Mike Wilson

Freelance Joined over 3 years ago

  • 1 story
  • Posted to Capital Minded - Weekly guide to investing for creative people, Jun 21, 2018

    Helping a buddy share this out since I think it's pretty relevant at the moment.

    I've seen a lot of friends in the design community fall into ICO/crypto scams and get wrecked over this past year. Unfortunately it seems us creative types are too trusting and optimistic...who knew, apparently art school wasn't great at teaching us about money ;-)

    1 point
  • Posted to Investment Calculator - A Beautifully Simple Retirement Calculator, Mar 07, 2018

    When I google "investment calculator" this is the first thing that comes up:


    To be honest, I think the Dave Ramsey one is easier to use/read and the ability to test other return percentages is a huge plus. Also, what CAGR are you basing your "Aggressive" and "Conservative" returns on? They're extremely optimistic.

    To get the" aggressive" return you would likely have to invest in mostly the American small cap value index (the riskiest stock index) during one of the best 30 year periods in US history...back when small cap value index funds didn't even exist. Statistically almost no investors will be getting those returns consistently over an extended period.

    To get the "conservative" returns, you would still have to invest mostly in large cap American stocks during one of the better 30 year periods in US history until the day you retire. This is the opposite of a conservative portfolio, nor is it how investing is supposed to work (hint: you reduce your exposure to risk assets as you age).

    I'm somewhat scared about the idea of you giving people "investment tips" based on the above. I recommend you consult a lawyer and read the SEC guidance on internet investment advice before writing further if you are US-based.

    3 points
  • Posted to Millennials Are Screwed - The Huffington Post, in reply to Cale Dooper , Dec 16, 2017

    Although I don’t think soylent-drinking, life/workflow optimizing tech bros like us are the average reader of a huffington post article like this.

    I’ve heard from a buddy of mine at Bloomberg that editorial-style articles like these typically out-perform in both time spent on the page and social shares. Our tastes aren’t neccesarily the tastes of the readership.

    3 points
  • Posted to Helen Tran — Product Designer, in reply to Chris Keith , Nov 16, 2017

    100% agree.

    The larger the design team you work for (ie. Shopify size & up), the more important your personality, general interestingness, and the way you signal yourself becomes. In a scaled company the product is already a hit. They don't need design geniuses and left-field innovators (successful companies build war chests of excess profits to acquire innovation). They just need careful stewards of an already successful product.

    Trying to implement your ideas from within a large organization is 90% a game of politics and 10% actually having good ideas. It's simply the dynamics of what happens when you get a large group of people together. Look at government for example. In that environment soft skills and standing out go much farther than technical ability.

    After checking out the case studies, I think Helen's actual design work is just average at best, but she has positioned herself as more of a future corporate leader vs. just a designer. Which is not a bad thing.

    Would I hire her to lead the design an innovative product from the ground up? No.

    Would I hire her to be a member of a Fortune 500 design team and groom her for more of a leadership role? Absolutely.

    6 points
  • Posted to There is at least 54 versions of Facebook’s mobile app navigation right now, Oct 14, 2017

    I think this could go 1 of 2 ways.

    Either they're trying anything they can to desperately increase engagement after seeing some alarming trends in the user data that will not bode well for future ad sales....

    ...OR, they're moving on to something bigger and better, the end goal being an app that slowly shifts to meet the differing needs of individual users.

    1 point
  • Posted to Google Is Really Good at Design, in reply to Sacha Greif , Oct 14, 2017

    Agree completely about open company culture. Apple's culture of secrecy seems to be evolving into a massive problem for the efficiency of the organization and their ability to innovate (and hilariously, the secrets always end up getting leaked anyways). Their product line is expanding and fragmenting every single year, and it's increasingly clear to me that their old culture is not scaling well to meet the increased demand on their teams.

    Google also has advantage of not being a 40+ year old company. You cannot imagine the sheer amount of legacy systems, bureaucracy, old management theories, and ineptitude that probably still exists from 1980s and 1990s Apple.

    ...but all of that said, I personally believe Material Design to be the worst, most heavy-handed and gratuitous design system in use by a major tech company today. Its poor implementation across many Android apps is the biggest reason I switched to iOS recently. iOS is still the most user-friendly OS on the market today. But in the future? who knows.

    1 point
  • Posted to The Wirecutter redesign, Oct 04, 2017

    This is equally as bad as the dropbox re-brand.

    0 points
  • Posted to The Engine — built by MIT, in reply to Clay MacTavish , Sep 20, 2017

    The 'Brutalism' thing in a nutshell:

    1. Designers coming out of art schools like ECAL, Gerrit Reitveld, etc. in the mid-2000s start bringing some of their experimental work into the small print magazine movement (mostly in Europe at this point) after print starts getting less scrutinised in favor of digital. See: https://www.creativereview.co.uk/the-new-ugly/
    2. Hits NYC from Europe (to be fair people in scenes like RISD were always woke) when guys in publishing like Richard Turley bring the aesthetic into the mainstream on publications on Bloomberg Businessweek
    3. More traditional (not product focused) design agencies/studios bring the aesthetic to the web after the fall of skeumorphism and the rise of web type
    4. SF Tech bros who hang out on Dribbble finally take notice when these sites get posted on SiteInspire, steal the term "brutalism" to describe it since it doesn't look like a stripe landing page.
    5. 'Brutalism' becomes a catch-all term for any website that contains an aesthetic nod to a design movement that didn't happen on Dribbble
    6. Myself and others find this amusing and post snarky/snob-ish finger-wagging comments on DN

    Also, see Aaron's comment below, this site falls much more under Swiss International Style than it does this so-called "web brutalism."

    4 points
  • Posted to How does Ueno get clients like Airbnb, Uber, Slack?, Sep 20, 2017

    The reason big companies use design agencies is the same reason they contract out services like legal, auditing, advertising, capital management, janitorial services, catering, architecture, real estate acquisition, etc. etc.

    Airbnb, Uber, Slack, etc. almost certainly have in-house legal departments, however they also retain external legal counsel from various specialist law firms. To add some examples to jrtorrents response:

    No company does everything well It doesn't make sense to invest in anything that isn't core to your business. Design is an extremely wide discipline. Just because you have a top notch in-house team of product designers working on the core product/service, doesn't mean they would be the best team to put on a marketing site or an advertising campaign when compared to the team at an agency that specializes in that work.

    Projects are temporary, in-house employees are not If a firms need for a certain service (ie. marketing design) is cyclical they will often farm this work out to agencies so they don't have have to fire members of their design team after every big project and expose themselves to bad press and lawsuit risks.

    External agencies are faster The bigger the company is, the slower it moves. When you've got a big project with a deadline to meet, hiring an external agency is an immediate way to get a competent team on your project without jumping through the slow bureaucracy of your company. For example, say you want to redesign one of your product landing pages, but your team is already at capacity. Instead of taking 12+ months to source, interview, vet a creative director and then source, interview, and vet a team to place underneath that person...the agency could have finished designing that page 10 months ago.

    Outside perspective Internal design teams are often averse to change and new ideas after spending years learning about legacy systems, old processes, bureaucracy, etc. They become unable to question the status quo for fear of losing their jobs or Stockholm Syndrome. An outside agency can bring fresh perspective to a project your in-house team is struggling to nail.

    Agencies can be cheaper Since agencies often work on a fixed SOW or retainer, their cost is 100% transparent, accountable, tax-deductible and can be negotiated down by your procurement people. You can't walk up to your internal design team and say, "Guys, budget is tight this quarter...will you take 40% less salary on this project?"

    27 points
  • Posted to The Engine — built by MIT, in reply to Alex Camp , Sep 19, 2017


    5 points
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