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AMA: Hi, I'm Andrew Wilkinson, Publisher of Designer News and Founder of MetaLab. Ask me anything.

over 4 years ago from , Publisher of Designer News

Hey all. I'm a designer turned entrepreneur based in beautiful Victoria, Canada.

Way back in 2007, I quit my job and started an interface design agency called MetaLab. Since then we've worked with some huge companies like Google, Apple, and Disney, as well as a ton of successful startups like Tumblr, Shopify, Coinbase, and most notably, Slack.

Along the way, I've started a bunch of other companies and software products:

A couple months ago, I bought Designer News from LayerVault and I'm having a ton of fun growing the site and community :-)

Here's a fun podcast interview I did with Dorm Room Tycoon that tells my whole story in more detail.

I tweet at @awilkinson, write at Medium, and post photos of my cats + dog on Instagram.

I'll be answering questions from 3-6PM PST on Friday August 7th. Ask me anything. ANYTHING.

104 comments

  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 4 years ago

    Why did you buy DN? :)

    44 points
    • Tyreil PTyreil P, over 4 years ago

      Piggybacking off this question, what do you plan on doing with DN?

      3 points
    • Surjith S MSurjith S M, over 4 years ago

      or, for how much price did you buy DN?

      13 points
      • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

        I can't share the exact number, but it was actually quite expensive compared to how much revenue it was bringing in. I was confident that we could find some great sponsors and grow the job board, so I took a punt.

        4 points
    • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, over 4 years ago

      suspicious

      17 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      My Medium post lays it out pretty clearly. I was a longtime reader and have always thought DN had a ton of potential. When I heard about LayerVault going under, I jumped on it.

      I've hired a great little team ( Jody, Max, and Farzad) and we're focused on growing the community, improving the quality of the content, and generally making the site better in whatever ways we can. So far I'd say it's going pretty well. Would love to hear everyone's take.

      ...but mostly because I saw a great opportunity to turn into a link-bait content mill and sell everyone's emails to spammers ;-)

      17 points
  • Andrew McWattersAndrew McWatters, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Hi Andrew, Andrew here.

    What major event for you defined the moment you solidified your transition from designer to designer and entrepreneur?

    Many of us here on DN are unicorns, proficient in development and design, but not many people talk about pegasi: individuals who can operate on low level details like design work and much higher level constructs like managing businesses and organizations.

    And do you have any advice to people who want to become winged unicorns and do it all?

    13 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      It was a really slow transition, that went something like this:

      Phase 1: I did all the design, front-end development, and client management.

      Phase 2: I did all the design and client stuff, but I started handing off front-end development to contractors.

      Phase 3: Still did all the client stuff, but I focused on just doing the high level design, then worked with other designers and developers to finish the work.

      Phase 4: Fully handed off all the client relations to someone else. I still creative directed and did meetings with clients, but I was much more hands off in terms of the actual pixel level design work.

      Phase 5 (Today): I found an amazing CEO to actually run MetaLab day-to-day. I focus on high level strategy and chime in on design projects on a high level. I loved running the company, but I was trying to run multiple companies at once and it ultimately just broke down. I find that I'm still able to have a major impact on a lot of the work that goes out, while leaving the day-to-day running of the company to someone else. Loving it so far.

      In terms of my advice, my friend Jason Fried from Basecamp wrote a great piece about giving advice. My perception of how I got here is probably totally inaccurate, and my advice probably doesn't apply to today's world.

      That said: entrepreneurship is really just delegation. I just kept progressively delegating more, and more, which allowed me to grow my company, then eventually multiple companies. It took 9.5 years, so it's just a slow and steady process of delegating little bits here and there. One day, I woke up and I was like "holy crap I have 120 employees and four companies". Wat.

      If you ultimately want to do design work every day, and stay heavily involved in the day-to-day pixels, then scaling will be challenging and you will probably want to stay smaller. If you relish the idea of focusing exclusively on the high level, then hop on the delegation train :-)

      16 points
      • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

        "...entrepreneurship is really just delegation."

        This.

        4 points
      • Andrew McWattersAndrew McWatters, over 4 years ago

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, Andrew. That's a lot of great insight!

        I like the idea of hovering around what were your third and fourth phases. I wonder if it's possible to just own one business and stay comfortably at that point?

        1 point
        • Andrew WilkinsonAndrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

          Oh for sure. My life would be infinitely easier if I'd just stuck to one company, but I have too many ideas and I love starting new stuff.

          2 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 4 years ago

    How tall is your Papa?

    13 points
  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 4 years ago

    Hey Andrew,

    I'm a 17 year old about to enter art school (to study UI design.) I already self-taught myself design up to a point where I'm doing design services to a startup. What life advice would you give?

    DN love forever.

    9 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Why are you going to school? I'd say just jump into the pool and start swimming—you'll learn way faster and gain real world experience.

      15 points
      • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

        Parents.

        Besides that though, I personally would also like to study art in general.

        EDIT: Metalab's in Victoria? I live right in Vancouver.

        1 point
        • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

          Oh nice. Yeah, we're actually starting a Vancouver office soon. Email me your portfolio: andrew@metalab.co :-)

          5 points
        • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 4 years ago

          As a college-dropout designer paying his wife's student loans off—don't go to college for someone else. I'm with Andrew on this one.

          11 points
        • Mason LawlorMason Lawlor, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

          From a fellow self taught Canadian designer who is 6 years behind Andrew– I think you should reconsider his question. Because even if you want to study Art in general, the hard truth I've learned is that it's hard to focus on two things at once. If you want to become a design "rockstar" it takes 100% focus, at least in the beginning.

          Perhaps look at it this way:

          I quit my job to start a design agency 3.5 years ago. I would still be in school. Instead– I've bootstrapped a company, taken venture capital, lost my company, went through a lawsuit, got 100% ownership back, and rebuilt it again from scratch.

          I can't tell you what's right or wrong, but I have a feeling they don't teach you that kind of street skills in school. Trial by fire.

          An alternative idea– If you're parents are planning to buy your tuition in cash, consider having them invest that money into a small ad campaign over a 2-4 year agreement with $25-50/day. You could live in their basement to keep your overhead low. If you put your mind to it for 4 years straight reading conversion/marketing blogs like Quicksprout, and books like The Four Hour Workweek, you will succeed. It sounds like you're already good at picking skills up via Google.

          Just an alternate route to consider. Good luck man.

          1 point
    • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, over 4 years ago

      Self-taught... Yourself?

      0 points
  • Kevin ParkKevin Park, over 4 years ago

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the opportunity. I'm curious what were the best decisions and worst decisions you've made along the journey, and the lessons from them.

    Thanks, Kevin

    8 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      I've always been someone who learns by messing up. That said, all my screw ups have been relatively small, and I'm not sure if I would have ended up here had I not been through them.

      I can think of a couple:

      • Not learning accounting soon enough. I had zero clue how financial statements worked or how companies were measured until a couple years ago. I'd basically just do the mental math: was there more money in the bank than last month. Yes? Success! Now I advise anybody to spend an hour or two learning how a P&L/income statement works, and ensuring that you get a great bookkeeper early on.

      • Not charging enough. We used hourly billing for a long time, and it cost us a hell of a lot of money. When you work hourly, clients feel like they own you and it can breed bad behaviour.

      • Not taking equity in more startups we've worked with. We've always chosen to take cash instead of equity. Longterm, I think this has paid off and allowed us to build our own products with that cash, but there are a few situations where I wish I'd jumped on the equity train. This is a really tough one though—equity is glorified toilet paper in most cases.

      • Feeling lazy and beating myself up for hiring people. I used to beat myself up about hiring others to do design work I felt that I could/should be doing. Now I look back and it seems insane, but it really does feel like cheating at first.

      • Not learning how to negotiate. In the early days, any good business person would try to haggle with me on our rates. I'd immediately get offended, but roll over and lose out as a result. I felt that negotiation was dirty, and didn't realize that it was a totally normal part of doing business with people. People expect to be negotiated with, and when you don't, it can actually weird people out. This douchey-looking book was super helpful.

      11 points
  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 4 years ago

    For a while Metalab killed off the "design investment" part of the site, but it has made a reappearance since. You told me via Twitter or email or something at some point that it wasn't a winner for you, as we were thinking about doing something similar. What changed? Slack?

    6 points
    • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, over 4 years ago

      Curious about this as well. Did you get some equity in Slack for your work or just the cash?

      0 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      We found that we got a ton of people emailing us saying stuff like "Hey I have a billion dollar idea: how about you do all the work and build it, and I'll give you 5% of it?". Now we just make cash investments in companies we love, and occasionally some of them are our clients.

      I'd way rather write a check than do work for equity. Way simpler. I've found that when you do design work in exchange for equity, people feel like they can lean on you for free work forever.

      7 points
  • Philip LesterPhilip Lester, over 4 years ago

    Andrew, you've been an inspiration for me over the years and I've loved seeing Metalab's work continue improve over the years.

    I read your article on Slack's $2B valuation which is really impressive. I'm curious (as I'm sure others are), what did you charge Stuart Butterfield to do branding and design work on this? Did you all receive any bonuses tied to their valuation/funding rounds?

    5 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Aw, thanks man. Appreciate the kind words.

      Can't share any details about our deal with Slack, but I will say that I don't have a faberge egg collection or solid gold rocket car.

      Image alt

      2 points
  • Minseung Song, over 4 years ago

    How much time do you spend on DN?

    5 points
  • Jeff MillerJeff Miller, over 4 years ago

    Can you buy the rest of Layervault and bring it back to life?

    5 points
  • Luke MilesLuke Miles, over 4 years ago

    Sites like Reddit and Hacker News (at least v1.0) have their source publicly available. When are you going to publish the DN source code? It would make it a lot easier for people to start ______ News sites of their own, especially with the great functionality and flair that DN has.

    4 points
    • Jeff MillerJeff Miller, over 4 years ago

      I'd pay real money for it, if it came with support. Always liked the DesignerNews UX better than other offerings out there.

      1 point
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Not something we've spent much time thinking about, but definitely something we'll consider. That said, Jody has been sharing code whenever he can. Most recently, we open-sourced The Pixel Picker.

      2 points
    • Ryan LeFevreRyan LeFevre, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Not to speak for Andrew, but from a general point of view... open-sourcing commercial/revenue-generating websites is an incredibly risky business. Running DN costs money, and of course it would be nice to turn a profit to either put back into the business or funnel into another venture. When you open-source something, it's like fully opening the kimono. There is no more secret sauce that makes the site special. By handing the entire platform to anyone who wants to build a ___ News offshoot, you eventually water down your audience and spread them across many sites, which will detract from eyes on DN.

      As for your examples... Hacker News is not revenue generating, as far as I know. Y Combinator makes plenty of money from investments, so they can probably fit the bill for HN pretty easily. Reddit is already designed such that it's a meta-community, so creating a reddit clone wouldn't have much appeal since you can just create a new sub-reddit for whatever topic you're interested in.

      Believe me, I am a huge advocate of open-source software, but I think DN is handling it the right way so far. Open-sourcing small parts of the site as separate libraries is a great way to give back to the community without sacrificing the business in teh process.

      2 points
  • Lee Nelson, over 4 years ago

    Hi Andrew,

    First of all, I find it amazing that you have answered nearly every question on here. Bravo.

    My question for you is the number one cliche of all. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Why do I ask? Not too long ago you wrote a blog post about the possibility of being in another ‘tech bubble’. Also not too long ago, you appointed Adam Wood as the new CEO of MetaLab and announced that Flow and MetaLab were to be treated as two separate entities. By listening to and reading some of your interviews, I can’t help notice that you keep indicating the importance of having time to do the things that make you most happy in life. With agency acquisitions such as Adaptive Path, it truly feels like a sellers market at the moment.

    So, I ask, where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is it continuing to build products of your own such as Flow? Working on the agency? Sailing around the world? What would make you most happy :)

    From a fellow islander — Lee.

    4 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      “There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

      I have no clue, man. If you'd asked me to predict where I'd be and what the companies would look like five years ago, I would have been way off. I want to wake up every morning and work with people I like on things I enjoy. Full stop.

      1 point
  • Jared HarrissonJared Harrisson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Favorite DN mobile app?

    4 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      I actually love responsive DesignerNews.co on mobile Safari. Just made it a home page icon. Previously I was using DN Paper, which was pretty good, but I couldn't moderate the site from it.

      3 points
  • Moe AmayaMoe Amaya, over 4 years ago

    As a designer, manager, investor, writer, and publisher, what's a typical day look like for you?

    4 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Oh man. It's all over the map. More email than I'd like. Lots of phone calls. I spend most of my time finding great people to join our companies and doing product stuff. Where are we headed, what are we doing next, what do our customers want, etc.

      An average day:

      Wake up. Go grab food and coffee at my favourite cafe in Victoria. Skim the NY Times + Wall Street Journal. Go into the office. Check Designer News. Delete a bunch of link-bait BS that people have posted overnight. Open my email. Grimace. Start doing my email. Remember I need to make a phone call. Get sidetracked. Back to email. Get coffee with co-workers. Crap I forgot about Slack. Jesus there's a lot of messages. Realize I missed a huge conversation about an important product design decision. Chime in. More email. If I'm really lucky, design something or write. Dinner with my girlfriend. Read a book, see a movie, walk my dog, in the evening. Sleep 8-ish hours. Repeat.

      Working on getting more chunks of time to just dig into stuff and get into the zone. I'd say the hardest part about running a company is that you don't really have a clear set of tasks to complete every day. There's always 10 things waiting to sidetrack you at any given moment.

      1 point
      • Jody HeavenerJody Heavener, over 4 years ago

        Our conference calls make way more sense now.

        3 points
      • Moe AmayaMoe Amaya, over 4 years ago

        Damn just saw this reply (spent the last 3 hours not delegating). Seems like you spend most of your day communicating in one form or another, but you sorta reveal that you want to spend time doing other things...maybe designing, writing?

        Perhaps this is for another time, but would love to hear what your ideal day would look like instead (at least on the work side, seems like you got the home life covered). My guess is just less work overall which would entail even further delegation.

        0 points
  • Moaaz SidatMoaaz Sidat, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for taking out the time to do this AMA today. I've followed MetaLab's work for quite some time now and have always been inspired by the close attention to detail that MetaLab pays to its work.

    • As someone who quit his job to start an interface design agency, what would you say were the key lessons you learnt along the way that allowed you to not only land the clients that you did but also focus on the type of work that you guys are doing (lots of focus on building products)?

    • Once MetaLab grew out of the initial phases, how closely did/do you stay involved in the day-to-day design process? How did you balance management vs. design and were you still able to practice the craft (albeit in a different form) that got you to start the agency in the first place?

    • Would you be open to grab a coffee sometime? (context: I'll be in Vancouver for the next four months)

    Cheers!

    3 points
    • Stefan Rauch, over 4 years ago

      +1 For another Vancouver designer.

      2 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      As someone who quit his job to start an interface design agency, what would you say were the key lessons you learnt along the way that allowed you to not only land the clients that you did but also focus on the type of work that you guys are doing (lots of focus on building products)?

      I actually wrote two good pieces that summarize my advice well. They're a couple years old, but they still apply.

      TL;DR: Do strategic favours for influential people. Don't waste your time doing any work that isn't the type of work you want to be known for. And FOR GODS SAKE DELEGATE.

      Once MetaLab grew out of the initial phases, how closely did/do you stay involved in the day-to-day design process? How did you balance management vs. design and were you still able to practice the craft (albeit in a different form) that got you to start the agency in the first place?

      Growing an agency really means transitioning from being a day-to-day designer into a full-time boss and business person. It's a slow transition (I detailed it in another answer) but longterm you can't really be a full-time designer anymore. It's a tough transition, and I miss doing design work for 6 hours a day, but I would never have been able to build my companies if I hadn't started delegating and letting go.

      Would you be open to grab a coffee sometime? (context: I'll be in Vancouver for the next four months)

      For sure! I'm in Victoria, so come over some afternoon and I'll give you a tour of our office and we can grab a coffee.

      9 points
      • Moaaz SidatMoaaz Sidat, over 4 years ago

        Thanks for the detailed response! Sounds awesome, will definitely reach out to you once I'm settled in. Cheers!

        1 point
  • Jody HeavenerJody Heavener, over 4 years ago

    Do you like the Simpsons?

    3 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      Huge fan. Back in 2009, I started what was at the time the most popular Simpsons blog on Tumblr: http://eyeonspringfield.tumblr.com (hasn't been updated in a while, but full of great screen caps).

      I got to meet Matt Groening, and he actually knew about the site. Super cool.

      2 points
  • Max LindMax Lind, over 4 years ago
    • Rdio / Spotify / Apple Music / Other?
    • Lean towards a specific genre?
    • What's playing in your headphones/speakers as of late?
    2 points
  • Brian FryerBrian Fryer, over 4 years ago

    How old are you?

    2 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    How did the numbers (especially MAU) change after the recent redesign and change of ownership?

    2 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Don't have MAU offhand, but in the past couple months we've doubled page views, so things are moving up and to the right :-D

      0 points
  • Kenny ReyesKenny Reyes, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Hey Andrew,

    Did you have any formal education when you started designing and developing, or did you just learn from resources online?

    Also a couple questions about looking for design candidates for Metalab:

    1. How do you weigh a portfolio with real client work vs self initiated projects.

    2. Do you look for more experienced designers, or are you open to hiring designers that are still early on in their career?

    2 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Did you have any formal education when you started designing and developing, or did you just learn from resources online?

      I dropped out of journalism school after 4 months, and ended up teaching myself front-end development on Lynda.com back in 2006. From there, I got into design and found my calling.

      How do you weigh a portfolio with real client work vs self initiated projects.

      Both relevant. We love seeing that you are capable of collaborating with a client though.

      Do you look for more experienced designers, or are you open to hiring designers that are still early on in their career?

      Open to hiring people at all stages except total beginners.

      2 points
  • Jason FestaJason Festa, over 4 years ago

    Why can't Google figure out how to design a login / logout system that works with multiple gmail / Google Biz accounts?

    2 points
  • Peter DedenePeter Dedene, over 4 years ago

    Hi Andrew,

    Awesome you're doing this and thanks for purchasing (and saving) Designer News!! Your company and all your work have been an inspiration for us since a long time.

    At what moment in the growth of your agency did you decided to start building products like Flow, Ballpark, etc? As I recall reading MetaLab and all spin-offs are completely bootstrapped, how did you find the time / money to fund these developments and start building these awesome products?

    Thanks, all the best! Peter

    2 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      From the start, I knew I wanted to work on our own products. Client work can be great, but ultimately there's nothing more satisfying than building something for yourself, especially when you're solving your own problem. In our case, we were looking for as solution to track all the estimates we were sending. We built a simple internal system to track estimates and invoices, and it ended up turning into Ballpark.

      I did it for less than $30,000. I designed the whole product and did most of the front-end development, and I hired a student developer (still with the company) part-time to build the rails app.

      I started building it in 2008, so just one year into starting the company. It was difficult because I was already insanely busy, but I just worked on it slowly for a couple hours every night. Gary Vaynerchuk puts it best: Want to do something great? Stop watching LOST.

      2 points
  • Jochen Huppert, over 4 years ago

    Why you sold Ballpark?

    1 point
  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 4 years ago

    What advice would you give a small studio owner to take things to the next level? We're right on the cusp of growing into a million+ dollar a year agency, and I think we should be, but I'm not 100% sure on how to get there.

    1 point
    • Andrew WilkinsonAndrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Raise your prices every year. Fire the clients you don't enjoy working with and replace them with ones you can do amazing work for. Relentlessly publicize the work you do, like we have done with Slack and others. Try to get into conferences like TED and Summit so you can connect with the CEO's of the world's biggest companies.

      6 points
  • Jochen Huppert, over 4 years ago

    I left the job in some famous UI company (just tired). And now I have no idea how to find a decent freelance work. What do you advise?

    1 point
  • Juhi ChitravanshiJuhi Chitravanshi, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )
    1. Any plans on updating the DN Twitter DP? (Newspaper icon is cute but too generic)
    2. There's been a lot of interest in the future of Design tools lately. Where do you think this is headed? Any plans to get involved?
    1 point
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Any plans on updating the DN Twitter DP? (Newspaper icon is cute but too generic)

      Working on Twitter stuff right now. Stay tuned.

      There's been a lot of interest in the future of Design tools lately. Where do you think this is headed? Any plans to get involved?

      We love that there's an ecosystem of apps using the API. We want to do whatever we can to support them and help them get users.

      1 point
  • Matthew KosloskiMatthew Kosloski, over 4 years ago

    What did you guys use to make metalab.co? Really love the site and Adam Wood's shirt lol

    1 point
  • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, over 4 years ago

    What place do you think art has in UI design?

    1 point
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      I really just look at stuff and think "if my mom used this, what would she be confused by and how can I make it better". I'm definitely not an artist, but I know designers who I'd say are very artistic. Don't have much to say about this though—different strokes for different folks and all.

      0 points
      • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, over 4 years ago

        I’ve been reflecting on my path, and I’ve noticed significantly less art in my work as I’ve gained experience. The web and digital design have also developed standards and trends, further narrowing most of my work.

        I started as a graphic artist, but after 15 years of design, I’ve lost some of my artistic spirit—somewhere between obsessive compulsive clients and play-it-safe corporate constraints.

        Everyone always says,

        "It’s about leveraging learned behaviors; don’t rock the boat, just do what people have seen before… and execute it well—that’s hard enough!"

        It’s true, nonetheless…

        I’m exploring more art in my work, specifically in ways that don’t fumble UX. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

        0 points
  • Florian PnnFlorian Pnn, over 4 years ago

    Hi Andrew,

    What would be your advice to stay focus on a long term? I'm the kind of guy with a tons of idea but persistence and discipline seem to be a hard concept for me.

    Any tip on how you succeed to do that on different project?

    1 point
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Cheesy, but I always dug this: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Chinese Proverb.

      Just keep taking small steps every day. Analysis paralysis kills ideas.

      1 point
  • Tyler GalpinTyler Galpin, over 4 years ago

    Why do you feel it's okay to convince aspiring bankers to drop out of school?

    1 point
  • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, over 4 years ago

    Aside from quitting your job and starting MetaLab, were there any noticeable big jumps or risks you took to help advance your career?

    0 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Hiring people is fucking scary. Especially when they have families to take care of. That is definitely the biggest jump I made, getting comfortable with the fact that if I took a wrong turn I was putting an increasingly large group of people out of a job.

      Otherwise, I'm not a big risk taker. Pretty careful and conservative, profitable from day 1, no crazy credit card stories or anything :-)

      3 points
  • Brandon MowatBrandon Mowat, over 4 years ago

    Can you open source some of the code that runs DN?

    0 points
  • Brandon MowatBrandon Mowat, over 4 years ago

    How did you get started? What's your story? How did you learn and what tools have been the most useful?

    0 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Check out the podcast interview I mentioned in the description, good overview of my whole story. Too long to type :-)

      0 points
  • Tycho Klein SevertTycho Klein Severt, over 4 years ago

    What's your plan on adding new colors to DN profiles?

    0 points
  • Jordan KoscheiJordan Koschei, over 4 years ago

    Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle?

    0 points
  • Brian RichterBrian Richter, over 4 years ago

    Have you ever been to the Web Summit? I bought a ticket this year on a whim and am wondering if it will be worth it.

    0 points
    • Andrew Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      No idea, I haven' been unfortunately. I'm not huge on conferences, they seem like a really inefficient and expensive way to learn. That said, there are some standouts like XOXO, which I'd recommend.

      1 point
  • Warren BaskinWarren Baskin, over 4 years ago

    1) You mentioned that you're a designer - are you also into development? If yes, what languages and frameworks did you use when building your current set of products?

    2) When you began MetaLab, what was your most effective way of attracting new clients?

    3) Do you consider yourself to be successful? Why or why not?

    0 points
  • Ishan Mistry, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Hey Andrew, Go this message a little late and could not ask before. If I had to ask just one thing - How do you go about choosing a perfect imagery for the given headline. I usually find myself coming up with nice headlines for the product(e.g. "Your collection nightmares are over."), but struggle to complement it with equally solid imagery/illustration/visual language. Something that's subtle and effective. Something that communicates the marketing story. For example, the imagery that you've used on the Slack marketing site (Communication for 21st century etc.). Some advice, please.

    Thanks a lot, Ishan

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  • Ole-Martin BrattengOle-Martin Bratteng, over 4 years ago

    Hey Andrew. What's your favourite? Coca Cola, or Pepsi?

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  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Kinda late here. What do you do with designers that seem great and have worked in reputable places but don't have any documentation, designs or case studies to show? Related: how valuable do you consider documenting your work?

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  • Akshay ChauhanAkshay Chauhan, over 2 years ago

    I was surprised to see that all my favourite tech companies(that focused on design and quality) in Victoria BC, are connected with Andrew. For that great job man, I wish there were more people like that across Canada..

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