How do you design when you have a user-base of millions? Chris and Carla speak to Brendan Kearns about Product Design at Google, Twitter and his work with startups.
The Design Untangled Podcast
Episode: DU030 – Designing for the Masses
Host: Chris Mears and Carla Lindarte
Guest: Brendan Kearns
(00:16) Carla: Hello everyone. Welcome to Design Untangled with me Chris Mears, as always, and myself Carla Landarte here with Brendan Kearns. Is that how you pronounce your surname.
(00:31) Brendan: Picturesque.
(00:31) Carla: Okay, cool. So, Brendan is an amazing designer at Google. He works for Search and Maps, which at Google, we called Geo. And we are here because he has got an amazing background, and experience, and we want to hear more about him. So Hello Chris, are you there?
(00:51) Chris: Hi, I am here.
(00:52) Carla: Yes. Chris is not with us in the room, so that is why it sounds a bit awkward.
Chris, do you want to say something? Do you want to say hello to me?
(01:01) Chris: Hello Brendan.
(01:03) Carla: Oh, not to me. Okay.
(01:05) Brendan: Is he ignoring you already?
(01:05) Carla: He is very brute. All right. So Brendan, thank you very much for being with us today. Can you can just tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you go into Google?
(01:20) Brendan: Sure. So got all the way at the beginning I was never interested in design. I was never like, I did not go to university for design. In fact, I think after blagging my way through the last year of high school, I got into a not very good university. And I did, it was an okay university. It was just like the offshoot, there is always the campus, that the university has for people, who cannot get into the regular one, that was me.
(01:44) Chris: But the caretaker should?
(01:46) Brendan: Exactly. Yeah. It is kind of like get some okay grades here and you can come to the real school. So I went to business school pretty much. I did a bit of a mixed degree of economics and there was technical aspects to it, but it was more around like digital economies and things like that. So I guess I was close to what we do today, but it was never something like the kind of product work that I do now. And I think I got, and mom’s really proud of this. I have got about six months shy of finishing my degree, and just dropped out and because I wanted to get a job. So after spending all that time in a mediocre school, trying to get okay grades it is something I was not too attracted to. I ditched it all to get a job that was basically in local government, doing a huge web rebuilt for a couple of years.
(02:35) Brendan: So that was my first kind of exposure in this, I think what you would call like a producer role today. But I was able to do everything from working with creative agencies, dev shops to kind of bring this project together. And it was still, at the time, this was probably what, 2007 2008 where not many people really knew what they were doing. And so after that learning curve, I got really interested in trying to work in more like digital shops, whether it be large agencies that had digital teams, or big brands that were doing interesting stuff in like creative fields. And that was still quite generic to me. I was like, I want to do everything and nothing at the same time. I wanted to learn from a lot of people and do some interesting work. And this was still mainly like web work.
(03:23) Brendan: Even if it was considered product, it was still pretty broad. But of course I did not have a great degree. I did not have anything like that. So everyone I applied for just said no, because I did not meet the requirements. So I spent a few years doing various contracts here and there, mostly in house product teams. But where I was like the digital creative guy just in the corner and it was much of like an extension of these teams rather than being a central part of it. And I think that was probably the first few years of my career until I got into some pretty good digital product agencies, or user experience agencies in Melbourne where I was doing a lot more of that, transformational work. Even if it was smaller projects, you had a larger remit.
(04:14) Brendan: And then when I initially thought about moving overseas, I was going to go to the U.S. And then I have got a British passport. So I came here and I had every intention of being a nomad and freelancing and taking six months off after working on a huge project and then it just did not happen. I ended up getting a job at Twitter and then Envision after that, and now Google. And that is kind of how it happened. It was not all accident. It is like there is some planning and a sequence in that, but a lot of it has been serendipitous.
(04:43) Carla: So what do you think that was the kind of the turnning point, where you obviously you came from not having a degree, which obviously that could worry a lot of people, especially if they are looking for a job.
(04:56) Brendan: It did for me, it did work.
(04:58) Carla: The turning point into like going and doing what you would call basic work, but learning lots to find a job at Twitter, which I think it was the one of the biggest, the first biggest brands that you work for?
(05:13) Brendan: I think in the tech world. Yes. I worked with airlines and banks and I had done a big stint at GE and you know, there was large impactful work but it was not the tech scale that you would think of at the moment. But that was definitely the one that like in Europe, gave me the bridge between the U.K. or looks like the E.U. and San Francisco, the States.
(05:37) Chris: So it was quite early days when you join them or they have been around for a few years.
(05:41) Brendan: It was on for a while, actually. I think I joined just before the 10th anniversary. So when I came in funny enough, Jack Dorsey had just been made permanent CEO. There were actually a huge round of redundancies on my first week and I think that kind of, it both helped and hindered, how I landed in the company. The first thing was I was the only designer outside of the U.S. which sucked. I mean Twitter you think of, it’s still quite a large company, but when I was there, it was 4,000 people. Design team was maybe a hundred. Then there was a round of redundancies and that slowly went down to about fifty, I was the only one in Europe. So it was an interesting time to be there. There was certainly still the speed and the caliber of work coming out of them, but it was just still trying to find itself. It was about two years shy of them earning their own, their first profit. They were still bringing in a few billion a year in revenue, but there was churning through everything. So there was this weird vibe there, which is like we still want to explore and be true to the user cases we support. But we need to turn this into a viable business. Like 10 years is a long runway.
(06:48) Brendan: So what do you do at Google? I am still a designer, a regular kind of designer, but I do a lot more product design and I guess to suit the environment here. It is a lot more kind of strategic product design. So I like to talk about operating like two altitudes. One is very high where you are playing the role of one of those legs on a three-legged stool. We talk about between product engineering and design and it depending on the makeup of the team or what you are focusing on at any one time, that can mean you are working really closely trying to define a vision with a product manager. And really trying to drive like what is the user problem, who are you solving it for and how you are going to know that you have done it well. All the way down to the lower altitude, which is like you can spend weeks arguing over a specific interaction because you know what is going to go out to hundreds of millions of people. So it is still very much a designer role, but the levels here demand different kind of strategic designer.
(07:48) Chris: So what I am quite interested about hearing about is like when you work in these big tech organizations, how much of the product vision is kind of contained within the particular area you are looking at? So in your case, Geo, how do you align that with Google’s wider strategy, if it has one?
(08:09) Brendan: I mean Google’s hitting walk, how you manage this number as well. It is like including contractors and the neo consultant here and there. It is about a hundred thousand people. I do not know any organization of 100,000 that has an org-wide strategy that you could like internalize, when you are in like frontline product teams. So the kind of design we end up doing is pretty autonomous. Like we make the decisions ourselves. It does fit into a larger strategy, but that happens a lot more organically. And I think the way that Google is organized is very organic, sometimes scrappy and painful. And you can have teams building parallel things. And I remember during my interview, one of the, one of the designers who took me to lunch said, the surprise that he had when he joined was finding out so many launches that the company he worked for, were making that were really impressive and impactful.
(09:04) Brendan: He would find out in the press rather than internal, just because it is so big ,and there is so many layers. You can find it if you look for it, but you would need to know who is looking for it. So it is literally like you, you pull this string and it just keeps unraveling, and unraveling. And after a while you just have to go, these are my blinkers that I am going to put on, my blinders and this is the focus I have. These are the commitments we are going to make for this quarter, or this year, or this problem. And you just have to kind of stay within that for awhile. Otherwise you will go insane. You will, you just loose it.
(09:37) Carla: You cannot really have that vision. And I think that behavior applies to any other team. I was told once at Google, you have a bunch of very smart people coming out with potentially the same ideas, but different ways of executing them. And only the ones that actually get scalable, are the ones that actually go live. But it is just a bunch of people doing the same thing.
(09:59) Brendan: I think that is a trait that a lot of tech companies have, but Google does it just at a different level, or a different way is, it is naturally competitive and the idea is to always find something that scales. So we rarely solve problems for a few thousand people. Even a million people you would say, unless those million people are extremely high spending. Maybe advertising, I have never worked in ads group, but you know, the group that I work in, we were talking in tens of millions of users would be a low number of something that we would ramp it up from. Yeah. So you just, it’s a different mindset you have to work in.
(10:37) Chris: Sorry, bearing in mind your user base is potentially so large, how do you deal with kind of validating your designs with users? How does the research process work when you are, potentially looking at a sample of, maybe eight or ten people in a lab and then it has got a roll out to millions from millions of different countries.
(11:00) Brendan: I mean, the good news is we have amazing researchers you can partner with. The bad news is most teams are under resourced, to actually have dedicated researchers. So I really enjoy doing research and setting up like lab studies and even just running rolling lab format. So there was something we did recently with search and the maps team that demanded us to do basically biweekly studies, where we would have to be lane and rather than try and get, try and get research to be generative, we would use it as a way or a proxy for are we heading in the right direction. So when we go on run experiments in the wild, we can actually measure the right thing, get traction in the right place and either have impact, make money, whatever it is. It really depends on what you are trying to learn and how fast you need to move.
(11:51) Brendan: Some things do go out the door without any testing because at that scale you can design experiments that give you absolute numbers, and absolute success and failures, and then you have very deep discussions around whether you will agree on that. If that is a strategy you want to keep playing out, how does it, you know, run up against something else that is running in parallel, that might be competing against it. It is normally a lot of smaller pieces moving a lot faster than one big ship. And it is the, especially the research organization or the research effort here, is normally around making sure that we land the right things. We talk a lot of around shipping and landing. So shipping something and there is an engineering manager I used to work with, who talks about the, it was not the Mars Rover, it was some NASA and the U collaboration where they sent something to Mars and it launched perfectly. It got to Mars perfectly. It entered the atmosphere at an okay speed, but because of differences in collaboration, rather than it slowing down and landing, it smashed into the surface of the planet. But by the measure of success, the launch team did a great job. The coordination team did a great job and if they were not holding themselves accountable for how it landed. Then they would think they did something brilliant.
(13:06) Brendan: And in terms of product, we have to think about landings rather than launches. So we will launch a lot of things. But a landing means problem solved, business model created, or a pivot made, and we look at different measures. That is why we have like the heart framework that we use for like, it is more of a user centric measure of success, but it talks a lot about like task success, and even how you are actually going to monetize this thing and what retention looks like. So it is all the conversations that product managers and engineering managers and like senior executive leadership is talking about. But it gives you a framework to kickstart your projects and frame them properly. That you do not just have a hunch, experiment with it, launch it in the wild and then kind of like dust your hands of it and go, well shit, let us see if it works. Because someone will tell you if it does not.
(13:57) Carla: I mean the culture of nuns early testing like this is a culture that I can see in the platform. Same which I am from, is having offers and beetles and like lots of that stuff. So can you talk about a little bit like do you actually do that in the product side, and how that is at where I can, how that gives you some certainty that things are going to work?
(14:20) Brendan: I think that sometimes people will call things beta. Beta is just that, so often in friendly product terms away of you saying it is not good enough yet, and we do not want to officially launch it. So let us put a beta tag on it. We will do incremental increases and experiments. So like you wrap something up, 5% is a good starting point because across the volume of users we have 5% you can measure impact, positive or negative, whether you are breaking something, whether it is ten people. I have all that stuff. And then you will normally just increase up 5% 15, 25, 50 and 100. And that just seems like a natural way of doing things, without taking a huge risk because you can ramp things down. The side effect of that is it becomes a bit of a proxy that people can use or a backdoor into making change.
(15:12) Brendan: So oh, it is just an experiment. I will frame this as just something I want to test. And because it comes back with some okay, numbers, they will say, well, we are going to increase it. And then before you know it, it is just an incumbent part of the experience that your team had to support, which might not have been the right thing to do in the first place.
(15:27) Chris: Yeah, I have seen that and I love projects where you would kind of take this alpha beta approach, but actually it is just an excuse to sort of release whatever you feel like. Kind of reverse justify it and then yes, if the numbers please your stake holders basically, as opposed to designing the right thing. Totally. And I think there is a very fine line between using it as a measure of these are things in a bucket, that we do not know yet, or we are not going to be able to measure through like rapid iteration, or different design methodologies, or even just paper prototyping. The difference between that, and I want to defer all of the responsibility to the numbers that come back, and if they are successful then I am agnostic to whatever the experience is. I think that is kind of lazy, but we have all been part of it. Or you just because resources are finite, time is finite.
(16:26) Carla: Is there any difference? Have you seen any difference between how design is tackled in between Google and Twitter as well as Inhibition? What is the differences between this rate?
(16:39) Brendan: Let me start with Twitter it was a smaller team and they had gone through some different organizing principles. So I think originally they were centralized and then they were federated. And then they come back into like a central space and had a bit of like federated work. Because I was outside of the main office and spending way too much time on a plane. I just embedded myself in the teams that I was working in. So that works a whole lot better when you are trying to design a culture, a way of working, a way of thinking, a way of empathizing and a way of shipping product for a very small set of people talking like 20, 30 people. Google works in a similar way, but because you are at a totally different scale, than Twitter, I mean think when I was at Twitter we had about 300 million monthly users.
(17:30) Brendan: There is products in Google that people had never heard of that have that many users. So in terms of the design process or how design works, you work in a much more horizontal way, Google. You will work very much closely with your team, but then it will be about how you can scale the solutions that you make, how you can pull in other people or resources. There is product teams I have seen that just build on other things that people have made and they do it in a unique way that solves a particular problem or builds a business and that is a great way of working. It is late and I think both of them are very different to the way the InVision works. I mean InVision is a design company. Whereas Google and Twitter were a mostly consumer facing tech company. There is a lot of enterprise stuff in particular at Google. But InVision is about changing the way people work and basically trying to, I do not mean this in a bad way, they are trying to buy an industry to become the OS or design.
(18:27) Brendan: They will talk about and they say, we want to be the operating system for product design and I think they are trying to do that. And when you are a designer inside, InVision, your royalty. When I joined there was I think ten of us.Ten product designers in a company of about four or 500 I think there are about 700 now and everyone knew who you are. You had constant access to Clark, the CEO. You could ping him at any time of the day and you would get back to you. He would call you to share ideas. Like you were because you were at inside that company, the peak of the target market, they were going after, your opinion and voice counted. And you were shaping the product that was supposed to drive some of those initiatives. So it was very rare in this. In the same way there is, I do not want to call them drawbacks, but there is the same realities of any big company or any company trying to scale that fast. They had a direction that we are going in, before you join and you align to that and then you try and either shape it, or keep it form, pivot it where you can, block things where you do not think they are viable, or that they are unrealistic, but you are still an employee in a team. You buy into that mission. But their mission was just one that is just culturally really close to your career.
(19:39) Carla: Yeah, of course. Like is that what I really like about InVision, is that they went beyond the products and created a whole community about it. Like their content strategy is amazing. And like I remember going to that movie or something that they did. And everyone wants to be on air. Like it was, it was amazing how had they targeted like a niche. And I guess like it is interesting when companies tried to do that, like go beyond the product and trying to sell product, and actually build a whole service around it. That kind of leads into the next question, which is, I know that you are very passionate about service design and so I want to just. Well, we have had talks about service design before. And so what, how do you define service design? There is one of those things that I do not know. I know what he means and I know I have actually used that term in the past several times and perhaps I am using all the tools, as every design kind of provides. But what is your definition of service design?
(20:42) Brendan: It purely, is a methodology in the same way that visual design is a methodology. Experience design is a methodology. You will find graphs that have concentric circles that are often more like a dispute over who owns who. It is true. And I just do not really agree with that. You end up with some people, not all, some people saying that, well because I am x designer, therefore I create something that you operate in. So I have seen examples before where a service designer will say, I think holistically and you are more tactical, therefore I will tell you what to do, or I will set up the framework for you to do your work in. I think a lot of people assign their value to a specific methodology or a discipline. The same way that some fantastic art directors that I have met will say I am only a visual designer. And by doing that, they limit the capability or the impact they can have.
(21:37) Brendan: I think in the same way a methodology like service design, which is very high level, and it is end to end, and it is kind of multifaceted, and there is different lens you can look at through. It is a fantastic blueprint for how you build products, or companies, or services, but you need to be in the weeds. And it is about what it is from for that different altitude. If you had a high altitude, that would be something I would use a service design methodology for. Whereas if I was thinking about interaction design, you would be in the weeds on a particular moment in a journey and understanding what scenarios you are actually going to test your experience against. So I love it as a technique, as a tactic, as a way of framing a project, particularly when you are inventing or pivoting. But as something that is greater than any other methodology, I call bullshit on that.
(22:29) Chris: I kind of see it as something that UX has kind of naturally progressed to as they get more senior, just because they build up that skill set to start engaging with more senior stakeholders, a bit more of a strategic level. So they are just doing design, that they are speaking, and influencing the way that the company is delivering that design as well. So that is kind of how I see it.
(22:53) Carla: I disagree, I remember when in one of my previous jobs there was this service design guy who like kept saying like traditional UXs or experience designers, or whatever you want to call them. They just basically like think about a touch point and then just they have a very narrow view of the experience, and then we, service designers, see the whole picture. And that is not true. You cannot just say that because, in every experience on UX roll up I have done in the past. You do look at the entirety of the experience, you see how that is going to influence the whole experience. It is not just a touch point, and that is what annoys me about these people who call themselves service designers because I totally agree with you as a methodology, is not like, you know, I am a graphic designer. I am more strategic than you, because you are a UXer.
(23:49) Brendan: As a method that people use to like one up themselves, then you can go to hell. I am not interested in working with people like that, but in the same way that people will be really dogmatic about certain visual design techniques or ways of working, when they are not appropriate to the environment they are in. And to your point before around designers graduating into these higher levels of thinking, I think we are seeing more and more of that strategic level consulting because design is becoming a tool that businesses are using for competitive advantage, for speed, as a defense mechanism. It has got into the C-Suite and it is maturing and people need strategic tools to articulate design more, than just a mock up. And a mock up can be part of a great story. They are telling a way of building empathy, a way of giving context, but when it comes to one discipline over another, I just think it is bullshit. It is too, you are not agnostic enough where a designer should be agnostic, and you should have toolkits, and you should have ways of working that are flexible, and fluid, particularly if you are an agency, or you are consulting, or even something big like Google where, I could be placed on a team next week and have to completely change the way I work, and I would be effective in this team, and awful in another if I stuck to one or two key disciplines and did not adapt.
(25:09) Carla: That is a very good point, is how you adapt to. Because every day there is a new methodology, a new framework, a new book that does not mind rates.
(25:17) Brendan: I buy them all.
(25:17) Brendan: And yeah, I buy them all too. I have a lot of books. Then is what, it is just tools that you have available. So I am changing this up. Dig a little bit. I know that you work with a lot of startups, right? You work with Google for startups and you see, well obviously, I imagine, that you go and work with them and from a design perspective. So what do you think are the biggest challenges, as well as opportunities for design in the startup world?
(25:58) Brendan: I think that particularly the Google for startups, which is what the new name for Campus. Which is the outreach program that sits under Google for entrepreneurs, thank god they rebranded it. My involvement there was working with a lot of their, they call them, I think they have like six month rolling programs that are themed largely at the moment around machine learning, and startups that are trying to build, or use machine learning, or artificial intelligence to make products, to do something different. And very specifically to startups that I work with there with, one was in the real estate space, and not in the boring sense. They were in the real estate space and they were trying to build a model that mapped, and I hope I am not giving away too much. That basically, it would learn where trends were happening, and where prices were going to go, and they backdated their model and applied it to data that they found in the 80s and it was right. So they could predict a volume of changes across different markets.
(26:58) Brendan: Now that is amazing tech, but from a design and product perspective, they do not have a use case yet. The only one that came up with was, well, we can approach a bank and build it into a lending tool that gives them, I do not know, better interest rates. It can tell about risk, which is interesting. That is a nice piece of tech. The problem is the first bank they showed it to said, we will buy it off you for a very small amount of money, but you can never sell it to anyone else, and that is not a product. That is something that you just built for a client and you sold it to them and you have given up an enormous opportunity. So my advice to them would like the role that I would play with them is, finding the right use case to apply their tech to, or define what their requirements for product market fit work were.
(27:44) Brendan: So like to key and I cannot name, is a great kind of measure of whether he invest these venture capitalists, whether he invest, he says you should have absolute product market fit and traction to prove it and you should have defendable tech or IP that no one else has. These people had IP that no one else had, not that we had heard of and they have done obviously months of research before while they were building this model. But what they did not have was product market fit. They had a bunch of different ideas, but the role that we played in that advice was we are going to use design to work with prospective users across a bunch of spectrums and find where you could actually apply this tech and turn it into something, turn it into a product. Could it be a loan product that helps people in low income areas buy, because you can assess the risk of the neighborhood is less than a bank says it is.
(28:35) Brendan: So why can’t you raise $1 billion fund, that would then bridge the gap between what a bank is about to give you, what a house costs, because we know that we can earn it back based on the predictions. We get an a machine learning model. That is a use case, you can put something behind. So that is the kind of mentoring that I like the advisory capacity. We do a lot with startups and then there is just the normal ones like how do you get from zero to one? How do you understand your users? How should you start framing your problems and telling your stories better so you can internalize the strategy and actually make it actionable rather than just, we built this great thing, which Google is great at as well. It builds all this amazing tech and think, well isn’t this impressive and it is fantastic. And then you go, okay, now maybe ship it to the wild. It either does not fit or it is not as usable as it could be, or it does not resonate. It does not have longevity, it does not have a plan. That is the kind of advising I like to do.
(29:27) Chris: And do you find that something that is missing a lot in startups? Are they just coming up with loads of ideas and then they will sort of figure out what it is for later? Is that one of the main kind of issues they are facing, do you think?
(29:39) Brendan: I think there is a spectrum. I think at either end of it, there is definitely, [inaudible 29:42] one. The other one is they are going, we are going to operate in this space. And then they never build anything. Because they have no certainty or they have no durometer for what people care about or no proxy for, we think our market is about this big. We think the problem is like this and we are going to experiment. A lot of people either do not know how to get started or they get started and burn through a shit ton of seed money, never actually build anything and then use that credibility to the next round of funding. I am more interested in people who have the attraction or have a piece of tech that that is applicable. So it is like sometimes you have very difficult conversations with people to say you might not have a use case, you might not have a market.
(30:27) Brendan: And that is an awful thing to hear if that is not your life’s work, but it could be your life’s work. And it is at times, difficult to help them visualize what their transformation needs to be. But when you do, and they are excited about it, my measure of success in that is normally they will email me a couple of days or a week later and say, how can we hire a designer? Or how can we, how can we use this way of working, or this way of thinking to actually build a vision for our product, or build a vision for our team, or tell our story better so we can raise another million dollars and build a team around it. That is the success that I am interested in.
(31:04) Carla: That is really cool. That is really good work as well because you apply design to products and even the commercialization and amount, all that, right? So you have applying and making sure that they create a product that is viable and commercially viable because a lot of the startups as well just basically just build something and see how they go.
(31:27) Brendan: And sometimes people’s mission is to just, we are going to build this and we are going to sell it to this company. And you go, great, that is a project. Yeah. I mean it is framed as a startup, but that is a project that is a pitch. And if you miss that target, what the hell are you going to do? So there is those expectations and setting that is important.
(31:47) Carla: All right. So why do you think then designers, because you have been talking about artificial intelligence, took about design, applied to business, like designers having a seat at the table. What are the things, what do you think are the things that designers should be focusing on in the next five years?
(32:05) Brendan: I do not know. I think about this. I think we are always going to be solving problems in a similar way. I think some of those, and I fucking hate that they are called soft skills, but the ability to empathize and understand, and articulate what people’s concerns are and reframe them properly is something that you can never ever stop focusing on. I actually probably do less design traditional design work compared to my previous bouts of my career. Now that I do at Google, I feel like I have much more impact. And impact in that I can reframe and lead leadership, or I can maybe reframe a problem that an entire team is having. But when it comes to tooling, even though I come from InVision, I think they do amazing job. I do not think tooling is something that people need to double down on.
(32:54) Brendan: Your ability to sit in a room and articulate why your discipline is important and how it is going to have impact, is the only measure of whether you are growing as a designer or not. I like, what is it, Doug Powell, I may have said his name wrong. He was the, or still is the head of design at IBM. And the first thing he did when he walked in to that job was, well, what he said he did, it in a promotional video, was he said, IBM only cares about market outcomes. They do not care about artifacts or internal ways of working or how we reach a particular solution. It is around how much impact we can have in the wild and by impact in the wild, that means money on the table, systems sold, licenses sold. They are like getting closer to what your definition of success is. Whether you are in an agency and you are jumping between clients, every couple of weeks, ideally every few months, or maybe every year or two. Understanding what the job is actually at hand, and how can design accelerate that. Make it clearer to articulate; what success looks like; what an experience looks like; and a roadmap to get there. And you will be laughing all the way to the bank. Sometimes literally.
(34:08) Chris: [inaudible 34:08] promo videos is what we are saying.
(34:13) Brendan: Do not go through. Yeah, do not just do series a funding rounds, promo videos and then walk away. Although there is a business in that, I am sure.
(34:21) Chris: Carla, before we wrap up, do you want to ask your favorite final questions to Brendan?
(34:27) Carla: Yeah. So I normally ask everyone to either recommend a podcast or a book, or a person to follow? Or all three of them if you can.
(34:39) Brendan: Okay. What have I done in the last week? I have started doing more podcasts because I walk to work and reading makes me fall asleep. So I read about half a page and I. Podcasts, I think I have got to say my old colleagues at InVision that do design better. Eli Woolery is fantastic and Arnold too is great. And there is two really good ones. One around making time from Jake Knapp, which was a great episode. And there is another one by a venture capitalist who mainly talks about what he looks for in people he funds. And there is another podcast from one of the, I think he is still VP of Europe, or on the sales side at Twitter called, go for my phone is, I am going to find it. It is by Bruce Dazedly and it is about working and happiness at work. He actually just got a book deal about it. It is called, I am still looking it up.
(35:34) Carla: Happiness at work. Is that achievable?
(35:37) Brendan: What? We talking about the idea of, and he talks around, it is called, Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat. And he said the idea that like the fun of work is missing? And so he talks to everyone he talks to, one of his latest ones is like, you know, the marketing’s guru, Seth Conan. But he talks to authors and academics around like what it means to be happy at work and how people find purpose. Not in a hippy sense, but like what action, why do people get along and like, why are these products and tools that we used for work that had the definition of infinity built into them. Like emails never end. It looks like there is everything from hacks to thinking about how like even football teams work with each other and how they get to trust each other. That is super interesting.
(36:20) Brendan: I think that is like the main two. They are kind of dip in and out of an the rest of it is just pure goffe and entertainment shit.
(36:26) Chris: Like this podcast.
(36:27) Brendan: I have done anything passive. I like it. I ended up buying way too many books. There’s actually one, I’m really looking forward to that I pre-funded by Joe. I want to say last names, like Tuscano. He wrote a book called, Automating Humanity. And it is about what artificial intelligence will likely do to us and to work. He used to work at Google for an agency, ages ago, I think I have got chatting to him on Twitter and then did like a Kickstarter for his book. But it is interesting. It is about what happens when automation takes over. Like what does our role become? What does a good day look like? What does regular work look like when like in our field we will end up being on the forefront of that. But what is it? The long tail of what we create, how do we be more concerned about it?
(37:13) Carla: Good. Great. Oh, do you want to add something else, Chris?
(37:18) Chris: No, I think we are done so well. It remains to say thank you very much for talking to us and hopefully we will have you on again soon.
(37:26) Carla: Yeah. Thank you so much. I am really, really happy you are here today, so thank you.
(37:31) Brendan: Thank you.
Narrator: Search and subscribe to Design Untangled using your favorite podcast app and leave us a review. Follow us on the web at designuntangled.co.uk or on Twitter @designuntangled. Become a better designer with online mentoring at uxmentor.me.