Personal update: Self-employed, writing a book, and looking for lunch

Not long ago, I wrote about Design at Jawbone. How quickly things change. Due to organizational restructuring, which lead to the elimination of all executive design roles, Friday was my last day.

There’s a big silver lining, though, as I’m co-writing a book on building and operating design organizations, and now I can do that during the day, instead of stealing time on evenings and weekends.

I’m considering management consulting gigs around design and product management. If you’re building an in-house design team and need sage advice and an outside perspectives, don’t hesitate to reach out.

And, I’m passively looking for my next full-time gig. I want to focus my time on the book, but if there are interesting conversations to be had about new opportunities, I’m always willing to talk.

Finally, given my new status, I’m up for all manner of breakfasts, lunches, coffees, and early ‘after-work’ drinks. If you’re not in the SF Bay Area, happy to hop on Skype or Google Hangouts. Let’s catch up!

I’m about to be self-unemployed

I have given notice, and my last day at Groupon is April 18.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been leading the Design Union (what we call the global design team). When people ask me what I’m most proud of, it’s not the obvious things (like a sitewide redesign that immediately performed better than its predecessor, and was actually aesthetically pleasing), or our continued success with a leading commerce mobile app.

It’s that I took a group of 30 team members, who were a bit bedraggled and often underappreciated, and was able to grow it (to 60) and evolve it so that design is seen as an essential partner and collaborator throughout the company. And probably the most important thing I did was bring on a cadre of amazing design leaders, folks who have proven themselves through thick and thin in terms of delivering high quality design, coaching their teams to deliver beyond expectations, and do so with charm, grace, and good humor. Yes, I’m happy with the great stuff we’ve shipped; but I’m even happier to have shaped an organization that will continue to deliver great things, regardless of my presence. (And I’m bummed I won’t be working with these folks any more.)

As the title of this post suggests, I don’t know what’s next. And that’s a little scary — I haven’t not known what my next job is since before I joined Epinions in 1999. I’m sure it will be fine, and I’m looking forward to some opportunity for reflection and writing, for connection with people I haven’t seen or talked to in too long, and ultimately, for figuring out what’s next and best for me. (Oh, and maybe spiffing up this blog a bit.) If you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out!