AMA: Khoi Vinh

almost 7 years ago from Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.com, Principal Designer at Adobe

  • Kelly SuttonKelly Sutton, almost 7 years ago

    Hi Khoi,

    First off, thanks for joining us today. We’re happy to be hosting you on Designer News. I’ve got 2 questions:

    • You have a new book coming out, How They Got There, which is kind of a Founders at Work for designers. What was the inspiration for the book? Was there anyone that you wanted to interview, but didn’t get the chance to?

    • Between Wildcard, Subtraction.com, Kidpost, and your book, you stay very busy. What are some of the techniques you use for juggling many projects at once?

    3 points
    • Khoi Vinh, almost 7 years ago

      Thanks Kelly!

      "How They Got There" was actually inspired in part by "Founders at Work." If you haven't read it, that's a fantastic resource for anyone interested in how tech companies get built, and really how people turn their ideas into reality. I read that several years ago and always wanted to read something similar about designers.

      So a while ago, when I was between projects, I decided I would actually take it on and do it myself. I reached out to 14 wonderful designers I know and asked them to each spend about an hour with me over Skype/Hangouts. It sounded like it was going to be a fairly easy project in the beginning, but the editing of all the interviews into readable form was much more work than I anticipated.

      I'm really happy with the end result though; a few people who have read the early drafts have said they can't put it down, which is really flattering.

      3 points
    • Khoi Vinh, almost 7 years ago

      As for how to juggle many projects at once, I don't know any killer secretes. My advice is to be really passionate about each of the projects you take on—there's no other way to get them done than to be able to sustain your enthusiasm through all of the ups and downs.

      Also, I guess I've discovered since my wife and I had kids (we have a 5 yr old and twin 2 year olds) that having less time than you would like really forces you to make decisions about how you want to spend your time. I wasted so much time when I had tons of time to devote to side projects; now that I have nearly zero free time, I find myself conversely more productive than before. Weirdly.

      5 points