How Designers Are Building Careers in Silicon Valley

At a recent KPCB event held at Uber, design partner John Maeda presented his “Design in Tech” report and convened designers to discuss the role of the creative class in Silicon Valley. The event featured two panels: KPCB partner Creighton Hicks spoke with Andrew Crow, Head of Design at Uber, and Catherine Courage, SVP of Customer Experience at Citrix, about being a designer at an enterprise company. And KPCB talent partner Jackie Xu discussed actionable tips on Silicon Valley career paths in design with Bob Baxley, Head of Product Design at Pinterest, and Sarah Oppelt, Head of Design at Zumper.

Panel 1: Designers in Enterprise: From Unknown to Unexpendable

How has the role of designers evolved? Can they be leaders? Can they be founders? In this clip from a panel at the event that focused on enterprise design, Andrew Crow, Head of Design at Uber, and Catherine Courage, SVP of Customer Experience at Citrix, discuss these very questions. They are being interviewed by KPCB partner Creighton Hicks.

Designers Are Earning a Seat at the Business Table

Catherine Courage, SVP of Customer Experience at Citrix discusses how senior design leaders are earning a seat at the business table with the people who are driving the strategy of companies. The challenge we face right now, however, is the lack of designers with business sense to fill those seats.

The Role of Designers in Enterprise vs. Consumer Companies

For many tech companies, especially in the enterprise space, bringing designers on board is often an afterthought. But a successful bottoms-up integration of design requires a cultural shift – as well as executive buy-in and lots and lots of data. In this clip, Uber’s Andrew Crow and Citrix’ Catherine Courage discuss their tips for how companies can make designers do their best work – and how designers can convince companies how badly this work is needed.

Panel 2: How to Build a Successful Design Career in Silicon Valley

Bob Baxley, Head of Product Design at Pinterest, said: “Design is not some morally superior way of seeing the world: it is an amazing strategy.” In this panel, Bob discusses the rise of the strategic integration of design and designers in tech companies. His co-panelist is Sarah Oppelt, Head of Design at Zumper, and the moderator is KPCB talent partner Jackie Xu.

Design is a Strategic Asset and a Superior Business Model

If you think about the evolution of industries and companies, they tend to begin competing with technology, then they move to competing with business models, and few companies realize the strategic value of competing at design. Bob Baxley of Pinterest explains how design is an incredible strategy for achieving a much healthier business.

Design is the Fundamental Constraint on Most Technology Companies

In this clip, panelists Bob Baxley of Pinterest and Sarah Oppelt of Zumper share their thoughts on the optimal ratio between engineers and designers with moderator Jackie Xu of KPCB. Bob asserts that “design is the fundamental constraint on most technology companies.”