Adobe, Stanford, Google – running, biking and swimming.
You probably know that sports are a big thing here in the US. So to stay true to the American lifestyle it’s been a sporty kinda day for me. That being said… READY, SET, GO!
The day started in San Francisco at Adobe. We got a quick tour around the office at Adobe Creative Cloud. We than got to see the Adobe Xd office followed by a presentation held by Damian Borba who is one of the project managers at Xd.
Xd is actually a designer’s dream come true. Remember how painful the experience is switching between Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign? Those days are gone. Xd removes all the friction, enables you to see design changes as well as the flow of your design in real time by setting up a prototype in a couple of seconds. It actually takes drag and drop to a new level.
To create the best ux, Adobe sticks to a simple formula:
PM = customer value + business goals + priorization
Easy right? I could tell you so much more what I liked about their product, their office and so on…but what really impressed me has been their approach to project management. They use design thinking, always put the customer at the center of the product and most important:
„never features first, but usability first“ and „fail early to succeed sooner“
Xd is currently available for free to creative cloud subscribers as it is still in its beta phase. It will stay that way until 1.o hits the market. Funny thing here, Adobe actually uses Xd to further develop and design Xd -> #appception
That’s where my day decided to turn into some sort of Silicon Valley Triathlon…
Our guide Nick took us on a tour around the campus to (at least what seems to be most important to the organizers of tours at Stanford): 1. Sports Department, 2. Economics and 3. some historical stuff 😉 . Poor guy had to answer some tough questions from all of us. Hey, he definitely had learnt his text. I’ll give him credit for that but other than that…naaa. I decided to skip the last bit of the tour and satisfy my inner fangirl at the Stanford bookstore to get some apparel. Lets be honest, that’s basically all I can afford at Stanford 😉
Long story short: Bookstore is huuugeee, forgot the time, ended up running all the way back to our shuttle. Not gonna lie, I am a miserable runner, but I made it. Felt like a 5k run at least. If you have ever been to Stanford you know the campus is enormous. Running: check!
We really wanted to squeeze in Google at some point or the other even though we didn’t have a scheduled tour there. Why not just go there, grab a Google bike (free to use and just standing around anywhere on campus) and ride around the campus as if it’s the most normal thing.
Hellooooo, it’s the Silicon Valley, it’s all Hollywood anyhow, so you just fake it and behave as if you belong here. Worked great until we started to take too many pictures and got asked for our visitor badge…ups…we just hit the pedal real hard and rode off. To be honest, it’s been one of the most fun experieces thus far to hang out with the other students from Switzerland and Germany. Our mini adventure sneaking into Google.
On a side note: the Google Campus is exactly like you would imagine it. Vast, fun, green, filled with live on any given rec space. You can chill by several lakes, play table tennis or basketball or beach volleyball…. would’t you love to come to such an amazing place every day? I sure know I would love to work for Google. Oh and they have sculptures for every Android version, yummy.
Back to … no, sorry not the Future…Stanford
Back at Stanford we would attend an open lecture from the DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series. The Stanford Alumni, CEO and co-founder of Embrace Jane Marie Chen held a presentation an her amazing product. Embrace is a really simple but effective incubator for premature babies. The only thing it needs to maintain the babies temperature is either hot water or a little bit of electricity. You can check out Embrace here.
Whats really intersting is that the idea for the product actually started in a classroom. Students at Stanford have to attend a course that challenges them to design technologies for the poor. So basically meaningful tech at the cost of 1% of the original high-tech product. This challenged the team to design an intervention for neonatal hypothermia that cost a fraction of the price of a state-of-the-art incubator.
Why doesn’t our university offer such interdisciplinary courses? None of the founders had a medical background. They just saw a problem (donated incubators won’t work in third world countries) and were challenged to find a solution. We also have product design, IT and business…so why are we not innovating in Salzburg? Why are we wasting so much potential? I mean, the first prototype of Embrace used butter as a heat supplier. They also started from scratch. Why can’t we do such cool things? I really envy those students. I wish we had the opportunity to use our potential to the fullest. 😦
(Warning: Late-night-blogger-blues and lack of sleep might have influenced the person writing this post)
And please don’t think we’ll do it on a voluntary basis…we want ECTS for our work. Think about..I definitely will.
Back at the hotel I needed some time off and decided to take some laps in the pool with Chrissi. We had a great conversation while swimming and reflected on everything we experienced today. Thats actually when I realized I completed my personal Silicon Valley Triathlon.