Issue 10

In Offscreen Issue No10, Amit Gupta tells his life story as entrepreneur, photographer, and cancer survivor; New York-based installation artist Zach Gage shows us that art and games are closely related; non-profit CEO Iris Lapinski makes the case for an education reform driven by technology; tech journalist Om Malik chronicles the startup scene, from dot-com bust to the new heydays; Behance founder Scott Belsky explores the future of creativity and business in a mobile world; and Andrew Kim gives insight into his role as an up-and-coming product designer at Microsoft.


Amit Gupta

Founder of Photojojo — on combining business and fun, the value of hidden dinosaurs, and how the Internet helped save his life.

Zach Gage

Artist/Game Developer — on exploring systems through art, the struggles of an indie game developer, and why poker remains a triumph in game design.

Iris Lapinski

Founder of Apps for Good — on changing the behaviour of teachers, the similarities between coding and pottery classes, and real-world problem-solving for kids.

Om Malik

Founder of Gigaom — on becoming one of the first tech news blogger, being at the epicentre of the dot-com bust, and the value of short attention spans.

Scott Belsky

Co-Founder of Behance — on the synergies of creativity and business, recipes for making ideas happen, and transitioning from startup to Adobe.

Andrew Kim

Product Designer at Microsoft — on overnight fame, the risks of surface-level craftsmanship, and Microsoft’s future design challenges.


Thoughts — Food for thought by Ivana McConnell and Greg Hoy

A Day In The Life OfAnton Herasymenko, Fiona Chan, Jed Schmidt, Karolina Szczur

Feature — Alex Klein tells the story behind Kano, the next generation of personal computers.

Startup Briefs — Four startups present their ideas and aspirations for success. Cat Noone from Liberio, Jamie Stuart from onebillion, Hans Jørgen Wiberg from Be My Eyes, Leigh Middleton from Cura TV.

Agency Profile — A look back at ten years of Brighton-based agency Clearleft, by Andy Budd.

Rules of Business — Guiding principles for doing business by Stewart Butterfield.

Founder StoryLeila Janah is adding social impact to outsourcing, with Samasource.

Site Visit — A look around the Xero offices in Wellington, New Zealand — Amy Domican, Andrew Tokeley, Jolene Enoka, Philip Fierlinger

Founder Story Willem Van Lancker co-founded Oyster, the all-you-can-read book subscription.

Gear Guide — by Sebastian Waters

Creative Process — The various paths to successful creative output. Ally Long, Eric E. Anderson, Jesse Dodds, Laura Kalbag

WorkspaceZendesk, SoundCloud, Microsoft, NeueHouse

Founder StoryDan Provost’s story of creating Studio Neat, a tiny product company.

Lessons Learned — Valuable startup advice by Nick Crocker.

Founder Story — Lauris Liberts applied his tech skills to the print industry, with Printful.

ReflectionsRachel Nabors debunks the ‘Do What You Love’ proposition.

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I learned that hiring good people is really hard, but having to let them go because you can’t afford them is ten times harder.

Amit Gupta’s colourful career path has only two constants: purpose and fun. The first opportunity to prove his entrepreneurial spirit came early, when he oversaw a staff of 27 as a teenage CEO of his own web startup. With various roles and stopovers along the way, Amit then turned a simple newsletter for friends into a quirky, popular online store for photography aficionados, called Photojojo. It’s hard not to admire Amit’s dedication for creating meaningful opportunities while putting fun first. And as it turns out, even a life-threatening illness has no chance against his tenacity.

I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about people quitting their day jobs to chase indie-success, and I think a lot of people are in for a very hard lesson.

For Zach Gage it’s all art — whether it’s an interactive art installation raising questions about our relationship between the digital and the real world, an iPhone game that has thousands of players discover their linguistic limits, or an old-fashioned board game about an eating contest set in the post-apocalyptic future. The New York-based conceptual artist enjoys blurring the lines between entertainment, code, and art, and thereby explores our often contra- dictory relationship with our digital selves. He also loves poker.

If Apps for Good had run 2,000 years ago, we might have taught pottery classes or whatever was leading-edge technology at the time to solve real-world problems.

There are few other fields where innovation is as pressing, yet as difficult to achieve, as in the education sector. With her unique family background, an impressive career path, and her hands-on experience as a mother, Iris Lapinski is founder and CEO of Apps for Good, a UK-based non-profit that delivers practical tech educa- tion to thousands of students and teachers alike. From her modest studio in Berlin, Iris works relentlessly on improving the learning experience, demonstrating that our traditional approach to school education requires a more personalised, tech-driven overhaul.

Today, I don’t think you have the luxury of three hours to figure out what you are going to write about. It’s all about being able to move at the speed of the network.

When Om Malik left India to try his luck as a writer in the US, he instantly immersed himself in the rising tech scene of the late ‘90s. As he covered the boom and bust of the dot-com era, Om discovered the power of blogging, breaking the latest news from ground-zero in Silicon Valley. What started as a personal site eventually became Gigaom, a successful media company and a respected voice in the startup world. Om has since taken on the role of an investor himself, but his deep-felt fervour for quality tech journalism is as evident as ever.

We’re all liable to create out of fascination rather than seeking to understand and solve a problem.

Scott Belsky recognised early that the fields of creativity and business are deeply intertwined, and as a result dedicated a large part of his life to empowering the creative world to make ideas happen. He did so with a book, a range of productivity tools, a conference and, most notably Behance, a popular online platform to show- case and discover the work of millions of creatives around the globe. Since its acquisition by Adobe, Scott is busy mapping out the mobile future of the world’s favourite creativity software.

I can’t stand all the deception you see in products today — they create false promises, present an illusion of craftsmanship, and seduce using surface-level beauty.

While defying the instructions of your lecturer often results in nothing but bad marks, for Andrew Kim it kickstarted his career and earned him a job at Microsoft. At the young age of just 23, the Canadian product designer enjoys working at the intersection of hardware and software, playing a role in the design of Microsoft’s Xbox One successor and the next generation of Windows. With a deep appreciation of the craft, Andrew walks the fine line between following in the footsteps of giants and injecting a fresh perspective to revitalise a household tech brand.

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