Cindy Alvarez is an expert in customer research and iterative development. She’s the author of Lean Customer Development, a hands-on guide for validating product and feature ideas. She’s worked for small and medium-sized startups – and now runs user experience for Yammer (a Microsoft company). Cindy’s got a flair for explaining user-centered design in a compelling and understandable way. From her early days doing tech support for her professors at Harvard—to her current leadership role evangelizing lean tactics at Microsoft—Cindy thrives on new challenges. Listen in and learn how a seasoned UX expert blends customer development with product leadership.
- Game Design
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Thought Leadership
Matt Leacock is a board game designer and UX expert. His first big hit, Pandemic, is a cooperative board game where you team up with others to save the world from virulent diseases. In his latest game, Pandemic Legacy, Matt extends the core Pandemic gameplay with an overarching narrative structure that delivers an episodic experience where every choice you can has irrevocable impact. Matt’s background as a UX designer shines through in his approach to iterative prototyping and “finding the fun” in his games. Matt Leacock is one of my game design heroes, and I’m thrilled to get to talk with him about his creative process. Listen in and learn how a world-class board game designer brings new ideas to life.
Irene Au is a design leader and UX expert with deep experience in team-building. She’s currently an operating partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with startup CEOs to make their designs great. Irene started her career at Netscape – then moved on to lead design efforts at Yahoo, Google and Udacity. This progression gives her a unique perspective on growing UX teams – and smart strategies for enhancing design in different situations. Irene brings a deeply humanistic approach to everything she does, and integrates her passion for Yoga and mindfulness into everything she does. Listen in and discover how a Silicon Valley legend gets startup CEOs to embrace iterative, user-centered design practices.
Dan Olsen is a seasoned product manager – and the author of the Lean Product Playbook, a soup-to-nuts handbook for doing smart product management with Lean principles. Dan runs the Lean Product & Lean UX Meetup in Silicon Valley, where he brings cross-functional teams together to lean how to create great products. Dan is an articulate proponent of a lean & disciplined approach to product development – and he knows the power of choosing the right mental model to organize your thinking. In this interview, you’ll learn how an experienced product manager approaches customer discovery, rapid prototyping and smart MVP development.
Teresa Torres is a rising star in product management, and the author of the popular “Product Talk” blog. She’s got an eclectic background in cognitive science, UX design, startup management and organizational change – which gives her a unique perspective on product discovery. Teresa shares her deep & hard-won product wisdom – and her inspiring perspective on the long game of product management. Learn how one talented product manager is forging a new path & shaking up the organizational change management game.
Mike Sellers is a pioneering social game designer turned academic. Long before World of Warcraft was a world-wide hit, Mike & his merry crew of innovators – including John Hanke, the driving force behind Pokemon Go – created Meridian 59, the first graphical MMO – or massively multiplayer online game. Since then Mike has worked on many games for companies like Electronic Arts and Kabam – and is now a professor of game design at Indiana University. Like many of our Getting2Alpha guests, Mike has a deep & longstanding fascination with human psychology and social systems – and a LOT of experience wrestling with the challenges of bringing new ideas to life.
Mike is one of my favorite people in gaming – he’s a deeply insightful and innovative thinker, with as astonishing breadth of knowledge. In this interview, you’ll learn what Mike thinks about early MMOs, super-powered mental models, and the pervasive future of Augmented Reality gaming.
If you’ve ever struggled to get your team or organization to adopt Lean principles that really work – this interview is for you. Jeff Gothelf is a Lean UX expert who specializes in enterprise software & change management. In his new book, Sense & Respond, Jeff and his co-author Josh Seiden provide tools & techniques that help large organizations listen to customers & create new products continuously. In this fascinating interview, Jeff summarizes what he’s learned working with enterprise leaders – and pinpoints the speed bumps that get in the way of effective Lean product development. Listen in and discover how to implement change management that really works.
Raph Koster is a leading expert in social gaming worlds. He’s best known for his work seminal MMOs like Ultima Online and Star Wars: Galaxies – and his influential book “A Theory of Fun” – a must-read if you want to understand the deep connection between games & learning. Raph is a multi-talented renaissance man – designer, artist, musician, and poet – someone who knows a LOT about bringing ideas to life. Listen in and get a shot of Raph’s relentless, inspiring creative energy.
Dennis Crowley is the founder and executive chair of Foursquare – a company whose location-based technology is used by Uber, Apple, and others. Dennis a pioneer in location-based social experiences – and an endlessly creative serial entrepreneur who knows how to navigate the ups and downs that go along with bringing new ideas to life. Tune in and hear Dennis’s thoughts on Pokemon Go, entrepreneur payback, and the future of location-based social experiences.
Kevin Kelly is is a multi-talented creator and deeply insightful futurist. His latest book, The Inevitable, lays out the twelve technological forces that will drive change over next thirty years and weaves together a convincing story about how these forces will shape our world. Listen in as Kevin explains how the world is changing – and how we can harness these insights to chart a a successful path into the future.