A Year in Review
January 16, 2014
A Year in Review
At the end of February my wife and I went to Vegas (my first time). I expected to be amazed at the spectacle of the place, wowed by the larger-than-life casinos and hotels, and be approached by hookers all hours of the day. The first two things happened. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Vegas. I could see myself going back one day (especially for that buffet at the Wicked Spoon), but IMO Vegas is best experienced with a group of friends. It was also in Vegas where the One Word Vine was invented.
My family survived a 10hr minivan drive to Destin, FL. People make fun of minivans (their owners especially) but when it comes to multi-state roadtrips I'll gladly choose our Odyssey, with it's ample space, DVD player, and excellent gas mileage and look like the winning Dad I am while behind the wheel. Oh, and Florida was awesome!
I had the honor and priviledge of working on a product with an amazingly talented team at Adobe. I helped guide them through the UX process on a new product and facilitated a design sprint in San Francisco, which was, finally, my first time there. The way in which I had this opportunity is wild and a long story, but I'm thankful to have had it not only personally, but also for Element.
On September 10th Element, the studio I helped found back in 2011, merged with local tech start-up SpaceCraft. A lot of consideration went into making that decision and the results of the event have been fantastic! I've spoken to some of you about what it means for Element, what I'm doing now, etc., but a full, proper breakdown is due and I'm writing an article on the merger and what my role is now as VP of Design at SpaceCraft. More to come.
In October I rented an AirBnB apartment in Carrol Gardens, Brooklyn with Noah, Mike, Matt, and Chris while I attended Brooklyn Beta for the 2nd time. The conference was excellent and while I always love spending time in Brooklyn & NYC, for me the underliner was seeing my online friends and heroes in person. I will never grow tired of that. We're made to be in relationship and social networks are poor substitutes for our only means of community.
Thanks to Brooklyn Beta and, mostly, Paul Armstrong (this is the 2nd conference he's given me whisky), I developed a new found love and respect for whisky. After asking the Twitterverse for their favorites, I put together Phil's Whisky List, where you can see, rate, and submit whiskys. Big thanks to Garrett St. John for helping get it built. We have new features we plan on rolling out, so use it, submit new varieties, and let us know if you want certain features!
With a merger comes a new workspace. We moved out of the small, quaint house we rented in the west side of downtown and into the 9th floor of the Omni building in the heart of Austin (same building as Capital Factory). I miss the character of the house and how quiet it could be, but having both teams under one roof and in a larger space is fantastic. Also, it feels good to be back into the mix of downtown, which is absolutely exploding! This city is not slowing down anytime soon.