And that first question is only the beginning. Many other questions are necessary in facilitating and crafting enduring, remarkable, and delightful experiences in the world — both digital and physical. Always at the highest level of craft & quality.
I also often ask, Are we solving the right problem? Or some version of this question because change is inevitable — stressful but inevitable — and technology or new design methodologies is/are a means to an end, never the end in and of itself.
Speaking of design — yes, I'm a designer. Over the last decade, I've worked for myself, for startups, small companies, and large companies. I've contributed to a sum of work, I've been the founding designer and built a team, I've worked on my own, and I've led/grown existing teams on the inside of product companies (including Sesame, Shep, mediabistro) as well as operating from the outside (including Fjord/Accenture Song, thoughtbot, GSD&M).
In its most simple terms, my work is designing for human beings — whether the medium is a mobile screen, facilitating a workshop activity, constructing a narrative, or something in the realm of research, product design, user experience, service design, strategy, etc. These days, I'm focusing on discovery work within multi-disciplinary teams, iterating on designops, managing people, and building the Americas teams at SoftServe.
I also believe how we work and how we create our work — the path and the process — is crucial to get right because there’s nothing valiant in working unnecessarily and burning people out. This goes for others, this goes for me too. I’ve seen firsthand the cost of ambiguous expectations which often leads to needless overwork (which goes hand in hand with burnout, on and on). For these reasons and others, it is essential to unblock and guide others to be absolutely purposeful in their work.
I’m most motivated and fulfilled with work that lines up with my values. The word volunteer comes from the Latin noun voluntas, meaning will or desire. And there is no more powerful motivator than when someone sets their mind to do something.
And yes, Skipper is my actual name — for reals. Because of that, I don't go by Skippy, Skip, boss, chief, etc. It's more complicated than this but in a way, I got to pick my name. Ask me about it, I'm happy to tell you about it — unless you're an identity thief. Then, no thank you. Forget I said anything.
I have a bit of a hobby about languages — as I kid, I spoke Hangul (Korean) and English fluently, I had Spanish in elementary school, took Latin in middle school and high school, took one semester of French in university and two semesters of Ukrainian for my language credit, two class cycles with the Korean consulate in New York City, and then a refresher course in Ukrainian with SoftServe.
I've lived/worked previously in Austin, Texas as well as New York, New York. Currently, I live with my wife, daughter, and a rescue dog in the San Francisco Bay Area.
If you're wondering — aside from family and friends, the thing I miss most about Texas is the heat of the peppers. With NYC, I miss the city itself most, which operated on its own vibration plane while maintaining the residents in a kind of entropy altogether; we were all there in it with each other. And San Francisco — which is much larger than I imagined, at least the Bay Area at-large — is quite wonderful for all of its natural and manmade sights.