Managing up

This one time, when I was working at an ad agency, I was asked to do some thought work for the Karen Polito campaign. I didn’t want to but it was my job. I presented a slogan to the Polito team that read “Holy Toledo! It’s Karen Polito!”. I was asked to leave the room and then I designed the restaurant menus for The Irish Pub. Young and dumb and a whole lot of fun.

They found a city… UNDERWATER!

Findings to date include:
– The remains of more than 64 ships buried in the thick clay and sand that covers the sea bed
– Gold coins and weights made from bronze and stone
– Giant 16-ft statues along with hundreds of smaller statues of minor gods
– Slabs of stone inscribed in both ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian
– Dozens of small limestone sarcophagi believed to have once contained mummified animals
– Over 700 ancient anchors for ships

Read here

You Can’t Make Culture But You Can Enable It To Happen

The first thing to ask is: What do you stand for? What are your beliefs? Because you’ve got to stand for something, if employees know what you stand for, they build understanding. If they understand they can make a connection. And if they can make an emotional connection, they build a culture.

Our CEO is pretty famous for talking about sandwich spread but what he’s speaking about in his latest post is culture and this quote “great people build great products and great people gravitate towards great company cultures” is why I feel like my part of that mission is an awesome challenge. You can’t just make culture, you can enable it to happen, shape it, nurture it and protect it. Ultimately it’s the people that make up the culture because that’s what we’re really talking about, people.

We’re in process of trying to create a culture of design-lead thinking at our company. I’m mostly in the research phase of this and haven’t put anything tangible into practice and one of the things I’ve been doing in an effort to try and bring some of these thoughts together is making lists. Lots and lots of lists mostly in Evernote and a sketchbook. We do some of these things already and we’re making a lot of changes at our company to enable people to do more of them. I’d be interested if you had anything to add to this list in particular. If so leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter, I’m @davidrdesign there.

• We design and make software for people
• We take care and nurture our brand every step of the way because without it we are nothing
• We are a product design team
• We are a marketing design team
• Our partners are product, engineering, marketing and the brand
• Everyday we bring our A game
• If we don’t think the quality of our work is good enough we say something, publicly
• If we think the quality of our work is great, we say something, publicly
• We talk to the people we work with and we talk to people we don’t work with
• We are smart and we can be smarter
• We will design together and to develop our own interfaces together
• We will make software so good that people will write about us and about how we did it
• We will be confidently humble and share our process with anyone who wants to learn how
• We are going to make stuff that pushes the boundaries of our own thinking
• We will hack our own ideas into our culture
• We will make stuff that may not make sense for our company and we may not tell anyone about it until we are done
• We will make mistakes and empower others to do the same
• We will get shit done

Also, we released a big update to our iPhone app (iTunes link) so we’re pretty happy about that. We’re a bit behind on the iPad app and the Android app (Play link) updates but they’re coming along. We did release new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps. It’s going to be a big year over here and we’re looking for folks to help make our dreams come true, if you think you want to help let me know and I’ll hit you up.

Typed super quick at the airport, excuse the typos pls.


Lost and Gained

This past year has been a doozy. Flew over 75,000 miles, almost moved to NYC, lost my best friend in a tragic car accident, changed jobs, went to Disneyland for the first time ever and all sorts of other crazy things. This year I plan to do a lot of things differently and some things the same. I’m looking forward to it all and I hope you are too.

My Uber Drivers

I was taking a run through the fabulous Alto Mail app that creates smart stacks of content when I noticed some portraits that looked odd. They are drivers from my Uber rides! After the ride is complete you get a ride receipt via email that comes with a map of your route and the driver. Anyway, here are some of my rides.

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