A great product is a reflection of a great team. At least, that’s the ethos that guides Dan Malinovsky, Product Manager at Klara. We sat down to chat with Dan about what he’s learned from the Product team at Klara — and how the company culture empowers teammates to speak up, stay focused, and own their autonomy.
Q: What is your name and your role at Klara? Where are you from originally?
A: My name is Dan Malinovsky and I’m a Product Manager at Klara. I work in our New York office. I was actually born in Jerusalem, Israel, but I’ve been living in New York since I was 13.
Q: How long have you been at Klara? What made you decide to join?
A: I’ve been working at Klara since August 2017. I was drawn to our product and saw a clear opportunity to make a difference in the market. Klara addresses a clear need — to me, that was one of the most important considerations when selecting a company to work for.
Q: How does the product team make decisions at Klara? How are you empowered to make your voice heard?
A: Everything at Klara starts with research. We have a very clear process that starts with identifying problems (or “jobs”) we want to work on. We gather feedback from our employees, customers, market research, etc. and feed that into a process for prioritization. We include various stakeholders across engineering, design, and executive teams, and of course, customers, in building the product. But it’s always a balancing act between collaboration and efficient decision-making. We constantly assess if the effort we put in is worth the impact it will make.
Q: What do you like most about the Klara product?
A: I like that Klara makes it easier for patients to access care. Additionally, our product can be truly customized to fit our customers’ workflows and reimagine them to help achieve the customers’ goals (see more patients, have a more productive day, etc.) which is tough to do in healthcare.
Q: How does Klara support your growth and keep you motivated?
A: I get to make quick decisions and learn from my mistakes. At Klara, the team is encouraged to experiment — we’re all constantly learning together, sharing our successes and failures, and that’s really important for me. I make a tangible impact on our product on a regular basis, and that’s exciting.
Q: How has Klara grown since you’ve been on the team? Where do you see Klara going in the future?
A: Klara has grown tremendously. People say that working at a startup is like driving a car while you’re building it. I think that’s a really terrible analogy, because it implies that you’re constantly breaking down or malfunctioning. I see our team as a group of explorers, bravely sailing for a new world. We have many of the tools we need to succeed, but we never know what’s coming up on the horizon. So we are constantly learning, trying new things, and iterating — with hits and misses along the way. In the future, using Klara to coordinate care will be as secondhand as having an EHR.
Q: What’s the most important part of the culture at Klara?
A: We have a strong set of core values, so I don’t think any one of them is more important than the others. But I’ve always felt most drawn to “Users First.” It’s the North Star guiding our product decisions and the metrics we measure.
Q: What is the work-life balance like at Klara?
A: One of the great things about working at Klara is that everyone is encouraged to find a pace that works for them to be as productive as possible. Achieving results is much more important than how long I sit in my office chair. Each of us has goals that we must hit based on Klara’s expected growth trajectory, and I have always managed to find time to do the things I love without sacrificing productivity. From my experience, I’ve found that how I feel about work-life balance directly relates to how energized and excited I feel about work in general. Optimizing my enjoyment at work has been much more important to me than optimizing my hours.
Q: What do you look for in a good teammate?
A: There are a few factors I pay attention to. First, is dependability. If I am aligned on a clear set of expectations with someone, I have to be able to trust them to deliver high-quality results on time. Second, is communication. Things move quickly at Klara, so the only way you can be successful is by talking and checking in — frequently. I really appreciate clear and concise communication and teammates who are not afraid of speaking up about issues or concerns, which is something I try to encourage. And the third factor I look for is a teammate’s critical thinking skills. I know that sounds trite, but it’s important. I expect teammates to challenge us (constructively) to help improve our product and our workflows. Teammates who deliberately work to maximize their impact vs. effort are always the best to work with.
Q: What are your hobbies (or passions) outside of work?
A: I love to play classical piano. I try to practice as many days each week as I can — I still take lessons. When it’s nice out, you can find me outside, maybe doing a hike. And every year I pick a destination abroad to visit for about two weeks. I appreciate having the opportunity to reset and experience new cultures and ideas.
Q: Describe the Klara team in three words.
A: Passionate. Supportive. Fun.
At Klara, we’re transforming healthcare, so all patients can receive great care. Our HIPAA-compliant messaging platform makes it fast and easy for patients and providers to communicate.