Behind every technology problem
And behind every business problem
I've had a diverse range of experiences at the intersection of product and experience design, user research, strategy and technology. (In fact Whitney Johnson interviewed me about my career path for her book Disrupt Yourself.) I am Group Product Manager at Financial Engines, a financial services/tech company, where I help lead design and development of new products and services. Our mission is to help millions of people with saving for retirement. Prior to that I spent almost a decade as a leader at frog design in a variety of creative and strategy roles. Companies I've worked with include:
South Korea Telecom
Certified Scrum Product Owner (Agile Learning Labs)
IDSA Design Award
Good Design Award
ID Magazine Award
Patents for Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Oral-B
Writing is a critical tool for me to improve my craft, and I enjoy sharing ideas with others. My book Innovation X: Why a Company's Toughest Problems are its Greatest Advantage, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2010. For over 8 years I blogged on this site, and I now written regularly for Harvard Business Review. Selected recent articles:
I've spoken extensively at conferences (including TEDx Taiwan, Next Web, Autodesk University) and executive roundtables on innovation, customer insights, and design thinking. I've led over 50 workshops around the world for clients of all types and sizes, many of them for top-tier clients while at frog design. I've been a guest lecturer at several institutions: Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, IESE Business School in Barcelona, and the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle, Paris.
I'm available for a small number of talks and workshops each year.
Speaking & Workshops
I was born in London, England, and have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years.
I've been designing in one shape or form since I was six years old, when - inspired by my next-door neighbor's new Renault - I penned my first car design. I then started doing surveys (complete with clipboard) to find out about family and friends' car needs, and designed cars for them based on their input.
Ever since, I've sought to use design to improve people's lives, and understand how what I'm designing fits into the bigger context.
On the Star Wars Meyers Briggs, I'm Obi Wan Kenobi, and Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek universe version.
I've photographed for my entire life, with an emphasis on landscape and urban imagery, as well as product photography. I combined my passions for photography and classic product design in my side-project, Mass Made Soul, which features my modest collection of vintage Olivetti and other products.
I received my BFA in Industrial Design with High Distinction from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I was named in the top 100 most significant alumni of the school’s first 100 years.
I earned my Master's in Humanities from University of Chicago, where I did a custom mix of sociology, ethnography, anthropology, and art history to do an early version of a “design research” program, before such a term existed.