Weekend Design Session with James and Juan

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Jamming with James and Juan at Expa.

It was cool jamming with these guys this afternoon. Their passion for design is just infectious, and I feel I’m learning a tremendous amount from this group.

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Setting up all the fonts now so I don’t have to do it again later.

As much as I want to jump ahead and design new features on Input, I actually have to take a step back and clean up our sketch files and really look at the entire system. Since we’re redesigning everything, I’m taking the time to set up everything—the fonts, the spacing, the symbols, and the asset naming. The future is looking brighter.

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Juan doing some amazing illustrations.

I’m hoping I can keep the system as simple as possible. It’ll evolve over time, but I’d like to stick to a foundation that we can build on top of for the years to come.

By the way, I’m really looking forward to reading this tomorrow:
Design Systems Handbook

And I’m currently watching a YouTube video of John Vino designing live. It’s pretty cool to watch his process.
Live UX Design with John Vino

Dinner at Fogo de Chao with Expa and Company

Dinner at Fogo

Photo of some of the Expa and Bravado team at Fogo de Chao.

Let me start of by saying that Brazilian food is amazing, and Fogo de Chao is da 💣. It was cool catching up with folks there, talking about design, start-up life, photography and food. Being around so many passionate people (that are masters of their craft) is inspiring.

**Warning: The next photo has some red color meat. Don’t scroll down if you’re vegetarian/vegan/etc**

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A variety of delicious all-you-can-eat proteins.

Oh yeh, did I mention that the salad bar there is probably better than most restaurant foods? I’m crazy about the assortment of things you can try there. The quality is 👌👌.

On a side note, James and I had a chance to talk about astrophotography. As cool as it is to photograph the milky way, I think the pro photographers have really stepped up their game. The most amazing astrophotography I’m seeing now is a combination of landscape, man-made lighting, self-portrait, northern lights, and a touch of the night sky. Here are some ‘grams that caught my eye recently…

Earthfocus 28151656 171421876914851 773411305204744192 n

Photo by @DreamingAndWandering

Bleachfilm 27893671 373526326386356 8160405272188157952 n

Photo by @j.diegoph

Awesomedreamplaces 23348037 350316375430720 8096100472076632064 n

Photo by @mr.bwhit

Milkywaychasers 17437522 1361303123908870 1699983592316207104 n

Photo by tyxiaophotography

Iuriebelegurschi 23416557 517939861909573 4737561953570914304 n

Photo by iuriebelegurchi

Thanks Vitor (and Expa) for inviting us out to this wonderful dinner. 👌

Fogo de Chao

Input Team Retreat

Glorious view of LA from our AirBnb.

So… it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Actually, that’s not entirely true–I’ve created content–I haven’t posted it yet. There’s a ton to share, so we have some catching up to do friends.

Our team had an offsite two weeks ago and we all met up in LA. It was great to collaborate with folks in person–we’re a distributed team, so getting real face time is rare. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer working in person. Remote jobs definitely have their perks, but nothing can replace being around creative people in the same room. It was a great offsite, and I’m looking forward to more jam sessions like this in the future.

Timelapse of theview from ourAirBnb.

The house was a total surprise, and it was super comfortable. There was actually a pool and hot tub overlooking the city skyline with a beautiful unobstructed view of the stars above. I honestly could have just brought a tent and sleeping bag and could have been in heaven.

Huge kudos to Belinda for coordinating everything. The house, the meals, travel, team activities, etc were all on point. Speaking of which, let’s look at some of the photos.

Vincent and Dan talking tech with the LA skyline as a backdrop.

Ben, Roberto and Naveen moving stickies around using the KJ Method

Brainstorming session outside.

Korean BBQ, LA style with the team.

Cooking class at Sur La Table.

Ben pouring a perfect pint.

Ben, Belinda and Naveen taking pictures of the Venice Beach sign.

Dinner with the team and celebrating Naveen’s birthday.

Naveen rocking the Halal Guys wayfarer sunglasses.

Cheers!

The steak here was aaaaamazing.

Everyone checking their phones after our escape room adventure.

Vincent getting his portrait taken in the corner of a bar.

Anyway, those were some fun times. Now it’s time to get some work done. We’ve got a pretty ambitious vision, and it’s going to take a hungry team to build it over the next few months.

Photos from My Bike Ride

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Photo of a blocked off road beside Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

After the storm cleared up this morning, I decided to go for a bike ride. I ended up doing a 25 mile loop around the city. Here are some photos from my ride.

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Crossing the road.

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Shadows and pruned trees in the city.

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Stairs near the Painted Ladies.

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A small beach between Lands End and Presidio.

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Museum at the top of Lands End, featuring a collection of work by Monet.

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Photo riding down Ocean Drive.

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Close up photo of flowers in Golden Gate Park.

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Ocean beach.

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The court yard between the California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum.

Getting Back on my Bike

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Photo of my electric bike in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

It’s been only a month since my crash and it still feels like yesterday. The strange feeling of my newly crowned teeth, the sensitive parts of my face and the mild pain in my shoulder are constant reminders of the potential danger of riding bikes around San Francisco. For the most part, I’ve told everyone that I’ve fully recovered, but these ailments haunt me. My wreck was a wake up call—to put safety first, and minimize the chance of getting hurt.

While there is danger in riding, I think there is inherent risk in everything we do… including driving our cars, crossing the street, and playing sports. The lesson I’ve learned is that I should have taken extra safety precautions—if I had a full-face helmet, there’s a good chance I would never have gotten a concussion, multiple stitches, had to go to the dentist multiple times, etc. I’m not saying that a full-face helmet would save me from everything, but a little extra protection would have probably gone a long way.

I want to be clear that I was wearing a helmet, had all my lights on, gloves, and clothing that covered all my body. The one place that wasn’t protected was my face. More on that in a moment…

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Black and white photo of the Golden Gate Bridge and its reflection at Presidio an hour before the sunset.

There are still so many places in San Francisco I want to explore. And there’s really no better way to do that than on a bike. The convenience of riding to work is also amazing, not to mention all the health benefits. I also really like the idea of minimizing my carbon footprint. When I combine these reasons I realize that biking still makes sense in my life.

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Photo of my bike at Presidio.

The photo above is something I shot after work on Friday. I decided to take a ride and watch the sunset from one of my favorite vantage points, Hawk Hill. On my way there, I snapped this picture, and I was reminded of how beautiful this place is.

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Photo of my bike and helmet with the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco in the background.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve upgraded my helmet. This is a full-face model designed for extreme down hill mountain biking. After doing researching and consulting with my comrades, this seemed to be the best choice. I was seriously considering a motorcycle helmet, but there’s a camp of riders that believe that motorcycle helmets can potentially obstruct visibility and sound—which could ironically be more dangerous. The helmet I purchased (Bell Super 3R) is pretty legit, and has new technology to prevent concussions and minimize head trauma.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again… but if it does, I’m more prepared.

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Photo of Marin County, towards Rodeo Lagoon as the sun touched down on the horizon.

This was probably my favorite photo of the evening. If I had more daylight, I think I would have ridden further… but I’m saving that for next time. This was truly a majestic view, and the only way to preserve that moment in a bottle was with a pic.

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Close-up of my new helmet. It includes a new technology called MIPS to reduce rotational head trauma.

My new helmet also has a built in Go Pro mount. I’ll be investing into one of those soon. The really crazy thing about my accident is that I don’t remember what happened. If I had at that time Go Pro, I could have examined the incident frame by frame.

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Photo of my bike in one of the historic artillery bunkers.

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A quick photo while crossing the Golden Gate bridge on my way back home.

I’ll have more photos share with you guys soon. And I promise that I will be as safe as I can when I’m riding.

The New Macbook Pro 13″

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Opening the new MacBook Pro 13″ for the first time.

I’ve been waiting for this new Macbook Pro for a looooooooong time. I’ve owned or used every single Apple laptop since the Lombard… and I can say that this model is pretty amazing. I still need to run it through its paces, but it feels great. The most impressive thing about the new MacBook is the screen—finally… it’s bright, with beautiful colors, full of contrast.

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Refined on the inside and out.

This is the first time that I’m using a 13″ for design, photo, video etc. Typically, I opt for the 15″ because it usually offers more power (and a better graphics card), but this is the first time I’ve felt like I don’t need that extra juice. This package offers the right balance between portability and performance.

I wanted to thank my team and Expa for hooking me up with a new machine. I’m looking forward to building beautiful products with this new MacBook Pro.