DIt's like hand and brain chess, where two people play chess as a team — one person says which piece to move (the brain), the other person decides where to move that piece (the hand.)
KThat is exactly how I learned.
As time passed, many people from that team moved on into different roles, which provided me with a network of colleagues in new companies. I heard a lot of, “Hey, you should come join me at such-and-such agency.” That provided me with plenty of choice on who I wanted to work with, and on what projects.
My career at that point became project-focused — I knew it was the best way to learn fast. I worked on projects with AKQA, Elephant, Red Antler, SYPartners, Virtue (Vice), on projects for Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Henry Rose, Forty Five Ten — all amazing experiences.
DAny projects that stuck out to you from that period of your career? Any lessons that stick out to you?
KOne in particular:
We were working on a project for Goldman Sachs, and it first the project was very rocky. Every check-in was turbulent, there were misunderstandings between the agency-side design team and the client, and it wasn't going well.
We decided to change the way we work with the client, and ended up working in an office directly across from the decision makers we were working with. Presentations became conversations. It built immense trust, made the work go faster, and made us feel better while we worked on it.
It's a project I'll never forget. It's why we design and build so closely with our clients here at Waybridge. We've got to be on the same wavelength as the people we design for.
DThat's smart. And it's counterintuitive to how so many designers prefer to work.
KI think it's because we're scared of the judgement. No doubt: it is difficult to design for hours and hours on end only to show it to a client who tears it down in just a few minutes. But I'd much rather be in close dialogue with my client (or in the case of Waybridge, the person using our technology) and learn fast. At this point in my career, feedback is not something I take personally. It's data collection. And it's my job to do something productive with that data.
DLet's fast-forward a bit. How'd you end up here at Waybridge?
KI was at a crossroads in my career, after working on a startup briefly and in another tech company, and decided to define the qualities I wanted in my dream job. It needed to be in an exciting, novel (to me) industry. I needed to work with founders with deep experience in that industry. It needed to be a promising company, one that I believed in. I wanted to feel a strong sense of ownership.
It was a long, detailed list. Waybridge was the only company that fit the bill. It was the only job I applied to.