Making UX Work with Joe Natoli

Episode 04, Lisa Baskett :: Grace Under Pressure

February 12, 2018 Season 1 Episode 3
Making UX Work with Joe Natoli
Episode 04, Lisa Baskett :: Grace Under Pressure
Chapters
Making UX Work with Joe Natoli
Episode 04, Lisa Baskett :: Grace Under Pressure
Feb 12, 2018 Season 1 Episode 3
Joe Natoli / Lisa Baskett
UX designer Lisa Baskett describes herself as empathic, impatient, pedantic, dedicated and curious, but there are a few adjectives I'd like to add: namely, brave, tenacious and strong. I believe you'll understand why in this episode of Making UX Work.
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Lisa Baskett; she is a veteran digital designer with over 17 years of crafting experiences for a wide variety of clients — from one person business ventures to big brand enterprise organizations.

Currently, she specializes in the less visible side of UX design — research and strategy. Lisa's personal mantra is that "good design must first be functional and useful, regardless of the aesthetic."

She describes herself as empathic, impatient, pedantic, dedicated and curious, but there are a few adjectives I'd like to add to that list: namely, brave, tenacious and strong.

As a woman of color in the world of tech, Lisa has had to overcome more than her share of racism, sexism and harassment — all of which she has transcended with an incredible measure of quiet grace, moving herself and her career ever forward.

It's my distinct honor to share this conversation with Lisa Baskett — on Making UX work.

Twitter:

@intrepidleeloo

LinkedIn:

lisabaskett/

Websites:

http://lisangela.com

http://revunit.com



Speaker 1:
0:08
Hello and welcome to making us work to give you X podcast. I'm your host Jonah Toli and our focus here is on folks like you doing a real often unglamorous work in the real world. You'll hear about their struggles their successes and their journey to and through the trenches of product design development and of course user experience. My guest today is Lisa Baskett. She is a veteran Digital Designer with over 17 years of crafting experiences for a wide variety of clients from one person business ventures to big brand enterprise organizations. Currently she specializes in the less visible side of you design namely research and strategy. As a woman of color in the world of tech. Lisa has had to overcome more than her share of racism sexism and harassment. During this very candid conversation. I couldn't help but deeply admire her tenacity her bravery and the fact that she remains absolutely committed to living those obstacles in the dust.
Speaker 2:
1:14
Here's my conversation with Lisa a basket on making us work. So Lisa how are you.
Speaker 3:
1:21
I'm great Joe. How are you today. I'm very good. It's Friday and end the week. Yes that's my favorite day. It's been a long week for any good. Yeah what's going on for you this week.
Speaker 4:
1:33
Eileen doing a lot of user testing and all the challenges that go along with that. Trying to explain it to the client and get the right results. Because as you know there's a lot of bias that goes into that that you have to be aware of and weeding out the people that have a certain preconceived notion of what you're trying to do. So you can get really valuable results is a challenge.
Speaker 5:
1:57
Yeah most definitely. Are you getting. Do you have. Do you have buy in or they are declined down the program here.
Speaker 4:
2:03
Fortunately for me and I think it's probably the first time in my career I've got a blank check from the I can do whatever I want because they're there they're not only desperate but they really really want to make a change. So for me that's the ultimate position to be in as a researcher and Tester.
Speaker 5:
2:24
Yeah. And most definitely rare. Yeah. I mean and you're intimating it's something that I believe is true and that is clients are most receptive to some of these things when they're feeling an extraordinary amount of pain.
Speaker 4:
2:37
They are they are a retailer and they're in the grocery space so Amazon is coming for them and they're feeling the heat and they're like we have to make a change and we have to do it now and then we're trying to get them to balance the urgency with working smart. And that's been a bigger challenge than getting them to buy into what we want to do getting them past the fear the fear and the speed with which they want to do it because there's a proper way and then there's the way.
Speaker 5:
3:06
Yeah. Yeah. And it's when they're you know when when organizations are running scared. Patience is in short supply because everybody's really stressed.
Speaker 4:
3:16
Yeah they're so rare that reactionary and I'm trying to explain to them that the complaints are a certain segment of people that are motivated to complain. And then there's this entire much bigger segment of people who don't have the time to even respond. And then there is the one with the positive comments. You have to add the positive with the ones who are indifferent and then look at it that way and then the complaints don't seem as big you know.
Speaker 5:
3:41
Yeah. What channel the complaints coming through.
Speaker 4:
3:44
They have a collective voice of the customer data through customer comments on a regular basis. So they have a steady stream of people coming with all these very passionate things to say. And they do have some serious challenges on their their online experience. They have separate Web sites separate experiences for curbside pickup and their regular in-store. Just people shopping on line and adding to their shopping list. So those two things are separate right now and they want to merge them together somehow. So it's a big sort of restructuring of things.
Speaker 5:
4:22
Sounds like it. Is that because there are two different systems.
Speaker 4:
4:25
Yeah. Data it does not share across. So it should. Yeah of course especially with products but at the moment it is not.
Speaker 5:
4:34
All right. So out of curiosity are you. Is there an integration happening where you're literally building something new that covers both or are you working with a different platform altogether. How's it. How's it happening or how's it planned to happen. I mean I know you're not maybe not there yet.
Speaker 4:
4:51
They have multiple vendors working on separate initiatives which is not ideal. Someone is working on merging the two systems were doing a fix and repair which is more of a band aid but we're trying to make it the prettiest and best working bandaid we can. Sure. And hopefully we can have some sort of voice in the ultimate you know redesign when they have all the data working together and everything's merged. We would like to be there to be experts to say this is the best way to do that.
Speaker 5:
5:24
So right now it's more a matter of let's make this more transparent and less obvious that these are two different cities people are operating in.
Speaker 4:
5:32
Yes. So messaging and changing you know you guys on different features but not the full site and not all at once.
Speaker 5:
5:42
Out of curiosity of the things that people are complaining about what things are you are you hearing so far that you feel like are legitimate issues.
Speaker 4:
5:52
Rom's added quite a few features that don't work together. So it's been like users will probably want to do this let's put this on the page. They'll probably want to do this. Let's put this on page instead of just focusing on the simplicity and the functionality of the core. Purpose of that particular feature whatever it is and making that seamless. They've just sort of hacked it and put stuff on it. As time has gone on and users like I just want to get this done. I just want to do this one thing and it's so hard. I don't know what to look at and that's what we're struggling with now is just stripping it all out and making it as simple as possible.
Speaker 5:
6:33
So have they given people more than they ever wanted or asked for.
Speaker 4:
6:38
Yeah. And it's weird because on some parts of the site there's way too much. And on others there are features missing that you would just think would be no brainers. There's a there's a mix of things. And it's it's a function of so many people so many cooks you know always different vendors all these different departments all these different stakeholders all wanting to make an impact different ways and that working together.
Speaker 5:
7:04
Yeah and you're heading off. My next question which was how much of that disparity do you think is driven by these individual vendors. In other words they have a better platform they have a set of features and functionality. And this is it. Like here's what you get. And then the implementation is OK. Well it's this that it doesn't go any further than that.
Speaker 4:
7:25
It's absolutely that there are vendors working as more of our staff augmentation type of model and there are others that are consultants. And I'm strongly a proponent of being the consultant the expert in a room that tells you the things you might not want to hear. You know you may not necessarily like what I'm about to say but it's going to save your business. If you if you listen to us. That's right. And they are more receptive because they understand what they've been doing is not working. And I just were plunging through it's like we strongly recommend this. We'll still do this. If you insist but this is what we need to do. And fortunately our current stakeholder is all about making a change.
Speaker 5:
8:11
Yeah. I think it's a harder road to walk.
Speaker 4:
8:15
Oh I couldn't always do this. Absolutely not really my career. I would not push back like this. Why is that. I was afraid I didn't want to. I felt like I would be an outlier and embarrass my company if I resisted the business too much. I think I thought my role was to do what they wanted and to fulfill the SJW. And you know just make sure the contract was exactly as it was stated I don't see that anymore.
Speaker 6:
8:45
Really I'm a difficult consultant right now. Well part of that is is you Joe.
Speaker 4:
8:54
I mean just think it just having your voice online in your courses and the Facebook group and the book validated what I was already thinking about you x. But I felt like I was out there by myself because I'm listening to the experts I'm like OK what that works in that scenario but not mine. So tell me what works in mine and that's where your your work came in. I'm like thank you.
Speaker 3:
9:21
I'm not crazy. Wow. Wow. That's huge to hear.
Speaker 4:
9:26
Absolutely true. And I think a lot of people are feeling that that's why your group is so popular.
Speaker 5:
9:31
Oh I hope so. I have always. And the reason this stuff means so much to me when people say it is because I've always felt like and I just said this to somebody I've probably said it in three different Pegues interviews. So I apologize everyone for the broken record. But have you ever seen Big with Tom Hanks. Well you know that scene when they're all in the boardroom and he's with all these business guys and and they're talking about this like the worst ideas ever conceived for this toy right. That no kid is ever going to use. And he sort of sheepishly raises his hand and he's like I don't get it. You know they all look at what he's crazy. I've been that guy my whole life. Yeah OK. And I've always felt like in just about any situation I've ever been in among the x industry the design industry among aid agencies I've worked for before I started out on my own. I just always felt like at least 70 percent of this is just bullshit. Yeah absolutely. Not true it's not applicable we can't do it. We can't make this work. It's just people spouting off their beliefs and what looks good on paper but it never freaking works.
Speaker 4:
10:51
And that's the thing about that advice that we know we all talk about where it doesn't apply to the real world. It makes you feel worse if you can't apply it. Yeah. Makes you feel worse than if you never heard it at all because you're like I can't meet the standard that everybody else is expecting me because my situation is so intractable I can't do it. Yeah you feel like a failure.
Speaker 5:
11:13
Yeah I totally totally get that. So aside from I mean obviously you mentioned my stuff which I'm grateful for but at what point did you start to feel like OK I'm just I just can't do this this way anymore.
Speaker 4:
11:30
I think I worked for a couple different consulting companies and I would always defer to my lead. No matter how much experience they had or their approach I figured I would give them my best practice advice online. But as far as how we look to the client I would defer to them. And they are now just more than one occasion. I disagreed with them so strongly and I felt we were going down the wrong path. I just couldn't do that and were actually left a job because of it. So one of my leads didn't need to talk to the dev team until the designs were done and I know the mind that you talked to the dev team as soon as you possibly can to find out what platform limitations are absolutely know what you're designing against. You know. Yeah. Yeah. How do you know what you're doing and what's possible.
Speaker 4:
12:27
So like the dev team was in-house and were a consultant. No. We have to get our designs completely nailed down personally. No we don't. We should give them the maximum amount of time to estimate and push back and tell us what's not possible because right. Right. Ultimately it's going to be a problem for the business. So you know someone that's going to tell me that they're my lead and I'm in the wrong place. I've got to go. It's got to be somewhere. For me it's not like this though. Right. And you get more brave as you get older and the more experience and you get more validated because you have some successes. But at that point I wasn't completely sure what I was doing and I didn't have a job to go to. But I just knew I couldn't keep doing that. So yeah.
Speaker 5:
13:14
So you have to make a move. I mean yeah it's never comfortable it's never safe it's never easy but you have to make a move. Otherwise if for no other reason than I think it's really painful and stressful to live that way. I think the one commonality across all of us who do creative work of any kind and I include developers in this category. I think it's that we care very deeply about what we do. We care very deeply about the end result. And there's there's just sort of no greater waste and feeling like you're just wasting every second of your life. When you're doing meaningless work or when you're doing things that you know are wrong.
Speaker 4:
13:59
Yeah doing it in a manner you know is wrong is is demoralizing. And you don't notice it at first but after years of that constantly ages it's like a constant level of anxiety because you know your best instincts are going to be slapped down and it's just not fun.
Speaker 5:
14:19
So let me ask you this question and I don't mean to put you on the spot and you're allowed to say I don't want to answer this. You're a woman working in technology. You're also a minority you're a woman of color. I'm interested to hear you know from your perspective what is your experience been like given those circumstances. What challenges have you had to deal with and how have you dealt with them.
Speaker 4:
14:47
Yeah and you can add the other demo of over 40 it all. It all plays into it. So just being female intact is challenging in a lot of people are writing about that. You know it's we're getting pretty aware that situation. Being a woman of color and over 40 so I'm typically older than the people other people in the room that are doing the same thing that I'm doing. And even though you know many of the developers and occasionally the people I'm working for you'd never know if there's bias against you. And you don't know which thing about you. The bias is based on your voice has to be a little bit stronger and a little bit more confident. A lot more confident because you're facing preconceived ideas of who you are and what your capabilities are and your ability to understand technology. So you know the times are changing slowly and things are getting better.
Speaker 4:
15:55
There's more representation now than there was. But it's it's kind of a scary place to start out. You have to be. You have to be really really resilient and be ok with being self doubting about it. Because it's a constant thing. You know going through the world as a person of color you never know if a reaction you're getting is based on that. You can't ask because you're not going to get an honest answer from people. And it's always there I would imagine it's always there. And you have to eventually be ok with that chatter in the back of your head. It's like I'm going to present to let's say when I went to Midland Texas and presented in front of oil workers who are all working class Texas white male I have to make them comfortable with the fact that I understand what they're going through and I can empathize. Like really they're looking at me like Who are you and why are you wasting my time. So there's there's a lot to sort of mentally tamp down to get your job done when you're dealing with other people and clients and even your own team because if you're growing into a team and you're the only person that's other you know you have to make sure that they know how competent you are. Yeah I would imagine so yeah it's tough. It's I can't I can't minimize how difficult it is.
Speaker 5:
17:29
Actually no I'm sitting here thinking to myself I cannot possibly imagine I can't even get within a million miles.
Speaker 4:
17:37
Of how that's that has to feel yeah I was working for an airline. I won't say which one but they're very traditional company. And when I would raise issues I would get the verbal equivalent of a pat on the head. And though the White developer next to me he would be hurt even though he said exactly the same thing. So that was it. That was the kind of thing is like OK this is what it feels like when you're actually to have bias because you never really know but that was more overt than most. And that was kind of constant because it was coming from the people that actually engaged my company to work for them.
Speaker 5:
18:25
Is it worse when it's upfront and out in the open like that or is it worse when everybody's pretending that it's not that way and it really is the pretending part.
Speaker 4:
18:38
Yeah when it's in your face you can you can adjust and sort of you know get get your big girl pants on and deal with that one on one. But when it's it's less than obvious you really have to sort of ignore it and just do your job because there's not. There's no way to find out for sure no one is going to tell you. So if it's too uncomfortable I'll find a way to get out of that situation but I'm going to do my job every day because that's what I'm being paid.
Speaker 5:
19:14
I'm reticent to ask this next question. Go for it. But I want to ask it anyway. Have you ever experienced any outward harassment inappropriate behavior. Like a lot of the things we're hearing about in the news right now. Have you ever had to deal with it.
Speaker 4:
19:32
Yes. Not recently. I haven't been in those situations for quite awhile before this current job. I did a lot of remote work and working on my own. But yeah early in my career I as a female I mean it's all about being a woman and being sexually harassed in the workplace. Yes absolutely. And when you get in tech and you have a lot of young men that are just coming out of school that haven't necessarily had a lot of relationships with women they've been in front of computers for most of their lives up to that point. They don't know how to act necessarily. They don't know what's appropriate. And they may not mean any harm but it's really uncomfortable.
Speaker 5:
20:20
But I mean how do you it's a dumb question but how do you deal with that. I mean what do you do in this situation.
Speaker 7:
20:31
At worst you cry yourself to sleep because I know you can't do anything about it. And you have to evaluate how much you really want to be in this space. At best as you get older and you sort of you know put those experiences behind you.
Speaker 4:
20:49
I want really want to do is motivate the next generation of women to keep keep broadening and expanding the way tech looks because that's the only way it's going to change is more exposure having more people around you that don't look like you. This is going to sound like a naive thing to say because I do partially know the answer.
Speaker 5:
21:14
But I'm more interested to hear a woman answer this question than I am a man because it is something that there's some part of me that is sort of still genuinely shocked. This doesn't happen. Why is it that men in these situations when they observe these things happen because there are plenty of times and in my life I've lost count the number of times I've I've watched other men do things and say things that were completely off the chart and again felt like the only person in the room who said wait a minute this is not right you can't do that. You can't say that. Why do men just sit on their hands and watch it happen.
Speaker 4:
22:00
I think we've tolerated a culture of men being encouraged to be that way from childhood.
Speaker 5:
22:10
Does it start that early.
Speaker 4:
22:12
And it starts you know when guys are competitive in high school and college and there are you know trying to outdo each other's manhood. You know it kind of becomes a thing where he's like You're talking about women a certain way to impress the guys and it's encouraged. It's just what we've put up with so now that we're calling individuals out for their behavior. We're not addressing that toxic culture aspect. We're not you know making it so we don't keep generating another generation of guys like this who still think that they can objectify and demean and say these things that are really kind of horrible. We're just we're just punishing individuals that get caught which is which is OK it's good that it's happening.
Speaker 5:
23:02
Yeah. Like you're like you're saying it's not the answer.
Speaker 4:
23:06
Yeah. I mean you're going to call this person when another person did the same thing you just don't know about it. So unless we address the culture and because TAC hat has so many young men that don't have a lot of experience they're building professional business cultures around them with the same mentality. And then women are coming in and they're getting blindsided by the fact that the level of professionalism that under other industries sort of take for granted doesn't exist there.
Speaker 5:
23:43
Because you're walking into the clubhouse essentially. Yeah exactly. Yeah and it's an argument for I mean I think you're right. Tech in particular you create these silos of people men in particular young men heads down isolated social media in the way that we all communicate remotely. Now exacerbates that. Yeah. You're even further removed from what it's like to really interact one on one with people. Combine that with a culture that even since I was a kid OK is very focused on all the things that you mentioned. If you're a male you know you have to be tough to be strong you can't be sensitive you cannot cry you cannot ever display any any feelings you know of any kind or you will be ridiculed and you have to regard women in a certain light.
Speaker 4:
24:36
It's not as equals it's not as it appears. So unless we're addressing that when they're young I don't think the prognosis for me for this to be fixed is not just calling people out. It's got to be about how we change the formative years.
Speaker 5:
24:56
And I think the cultural shift is harder than the personal. You know you and I have kids and you work. And then my father did. It's the reason I am the way I am. Has everything to do with my father not just what he said but what he did. OK the way that he lived and lives his life. And I will tell you that he in my experience is one in 10 million. OK. And I grew up that way but I never at any point even as a as a approaching 50 year old man I don't know that I fit either at this point or ever did. It's always felt like alien territory to me that I don't understand.
Speaker 4:
25:45
Yeah for a lot of pressure to be one of the boys you know I see it and I understand it. And but you know like you said good parenting having that strong male example does make a difference.
Speaker 5:
26:00
At the same time though it's I think this gets back to the whole conversation we had around social media. Right. I think organizations that are responsible for putting out content of any kind into the public space have responsibility as well. And I'm going to use this example because it's something that really made me angry. Design Observer which I've followed for years. They published a post and they do this every once in a while now. They published a post on Facebook about this photographer's work. This guy took pictures in the back of his cab gave him of passengers in the back of his cab for years. And it really is fascinating if you look at the collection and this is the sheer diversity of people and the emotional depth of these photographs is pretty incredible. At the same time when they made the post they led with a very suggestive image of a female who could have possibly been a drag queen as well. I couldn't quite tell to me elsewhere.
Speaker 5:
27:10
You know the fishnet stockings it's all legs it's all cleavage. It's all. I mean just the whole thing was setup in a way to say here's a suggestive image that we know. Men are just going to you know react to and look and you can't tell me that they didn't do that on purpose. I'm not buying it. And they wanted to drive the clicks. That's right. And that to me I'm sorry is inexcusable especially from an organization who should fucking be taking the moral high ground. Yeah I really I'm sorry if that comes across to whoever's hearing it rubs me the wrong way. I'm sorry. We have to be better now.
Speaker 4:
27:50
We have to be collectively we have to say we can't put up with this anymore. Objectification I mean a lot of young girls are putting themselves out there on Instagram to be objectified because they think it's empowering in coal and no one's telling them otherwise and they're just you know giving giving it away for free basically and saying guys do whatever you want with me. And that's unfortunate that they feel like that's power. And I I look at that and it's like you have no idea what your power is yet you keep it keep it as long as you can.
Speaker 5:
28:29
No. And that's right. And that's the one thing like you know like with our girls and one thing we're striving to do is make it clear to them like do not put up with anybody's bullshit. For even a second OK. You are worthy of respect. And you should demand it.
Speaker 4:
28:51
Exactly.
Speaker 5:
28:53
Period. Period. But but I worry that as an individual right we do what we can do within our own sphere of influence. But I think the the culture in the business culture in particular and the profit that is associated with this object of occasion that we're talking about in these mixed messages and all this sly sneaky shit that I see all the time. Man. I don't know how you change that. I don't even I really don't. I think maybe I do because people are saying you know how do we change this in politics or how do we change that. And people keep saying Elect more women more you know put women in leadership positions or I saw something crazy when they were talking about they wanted a feminist perspective somebody to host an awards show or something. And the argument was that Seth Meyers should do it. And the reaction that I had was echoed in just about every one of the 600 replies that the Post got which was OK how about have a woman hosted Facebook. Why are we searching for a guy who's a feminist to host a show.
Speaker 4:
30:08
I mean how backwards is this. And seems like an obvious conclusion to come to right. You have to actually tell people. Good Lord. And then the argument the counter argument becomes well we can't just select women because they're women and vote for them because women. Bullshit. It's like well until we're done with this repetitive days and we actually fix the problem. It's like affirmative action. You can't you can't just. That's right. Go add business as usual and expect the problem to be addressed. You have to do some repetitive work first and be OK with that.
Speaker 5:
30:46
And that's my feeling as well. OK. There's a reason there's a reason integration happened. There is a reason we decided OK it's not right to treat people as second class citizens. You know what African-Americans went through we decided collectively that's not OK. Right now we can argue about whether that's actually worked to a degree that has but it was still a critical step. And this to me is no different. So I agree with you. You have to. You have to draw a line in the sand and say this is unacceptable.
Speaker 4:
31:23
Yeah. Instill as a culture we understand that women are not objects and you know not people that you're supposed to talk about in a certain way especially in the workplace. And this isn't something I had to deal with when I was doing design and like marketing organizations. It was only when the rise of tech where the culture completely shifted everything was casual everything was you know you could say whatever you wanted and do whatever you wanted. And it was a shock to me because I had come from that other world. So when I started being a designer with developers and tech companies it was completely different experience.
Speaker 5:
32:05
And that's the impression you seem to get if you if you read a lot of the stuff that a lot of this is endemic to the tech industry in particular because you're snatching kids out of school before they've had a chance to become adults.
Speaker 4:
32:18
And they're they're feeding off each other.
Speaker 5:
32:21
I don't know how we solve and I desperately desperately hope that we do all I can say is that you know every instance I see of somebody being called out and fired or whatever. I mean all I can do is applaud it because this stuff has got to be it's got to be public as difficult as it may be for those folks and their families. You reap what you sow in life. So there's something to be said for reminding everybody that personal accountability is a thing.
Speaker 4:
32:58
You know you do have to be responsible for your actions yeah we're in such an interesting time it's it's like 2017 is it your reckoning for a lot of things that we didn't act.
Speaker 5:
33:10
Oh yeah. Empires rise and fall. So you know hey maybe our time.
Speaker 8:
33:20
I had a question and then it went away which happens to me often the older I get.
Speaker 3:
33:27
I should add that I can totally relate to math so I shouldn't admit that.
Speaker 5:
33:33
You've you've done a number of things. When I look down you know your resume linked in profile. You've been with a lot of different types of organizations you've had your hands on a lot of different things. What I'm curious about is you know how does all that. Because these these look and sound like slightly different experiences with different types of organizations clients projects even the work that you were doing. I've been all over the map. How does all that varied experience. Because you seem very focused in your role right now. How does all that varied experience. Sort of help you do what you do right now. Better if it does.
Speaker 4:
34:15
At the time I was doing it I felt like I was all over the map. But I'm so glad I did it because I would really be driven by curiosity and not career goals. I had gotten into web design and you know that was interesting and all but I was also interested in digital video. I was interested in research and I would just follow the jobs that allowed me to stretch. So I had a job with a video production company as I was doing their email blast those doing their website. And I remember going up to the owner and saying you know I'm not really crazy about the quality of the show that we're making. And he's like well why don't you produce it. Like I don't know how.
Speaker 6:
35:01
Okay I'll go figure it out. I love that.
Speaker 4:
35:06
And you know I have a producer and a feeling so she was a good resource. Stow's just like I know people are doing it so it must be able to be done. I'll figure it out. And you know there's a certain level of expertise to go that goes into these roles. But if you're willing to stay up late and do the work and learn new things which I always want to do I mean I might never rest. I always want to learn more stuff. Jobs that allow me to do that I stay with longer and then I sort of see something else as the know the industry has changed a lot over the last 20 years so I see new things that I want to get into all of those and if a job doesn't let me get into those things I'm moving on. That's pretty much how it's been.
Speaker 5:
35:54
Yeah which I think is a good thing. And I also think it speaks to something that I believe pretty strongly and that is if you can do this work you're a you X person you're a designer you're a developer your creative analytical thinker problem solver of any kind. If you can do it in one place you can do it in other places and by that I mean whether we're talking about like you just said producing video video art video editing to graphic design to UI designed to do X analysis to information architecture analysis to understanding you know how things get built. To me there's a huge common thread in all that stuff. Absolutely. That is sort of who we are.
Speaker 4:
36:48
You have to be open to learning whether it's a new skill or about you know customers are just being constantly a sponge of things around you. Otherwise when you get into the work you're not thinking about the people who use it you're thinking about yourself yeah yeah.
Speaker 5:
37:08
I mean I think that in some of these cases it's just the tools that change. OK. To hammer on the video thing for a second here I have. I've directed and produced and storyboarded video as well and in my past and for various reasons. And I kind of felt the same way that you did which is OK I've never done this before but it's the sort of goals are the same. Right what we're trying to accomplish is the same. So OK let's let's sit down and think about it and see whether or not I can pull this off and what I found is that aside from the mechanics of doing it and the tools of doing it which I was absolutely unfamiliar with Yeah it was a lot more possible than I originally thought. And that surprised me a little bit the first time that you got it.
Speaker 4:
37:57
It's all sort of tens of tangential and possible within the digital realm you know and I think if you're really interested in something making the move is one of the best things you can do. You don't have to stay. That's the thing I tried. Front end development for a short time. And I really got into it but I didn't like the linear heads down nature of the work. I like interacting with people more. I like research more. Yeah. And I didn't stick with it. It wasn't very good at it. So when people ask me Do you code and like I understand code understand what the limitations of code. I understand what's possible. I can talk to coders and I think that's not you know I don't need to actually do it myself. That's what other people are for.
Speaker 5:
38:46
Yeah and I personally I agree with you. So where do you fall. And I think I know but I'm going to ask anyway where do you fall on the. Should designers or you X people code debate.
Speaker 4:
38:57
I think if they want to code they should absolutely try it. I think they should have a low level of technical literacy so they understand how to talk to coders and how to understand what they do and empathy for what they do. But they don't have to code. No absolutely not.
Speaker 8:
39:16
Well I'm in violent agreement with you there. And that argument's even been beat to death.
Speaker 3:
39:21
But yeah I think if Alan Cooper agrees with me I'm that's that's always my validation as well if Fallon says something and I find myself agreeing to there.
Speaker 6:
39:33
They're all in the industry that if they're saying the same thing oh my. All right I'll stick with this.
Speaker 5:
39:40
Yeah and you sort of follow that right. And you use it to some degree as a barometer. I mean by way of example I mentioned something in the Facebook Live group the other day when we went live that I find really troubling and this happens to be something that Ellen is talking about a lot right now as well. And that is the fact that in all this stuff in this rush to build digital products and all these frameworks and automated sequences and you know automatic grid design that that makes you snap but all this stuff the idea of real design in the true sense of the term is getting lost. We're not talking about it.
Speaker 4:
40:22
Yeah. And it's it's creating a generation of fearful designers that don't want to break outside of those frameworks you know. I mean I would get into the web when it first became more commercial and I was more open to the general public. And there was so much experimental stuff going on was dismayed me. And as more people got into it and became more commercial and about selling all of that stopped. I mean there's still some experimental stuff but you really have to search for it. And to me that was that's how designers push their limits. And then they reel it back for what what works. But you have to actually push yourself beyond what's accepted.
Speaker 5:
41:04
Yeah I think so too. And I also think with the nature of technology and the way that it's changed you know for instance we have all these devices right. We have all these screen resolutions we have to account for we have browser behavior that we have to account for. There's a million variables so what you're starting to see is on a technical side there are lots of other solutions that solve those problems. Yeah but seemingly at the expense of sort of that the true appropriateness relevance uniqueness of branded communication right where we're sending a message that is uniquely yours. And people can interact with it in a way that is sort of specific to their context as well. And I think that's getting lost and I'm wrestling in my own stuff. OK my own have been a process of redesigning my Web site. We're looking at slightly different platform for online training courses when you start to review all these things. The thing that hits you smack in the face immediately is that the degree to which you will have to trade off. Certain things that you believe are important for clean functionality or for something that costs you know a fraction of what it would if you had to develop it in a custom manner.
Speaker 4:
42:35
Yeah and the exploration for design patterns and you know feedback Mike Rayner actions all that stuff you're assuming when you use a framework it's all worked out already and you just use what they have in the library instead of exploring something new and it's you know it's unfortunate.
Speaker 5:
42:54
Yeah and it is and you're forced I think in some cases organizations and individuals are forced to make decisions that don't necessarily agree with. Yeah. You know looking at the functionality and the feature the way it's implemented in the platform. Right and you're saying OK it works this way. That kind of sucks. I'd like to customize it to do a b and c and in that process you find out what exactly it's going to take and customize it to do A B and C in terms of time and effort and costs and you think to yourself that's crazy. I can't justify that.
Speaker 4:
43:30
Yeah I just had a recent project and they were starting out material design because they had done other apps and material and like I don't it is a system I don't think it lends itself to material. I think we should look at something else and it was just that conversation went nowhere because they were just insistent that it had to be material. Yeah and it saved them so much time as hard as you know working out all that interaction and UI design. So yeah I lost that one.
Speaker 5:
43:59
It was important. Well it's all you can do. Right. Yeah well you can just say I think it should be different.
Speaker 4:
44:07
I warned my bosses my current company that I will always advocate for what I think is right.
Speaker 6:
44:12
You know I will probably be annoying really really annoying but I will do it. And if you say no I'll just keep going.
Speaker 5:
44:20
Well that's the gig though yeah.
Speaker 3:
44:22
I think our job to a large degree is to be the sand in the oyster right to irritate it because because that's what produces the pearl. Yeah I'm often the only kernel although I understand that it can be a lonely existence. But Lisa somebody's got to do it.
Speaker 8:
44:42
So I'll get agreement privately off line from people and then in the meetings I'll not say a word like you're dying on a hill by yourself that's fine. Yeah and it goes to the Territory.
Speaker 3:
44:58
The old sage in the corner muttering to myself that's fine. That's right. That's right. But.
Speaker 5:
45:04
I think and as you alluded to I think that's one of the benefits of age and I don't pretend to know how old you are but I think if you've been doing anything long enough one of the benefits of that is that as you get older you care less about a lot of that stuff your focus and the reason that you do this in the first place becomes I think a lot clearer sharper focus.
Speaker 4:
45:31
Yeah I would absolutely agree with that. I used to care a lot and I remember caring. I just don't have that that in security anymore and I'm so grateful it went away. I just wish I could tell people why. I just think it's doing the job. After a certain point you feel more comfortable with your own voice and there's no way to predict when that will happen.
Speaker 5:
45:57
Do you think there's any way any real way to to convince younger people to sort of adopt some of those principles now or is it something that they just have to go through themselves.
Speaker 4:
46:10
I think they can sort of shortcut it a bit. Pushing themselves into more uncomfortable situations earlier rather than waiting for the job to to present them whether it's through you know outside activities or freelance jobs or something something that they find particularly challenging. Like for me discovery sessions put fear fear of God in me because presentation at that point in my career was really hard. I couldn't I couldn't get a sentence out without feeling really self-conscious. And I didn't like PowerPoint presentations. I hated that style and I would try to follow my lead who wanted everything on the PowerPoint and literally wanted me to read it. And I'm like that is not engaging. I don't want to do that. It makes me feel more awkward than I already do. So I just I just threw it all away and started talking to people in the room and walking around and talking them like as if it was just one person at a time. And that worked for me.
Speaker 5:
47:16
Yeah I could because I always think back and when I'm laughing because you know there was a long stretch for me when I was younger especially where I was pretty stubborn. And no no never you.
Speaker 3:
47:35
Never got that right. Who'd have thunk it.
Speaker 5:
47:41
And you couldn't tell me anything. OK I mean you really couldn't. And that's why I talk about hard knocks a lot and that's why that's that's why the majority of those unfortunate situations happened and it's why I became so wise.
Speaker 3:
47:58
It really is the only way.
Speaker 5:
48:01
Yeah but I always think now that I'm older. OK. I constantly find myself in this situation where you know someone to email me or message me and say I'm tell with the situation I'm like sort of on the ledge here. I'm ready to jump. You know metaphorically and I can see it there banging their head in their heart against this wall and I'm trying like hell to say look certain things are worth fighting for certain things aren't if you can do this this this and this. Keep going. If you can't back off save yourself some pain and just chalk it up to a loss and move on you know ends a lot of them simply can't do that. And I think to myself well you couldn't either. When you were that age.
Speaker 4:
48:50
Yeah. Which is true. I couldn't. Remembering remembering how you felt at that age has been a struggle for me when I'm working with junior level people. You forget how much it matters to you to be right.
Speaker 5:
49:04
Yeah yeah yeah that's exactly that's exactly it.
Speaker 4:
49:08
Because we equate at that point in our careers we equate expertise with being right all the time and we've come to find that being able to bravely admit what you don't know is when you're an expert.
Speaker 5:
49:21
Yeah. And I think that's accurate. That really is accurate. Being and that being right you know it comes from tremendous insecurity and to some degree and not always not always in the big horrible way that that sounds but I think you said it a minute ago sort not knowing your place in the grand scheme of things and that's that's a tough place to be.
Speaker 4:
49:49
Yeah. And what's kind of unfortunate. I mean it's great that so many people that age are starting companies but it's unfortunate that they don't realize that they're in that place mentally when they're doing it because they're they're barreling down the road with that mentality and they're building it in or an entire organization around it. And then when the bad things happen they're not prepared.
Speaker 5:
50:13
And it's happening fast. Yeah I mean the speed of growth the speed at which an idea becomes a company right now is so much money thrown at them.
Speaker 4:
50:23
Yeah. So yeah you just look at that. You're shaking your head. You know there are things he could have predicted if you'd had more experience in your company to advise you. Yeah. You can course correct. It's like I look at Twitter and the issues they're having with just how they manage their users that could have been prevented early on and they just didn't do it.
Speaker 5:
50:50
And now it's this big convoluted widespread problem with a lot of tangled roots. Yeah yeah. And you're like OK how do you address this now.
Speaker 4:
51:02
Had the right people been in the room when they first started they could have anticipated some of it at least some of it. I think so.
Speaker 5:
51:10
And it's unfortunately I'm very curious to see what happens. The human part of the social web I think needs to come forward. I think there needs to be a higher degree of ethical and moral responsibility to some degree and I don't pretend to know the answer to what that is.
Speaker 4:
51:33
Yeah but I think we're I think we're at critical mass right now a lot of ways yeah it's strongly influencing how we feel about everything and what we focus on. And my issue is if the loudest voices the people that are being protected are the negative ones then it's not really free speech anymore. That's right. That free for the ones that are reasonable if they're getting attacked by people that are just out there to create havoc.
Speaker 5:
52:00
No I agree with that. I agree with that there has to be balance. And again I don't pretend to know the solution but there have been several instances I've seen so far for example not to get too deep down the rabbit hole but I have seen several instances where you know Twitter has responded directly. Twitter personnel have responded directly to something that was egregious and have decided that oh well you know it needs to stay out there.
Speaker 4:
52:28
I've had experience too.
Speaker 5:
52:30
If if you were involved and you are seeing this you got a reax a little bit better you can't just say oh well it's free speech and wash your hands wash your hands of it. Some of this stuff is truly dangerous.
Speaker 4:
52:44
It's dangerous and you know there's an entire generation that has grown up with you know come of age with its own entity and they're going through it everyday and being influenced by it. And it's you know it's it makes me sad because I was you know I bridged you know the digital revolution. So I know what it's like before it happens. That's when I formed my my personhood. You know and I I can fight back mentally and I I don't think a lot of kids out there have that ability.
Speaker 5:
53:15
Well no because they've they've grown up with personal interaction and personal experience sort of happening at a distance. You know there's a there's an old George Carlin bit where he says the degree to which someone is an asshole is directly proportional to the distance they are away from you at the time you discovered this flaw right. Because if you're in your car you know when someone's a sight you like that guy's an asshole. Yes someone's right next to you.
Speaker 3:
53:46
You whisper to somebody else you guys really an asshole and someone offer a parking space and then you hold the door for them when you're walking in this way. Oh it's different.
Speaker 5:
53:57
We're not this rude to each other. I mean some people are but for the most part we're not this rude to each other in person. Absolutely. And this distance sort of emboldens people to say and do whatever the hell they feel like doing. Yeah. And if you're putting up these platforms I think you have a responsibility there and that to me dovetails exactly precisely into user experience. That is part of the domain.
Speaker 4:
54:28
Yeah absolutely. Because the experience for the majority of people is to be on guard for the next person that's going to attack them for their opinion. It's sad. I don't I don't use Twitter for actually expressing real ideas I'll pass things on. I use it mostly for you x industry stop or to maybe comment on some political occasionally if I absolutely can't stand it.
Speaker 6:
54:54
Yeah. Other than that it's not the tool that I would hope it to be.
Speaker 4:
54:58
As far as any meaningful exchanges between people that grew and Facebook Qena is if you will only if you Sile yourself into a corner with people that think like you do.
Speaker 5:
55:11
If you're preaching to the choir it's okay yeah. And it's hard not to get sucked into this stuff. I try really hard. I really really try to make a concerted effort not to be throwing political stuff around all the time. But yeah it's hard to have that platform. Particularly now because I feel like all right you're in a position where people are actually paying attention to some of the things that you say and certain things I feel like if I remain silent on this what message am I sending. Okay. I've always believed that silence equals agreement. And I think that's dangerous. You know I understand if it's if you're a person with you know 24 hours and you feel like well I'm not even going there. I get that. But when you know the thousand 2000 people whatever and some people will have infinitely you know that times infinity in terms of the people paying attention what they say. You start to feel this responsibility to that group. You know a war and I guess I got a comment on this because people getting the idea that I'm OK with it.
Speaker 4:
56:22
Yeah I really appreciate how you use your Facebook form to sort of moderate and real conversations back and get to it.
Speaker 3:
56:33
I've actually been in a couple hours. It's just it's not easy.
Speaker 5:
56:40
I mean I've you know we've myself and two other folks that sort of monitor things.
Speaker 4:
56:45
We've deleted plenty of things I haven't seen any really really egregious stuff but that's probably good.
Speaker 5:
56:52
Occasionally one shows up one I'll show up at like 5:00 in the morning and I'll get a text Hey have you seen this. Yeah. And I've only had one sort of crazy whereas truly sort of a head scratching situation where where I tried to correct course with somebody and they just came at me. You know full force like you're this and you're like I do.
Speaker 3:
57:22
OK. We all professionals here. Come on now. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
57:25
And I think some of that for some people this is a byproduct of like I said that distance where you feel it's OK when you see something you don't agree with. You feel that it's OK to respond to it by first telling the other person how stupid they are and criticizing them and attacking them personally yeah I'm going to let you know.
Speaker 4:
57:45
Always wondered what motivates that. Because it's not behavior we exhibit in other kinds of interactions. Said the cursing people out in the car and wanting to call people stupid on line because they disagree with you.
Speaker 3:
57:58
It's not how we act. Why do we do it. Well I understand. Yeah I don't know.
Speaker 5:
58:03
Crazy I don't know maybe because it's availability. You know and I think that's probably that's probably if I had a guess it's probably repressed rage from somewhere else. Yeah. You know or it's a feeling of powerlessness or it's something else it's manifesting itself in hey I've got to get out here and tell all these people how stupid they are.
Speaker 4:
58:26
You have a question for you. How do you how do you manage that kind of impulse when you're building a platform. The impulse to to react emotionally among me among users to want to have you don't go that far with their interactions. How do you how could Facebook be better.
Speaker 5:
58:50
I don't know what they can do with this. Well I think until you know everybody talks about A.I. right and bots and all these other things and how they're getting smarter and they're you know we're using algorithms to ferret out patterns in speech words all sorts of things. And I think that's all good but we are still very much at the point where human intervention is still a critical component. And even of automated solutions even of AI solutions you know even where bots are concerned there are still certain significant degree of human intervention and the problem with something like Facebook is the scale of it. Yeah you know you can't possibly have a staff big enough to to effectively pay attention to what's going on. What I think they can do what I think Twitter can do as well and this is purely I swear to you from you X and design and development standpoint and I don't think these are big kerbs they could significantly improve their reporting mechanisms that. If they did nothing but include more choices when you're forced to report something that can choices that exist where you have to pick one of those do not cover very much. Okay. I think there's a lot of there are a lot of things that are that are missing. For example on Twitter I've had people follow me lately and try to hijack things that I've posts who are essentially to some degree porn sites.
Speaker 4:
60:20
Oh wow. Yeah. I've seen them on Twitter.
Speaker 5:
60:23
Here's what happens when you try to report that when you hit the report button. There is no option for for pornography or for you know what's the word I'm looking for. Something. In some cases children are involved in this which is pure evil. There is no category. You can put them under. And I've encountered lots of instances where I've seen things that are really egregious and there was no there is no option no category to properly report it and therefore what I think happens is that the system takes that and because it a machine looks at that post and can't identify it based on the criteria it has already it passes. Interesting. OK. That's what I think is happening. Our platforms.
Speaker 4:
61:16
I didn't realize it was on Twitter for the longest time. I just happened to come across something and I was I was shocked that it was allowed to be there. It was an entire is it out yet. Porn star but none of the posts were posted by the account. They were all read tweets from someone else. Right. So they got around the rules.
Speaker 5:
61:38
Yeah right. Right. And there's no. And that's what I'm saying. Where I think it's a design flaw it's a development flaw it's old it's a mid tier logic flaw in that you're just missing a big part of the puzzle. I mean they they Twitter for example just had this you know all these posts about we've revamped our security rules and this and that. And when I look it's the same for choices that we had before.
Speaker 4:
62:05
And there's a serious lag on response to Yeah.
Speaker 5:
62:08
And I think that's what happens I think the machine looks at it and it gets a pass because it doesn't fit any of these predefined categories. You know a machine doesn't know how to make a leap in logic stupid. And I think that's part of the problem. So I think that part has to get better at the very least. If you can't improve if we're not at the point technologically where we can improve the machine's ability to recognize certain scenarios and triggers then you have to spend some time designing and developing the reporting process to be better to be more accurate to set off internal triggers in a system that alert a human being. Right. Certain things at certain levels absolutely must be caught.
Speaker 4:
62:51
Yeah you would think after a certain number of reports particular post would be suppressed just until it can be looked at by a human just take it down for that moment when you have enough reports on it.
Speaker 5:
63:05
Right. You can't lump everything into a big generic category that says this is harmful or abusive. OK. If it's child pornography it needs to be in a category child pornography. And that sets off massive alarm bells. Right. And a human being says no we're deleting this right now.
Speaker 4:
63:20
Yeah. And you know other people can manage systems like that. I've seen it done so.
Speaker 5:
63:24
That's right. So to me that's sloppiness. It's laziness to some degree. And it's a denial of the responsibility that you have when you're in this position no one wants to hear about their troubles. Yeah ok.
Speaker 4:
63:40
I mean I don't you know I read some things of couple of years ago about you know because even then it was it was a problem. And their defense was of course the free speech argument. And I think a lot of it they don't want to minimize their engagement. That's right. I think they can get all drive users away if they start doing it.
Speaker 5:
64:01
And I think you're right about that and I think that's it. Think about it for a second think about every client you are worked with around going zation you have worked with think about their reticence to do certain things. What was it centered around. Right. What was the driver there losing users. Yeah. Losing customers. It's the same thing. This is the same battle the same concerns and their legitimate concerns and minimize that.
Speaker 3:
64:25
I'll do it for you.
Speaker 8:
64:27
They can afford those rights.
Speaker 3:
64:34
All right fine I was trying to be diplomatic. So you're braver than I am. Not just you know I have like Tourette's or something just come down to I don't have that filter anymore and there's no reason to sometimes yeah. Jolter Yeah I have some things. Have you gotten yourself into trouble. Oh god yes. I would say things before I realize I've said them out loud like oh I what I really meant was commenced backpedaling.
Speaker 4:
65:07
I think I'm making up for several decades of being reticent to too afraid. So it all kind of stored up and now it's it's not a problem whatsoever.
Speaker 5:
65:21
Well there's nothing wrong with that. You know my father used to tell me all the time and he still says you know the worst possible thing you can do in any situation is tell the truth. Right at the end of the day the worst you can do is be honest. And whatever happens after that is going to happen. But at least you know that you're told the truth.
Speaker 4:
65:41
Yeah this is one of my great life lessons is the consequences of being authentic are not nearly as bad as the ones I'm not.
Speaker 5:
65:49
That's right. Yeah. And I think a lot of us have learned that the hard way. Absolutely. And definitely teach you personally and professionally.
Speaker 4:
65:58
And in it it crosses over. So if you start to feel more brave personally you start to feel it professionally as well. So yeah I think so.
Speaker 5:
66:07
This is random words coming from the Gravett home. Here we go. I noticed when I looked at your profile earlier that when you were at Bowling Green when you were in college your major was biology and psychology and thought that would come up.
Speaker 3:
66:25
I was headed toward premed.
Speaker 4:
66:27
I was all about. I didn't know if I was going to be a psychiatrist or I just wanted psychology to support medicine. But I really wanted to go into medicine. And I kind of washed out in chemistry and I was like well what do I do now. Cause I had all my eggs in one basket and I really had no idea what else I wanted to do. And I was taking art classes and I was doing design classes you know and design back then was by hand. So I just sort of kept that to this side as something I liked but I didn't think I was going to go into it as a profession because my mom would always say you know you can't get a job you can actually get a good job doing them like oh yeah I was there.
Speaker 3:
67:14
Yeah I went through that.
Speaker 4:
67:16
So you know after school I really didn't know what I wanted to do and I didn't find design or or digital anything until I think it was I was 30 I was 30 when I worked as an assistant for a multimedia production company. And they happened to have a Mac and it was the Lisa you know. Nice. Yeah. And they were doing these. I think time is called MacroMedia Director. Yup doing all these cool presentations on it. And I I didn't know how they did it. It was a complete mystery to me but whatever it was I wanted to learn it. And that was from that point on everything related to that kind of is what I focused on.
Speaker 5:
68:02
So what I find interesting is that the two fields that you started out in to me have direct ties to the work that we do as you as professionals. Really I think both things factor in psychology is huge.
Speaker 4:
68:15
Yeah obviously yeah. The more I got into you X and understand the users that I could draw on a lot of that but it didn't seem like a direct connection at first.
Speaker 5:
68:26
No of course not of course not. But even with biology okay with this sort of natural biological ways that that we all function and interact with one another and that the impulses some of which are biomechanical to some degree drive us. Then there have been a lot of good arguments made in recent years about how biology spills over into all sorts of disciplines even to how businesses operate and run and are created or how design happens or how products are idiots. The whole argument about form and function which is one of my favorites this idea that form follows function which it doesn't is essentially refuted. And to some degree in certain aspects of biology right where it's commonly thought that the opposite is true. But if you really dig into it it isn't. There's a lot of adaptation that happens because of necessity.
Speaker 4:
69:20
Yeah I was just talking to a colleague about this. You know when people have a task to perform or a goal to achieve they will put up with a bad interface. Yeah I'll just do it. They'll just adapt to it. And if it's part of the job they'll do it for years and not complain about it because they figure it's part of their job. So it depends on the motivation of the individual user because they're not likely to tell you I need a better interface.
Speaker 5:
69:48
No because it never enters their mind. What they're focused on is what they're trying to accomplish. Right. And that adaptation that you're talking about again that exists in nature everywhere. Yeah that's how all this stuff works. To a large degree. So I'm not smart enough to really dig into those parallels but the things that I've read I find completely fascinating because there are little bells that go off like yeah we do do that. Yeah.
Speaker 4:
70:15
And I still get on I'm going deep to understand motivations of behavior and you know the changes in human brain I get into all that stuff all over again which was you know my initial passion of biology is like it's all tied together. And I know that now but it's really fascinating to rediscover how it effects what I'm doing currently.
Speaker 5:
70:38
Mazing is amazing. You know how we start in one place and we wind up in another place when you're younger particular We've hammered this topic as well but you have this sort of idea about how all this is going to go. And reality is that it doesn't go anything like that.
Speaker 4:
70:56
I had notebooks full of my five year 10 year plans. I knew exactly exactly to the letter what my life was gonna be and it wasn't anything like that. So I stopped with the notebooks already. It was like if I can just get through this year and I'll see what happens.
Speaker 3:
71:14
I don't know where I'm going to be and I'm okay with it. Yeah you sort of learn over time to have your bags packed at all times.
Speaker 4:
71:19
Yeah. Oh the dot com bust. That's where I learned of all the tech jobs I had from 99 to 2005. I think I was laid off four times in five years. So I just had fun with it.
Speaker 6:
71:36
Point me like how are they going to do it this time I wonder.
Speaker 5:
71:39
Yeah that was an amazing period of time. I still look back at it and all these.
Speaker 4:
71:44
Half-Baked business models that they were going to sell to for high dollar venture capitalists like no right.
Speaker 5:
71:54
No part of me goes OK it's a miracle that we sort of survived it. And at the same time it's just I don't think I've ever experienced any other point in history where things were just so completely random and went you know just everything that was happening. There was no precedent. There were no rules. There were no I mean companies were being valued by how much money they could spend how fast. You know it just flew in the face of of everything else. But it was exciting.
Speaker 4:
72:27
It was exciting it was fun. It was really fun. The legal stuff was kind of a drag but I'm learning that I could just survive that kind of thing. I was set for the rest of my career. I didn't really sweat that stuff anymore.
Speaker 5:
72:40
And that's a valuable lesson that Zweibel lesson to learn early.
Speaker 4:
72:43
Yeah to that OK I'm not that is like this didn't stop me care about your craft if you keep growing and stretching and making sure you're doing good work. The jobs will come because you've whether you realize it or not you've created a network of people that you've worked with before that you can tap into. And most of my jobs over the last ten years with the exception of the one I have right now I've come through other people that I know people you know they say people make the world go round.
Speaker 5:
73:12
They really truly do. Your relationships drive a lot of what happens. I mean this is the reason I have a career. OK. This is all based on personal interactions and relationships and the growth that happens comes from that as well so I could not possibly agree with you more.
Speaker 4:
73:32
Yeah it matters it's a karma thing. I mean I don't strictly believe in that but I do believe in putting the best possible energy out there professionally and it has come back to me several times.
Speaker 5:
73:43
I think you're right about that. And time has proven that true. So I would like to ask you some quick hotseat questions. Here we go. Right. See Mike. Some good ones. First and this is one of my favorites. What word or phrase do you say far too often.
Speaker 9:
74:00
Awesome. Really. Yeah. Now I used to use it ironically because I thought it was so silly but it just sort of crept into my everyday language and I catch myself like I can't say that in front of a client but everything is awesome with me.
Speaker 5:
74:17
Well maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy where you're willing things to be awesome. Let's go with that. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
74:24
Yeah. I'm trying to help. Thank you. I appreciate it. Trying to help.
Speaker 5:
74:28
What is what is one talent or skill that you have that nobody knows about.
Speaker 4:
74:35
Because my life has taken such twists and turns as gotten into telling stories and writing. So I keep that to myself for now. I don't know if I'm going to do anything with that. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
74:49
Writing fiction interesting. So you've written a lot of fiction over the years.
Speaker 4:
74:55
I'll write little stories but I'm focusing a lot on it now and I guess people will know because I'm saying it right. Yeah. It's the kind of thing everybody wants to be an author so I keep it to myself because it seems cliche but yeah I started writing. Yeah but your work might be really good. It might be. We'll see. I still haven't decided if I'm going to release it to the wild.
Speaker 5:
75:17
But yeah that's awesome. And it's even if you don't I think it's awesome that you're doing it.
Speaker 4:
75:22
It's a good outlet. It's definitely a good outlet.
Speaker 5:
75:25
So yeah that's very cool. So the proverbial Desert Island situation and all broaden the category a little bit you can have either one record to listen to or one movie or just bring it even further or one book. Oh well what's it going to be.
Speaker 4:
75:46
Not all of them. Well the record won't demeanor get on that island if I don't have electricity right.
Speaker 5:
75:53
Well let's let's assume for sake of argument you would listen to it. It's like Gilligan's Island you create your own power source.
Speaker 4:
75:59
No it would be music. Dave Brubeck Take Five.
Speaker 5:
76:03
Yeah that would be an excellent choice. Excellent choice. Why.
Speaker 4:
76:07
It was. My dad had a collection of jazz and Herbie from like the 60s 50s and 60s and it was one of those things that I would sneak. When he wasn't looking and listened Dixie didn't want me touching his records. Now I'm a little kid at the time and I didn't really understand what I was listening to. I didn't know what jazz was. I didn't even realize at the time that my own grandfather was a jazz musician musician because no one talked about it. But I would play it over and over again it would just make me happy. Just it's just amazing. And I still do it still. I still use that song Take vibe to sort of you know myself up. That was an incredible record. And the whole thing Paul Desmond's work is just amazing staggering.
Speaker 5:
76:57
I mean the depth the depth there and the complexity that sort of comes across in such a clear connected. I don't want to use the word simple but it's really I don't think you really realize people most people don't really realize how complex that music is because it comes across so perfectly is extremely well crafted.
Speaker 4:
77:22
And you you could get lost in the catchiness of it not realize how many layers there are.
Speaker 5:
77:28
I mean there are certain things that are just so perfect that defining categorization. I mean the first time I ever heard a love supreme. I felt that way.
Speaker 4:
77:38
Yeah that's a good one to you. Yeah. Oh my god are you kidding me.
Speaker 5:
77:43
Yeah I love those types of experiences with music because I'm obsessed. But I love it when something floors me and I think how did I live without this.
Speaker 4:
77:53
And the transformative nature of it it's just you know when you can have any experience and especially in concert which I haven't had in a long time.
Speaker 5:
78:02
But yeah there's some musicians that can just take you other places and go see if you ever get the chance go see Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band. Yeah. OK. Brian plays a drummer. What style. It's jazz. But. But they are mixing and melding so many different styles of music. A lot of it is very unexpected but there are two favorite pieces of mine is an album called landmarks. And it just came out. It's called Body and shadow. They're both very meditative very contemplated of very atmospheric. These are two records that were both immediately like at desert island status for me oh wow ok landmarks when I got it it has my playlist for like three years.
Speaker 4:
78:49
I'll definitely check it out. Sounds like you know if my house was on fire I would need to make sure that I had a competent recommendation.
Speaker 5:
79:00
I will definitely check that out and my wife and I just want to see them and live as a whole different level.
Speaker 7:
79:05
Blown Away and scared when someone you love is great lives because often that's not the case.
Speaker 3:
79:11
Yeah I've been there. I've certainly been there. I kind of want to do one more before we wrap this up.
Speaker 4:
79:18
I'm trying to think okay. It's like Inside the Actors Studio. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
79:22
Yeah. You know. If you. Let's. This is another classic but it's a good one. You get one wish and the wish can't be for more wishes.
Speaker 3:
79:33
Always my god.
Speaker 5:
79:34
What's it going to be a wish. Yeah what's it going to be.
Speaker 4:
79:41
That everybody starts listening to each other with open open ears and open hearts.
Speaker 5:
79:46
I think that's perfect. That's perfect. And I think it absolutely describes who you are as a person. From what I have witnessed so far.
Speaker 4:
79:54
Thank you for that. Means a lot. I try. I try really hard.
Speaker 5:
79:59
And for most of us that's all we can do. Absolutely cannot thank you enough for spending time with me this morning. I deeply appreciate it. This was a truly enjoyable conversation and I hope we get to do it again soon.
Speaker 4:
80:10
It's been an awesome job. I loved every minute. Thank you.
Speaker 3:
80:15
Awesome take care and have a fantastic weekend. You too.
Speaker 1:
80:20
That wraps up this edition of making us work. Thanks for listening and I hope hearing these stories provide some useful perspective and encouragement. Along with a reminder that you're not alone out there. Before I go I want you to know that you can find shows and links to the things mentioned during our conversation by visiting. GIVE GOOD YOU X.com slash podcast. You'll also find links to more Eurex resources on the web and social media along with ways to contact me if you're interested in sharing your own story here. Until next time this is Jonah Toli reminding you that it's people like you who make us work.
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