It is an unfortunate consequence of our society that people’s sense of self-worth is often tied to their net worth.
It takes a certain amount of unflinching determination, entrepreneurial vigour and a bit of rebellious discontent to challenge the colossal beast that is the banking industry. Frustrated with having to fill out paper cheques in order to connect power and gas at his apartment, Australian-born Josh Reich set out to overhaul the way we manage our money and pay our bills. As CEO of Portland-based Simple, he reimagines the concept of personal banking by putting customer satisfaction and user experience front and centre.
I’m a firm believer in doing well by doing good.
With the familiar tale of the college-dropout-turned-internet- millionaire in mind, we’re quick to point out the shortcomings of our sluggish education system. While Jennifer Medbery firmly believes technology alone can’t fix all problems, her company Kickboard offers a fresh, web-based approach for a more effective student-teacher relationship. By combining her background in computer-science and her experience in teaching she sets an ambitious vision and realistic example of how technology can improve students’ performance within the confines of an antiquated institution.
We’re not in the business of producing design or code or strategy. We’re in the business of wielding those skills together to solve problems and make companies more successful.
If there is such a thing as an internet veteran, Michael Lebowitz would probably fit the bill. He has been creating online content and making websites since the days of CompuServe. Today he is the man at the helm of Big Spaceship, a New York-based digital agency that over the scope of no less than 14 years has received accolades for ‘Most Innovative Company’ and ‘Best Place to Work’. From Sony Pictures and Nike, to Google and Coca Cola, it’s a portfolio that makes your head spin and begs the question what his secret is for working with the world’s biggest brands.
The bond a founder has with their company can be obsessive; perhaps it needs to be.
Despite the rise of social networks and contact sharing apps, the humble business card remains the networking tool of choice. More than ten years ago, Richard Moross saw an opportunity to consolidate the technical capabilities of the web and the universal role of the business card and established MOO.com. Today his company produces millions of highly-customised, printed cards shipped to hundreds of thousands of customers every year. And according to the London-based CEO, there are no signs that the prevalence of print in social networking is fading any time soon.
The world of shrink wrap software with a single up-front price feels like an all-you-can-eat buffet, which invariably leads to feature bloat.
The wealth and breadth of his expertise is nothing short of impressive: with profound academic and practical experience in engineering, economics, product design and entrepreneurship, Georg Petschnigg’s prerequisites for starting a tech company could hardly be more ideal. And the result speaks for itself: with FiftyThree, maker of Paper and Pencil, he and his team have developed an unparalleled, award-winning approach to personal creation in the digital age. With Georg’s ingenious sense for combining the various disciplines that make up a truly innovative product, he displays a laser-sharp focus on the road ahead for his company, and technology as a whole.
I find myself suffering from impostor syndrome whenever I am referred to as a designer, or worse yet, an artist.
Before Mike Davidson joined the startup circus, he had several ground-breaking achievements to his name that helped make the web a better place. When he launched his community-driven news site Newsvine back in 2005, it set a precedent for online discussion and social engagement at a time when social media was still in its infancy. Almost a decade later he talks candidly about his company’s acquisition by msnbc.com. Recently, Mike left his beloved hometown of Seattle, and the house he built, to help cultivate a deeper level of design thinking at Twitter HQ in San Francisco.