IXDC 2016

In June I spoke at IXDC 2016 in Beijing. IXDC is the largest conference focused on digital and interaction design in China. As with all my experiences in China over the last year, it was wonderful, full of new experiences. Fortunately for me, Beijing was lovely the entire week I was there. Blue skies for days, a rarity for the heavily polluted city. Now that Uber is no longer in China, I hope that Didi helps to reduce congestion across China's megacities. See video of the talk here

My First 120 Days at Uber

I wrote a Medium piece on my first 120 Days at Uber. Hope you find it informative and useful. 

I’ve been at Uber for four months. It’s been an exciting ride, and full of surprises. For example, I didn’t expect one of my best moments at work would be overlooking Chengdu, China riding up an elevator on the way to lunch with our local city team. Nor did I expect to be editing this post from an airport in Manila, Philippines. But then, the platform we are building is global, and the speed we’re scaling is accelerated, and so here I am at Terminal 3 in Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport having been to 4 countries in as many months. And — because it doesn’t look like Uber will be slowing down anytime soon, I’m committing myself to documenting my experiences on a semi-regular basis. In the coming months I’ll write about what we’re working on, and explore the systems, teams and processes we’re building to solve insanely interesting problems and scale quickly at warpspeed.

My Dad

Decent detail in the face. Hope my body isn't truly funnel-shaped, and I just don't see it. 

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Rad School

In which Ani describes the relationship between Rad School and Job School. I wouldn't mind attending. 

Stepping Up

Great article by @kevinmccull about the design thinking trend, its promise and failures, and requirements for design leadership success in business environments. 

For all its failings, Design Thinking uncovered real opportunities for design managers aiming to play a more strategic role in business. The problem stemmed from a naive combination of overreach and a lack of ambition to learn.


Things I Have Learned

Original post on Medium.


So I have two kids ages 2.5 & 4, lead a team of designers at Google, and have practiced design for many years now. What do I know? The following is a short collection of things learned during the course of my life. The contents of this list will change and grow, I hope, as life progresses.

  • Be concise. Say more with less.
  • Learn from your mistakes. The only failure is to make the same mistake twice.
  • Be authentic. If you feel fake, it’s because you don’t trust yourself.
  • Find a mentor. Find someone better than you, who you admire. Observe them in context, ask questions, do what they say, then question them.
  • Be a mentor. Through the process of advising others you will codify your practice.
  • Be humble and appreciative. Let your actions speak louder than words. Otherwise, you’ll be defined as a braggart. Not an effective leadership technique.
  • Be open to learning. The minute you stop learning, you grow crufty, old and outdated. Not good in tech.
  • Challenge yourself. Related to learning. Put yourself in new situations that require you to swim.
  • Make decisions. Seems obvious. Too many people let others decide for them.
  • Empathize. Think about the world from the perspective of those around you. Read Jung. Understand archetypes. You will develop a sixth sense.
  • Network. It’s easy, and it pays off. If you too are shy, get over it.
  • Collaborate. Power in numbers. But be sure to pick your team wisely.
  • Set goals. Three months, one year, five years, and retirement. Even when the horizon is too far to realistically visualize, you will at least define a path.