Talks That Shaped My Philosophies

Proof of Concept #49

My weekend started early on Friday and I kicked it off with inspirational conversations at Brianne Kimmel’s Worklife event. It was a great reminder that seeking inspiration is crucial for recharging creative batteries. I came home that night a began curating lists…one of my favorite activities. In this issue, I’ll share talks that inspired how I approach work as a designer, operator, investor, and entrepreneur. I haven’t subscribed to cable television in 20 years and my media consumption is on the internet. I present to you, in no particular order, the talks that shaped my work philosophy.


Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA by Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is my favorite design mind ever. The curator of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is the biggest voice for the importance of designers. I love that she brings interaction design and digital to the art world, an industry that’s often known for high and low eliteness. One of my favorite quotes from this talk: “We live today as you know very well, not in the digital, not in the physical, but in the kind of minestrone that our mind makes of the two, and that’s where interaction lies.” Paola, tell us you’re Italian without telling us your Italian. 🤌

I also recommend Design and the Elastic Mind and her appearance in Gary Hustwit documentary Objectified.


Inventing on Principle by Bret Victor

Quite possibly the best talk delivered in a hotel conference room, this talk by the former Apple engineer inspired how I think about the relationship between a builder and their creation. Victor’s talk is best taking the message and finding your own principles and inspiration from it. His other highly influential piece for me is Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction.


When We Build by Wilson Miner

A talk about how what we create shapes the world and what our responsibility is in it Minter talks about the organisms and ecosystems we design, inspiring me to write this post about Ecosystem design. By removing our assumptions we’re able to build long-lasting and considered products; have an “I don’t know” mindset.


The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas by Frans Johansson

One of my favorite books is The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation. Frans Johansson is the author of the Medici Effect and gave this wonderful talk about how strategy simply enables you to act and how to innovate. It turns out the people who out-innovate us have out-failed us.


Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design - Kat Holmes

Kat Holmes is SVP of Product Design at UX at Salesforce and the author of Mismatch. This is a wonderful talk about how the role of inclusion shapes design. Kat’s book inspired me to care a lot about working on products where democratization or access to capabilities that have been gated to certain groups in the past and is one of the top criteria when I decide where to work.


Introduction to Modern Product Discovery by Teresa Torres

My career has focused on many things, but product discovery and prototyping are where I specialize in. Teresa Torres is the biggest influence in my career. This talk is a great overview of the definition of what product discovery and delivery are and how companies can apply them today.


How to Operate by Keith Rabois

Mr. Miami was known as one of the best operators in Silicon Valley. This lecture he gave at Stanford is bookmarked and find myself referring back to it monthly; truly a masterclass in tips on how to run companies. My favorite part is when Rabois talks about building barrels to scale. I don’t need to go to Standford as this talk was enough for me.


Making the Impossible Possible by Hideo Kojima

The legendary game maker is most known for his time at Konami working on the Metal Gear video game franchise. This keynote talk at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) covers Kojima’s philosophy on designing games and how you take what seems like an impossible task and innovate.

“Simply put, Metal Gear was born out of hardware limitations, advancing together with hardware to reach new heights".”


I lazy tweeted on Twitter and so many people posted great suggestions. Here are a few that stood out:

You can view the full thread here.

How about you? What are some of your favorite talks that inspired you? I’d love more recommendations and learn why it was so impactful to you.


1,000+ Subscribers

I’m happy to share that Proof of Concept crossed the 1,000 subscribers milestone. I am truly grateful that you spend the time reading my musings and appreciate your readership so much. Every since doing On Deck Writing (ODW1), my commitment has been writing weekly and it’s been so fun to see the subscribers continue growing. Thank you so much. 🙏


Design Roles

These are not sponsored and roles shared with me. Of course let me start by sharing that Webflow and On Deck are hiring.


Cool finds

These are not sponsored and roles shared with me


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Sincerely,

DH