Hard to believe…
As the Design Lead for the The Microsoft Garage, I get to turn wild ideas into reality every day.
My role involves working at every altitude of Design, and across all aspects of Engineering. One hour I may be setting high-level strategy, and the next delivering final executions. Never a dull moment in this business.
I have written two books recently – my first, Envisioning Holograms, has been called a must-read for next generation storytellers and digital explorers. My new book, The Age of Smart Information, is getting great reviews as a clear vison of the future of communications.
My passion for many years has been interactive visualization – the art of clearly communicating key concepts quickly, at the right level, with the ability to explore more deeply. The most interesting part of all that to me is enabling people to experience information in completely new ways.
And it’s fair to say it’s been a long ride to here. I’ve been designing and coding software since the dawn of the Macintosh in 1984 – that’s 30 years now, but I can honestly say I have loved every minute of it. For me, it all started as love at first site with the legendary MacPaint. The ability it gave me to explore and push far beyond what was possible at the time still remains with me.
Along the way I have had the incredible good fortune of always being involved with cutting edge software projects throughout my career, working alongside some of the best and brightest ever in our business. Some of the most amazing things we did all those years ago still haven’t come to light. Like to think the best is yet to come.
My personal journey has been extremely fun and rewarding – intrepid entrepreneur, ridden the rollercoaster of several VC-backed Silicon Valley startups, and worked the corporate gauntlet of industry giants Adobe and Microsoft. I believe it’s the combination of all those experiences that give me the edge when it comes to making the right call in design, business or technology.
Career highlights? there’s been a few… helping invent Adobe Acrobat with my friends in 1990, being awarded several US patents for work at Microsoft was pretty cool, but the very first thing I ever designed and developed MenuFonts (for the original Macintosh in 1984) may be my best work. Simple. Obvious. Timeless. Who even remembers that fonts were all drawn in Chicago before that?
What’s my superpower? hmmm… I’d have to say one of them is the ability to look at design problems and radically simplify them down to their essence. Also like to think my ability to look at things from several different perspectives all at once is key to some of my insights.
Hope we have the chance to talk or even collaborate in the future.