I have two big loves in my life: Technology and Pretty Things. Everything that I’m passionate about can pretty much be traced back to one of these 2 things. ^_^ They are both huge influencers on the activities that I indulge in everyday, the choices I make and the kinds of things that I get drawn to. In fact I think you could see the signs of these two loves very early on from when I was a little girl in both the sheer diversity of my collection of Barbies & other miscellaneous pink objects to that of my collection of tech books. (I guess that makes me a nerd, but a very special kind of nerd. ^_^)
To me technology represents a very logical way of thinking, where a+b always equals c and that is very satisfying on an intellectual level. At the same time, “pretty things” represents all the things that excite my imagination, let me channel my creativity & make me happy on an emotional level. It is when you combine these 2 ways of thinking though that, as Mr. Steve Jobs would say, you can create “magical” products & services. And that excites me, very much! That is the reason that I absolutely cannot wait to start work everyday!
I’ve found that my two passions mesh together perfectly in form of what’s called Experience Design, i.e. crafting the ideal experience of using a particular technology. You start by channeling your creative energies and imagining what the perfect user experience would be like and then you switch hats and get into the technical details and try to figure how you are going to build that perfect experience. To be able to do that everyday is, for me, the most exciting job on the planet! ^_^
I spend a lot of my time reading, thinking & ideating about what our ideal experience with technology would look like in the future. One of my life’s goals is to create products & services that both excite the imaginations of those who use them and also empower them to do their best work. I want to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible, by combining the ‘atmosphere of possibilities’ that is the hallmark of all creative endeavors with the ‘this is how we’re gonna make it happen’ attitude of our logical endeavors.
I believe this thinking is what sets apart the products we can’t wait to use from those that we must. This is what makes you pick Starbucks over another coffee shop, even though the quality of the coffee might not be different enough to warrant the increase in price in all cases. It is this experience that is crafted around the base product and the subtle things like how the baristas greet you & remember your drinks, the ability to infinitely customize your order and the creative atmosphere of the coffee shop that all come together to create a coffee experience that is far superior to that of it’s contemporaries. It is the big picture thinking combined with the careful attention to the smallest of details that creates the products that we can’t live without. And my big dream is to create a string of such products, each more ambitious in the experience it aims to deliver than the last.
I think my appreciation of these 2 varied ways of thinking comes directly from my parents. My mom & dad are both ridiculously smart & creative people in ways that I know I can only hope to be. In our house we’ve always had a very democratic environment where if you can provide a sound logical & reasonable argument for why you want to do what you want to do, you’d usually get the permission to do it. We’ve also been encouraged to explore passions in any & all sorts of fields & to get involved in a plethora of creative endeavors. As a result, both my brother and I have developed an equal passion for both the creative & the analytical side of the spectrum (music & engineering in his case and writing/sketching & technology in mine) I think that by being equally interested in both sides of the equation from the start, we’ve been able to pull from a diverse array of experiences, beliefs & ideas to connect the dots innovatively and thus be better equipped to tackle the challenges we face day to day.
One of my favorite phrases to describe myself is as a “Creative Problem Solver” cause I think it succinctly establishes my inclination towards both creative and logical/analytical ways of thinking. Being able to pursue both by letting my imagination run wild & conceive of new ideas and then having a chance to build them & turn them into a reality is something that fills me with a deep sense of joy & makes me super excited to wake up & start working everyday. 🙂