Letting Go As a Manager

Anytime I talk to designers about what it means to be a manager, there's always a lot of concern over two things: what it means to stop doing hands-on work and how it's possible to force yourself to let go of that control. The prospect of not getting to design full-time is scary enough, to be sure. …

How I Focus

This weekend, I was listening to an episode of Back to Work (one of my favorite podcasts) in which Merlin and Dan were discussing focus and attention. As a designer, I never really had a problem with focusing, since my jobs allowed for long, uninterrupted periods of productivity. I had a few …

The Fine Art of Bridge Building

You and a group of friends are living on the edge of a canyon. You live well enough, eating the pineapples that grow in abundance on this side of the chasm. However, as the days pass, you find yourself drawn more and more to the other side, where you can clearly see not only the same, delicious …

Scaling Design

After writing about how the first few weeks at BuzzFeed have been going, I got a few requests for more details on how I'm approaching the needs of the design team. As I mentioned in the last post, a lot of the design team needs at BuzzFeed mirror those of Etsy's design team a couple of years ago. …

A Few Traits of Successful Managers

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes great managers great. The craft itself is pretty nebulous to describe, because the needs and responsibilities themselves oftentimes differ from day to day, week to week, year to year. As a team grows and evolves, so does the role of the managers on …

Two Weeks at BuzzFeed

As one could probably guess, I've been a little heads-down the last couple of weeks on-boarding at my shiny new job . Luckily, I have friends like Hunter , who remind me to come up for air, look around and think about what I've been experiencing. So, quickly, here are a few takeaways from my first …

17 Reasons I'm Joining BuzzFeed

For the last couple of months, I've been talking with a lot of companies, founders and design teams about what my next move should be. It's been an amazing process and I've met no small number of passionate people working on really interesting problems. I said this a couple of years ago and I'll …

Appreciation

Every quarter when I collect and review feedback for the people I manage, I, of course, spend quite a bit of time thinking through my own observations and what the future could look like. In doing so these last couple of weeks, I also found myself reflecting on all the ways I'm grateful for what …

The Value of Transparency

Over the last few years, I've been a big proponent of transparent, inclusive processes, both within design, product development and across whichever company I was working at. Recently, I was asked directly what I think the value of transparency really is. I mean, doesn't transparency and …

Hypothetical Futures & Product Design

I was talking to a few engineers yesterday about implementation details for a project we're working on at Etsy. At some point, we found ourselves disagreeing over one specific implementation versus another. But someday we might want things to be this way , someone said, so we should future-proof …