I fell down the hole of "the Internet" after we got our first 56k dialup connection. In no time I was hanging out in AOL chatrooms, making websites using Notepad, FTPing .php files to my angelfire account, overusing the <marquee> tag, and generally just having my mind blown by all this cool stuff you could do.
It was a wild time. A new digital world was forming and I was watching it happen. It was so exciting.
Making websites and sharing them with my friends at school is how I initially got my feet wet with product design. It was a fun challenge to try and make things that they'd want to use.
I was hooked instantly.
I started working on website after website. Trying different things. Flailing around in every direction. Most things didn't work, but occasionally I'd stumble onto something that resonated with people.
One of these little projects turned into something a bit more substantial. DailyBooth. It was a social network designed around webcams (pre-app store!).
With (my co-founder) Ryan’s help millions of people signed up, we raised money from some celebrity investors, we won 2 crunchies, and blazed out in a ball of glory!!!!! (we got acqu-hired and shut down).
It was a wild ride that brought me from a small town on the south coast of the UK to the USA.
To date my only project that has a wikipedia page.
Experimenting with physical products came next. I really wanted to make something that you could hold in your hand.
After some expensive failed experiments Peel was born. At the time iPhone cases were universally big, bulky, and covered in branding. A peel case is the antithesis of that. They're thin, and branding free. It doesn't even look like you have a case on.
Peel has since morphed into a minimalist lifestyle brand with a range of products.
I spent a few years teamed up with my buddy Marshall. We started a startup studio called Need/Want. Essentially formalizing what I had been doing in my career up until that point. Throwing different ideas at the wall and seeing what sticked. We worked on different ideas and documented everything on our blog & podcast. It was super fun.
After a failed attempt at building another social network, I'm not working on something new.
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I subscribe to the philosophy that it’s hard to compete with someone that’s having fun. So, that’s what I’m trying to optimize for.
Work on hard problems, make things, and have fun doing it.