In corporate America people say: "That's not my job!" employees specialize and have a deep knowledge in a couple areas. But for those who want to don't want to specialize the role of being a generalist can be a rewarding experience. These individuals are early employees at a start because they are capable of learning skills quickly, knowing how to complement their teammates skill sets, and stay focused and motivated in order to build out a prototype and a business. We'll cover how to build a career as a generalist, recruit them, and keep them motivated.
Jesse has designed over 40 museum exhibits, assembled fish detectors, managed an art gallery, handled shrunken heads, consulted with small businesses and startups and run Citizen Space a coworking space in San Francisco. She currently helps BizeeBee plan, market, and design a product to help manage fitness studios. She is also "Dean" of the Awesome Foundation (San Francisco chapter).
She holds a BA in art history from Smith College and an MFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design. Jesse has taught design and design history, lectured on marketing communication, and has been an occasional guest critic/lecturer at UCSF and UC Berkeley Extension. She is an avid birder and aspiring runner.
Poornima Vijayashanker graduated from Duke University with a double degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. After graduating she headed out to Silicon Valley, where she first worked for Synopsys as an R&D Engineer, and started working towards a Masters in CS at Stanford. She left her Masters to join Mint.com in 2006 as the third employee, and stayed until its Intuit Acquisition in late 2009 for $170 Million. In January 2010 she left Mint.com to start BizeeBee.com, and is currently its CEO and Founder. Aside from being a coder, entrepreneur, speaker, and mentor to junior engineers, Poornima blogs on Femgineer.com, is an avid traveler, foodie, and a competitive Bikram yogini.
Rebecca Sinclair believes that the best way to predict the future is to design it, and that the best approach to design is with a focus on desirability. This has led her to tackle increasingly diverse challenges, starting in digital consumer experiences but ranging across industries to include housing construction materials, women’s health products and services, and retail environment design.
Currently, Rebecca is a Senior Design Researcher at IDEO, where she works with industry leaders such as Chase, Samsung, Visa, Nokia, Acer, and Western Digital. Prior to IDEO, Rebecca worked as a design researcher at Microsoft for prominent consumer products, such as Microsoft Tablet, Windows and XBox Games Studios. Her love of start-ups led her to Silicon Valley, where she conducted research for social media and online gaming products and advised these venture capital-funded startups on how to better understand their user needs at any stage startup or product.
Rebecca holds a BA in Sociology from Seattle University, with minors in Anthropology and Psychology. She joined IDEO Palo Alto in 2007 and has been hooked on the IDEO process ever since.
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