The designers at Party don’t really party (in contrast with their name) but as a world renowned digital media troupe based in Japan, they’ve definitely made the world felt party-ous. They’ve done everything from dance floors, show rooms, TV commercials, microsites, arrays of cameras, dancing sperms, and you name it: they’ve party-ed it. Their new NY office is certain to bring something unexpected and delightful. -JM
Jake Barton is principal and founder of NY-based Local Projects, which created the media design for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum among many, many, many other iconic site-specific works that feel literally “monumental.” Jake has shown the world how to integrate dynamic content, audience participation, and digital wizardry with an unparalleled human touch. If you ever have a chance to visit a Local Projects installation, go!! It will not disappoint. -JM
Kanyi Maqubela is Partner at Collaborative Fund — a seed fund based in NYC that empowers creative entrepreneurs. If you just google Collaborative Fund you can see that they’ve been terrific disruptors in the seed investment space, and have most recently made waves with their new late stage fund Alignment Holdings. It was great to meet Kanyi by chance in the Ace NY lobby … and I think I might have inadvertently pulled Kanyi out of a meeting with another person I’ve always wanted to meet — Hunter Walk — who I only know by his Twitter avatar. There are so many people to learn about in design and venture, so this all truly remains a design adventure. -JM
Albert Lee is Founder and Managing Partner of All Tomorrows in NYC — a design and technology product studio dedicated to creating tools and services that unlock human potential. He was previously the Managing Director in IDEO’s New York office, and with that experience in hand, Albert has a unique combination of design and business skills that will likely set him apart (positively) in the coming years. With the team he’s gathered at AT, Albert seeks to achieve meaningful outcomes in greater wellness for society — you really can’t argue with that as a plan. -JM
Isabelle Olsson is a thoughtful, curious craftsman of form who is Google’s best chance at un-nerdifying Google Glass. Meeting her today and watching her meticulous attention to form, function, and leadership made me think of how I felt when I first met Jony Ive. Designers who embrace the challenges and opportunities of leadership will make new things happen in our world. Like Isabelle! -JM
I traded knowledge with my fellow partner at KPCB, Max Motschwiller, over lunch today. He was curious about design and the difference between its decorative aspects and its systems-thinking aspects. I was curious about data-driven approaches to investment sourcing and thesis-driven investment. We got somewhere good together — he got some design thinking and I got some investment thinking — and it’s yet another beautiful day on Sand Hill Road … -JM
Nicholas Negroponte’s recent talk at TED covered his 30+ years of predicting the future by making it happen as a professor at MIT, and founding director of the Media Lab. When I was a junior professor at MIT, it meant a lot for me get to watch Nicholas from afar cover the entire world — carrying his vision of digital convergence to board room after board room. Without having such a role model as a designer-technologist, I don’t think I would ever have done at least 90% of things I do today.
About twenty years ago, Nicholas told me to remember that we were pretty smart as MIT professors, but the companies we worked with were often even smarter. And that I should learn from industry whatever I could — so most of my time at MIT was spent working with companies of all shapes and sizes. I remain hugely grateful for that advice he gave me. Because although it made me into an ill-fitting academic (because my interests were mainly centered in industry), it also helped me see how big the world was beyond MIT. Going after my MBA while I was a professor, taking on running a college like RISD, and now moving to venture capital at Kleiner Perkins were all activities largely inspired by Nicholas Negroponte. If you haven’t read Nicholas’ classic “Being Digital” yet, I suggest you check it out. -JM
We held our 9th Designer Dim Sum in Mountain View last Sunday, building off of our previous Dim Sums (here is a link to our eighth). Since February, we have been building a richly supportive community of designers that goes across both startups and mature companies. Thanks to Alessandro Sabatelli, Anand Sharma, Chris Robinson, Christian Talmage, Darren Chan, Gordon Chong, Helena Roeber, Jannie Lai, Leah Chung, Lindsay Mindler, Uday Gajendar, and my partner Jackie Xu for coming out! -JM PS All past dim sums can be browsed here.
Today in Mountain View, KPCB Partner Jackie Xu and I hosted our regular Designer Dim Sum Brunch with a wide range of local design x tech talent. Remind's lead designer Lindsay Mindler was one of the guests — and we had a chance to feel the excitement for her road ahead as Remind's design team begins to form. I'll post more on the gathering later … -JM
Today I Skyped with Kai Kight who is a 2013 KPCB Design Fellow from Stanford. Kai recently graduated and is on a two-year long journey before he goes to business school. Interestingly, Kai’s journey includes his passion for music with organizational transformation. I think that Kai was calling me from Argentina …
And then just a few minutes later I Skyped with Cat Noone who lives in Berlin as a designer co-founder of Liberio. Liberio strives to “lower the price of the ISBN” and other fundamental barriers to enabling more people to publish liberio-ly. I was wondering how Cat was living in Berlin as an American on a visa, and she mentioned this new piece she wrote on how to get a German freelance visa (“without losing your sanity”).
I have to say that the new generation thinks, and lives, in new ways. We have so much to learn from them. -JM