You’ve had a very successful career as Executive Creative Director at Media Arts Lab working on Apple and most recently as VP ECD at Facebook. How did you get into advertising and art direction in the first place?
Thanks Matt. At this point in my life I’ve realized almost everything comes back to surfing. I got interested in advertising because I met one of my closest friends, Eric Grunbaum. He was a Creative Director on Apple at the time. We connected over surfing. I taught him the ins and outs of riding waves and he taught me the ins and outs of advertising. It was a time when I really needed someone like that. I’m eternally grateful for his friendship and how he helped me. Oh, also it was a massive amount of luck, timing, and lot’s of really hard work.
What are the projects or campaigns that you are most proud of over the years?
Oh man. That’s a hard one, not because it’s too hard to choose, but more because at this point the things that I’m most proud of aren’t necessarily the campaigns I’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m psyched on the stuff we created over the years, but currently what I’m most proud of is building awesome, diverse and inspired teams. Creating environments for them to do the best work of their careers and eliminating toxic stress and anxiety so it can be fun too.
What was it like working with Steve Jobs?
I worked on Apple for many years before I was invited to the weekly meetings in Cupertino. It was a milestone for me to hear feedback from the source. He was always very clear and focused with his critique. It was never personal when he hated things, but it was common and biting. What made up for that was when he was stoked on something. He would slowly smile, put his feet up on the table and dive in. My creative partner and I had this thing we did under the table… when he was into something we would nudge each other and try not to laugh. It was hysterical. We were like two excited kids sitting in some big Apple boardroom trying to be serious.
What was it like working with Mark Zuckerberg?
Honestly, Mark is fun. Every time we met with him, I always knew there would be some great debate, or challenge or zag in the plan. He’s respectful, generous, thoughtful and always interested in learning something new. He listens and was willing to be wrong, which was refreshing.