As of last week, I am no longer with InVision. As the business makes adjustments to strategy and tactics, so does the team’s shapes and sizes. I am joined by some of the smartest and hardworking people I have ever worked with thus far. Layoffs are never personal. That’s what makes the whole process a big shit sandwich for both sides. I can assure you I’d rather be let go then to be the one to initiate the conversation. I am in a good place. During a time when so many people are hurting and in need, I am fortunate to be where I am in life.
This event marks almost five years to the date since I stepped down from Happy Cog and closed the Austin studio.
Looking back at the last five years spent at IBM, USAA, and InVision, I have learned so much and had the honor to work with so many designers, product managers, engineers, and business leaders. I have earned a unique perspective having lead teams at every scale of company size—from five to five hundred thousand people. I’ve worked with people all over the world, collaborating at all hours of the day. Where remote working was not an option, it was required. In five years, I’ve worked on Enterprise, fintech, cybersecurity, cloud, HR, software, and education-related problems. Digital and design-led transformation initiatives. And I got to work with hundreds of designers, design leaders, product and business leaders, and engineers. There are many experiences to look back on, probably a book or two to write, but for now I’m going to take some time for reflection.
Five years ago, I had to lay off several employees—including one who started to work from home and I had to ask him to come into the studio. He knew right then and there what was going to happen, but he came into work with a smile on his face and a calm presence. After the others left, the gentleman stayed behind to chat. He extended more grace to me than I deserved. I asked if he was going to be alright, and he laughed and said that he’s learned that life is not defined by where we work but by what we do, how we act. As he began to leave, he told me that he had called his significant other and made reservations at the nicest restaurant in town to celebrate this occasion and what life has in store.
Sam, if you’re reading this, then know that moment had a profound impact on me. I’ll never forget that conversation, your perspective, composure, and the joy that empowers you. Thanks to you, that is how I feel right now. Happy to be in a good spot and excited, almost anxious, to see what is around the corner and what I will do next. Be well and take care of someone who needs it.
Also, if you’re looking for a design leader, I happen to know a great candidate.