time for collaborative meetings, whether it’s with the executives or the product management team. The morning hours are not always enough. Sometimes I have to skip lunch. My afternoon is more focused on individual projects. I have about a dozen in development, even though you just see a small portion that we launch in the market. Then I work with the product and test it. Most of the tests don’t require food, because you just need to measure temperatures and temperature curves.

Then I go home to spend time with the family, doing a little bit of cooking myself. Every family dinner is like I’m testing out my own products. Later, since we also have a team in China, we have night calls from 10 p.m. to after midnight quite a few times during the week.

My educational background is in computer science. One thing we learned is when you multitask, you spend a lot of time doing the overhead of “context switching”–you need to get yourself into the groove of thinking a certain way. That’s mental overhead. I realized that I could lump similar things, similar thinkings, into a similar period of time, in the morning and afternoon. And through the years, it became a habit.

Time he gets up

7 a.m.

Lunch routine

“Sometimes I have lunch, sometimes I don’t. I always have snacks in my drawer, so I’m prepared.”

advertisement

Last thing he does at night

“I find an opportunity for some exercise. I play hockey and badminton two to three times a week. Before bed, I do whatever to calm myself down. Nothing too exciting. I’ve had an exciting day already.”

Time he goes to bed

“A lot of times it’s after midnight.”

advertisement
advertisement