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Marc Hemeon on exploring within constraints

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Episode Summary

Conducting research and creating a product brief are important for mitigating risk when building a digital product, but how do we make the most of the divergent thinking and exploration stage? Marc Hemeon, an artist, designer, and entrepreneur whose passion for design has impacted several seminal internet companies, is an expert at the zero to one phase. He shares how setting expectations with stakeholders and clarifying the type of feedback that’s needed in this stage can create compassion and freedom to explore. He also encourages folks to put down the phone and find inspiration in the analog solutions all around us.

Episode Notes

Artist, designer, and entrepreneur, Marc Hemeon, shares how setting expectations with stakeholders and clarifying the type of feedback that’s needed in this stage can create compassion and freedom to explore in the exploration stage of the design lifecycle.

By Design is a show about the process of designing exceptional digital experiences. In each episode, our host, Josh Brewer, dives deep into a specific stage of the design lifecycle with an industry leader. Our hope is that hearing their insight can help us shape a better future for design.

If you’re interested in improving the design process at your organization, see how Abstract can help.


Josh: Welcome to By Design a show about the process of designing exceptional digital experiences. I'm your host Josh Brewer. And in this series, we will look at the different stages in the lifecycle of designing digital products. Each week, we'll hear from experts with an intimate understanding of what particular stage what has, and hasn't worked for them and how we might all apply these insights in order to shape a better future for design.

Divergent thinking and exploration often gets associated with this like fluid open environment where spontaneous ideas are creating unexpected juxtapositions that open up new ways of solving problems. But in reality, creating enough space for truly divergent thinking and exploration at all is one of the more challenging aspects of designing in a fast-paced business environment.

When I first arrived in San Francisco in 2009, I remember hearing a story about design at Apple, where Steve Jobs would ask designers to create a hundred different iterations that they would choose from. And I thought that seemed like a luxury. And in reality, whether it's a hundred iterations or just a few, the big question is how do you get the most out of this phase?

And so that's what we're going to dive into with Marc Hemeon. Mark is an artist, designer, and entrepreneur whose passion for design has impacted several seminal internet companies. Over the years, Marc is really good at the zero to one phase and has learned the value of setting expectations with stakeholders, clarifying the type of feedback, if any, that it's needed at this stage and how that can create a lot of compassion and more freedom to explore.

His encouragement to put down the phone and get outside, look at the real world in order to find inspiration for the digital was a great reminder that inspiration can be found in analog solutions all around us. We start by diving into his background.

Josh: I'd love to ask you a couple of questions and, and I know all the folks listening would love to hear just a little bit about you.

Marc: Josh first. Thank you for it, having me. I really appreciate it. I haven't done a podcast in a long time, so it's a wonderful opportunity to come out. Uh, I'm still wearing sweat pants from COVID though.

So I hope that's okay. We're going to keep those on for another. Two years. It seems like I've been a designer in a long time. Now about 20 years have had the opportunity to work at places like YouTube and Facebook and, uh, for the old timers Digg and have just been really lucky to be a part of web 1.0 and web 2.0.

Everything from skeuomorphism to the flat stuff, to where everything's going nowadays. And I'm a father. I have three beautiful children and I do oil paint in the spare time. Turns out. I think that one of the things I've learned with the oil painting, I used to do it. I did it initially just in secret, because I didn't want anyone to see how bad I was, but over time I've learned there's these routines that, um, helped me to sort through a lot of this creative energy that I think kind of gets built up over time.

Like, like really thick gunk in your arteries. And I think especially as product designers, When you're, when you, when you're thinking of challenging problems, you end up with all this cruft. And so painting allows me to, to work through work through a lot of that.

Josh: Uh, it's awesome.

Marc: Yeah. It's super fun. I do love rock climbing. It's a wonderful mental challenge. One of the things about rock climbing that's similar to design is you look at this. Series of holes and connected points. And you have to kind of figure out how to get from A to Z in the most efficient kind of way. And we we've seen, I think with newer designers, what happens is they go in a bit of a round and about circuitous way grabbing all the holes, but then a really amazing designer shows up to the climbing wall and they just see right hand left hand, left foot, right foot.

And they're done and it seems effortless and kind of magical. And folks don't realize that's that's 30 years of design, uh, attunement to, you know, to getting down the right path in the, in the most efficient way. And I don't know that even a lot of designers understand how they make those mental connections in their head. Idon't know. I don't know what your experience has been with that.

Josh: I don't know if it's intuition, if it's some gut instinct paired with your brain processing enough stuff in the background and, you know, dropping you just enough consciousness to be like, Nope. It's left.  

Marc: Well with Twitter, you guys had pull to refresh. There was a debate on Twitter recently of who kind of invented that. And where does that come from?

Josh: Loren Brichter.

Marc: Okay, there we go. That's been resolved, but that of pulling the dynamicism of the, of it's springing back of how do you show that you, you know, give this, that was one of the first really yummy interactions I've ever seen.

It was goofy. It was fun. It felt like if I held it longer, it would refresh more like more would come through. That is an instinctual design. There is, you're not going to get that from research. You're not going to get a bunch of folks in a room and say, you know, Uh, that load more button at the end, screw that let's get a little pull action going.

That's the kind of zero to one, thinking that is very beautiful to me. And I think it's getting really lost. I know, I know you've had some researchers on and, and there's, to me there's big data and there's little data, big data is the stuff you can gather and measure the qualitative and quantitative stuff.

The little data is the little data, the little pains in your stomach and in your heart and in your mind, the intuition that comes up that says there might be a better way. There might be something here and that's the thing they have to really listen to and make space for. And what that might mean is you might have to go hermit for a couple hours, spend some time alone in draw and turn your phone off and really kind of invent, you know, and, and not be afraid of what your peers might think or what your boss might think.

Not be afraid of pushing the timeline out a little bit and really kind of taking the noise down so that you can be divergent in your thinking and you can, you know, otherwise I don't know what your experience has been with that and like how you find those magic gems. But, um, I found that to be. Remarkably helpful, uh, you know, making that space.

Josh: I definitely do. It's interesting. I agree deeply with the like tune out distractions and way back in the day, it was like, turn off Twitter. Like don't have that thing open. Don't have the browser open, just like be in what you're doing. Um, as much as you can and getting into that flow state, I really think is, is one of those things, you know, you're pushing things around and, um, Trying countless variations, you know, and some of them are well-informed and others are just an accident, you know?

Marc: And I think people underestimate how much time it takes our brains, the elasticity of our brains to expand and compress enough times to generate the right idea. Does that, do you know what I'm saying, Josh?

Josh: I absolutely do. And I, I really appreciate you sharing it in this way. It feels like it's describing the experience I've had.

I have found there are, there are times, at least in my career where, whether I was working with the CEO or working with someone else very closely, who has got an idea in their head. Right. And it is my job to figure out how to express that things and that jumping into that space of like, I'm taking a idea or a set of constraints.

And then within that framing, I'm trying to go as broadly as I can. I'm trying to push on all. And I do think that at least in my own experience, some of the challenges I ran into would be, Oh, there's already a pattern for this. And if it's already solved, do I need to solve it? And I would early, early on, sometimes I feel like I would have edited things that could have been really interesting for the sake of, well, is this really the problem that I'm trying to solve or is this like ancillary?

Marc: If you're building a social network today? You're going to have a Clubhouse-like feature. You're going to have this audio on. You're going to have stories. You're going to have comments. You're going to have posts. There are these beautiful UI patterns that have been battle tested over the last 10 years that, you know, you don't really need to reinvent that.

I'm not confident that Clubhouse could have come out of user research either. I’m just not, I feel like Paul and their team there had a hunch. They maybe they saw some other apps that were kind of similar and just said, Hey, this let's play with this a little bit. And you know, Josh, that's why I got involved in Silicon Valley back in the day, it was a bunch of wild weirdos and inventors who just liked creating.

Josh: When we talk about, you know, we're talking about that early divergent exploration stage. What conditions have you seen be most optimal for that?

Marc: Let me share a thing we did. So I worked at Facebook in 2018. I was there for about a year working with the artificial intelligence group and what our design team's job was to take research and take technology from the AI team.

And we would read their white papers and kind of see what they're up to. And then it was our job to create ideas out of it and create prototypes out of it. So, as you can imagine, that's so blue sky and there we would have, we had hundreds of ideas and we started, we started writing them down in word docs, like one sentence.

Some folks love what they call the press release method, where you write a press release title that says something like speech recognition solves Amber Alerts, you know, that's like a thing to build, but it was hard to still get any buy-in from executives or, you know, if you share, you share on press release phrases, it wasn't enough.

And so there was a gentleman there named Andy Dahley and Andy was, came over from Google and he introduced this idea of a one-pager. And the one-pager was one keynote slide on the left hand, had a few words and on the right hand, had a visual graphic. It could be, it could be an animation. It could be just a photo. It could be kind of whatever you want. It could be a video, but you had one slide to convey the idea turns out that's really hard. I would like, can I get three slides? Can I get four?

Josh: Exactly.

Marc: Here's the problem. And the solution. That was a wonderful, wonderful tool. So if you're in a situation right now where you're trying to do some blue sky thinking where some, someone at your company has kind of thrown out this audacious goal, uh, you know, they read Good to Great, and they're like, we needed to do BHAGS, big, hairy, audacious goals.

That's like, what's our blue sky thinking. One of the tools I'd recommend is these one-pagers that are quite wonderful and they force you to, write. We don't talk about that skill much as designers, but it forces you to kind of write your concept down and then express it visually. Uh, in a way that someone can just get it really fast.

Um, so I found that effective. The other thing I've found personally, very effective is, and we don't do enough of this is it's just get out of your space and go somewhere else and look at totally unrelated businesses go down to an auto body shop or an auto parts store and look at how joints and these things kind of come together.

Walk around Target, look at package design, walk around your city, walk around your spaces, pick up a bunch of books, not online, you know, just like physically kind of get out into the world. To see how other folks have been designing for hundreds of years. And there's typically a physical solution that you can create some digital inspiration from, um, in, you know, some, like we talked about the pull to refresh.

There are other metaphors that we see online, you know, that. That are similar to that. It's like, you know, sending a letter or sending an email somehow still is a paper airplane. I'm not sure why. And I'm searching for things seems to be this physical magnifying glass, which I've never used to find anything in my house, but it turns out that's the object.

And one thing I enjoy is this kind of what they would call zero to one thinking. And I think that comes from being comfortable with ambiguity. The challenge of the ambiguity is you do need to add structure to it. So if someone says something to you, like we, you know, we want to put YouTube on TV. We want it to work on PlayStation, on XBox on Samsung TVs, on

Josh: Multi-platform?

Marc: Yeah. Multi-platform. And, um, at first it seems like, okay, sure. Let's just do that. And then when you, when you start peeling it back, you have to start saying, well, gosh, that Xbox controller doesn't look like a PlayStation controller, which doesn't look like an Apple TV controller, which doesn't look like a remote control TV.

Oh my gosh. There's actually 10,000 different things we're talking about here. And so I think before you can go divergent and you're thinking you have to least converge on what are your, what are your constraints? What are your base like constraints? In the case of YouTube TV, we agreed that you could do up down left, right?

And some like enter. Something that would say, choose this thing. And we started there. And with that, we, we were able to create UI patterns that were very simple navigating in and up down the freight grid and then selecting a video and then going back, and from that, you can get wildly creative, actually long press and hold or double tap to the right or double tap to the left, or there's all sorts of neat things you can do.

But I feel like with divergent thinking, if you don't add some constraints, You're going to go crazy.

Josh: Well, you'll just keep going because technically there's no, there's nothing to stop. That, that energy, that motion there, isn't a wall that you eventually run into. I'm really glad you mentioned that because I think so often the more constraints you're able to identify up front, the more creative you can be in that exploratory phase.

I know younger me didn't think that way. And after you experienced it enough times where you actually have a breakthrough and you're like, I didn't think I was going to solve this. Literally I needed to remove a constraint in my mind to fix it. And instead actually had to just change my perspective.

Marc: If people are looking for common constraints and product design. I think there are some go-tos that apply to everything you can always rely on speed and performance. That's one you can always rely on. So that is manifest in reduced UI reduced things that you're drawing on the canvas. And so that's one, the second is what is the primary thing that the person has to do here?

What did they hire this app to get done? And if it's, you know, Uber is like, get a ride and then you'll notice the hierarchy. Is there a big old button there? So that's the free, yeah, the first one is performance. The second one is. Really deciding on the one thing this thing should do. Um, and then I think the third is what I'd like to call kind of your intuition.

I guess your kind of gut, I think that most folks, there's a darling, you might have that you need to kill. There's a little something special that you kind of get married to on it. And I think you should be able to identify what that might feel like.

Josh: You have an attachment, right. And you've developed an attachment for whatever reason, you know, it could be thousands of different things.

You might be totally unconscious of why you're actually attached to this thing, but it's there. And the more frequently, you can kind of check in with yourself. Am, am I hanging onto this thing for something I could justify to somebody else? Or am I really just hanging onto it? And it could be something as simple as you figured out a way for all the icons to line up perfectly vertically in some kind of grid.

Marc: It can be that nascent. It can be another thing where, maybe a type choice that you really fall in love with because of how it stylistically looks. But then, you know, it turns out you put German in there, some other language and it just breaks your UI. You go in our design is the, is the number one thing to kill.

And as soon as we can separate emotionally the idea that we are not the design work that we produce, even though we are, even though we are judged by it, you know, I think it's a little silly to, for folks to say, well, I'm not. You know, I don't take it personally as a creative person. It does come from somewhere deep inside of us, but figuring out a way to separate your ego from the outcome is really, really cool because then all of a sudden you will unlock really cool answers.

And the thing that you want, which is for your ego to feel validated, to feel gratified, that you've solved the solution. You will get there by killing the ego because then your mind will open up. The more your RAM will expand. And now your supercomputer in your head and in your heart is going to figure out you know, something really, really cool. Once you make this thing, you got to go sell it. And selling, holy smokes,  is challenging and it takes a lot of confidence and it takes a lot of, uh, ability to be rejected, uh, and a lot of grit. So you don't give up and you don't get persuaded to give up on your idea. It takes a lot of conviction.

You might get a little user research sometimes that might like validate. Your vibe, but typically the user research kind of like makes your solution totally obsolete and bad. And that can be kind of soul crushing. Also. I don't know any other job, like a designer that you're,

Josh: It's true, man.

Marc: Constantly dealing with rejection. And then constantly like birthing these, these design babies and then bringing them out to the world and be like, your baby's ugly. And like, Oh, that's screw, you know, that's not nice. Right. Terrible metaphor. I'm sure I offended someone with that.

Josh: Well, I, I think the thing that you're really hitting on is around our own identity being wrapped up in this, it, you know, for some people, it may be a real stumbling block.

I think, acknowledging that you bring your, your, the bias of being the creator. Right. The bias of being the creator, it means that you automatically believe in this thing. Right. And you want other people to believe in this thing that you just made. Um, and if they don't, I think that can be really, you called it soul crushing.

I feel like it, it sometimes felt confrontational. It just kind of came in. It just kind of came to me. I was like, you know, there's a lot of fields like this, an architect who represents a building, an urban planner who thinks how a city should work, a musician who creates this new piece of beautiful music.

Marc: You know, I guess we're not really isolated. I actually am getting a lot of. Reassurance knowing that that a lot of folks are trying to give an opinion and a different perspective on how the world should be. And, uh, that's a really, quite a beautiful thing. And it's, uh, and, and maybe, maybe what ha maybe what should happen with divergent thinking is a conversation before you even get going with all the stakeholders.

To create that safe space to say, Hey, some of this stuff's going to be really great. Some of it's going to be really terrible. Uh, I want the freedom, the ability to explore, I need this kind of bucket of time to do so. And, um, and the kind of feedback I need is probably nothing. At first. I need the, I just need the space and the time and the room.

I think there'd be a lot of, um, I think there'll be a lot of compassion and a lot of freedom to explore. I know most leadership. Uh, would be what would very much welcome a conversation like that, you know.

Josh: Do, do you think the size of the company changes how welcome that conversation is.

Marc: Yeah, no question. I mean, I think when you're working in a startup environment where there's five to 10 people to 20 people, that can be a little bit more challenging because there's a lot of pressure to come up with solutions really fast. I think in a much larger organization, if you're lucky enough to be working in a place that, you know, you have a manager and they have a director and there's a structure in place.

I could see a world where, uh, you could literally set up, I mean, folks, do they have their design sprints, they dedicate four or five days. But, um, I don't know that we really still yet understand how creativity works. I'm not sure we understand how much time it takes, why you're more creative on like this particular day or this particular night. How to like turn it on and turn it off. I don't, I don't really understand it.

Josh: One of the things I'm thinking back on Marc, as you've been talking is where I've seen this be really successful at an even mid-stage company think back on Twitter in 2011. Um, but one of the things that we did in the new Twitter redesign was we asked for a fixed period of time to be divergent. We were asked to redesign Twitter across web mobile, web iOS and Android. And we had a very tight window in which we needed to design it and then build it and ship it to the world. And so, uh, at the time we added, we asked for space. We said, give us this chunk of time. This is how we're going to do it.

Marc: How much space? So talking a month, two months...

Josh: If I remember right, it was somewhere between four and six weeks.

Marc: Not a lot of time, not a lot. It's not a lot of time.

Josh: But back then that felt like. You know, normally you're in it constantly. There's just an unending number of things that you're working on.

And so to, to actually focus the whole team in for a fixed period of time was one of the most unique experiences I've had in my startup career. And what was amazing about it is we, we set up the design studio so that people could come through. And making sure that people could see what we were doing while we were doing it was one of the most critical things. And for me, it was actually one of the insights that eventually led to Abstract. It was this idea that if you can bring people in earlier and actually the more people the earlier, but giving them boundaries and guidance for how they can and should interact. Right?

So we don't need deep, detailed feedback about, you know, pixel placement of a button in week, one of a massively divergent exploration. What we need is maybe nothing other than questions of what it is this.

Marc: You need people to come on this journey with you, to dance with you, to play jazz with you, to get excited with you and be like, I don't really understand what you guys are doing, but yeah. Uh, let's keep going. That's cool. What's that? Who that's really...

Josh: Exactly. I think one of the things I really enjoyed was a lot of the designers would pay close attention to like what people walked. Cause we printed it all out on the way.

Marc: But what happened when, when you had a Jack come in or, or Ev Williams come in, someone with a lot of sway and authority, how did you protect against getting too shifted on that?

Josh: I will give Jack credit on this. You know, there were a few times where he and Dick came through and obviously we wanted to be there and be prepared and be able to like, have the answers to whatever questions we thought they might throw at us. But they really gave us space. They asked really usually appropriate questions.

And Jack was always, I mean, he's a pretty design minded guy. Um, and he occasionally would like zoom in on a specific area and instead of throwing out, Oh, you should do this. He would always ask questions. So I'll give him some props on that. There were some thoughtful questions that he put out there that I think anybody that was in that process, um, I think would, would vouch for.

And I think one of the things that I'll give credit to the folks on the design team at Twitter, everyone really, I think, wanted to engage in conversations with the leadership at that time in a way that was always about the right thing for the customer.

Marc: Pretty cool. I mean, I love that you guys just had this room and folks could come and walk in and out and say whatever they wanted, and then y'all had to process that and field it and handle it.

That speaks to the culture. I don't know if a lot of companies are set up that way, but, but I do think designers can invite that. I, you know, just by printing stuff up and putting it up on the wall. It always feels so scary. It feels so insecure to put things on the wall because you are going to get. The kook who's going to come up and be like, what is that?

Why is that there? And they're not going to take the time to be thoughtful. Like some other people might be, but that's the risk. And I think it's, I think you have to give that, give that creativity out. You cannot get buy-in if you do not invite people in, and the way you invite people in is by sharing a piece of yourself.

And by expressing yourself, you're going to get criticized. I get criticized all the time and it's, it's not okay when everyone's kind of going all crazy and blue sky, and they're not being really thoughtful about the constraints and really trying to hone in on the solution. It's not very helpful if you're trying to build this.

Josh: To anybody.

Marc: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think that's the right kind of approach to it. Ultimately, ultimately, if you have an idea and I don't care if you're a designer, I mean, if you like want your kid to do a certain thing or whatever, it might be the burden's on you to come to that person, figure out how they communicate.

Get with them on their level, say the things so it lands. Don't just drop the design on their plate and like walk away and like, well, if you don't understand it, then you obviously are not enlightened like we are as a designer. No figure out how say it in 14 different ways. Get in there, get your hands dirty and try to communicate so that you're heard, right. Truly heard.

Josh: So much of design is really storytelling. It really, really is. I had the privilege of working with some folks who had done film in the past and their career and what they brought in an approach of like, story-boarding a user journey. I would love to see a storyboard presented as a divergent idea.

Marc: Like, here you go here. Here's a storyboard. Here's a, you know, you draw a person coming in and. Solving this problem with software in some unique, special way. I know for me, we used at the last company I was working at. We used storyboards a lot, but we were doing a lot of brand work. A lot of campaign work, where story telling is, you know, the heart and soul of it.

But there's, there's such a shift right now in product design, becoming really kind of utilitarian and kind of lacking some of that storytelling vibe. So glad you brought that up. It's a tool. We should use it.

Josh: Indeed. All right. I'd love to do a little bit of future casting and kind of see if we can look into the future, you know, like call it five years out from now.

I'm curious for you. What do you imagine has changed maybe in the design lifecycle? Um, you can get specific to this area that we're talking about, the divergent exploration, but even more broadly in the design lifecycle in general, five years out from now.

Marc: So five years back from now, we were at, we were sitting at 2014, 2015, and a lot's changed since then.

So I'm gonna, so I'm going to kind of riff on what I've observed the last five years. We're absolutely going to be doing full blown product design on our phones. A hundred percent. I think a stylist comes out. I think we're able to kind of be, have more fidelity with the, like how acute. The selection tools are and whatnot.

I think you're going to do like complicated layer work and vector work on your phone. I think the, the density of information on these screens is becoming, is just increasing over time. And I think as humans, we're becoming more attuned to how to manipulate these screens. We have a lot more dexterity and so therefore it can afford a much more complicated UI.

On a phone. I think we're going to see, uh, a lot of AI into these programs. I think layouts are going to be automated, all of these wonderful design systems have now that they've been established and cataloged, and you can download the Uber design system or the Facebook or whatever it might be.

It's,  like, you've just inherited like tens of thousands of man hours of thinking. So. What I believe will happen at some point is that there will be again on your phone, AI assisted design. And, uh, and so whether you want to do a landing page, I think things like, especially with B2C markets where you're doing a lot of different landing pages.

We know now there's only 10 or 12 ways to skin that cat with a hero image and a call to action and a grid and a grid of products. Those kinds of things can very easily be designed on your phone, pushed live. So I can see Canva is an incredible company, right? It's designed for, for marketing teams and for folks who aren't necessarily that savvy.

Josh: And growing like crazy.

Marc: Growing like crazy, you can do it all on your phone. It's really fast. It's really simple. And so I, I, I see a world where less and less on our, on our computers.

Josh: That doesn't sound terrible for what it's worth.

Marc: That doesn't sound terrible. The other thing that I think is going to be really interesting, like for as designers, I think you're going to see a huge, and we're already seeing it, a huge Renaissance of clay making and painting and physical art.

I'm seeing so many friends now throwing clay, painting again, needlework, tapestries, textiles. I would love, I would just would love to see more of that. Make some candles. I mean, I don't know, do something physical with your hands because I think that. What I'm observing at least with, with my children is this reliance on Zoom and this reliance on the screen.

And I just think by human nature, you fight against that. And you say, you know what? I don't want to do that anymore. I need to use my hands. I need to make, I need to cook. I think, I think we're going to see that the last thing I'll say, um, in the future, if we're future trip in five years from now, and this one's a little kind of far out there, And I'm not, I don't think this is good, but I think we see a reduction in the amount of time we spend with each other.

Face-to-face. And I think that's unfortunate and the tools are getting so good with Zoom, with VR and these things that it feels good. And I think that's, I think that's a problem area. I don't think that's a good thing. I think that's a problem area. I don't know why Instagram just doesn't shut off for everyone in the world for 12 hours a day.

You know, what, what would happen if Apple decided to say, you know what? You can't use your phone from 10 o'clock at night till that'd be terrible, actually. Cause an accident happens. There'd be really bad things. Exactly. I say that.

Josh: But I think the bigger point that you're trying to make here is there's a lot of examples where as humans, we need to pause something, look at, look at intermittent fasting.

There's enough science behind it that says that somehow there's a reset that happens at the cellular level. Right. And whether you want to eat or not, that's a totally different story, but that's why we sleep. Right.

Marc: It's the only time your serotonin gets reproduced. There's all sorts of magic that happens when we sleep. Yes. Yes.

Josh: And so with screens and with technology I'm, I don't know, I'll ride along with you on this one. I really think, um, like I would be surprised if it's this idea that we, we live in a cycle of, like, you just literally can't reach me on a device between the, you know, for 12 hours.

Marc: And that becomes a societal norm. I mean, remember, uh, what's the, what's the thing iOS shipped the time on your app, whatever that thing is. Yeah. That to me

Josh: Screen time, screen time.

Marc: Okay. So screen time is an invention. I think we, I think what we're going to see five years from now, when we see a lot of stuff like that, a lot of little micro inventions that we can choose to incorporate in our life.

Um, I don't know, like the Apple watch will obviously continue to evolve from a personal perspective. I don't want to use as much technology five years from now. I just, I just don't. Designers now are really thinking deeply about how does this impact the world and...

Josh: We have to.

Marc: Yeah. And I, you know, and I don't know what it was like for you it's Twitter, but back in the day at YouTube, I didn't think about that.

I thought about how can I get people to watch more videos? You know, and I thought that was what I was supposed to do. And so now that is not the case. We think a lot deeper about these things that we're creating and producing.

Josh: So we have a lot more data, uh, showing us the ramifications of this stuff in the wild right early on those inventions.

Marc: You, you don't know what you don't know. I didn't have as many people on stuff back then, you know, in 2011, it's been 10, almost 10 years now. There wasn't as much penetration in the market for smartphones, for connectivity, for bandwidth, all this wonderful stuff. Like it would be odd if we got on a phone call or a Zoom call and like lagged now, like it's just happened. It's just killer.

Josh: Marc, it has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for spending time with us.

Marc: Josh. Thank you so much. And, uh, it was wonderful to be here. Take it easy.

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