Why Software Companies Should Care About Hardware
Google, Netflix, Square, Adobe. These are companies known for creating incredible software products and services. And yet, they are boldly pushing into new territory by creating hardware. But why? Google’s investment in Glass has shown that even with a seemingly endless supply of cash, bringing beautiful, successful hardware products to market is tough. So what does it take for a software company to create hardware products that people love?
Moderated by renowned industrial designer Robert Brunner, this panel will explore the challenges and opportunities in creating successful hardware and talk through some success stories from companies including Adobe and Lark.
As the CEO of Lark Technologies, Julia's goal is to make people happier and healthier through digital technology. Named Top 10 Most Innovative CE Companies in the World by Fast Company, Lark is a mobile and wireless technology platform company that uses behavior change to personally coach people to feel great.
A serial entrepreneur, she has focused on growing early-stage start-ups in the consumer products and cleantech space. Prior to lark, she ran global startup incubator Clean Tech Open, her own green buildings start-up, and worked in China to build consumer electronics with D.light Design.
She received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Stanford University and half a MBA from the MIT Sloan (a dropout, but they were kind enough to make Lark a case study). She was an EIR at Stanford’s StartX incubator, and named "30 Under 30" by Inc and "Top Woman Entrepreneur Under 40" by Marie Claire Magazine.
Matt Rolandson's work is guided by a passion for understanding context and making a case for what's worth designing in the first place. At Ammunition, Matt oversees Experience Design and Design Strategy, working hands-on with clients to help them chart new business territory.
Over the course of his career, Matt has worked alongside founders at numerous start-ups and with leaders of organizations as varied as Apple, Skype, Starbucks, Square, Target, The University of California and Williams-Sonoma. Prior to Ammunition, Matt was President of MetaDesign in the US and a strategist at frog design leading product and service innovation programs. He is a native San Franciscan and a graduate of UC Berkeley where he studied sociology and architecture. An avid cyclist, Matt is occasionally seen taking a lap around the studio on his bicycle.
VP, Experience Design
As Adobe's VP of Experience Design, Michael’s global XD team spans architects, academics, sculptors, DJs, writers, designers and engineers with expertise ranging from interaction and visual design to research, information architecture and programming. A long-time design evangelist and advocate for the next generation of creatives, Michael has been pushing the envelope with disruptive designs and technology innovation for years. Prior to joining Adobe, he was Chief Creative Officer at Macromedia and served as VP of Brand Design at Nike.
Founder & Partner
Robert Brunner has built a career on getting things right. His uncompromising view has led him to design products that connect with millions of people around the world. In 2007, Robert founded Ammunition with a mission to not just make wonderful objects, but also to foster great ideas, build businesses, and create new markets. As a creative director and leader at Ammunition, Robert takes an active role in engaging with the studio’s clients to deliver meaningful, thoughtfully created products and services. His entrepreneurial vision has led the studio to play an instrumental role in the business success of clients like Barnes & Noble, Beats by Dr. Dre, Polaroid, and Williams-Sonoma, among others.
Prior to founding Ammunition, Robert was a partner at Pentagram. Previously, he was the Director of Industrial Design for Apple and a co-founder of the design consultancy Lunar. Robert’s work has won a variety of awards and can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco