Story In A Bottle Podcast

When Jess Brown got her start with computers she spent her time designing for fun and trolling chat rooms online - seemingly a world away from a career in the then fledgling user experience industry. In fact, it was her love of math and the practical application of it at Stanford University that set her in motion. Over an Aperol Spritz, Jess tells us about those early days in a nascent industry, how she was able to guide her first gig with user research and why that lead her to join other startups like Threadflip and Rent the Runway. Today, she is Head of User Experience at Vice - applying the knowledge she’s gained along the way to this ever-expanding, content behemoth - which is no small task.


What You’ll Learn:

- Why test methodology matters in user research - and the importance of determining which is appropriate for understanding the specific user behavior you are testing.

- Why founders of companies may not necessarily need to be their end users and how that impacts design decisions.

Direct download: SIAB_JBrown_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01pm EST

Khayyam Wakil boasts a career with an unbelieveable trajectory - all thanks his ability to identify and capitalize on trends. From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, he rose to Twitter fame in the early 2000s, but what he didn’t know at the time was that his lighthearted exercise in gaming the platform would actually lead to true social influence. Over Malopas (mezcal palomas), he explains just how he became one of the 5% creating content on Twitter which lead to being one of the few selected to be a part of the UN’s envoy to curing malaria and how those experiences, in addition to his time in VR, have shaped his take on both activism and tech. This is especially important today, as he aims to bring more “first hand” experiences to the public in his latest endeavor as Head of Creative Partnerships at Live Planet.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The pros and cons of the “empathy machine” that is tech and Virtual Reality
  • Why sometimes having the propensity to learn is far more powerful than a linear path in education
  • The unfortunate truths about how social media has changed activism
Direct download: SIAB_KWakil_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20am EST

Bianca Bosker is a journalist and nonfiction author whose body of work truly runs the gamut; from bowling to covering tech for HuffPo and spending a decade plus becoming an expert in Chinese “duplitecture” and beyond - it’s a career that appears to have no rhyme or reason. However, over Sage Beers at Fool’s Gold she helps explain the method to her madness - that, as a storyteller, she’s found true the old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction” and her obsessive nature helps her get to the heart of these truths. This is especially the case for her latest, bestselling book “Cork Dork” which chronicles her choice to drop everything and start at the bottom of the wine industry as “cellar rat” to endure the challenging path to certified sommelier.

What You’ll Learn:

- Behind the scenes of the early days of HuffPo’s tech coverage - and their thesis for differentiation

- The ins and outs of paving one’s way in the often elusive wine industry

Direct download: SIAB_BBosker_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10am EST

In the startup community - from founders to investors to customers and employees - the first question that should be asked is “does this product solve a real problem?” Enter Preston Pesek, the founder of Spacious, a coworking company that aims to answer “yes” to solving not one, but two problems in major cities. Over Micheladas, Preston describes the painstaking process he took to identify and solve the problems of an ever-growing and displaced coworking crowd, as well as the vacancy of off-hours restaurants; with beta testing and shifting business models to transforming physical spaces - it’s a product that attempts to benefit all parties, and ultimately a story that shows how a real product process can lead to success.

What You’ll Learn:

- How to approach being a first-time founder

- The value of knowing what skills you possess and how to hire for those you don’t

- Understanding how to create a product that addresses a real problem vs. creating a problem to fit your product

Direct download: SIAB_PPesek_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EST