Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
NY Knicks fan, husband, owner of a dog that looks half dinosaur/half Ex. NY-State Governor David Patterson, and founder of Hustle & Co, an agency specializing in business development and strategy for interactive production.
What do you do for inspiration?
Cook. I like pretending that I'm David Chang.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
ESPN.COM, facebook, and tastespotting.com (food porn)
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I'd be working for the Japanese. I'm big in Japan.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job?
This is like a question from my first job interview. "Basically sir, my biggest weakness is that I work too hard and I always give 150%." I'm changing the words now, but that is still my answer. Groundbreaking, fun, and challenging work is the hardest to come by. Finding those opportunities and getting one of my partners attached is the most rewarding and challenging part of my job.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
In a former life, as a journalist for Japanese television, I had 50+ hour work days more often then I'd like to recall.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
The dinner table growing up. My parents are both small business owners, listening and learning about entrepreneurial problems and successes from a young age shaped my goals more then any experience since.
What software could you not live without?
This is so boring-- E-mail, IM, Facebook, and smoke signals, pretty much anything that keeps me connected to people. No one uses the phone anymore.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
You're making me pick between my own children, Tool's Ben Tricklebank, Jam3, and Hush all have unique, strong perspectives on design. I'll talk about other people's kids to seem like I'm unbiased. I'm a huge fan of Resn, HelloMonday, and North Kingdom.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Mobile, it is either an afterthought or brands force the mobile issue and the overall experience can suffer.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
We don't have to look that far ahead. Leap apparently lets you control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements. If I can't pull a sneaker off of Nike's website and look at it on my hologram projector, buy it and have it delivered to me via my 3D printer, I think we can all agree that the world is coming to an end.
Of all the websites you [partner's] have produced, which one are you most proud of?
I'm proud of three. Tool's Jason's (Zada and Nickel) Take This Lollipop, in my opinion, is the most mature social film made to date. 13 million people can't be wrong. Jam3's interactive doc Bear71, didn't exactly make me cry, but the room I watched it in was extremely dusty. It blurs the lines between the natural world and the wired one so seamlessly. Both use of data to tell a compelling and emotional story. "Guitar Hero Meets Rosetta Stone" is how Rain and BBH describe Playground. To me it illustrates how agencies are honing skills involved in product development to allow themselves to enrich and expand relationships with current clients.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?
Minority Report is just around the corner, hopefully it has a different ending and Tom Cruise ends up in jail. The buying experience I joked about above, can't be that far off. The average person is just starting to see how all the data they create is useful in everyday life. Eventually, the novelty will wear off and stories will have to become richer and more robust. Everyday a client asks for a responsive web site that looks like it was built in Flash. The day that those two are married gets closer and closer with each experiment or effort.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Errol Morris once asked "Why do you kick a dead horse?" Answer: "Because it is good exercise." I called up the people I wanted to work with and showed them why I was the person for the job. If they didn't immediately respond, I waited a little bit and then called again and showed them new reasons for us to work together. In some circles, that is called stalking.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
Anyone that knows me, is already mouthing Japan. I think the lack of land, natural resources and homogeneous look of its denizens has always driven them to search for new innovative ways to express both their cultural identity and personal style. I can point to the work of Projector or Party to prove my point, but I think this video does it even better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5AWQ5aBjgE
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Hustle & Co will continue to partner with elite storytellers to answer the needs of digital marketers and interactive makers. We'd like to buy a pool table and get these chairs in our office in the near future as well. If you make holograms and can print them in 3D, smoke signal me.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thanks Rob, it was fun.