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Canva’s Zach Kitschke on harnessing AI to advance products

Not many people can say they really started on the ground floor of a global company. Canva’s Zach Kitschke was employee number five at the design giant — where he jumped from the communications team to the product team to HR before becoming the brand’s global CMO in 2021.

Kitschke described the company’s grassroots days on The Current Podcast, and how he and the Canva team would scheme to find 5 to 10 people to use the product. Now over 130 million people worldwide use the platform every month, and its next big innovation is harnessing AI.

“Looking at that design journey, how can we help someone go from the idea or concept of what they’re trying to achieve to the end goal as quickly as possible?” Kitschke shared. “In a similar way to [the] technology, smartphones, tablets, high-speed internet that was emerging in 2013 that really allowed for Canva to be born...I’ve seen this sort of similar inflection point now with the technology that’s emerging, creating total new ways to reimagine the design process, which has been incredibly exciting to see the response and the things that people are creating.”

Elsewhere on the podcast, Kitschke shares more about going from its roots in a Perth classroom to a global giant, and why design literacy is increasingly important in today’s world.