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Founder at Ueno. Joined about 3 years ago
We're in the middle of restructuring the case study creation process.
Here's the structure we are rolling out: http://b.ueno.is/37b44bf7d603
Most of our clients are already excited about motion as a part of their project so we haven't had to do any hard sell.
1) Usually get in around 8am. Most days there's a meeting block from 8-12. Those can be all sorts of meetings, internal or external, 1:1s etc.
After lunch I usually don't take meetings and try and focus on a few different tasks.
2) depends on the the discipline. Some of our teams are very mature and experienced and I those cases I don't do much. Some are younger and still developing so I might need to be more hands on. And then there are things that I just love doing so for those I will do a lots of hands on.
I'm not great at tracking these tasks.
We are planning Uenoland SF in early 2020 and NYC in the fall of 2020.
I'll circle back and try to answer questions over the next couple of days.
The details are slightly unclear but the current plan is to have on Uenoland in SF early 2020 and then one in NY for fall 2020.
That's a lot of questions!
What's your relationship with hands-on/IC work as your role has evolved?
I don't do much hands-on work any more. If I do it's usually Ueno brand work since i know that world very well and I'm the approver :)
How do you think about Design vs "problem solving that just happens to have a design component"? How do you position yourself, or find yourself naturally being positioned, on that spectrum?
To me everything is a problem where part of the solution is design.
If you had to totally leave your industry and pivot somewhere else, where would you go and why?
I've always wanted to pretend I was an architect.
I don't remember a worst experience.
But when I have a bad experience in general I try to focus on what I could have done differently since that's the thing I have most control over.
(obviously this advice does not apply in truly horrible situations)
Thanks Randall! I'll try and answer each of these.
I was curious how Ueno goes about finding partners (clients) to work with? We are very lucky in that people just keep reaching out to us. We spent a lot of time on our brand and marketing efforts. That and continuing to deliver quality work has resulted in a good inbound flow.
How do you scale your workforce up/down to meet those needs? We strongly believe in hiring people full time. It takes time for people to get to know each other and how best to work together. We've tried to do this ahead of the curve. But then sometimes there's too much work so we bring in contractors. Often with the intent of hiring them full time if everything works out.
Do you actively pitch work? No. We don't pitch.
If no, do you rely on people finding you/referrals? Yes. See answer above for a bit more detail.
To answer what sounds like your main question: We've been very careful not to have any one client too big. At the moment no one client is more than 5-6% of our total income. So while loosing one is obviously a bummer it is not catastrophic and doesn't result in us needing to let people go.
I hope this helps!
some of the early lessons:
1) there's no substitute for hard work 2) everything you do makes you better at everything else 3) you need to trust people but be careful about who you decide to trust
It took about 3 years for us to get to 4 locations.
The second part of your question is too broad. Do you want to try and narrow it down?
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