#83: John Maeda – Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic

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John Maeda is the Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic. Previously, he was a Partner at Kleiner Perkins where he founded the design and tech report that’s read by people all over the world.

Fascinated with the idea of remote working, John is an inspiration in the design world currently serving on the boards of Sonos and Wieden+Kennedy. He recently created a site called Design From Anywhere, that tells you more about remote work, inclusion, and how you can get into these positions and basically do it from anywhere.

Being in a educational field for a long time, John noticed the art education in the U.S. was decreasing and most educational programs were becoming geared towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). So he had been advocating in Washington, D.C. to add Art through STEM and transform it into STEAM, which has become a legislation in 2013 to bring back Art into schools.


Years in Tech 20
Lives In: Boston Area
Current Job Designer
Date Recorded 11/1/2017

Show Notes:

[01:45] What is Design from Anywhere? John explains why tech is not only located in San Francisco.

[03:25] John describes his work as Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic. Did you know that WordPress was built by Matt Mullenweg when he was just 19 years old?

[06:00] What led John to design and to Silicon Valley: Initially trained as a computer scientist, John talks about having that perceived advantage coming into design from a technical background.

[07:55] John talks about creating a community in MIT and getting his MBA to understand money in organizations. Listen to John’s career advice here about having a capital.

[12:35] Know more about the 3 types of designs: Classical, Design Thinking, Computational Design

[16:40] Find out how you can go and develop these 3 things to become part of this tech ecosystem.

[19:00] John talks about new tools and resources in the design space today like Shareware and Lynda.com; and how WordPress works as a blue-collar tech ecosystem where everyone could scale up.

[23:15] How to get your first design job in tech through Tech Jobs Tour: Here’s one thing that surprised John when he visited West Virginia for the tour.

[28:10] John talks about the power of having a story and tech diversity to bridge the tech divide.

[31:05] Designers in Security and a Shift from STEM to STEAM: John talks about his thoughts into the role of design in security and why it’s important. Also, find out how he actually advocated for the STEM programs in schools to be transformed into STEAM.

[35:17] Which part of the tech space should you pay attention to, what kinds of skills should you develop, and some ideas of how you can monetize through them

Contact Info:

John Maeda

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnmaeda

Check out John’s blog: www.maeda.pm

Design From Anywhere

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources



Tech Jobs Tour

Personal Projects/Partnerships:

Design From Anywhere

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