Posted on | January 9, 2012 | 30 Comments
Last March, I went out on paternity leave for the birth of my daughter Dorothy. Knowing I’d not have the opportunity again, I took as much time off as I could. During that time, I realized that I was no longer passionate about design consulting. Having done it for over 10 years, I felt it was no longer giving me the kind of creative challenge that I sought.
If you’ve followed my writing and speaking the last few years, you’ll see that it’s all about how to make customer-centered organizations, and how businesses need to enact a deep, fundamental change by embracing humanity. As a consultant, I could prescribe means for doing that, but I could not really make it happen, because that kind of organizational change requires day-in, day-out engagement over months and years.
So, after my paternity leave, I began the slow process of leaving consulting, and, with it, Adaptive Path. I will delve into those details more in further posts, but suffice to say it took about 6 months (and conversations with Amazon, Intel, Google, Facebook, Intuit, and Samsung, among others) before I found a great match.
And that match, surprising even to me, is Inflection. Surprising because I had never heard of them before trolling LinkedIn one night, and I had no intention of joining a Silicon Valley startup. I’d already done that (scroll down to October 12), and was wary of the common startup expectation that I would give my life over to a company. Nor did I want to get caught in a strictly-web world — my projects for the last few years have spanned devices, platforms, and contexts. VC-backed companies often give me the willies, as what VCs want and what I want are often diametrically opposed. And the idea of commuting to the peninsula made me die a little inside.
Yet for every reservation I had, Inflection had a great response. It is not a face-time, grind-all-the-time company. People keep reasonable hours. People are encouraged to work from home two days a week (as Matthew, the CEO, put it to me, “I don’t get anything out of having you in a car.”) The business was profitable before it took a dime of VC money, which meant we were able to get very good terms. And while, yes, we are a very webby company, we get our revenues through subscriptions, which means we are, in fact, a service firm, and I will bring to bear my full bag of service design tricks to make sure we’re delivering the best we can.
After nearly 11 years, it was no easy task to leave Adaptive Path. A company I helped start, and one where I was deeply involved in its growth and evolution. And if I were still passionate about design consulting, there’s no way I would have left — Adaptive Path is easily the best such place to work for, in terms of freedom, flexibility, creative challenges, clients, and great colleagues. But, I had to follow my muse, and that meant moving on.
I started at Inflection January 2, and spent this first week getting up to speed on just what exactly we do. I’m excited for the opportunities, and you should expect to see some pretty amazing stuff from us in the next 3 to 6 months.
(And if you want to take part, we have positions open for pretty much all manner of UX professional, as well as engineering, marketing, etc. My priority is finding a senior UX designer, preferably someone with 5-7 years of work at a place like Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Netflix, etc… Someone who knows how to do great UX in an agile environment that is about to scale something fierce. If you are that person, or know that person, please reach out to me at peter AT inflection DOT com.)