Backgroundlogo Guido Knook - On becoming a balanced product leader
Guido Knook Portrait- Product leader, Designer, Learner

On becoming a balanced product leader

I love 😍 product; from designing to developing, from creating to planning, from experimenting to measuring.

I like to work with good teams; teams that are empowered, intelligent and driven.

I prefer working on products that have a positive impact on our world and/or society.

Oh, and I stand by my values.

Nice to meet you!

venn diagram of desirability, feasibility & viability

Finding balance

Balancing product, Desirability, Feasibility and Viability

I believe that creating a great product is an exercise in balancing desirability, viability, and feasibility. In my journey I've had the fortune to be able to look at product from different sides. As a designer I've looked at product through the lens of desirability, as a (wannabe) developer I've looked more through the lens of feasibility and as a ceo I've innately considered viability. It's by having taking on all there roles that I feel I can take on each individual role better. But still I have a lot to learn.


Desirability refers to creating a product that people love to use, are attached to.


Feasibility refers to the technical background of the product, whether it can be made.


Viability is about the business of the product, an invention is not a product if it cannot be brought to the market.


I started at Mimi as a user experience designer, and later took on more responsibilities around the product as we grew. At Mimi I’ve worked both on B2C products, as well as B2B solutions.

  • B2C example: The Mimi Hearing Test, which has been featured by Apple many times, and is rated the #1 hearing test across the App Store.
  • B2B example: Mimi’s Headphone SDK, which was responsible for beyerdynamic’s most successful product launch in their almost 100 year company history (the Aventho).

At the end of my stint at Mimi I lead a team of 3 product managers, 1 user researcher and 1 design lead (and her team), while working closely with my research and engineering peers.


My background is in strategic product design, which is the type of design that doesn’t just make things pretty, but focuses on balancing the triad above. Balancing technical feasibility, potential business value and customer needs to come to a successful solution for a real problem.

While working on Atium I rediscovered my love for design, and have been able to practice my craft not only there but also in the projects I did for Koos Service Design in the second half of 2021.

Technical understanding

Although I don't have a degree in Computer Science my experience has made me technically adept. Mimi forced me to gain a technical understanding fast, both on a software level and an audio level. Mimi's technology stack reaches from low-level Kalimba DSP code to native Swift and Kotlin code. Their core product is a software bundle consisting of DSP libraries and a user-facing SDK. That's all to say that many of the challenges I've faced there have been technical in nature.

Since I've learned how to code and have functioned not only as Atium's designer and CEO, but also as the front-end developer. I implemented my own designs for the various games and platform that we built. And let me tell you, implementing your own designs is a unique challenge.

I've been loving the experience of gaining technical understanding, and can only conclude that for me balancing a design approach with analytical thinking brings the best solutions.