April 08, 2006

Tong Wars!

Tong wars seem like an event from the distant past, but the recent slaying of a prominent San Francisco Chinatown businessman is exposing that Tong mentality still plays a role in contemporary life. I've been following this story in the Chronicle, and it's fascinating how history evolves.

Posted by peterme at 08:32 AM | TrackBack

April 07, 2006

Jobs in experience design

Over the last couple of months I have attended "career days" events at two schools: Carnegie Mellon's School of Design, and UC Berkeley's School of Information.

It's a little weird going to these events, because Adaptive Path is typically much smaller than the other folks who show up (whether other design companies like Frog, or web companies like Ebay and Yahoo and Google).

One of the things that continues to puzzle me is why most of these companies want to put prospective candidates in a little box. Here was the extent of our table at the event:

It's too bad I didn't photograph other tables, laden with job descriptions with their bullet-pointed lists of qualifications and responsibilities.

The students at these schools typically have a range of skills across experience design and product development. In fact, one of the main draws of programs like CMU and Berkeley's iSchool is that it appeals to a multidisciplinary person. And these students are often frustrated during these events, because prospective employers want to put them in a box, and many tell the students that they have to choose what they want to focus on. So if you have skills in both design research and interaction design, you can only go with one or the other...

I know why these companies do it -- operationally and financially it makes things easier for the people running the company. But, it also exposes the plug-and-play mentality of these companies, that they really do see people as interchangeable cogs in their machines.

One of the things that GK and I agreed on is the foolishness of compartmentalizing skills into job titles. It's such a throwback to a older model of management, and it surprises me how otherwise leading edge companies continue to practice it.

And, really, it wouldn't take much to alter such systems to accommodate for multidisciplinary folks. Experience design and product development are such synthetic disciplines, and people practicing it inevitably have varied backgrounds, approaches, skills, and interests. To not acknowledge that; hell, to not embrace that is the height of foolishness.

Posted by peterme at 10:46 PM | TrackBack

April 06, 2006

Web Application Entrepreneurship

Almost a month ago, I moderated a panel at SXSW called "What's Hot in Web Applications." The panelists were BJ Fogg of YackPack, Seth Sternberg of Meebo, and Scott Dietzen of Zimbra. Given these panelists, I shifted the discussion from a generic "What's Hot" to a more focused conversation on what it takes to build a product, and a company, these days. Though all from the Bay Area, the three participants had markedly different approaches and stories: BJ spent a year or two researching the problem and designing the solution before getting funding and bringing on other people; Seth and his group just kept launching products until one felt right -- only then did they take funding; Zimbra started business with a sizable round of venture capital, necessitated by the scope of their effort.

The audio of our panel is now available online. It might be a little frustrating during the demoing (which requires seeing the apps work), but the demos were a brief part of the discussion, and the bulk of it really does touch on the issues of creating a product and starting a company. So if you're in an entrepreneurial mood, I think you'll appreciate what the panelists have to say.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Posted by peterme at 10:46 AM | TrackBack

April 04, 2006

Disabling comments

This site is getting so hammered by comment spammers that it's pissing off my hosting service. Until I have the time to set it up so that comments are a bit more of a challenge, without being unreasonable, I'm going to turn comments off.

Posted by peterme at 08:00 PM | TrackBack

April 02, 2006

Off to D.C. for a few days

I get on a plane bright an early tomorrow and head to Washington, D.C for a couple days.

If you are in the area and interested in joining up, there are open dinner plans tomorrow (Monday) night at Lauriol Plaza. 7pm-on. 1835 18th St., NW.

Posted by peterme at 08:08 PM | TrackBack


Stacy and I just completed what must have been the most frustrating road trip we've ever shared. At so many points along the way, we were thwarted from our desires:

- We couldn't get banh mi at Au Petit Cafe because they are closed Wednesdays
- We didn't visit the Vancouver Museum because the time periods of interest to us were 'under renovation"
- We couldn't relax at Joe Bar because they close at 10pm
- We couldn't do much at Cape Disappointment because it shuts down at 5
- We couldn't find the general store, nor other things of interest, in Mist, OR
- We couldn't find Priya, considered the best Indian restaurant in Eugene, OR, and had to assume that they'd gone out of business
- Our visit to Crater Lake was miserable, because it's fucking snowy and cold up there in April, and you can't really see anything
- We couldn't eat at our desired restaurant in Dunsmuir because it's closed for the season
- We couldn't get a hot doughnut at Krispy Kreme, even though it was between 5p-11p, which is supposed to be "hot light" time

We also got rained on through much of our drive.

Not that there weren't delightful elements (introducing Stacy to the wonders of congee, visiting Vanessa and Elliot, great housemade cheese from the Pike Place Market, *good* pancakes at the Original Pancake House in Eugene), but this trip definitely had a black-cloud cast, figuratively and literally.

Posted by peterme at 12:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


See Me Travel
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
Archives from June 13, 2001 to January 2003
Archives from before June 13, 2001
Recent Entries
Tong Wars!
Jobs in experience design
Web Application Entrepreneurship
Disabling comments
Off to D.C. for a few days
Subscribe to my feed:
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2