Advice... become an integral part of the core Adobe developer community. Give and take, give and take. Embrace technology.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Pete Caban. Partner/Head of Digital at Mekanism. Born and raised in Rhode Island. Spent the nineties at Macromedia. Spent the 2000's building Mekanism. Family guy living in San Francisco Bay Area.
What do you do for inspiration?
Going to work is generally very inspiring to me. Beyond that, I often spend time at the Stanford bookstore on Sundays when I am looking for inspiration. From video game design books, to molecular biology, there is always an aisle that manages to make you re-think what you are doing with your life, your work, your brain, your time. Spending time learning about open source initiatives always gets me thinking really big as well.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Professionally speaking, building the Mekanism dream team with my friends has been a marvellous experience. It's a true family in many ways.
What software could you not live without?
All of it. Can't get enough.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Augmented Reality Papervision fun.
Big Xbox/PS3 Game/Data Integration gigs are underway.
Large-scale Social-Action Network is in the works.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Ideo; Motion Theory; Stamen
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
We create distinctive designs that identify our campaigns. Rich, spatial, immersive environments help draw in users for deep sessions with our stories and characters.
Who is your target audience?
Generally speaking, 15-40 year old kids.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Ajax is powerful, but limited. Flash is powerful but closed. iPhone doesn't support Flash. Things are too fragmented at this point. Unity is amazing, but requires a plug in. We still need one complete solution.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It was a pumpkin orange site for Macromedia that taught developers how to disable the Shockwave Remote. Luckily it came down in about 5 days with the entire ill-fated Shockwave Remote program. Luckily things have gotten better since then.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No. Down the road perhaps.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
We have made some nice streaming video sites. Nolaf.org is a nice example of our teams acrobatics.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Multimedia storytelling is here to stay, and just beginning take a new shape. As long as the tools and tech stay ahead of the pack, it is here to stay. But nothing lasts forever.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Getting in to the field is one thing. Excelling requires a life long commitment in education and investing in yourself.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Cannes Lions and Case Studies.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I had the opportunity to work at Macromedia for many years, which was an unbelievable experience. Advice...become an integral part of the core Adobe developer community. Give and take, give and take. Embrace technology.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Eliss for $3.99.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Check out HTML 5.