Behind every technology problem
And behind every business problem
I work at the intersection of product and experience design, marketing, and strategy.
I'm a design- and customer experience-focused product manager, with expertise in Agile and Lean practices, hypothesis-driven design and testing, and taking products used by millions from conception to market. I build and mentor multi-disciplinary teams, and work across teams/stakeholders such as engineering, design, marketing, sales, and legal.
Currently I am Group Product Manager of Consumer Experience at Financial Engines, a financial services/tech company, where I play an experience architect role and help lead design and development of new products and services. Our mission is to help millions of people with saving for retirement and improving their financial future. Prior to that I spent almost a decade as a strategy and creative lead at global innovation consultancy frog design.
Over my career I've played many different roles on a wide variety of projects, which has been fascinating and fun and makes me well-rounded, but also makes me hard to pigeon-hole. This has included everything from designing kids toothbrushes to rethinking Mission Control for NASA. (In fact Whitney Johnson interviewed me about my career path for her book Disrupt Yourself.)
Companies I've worked with include:
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 have written regularly for Harvard Business Review. Some selected 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 (largely an INFJ, if that's your thing).
I've photographed for my entire life, with an emphasis on landscape and urban imagery. My photography portfolio is at Adam John Richardson Photography. I combined my passions for photography and classic product design in my side-project, Mass Made Soul, which features write-ups and photographs of 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.