Day Jimenez, Design Director
This week we spent some time interviewing Work-Bench's first hire, Day Jiménez. Day is a designer and maker who strives to solve problems through improved human experiences. He leads the integrated experience of all things Work-Bench, from digital, print, and spatial matters.
What inspired you to join Work-Bench?
After a few early conversations, it immediately became clear that we could start a company whose purpose was to help build and distribute the next-generation of work tools. I saw our personal lives benefiting from great design and was deeply motivated by the opportunity to help disseminate better technology to anyone and everyone who works.
In building an enterprise-focused platform, I could work on solving fundamental problems, integral to everyday life. Just think about it, there are so many of us that go off to work every day to spend enormous amounts of time in poorly designed workspaces while using poorly designed software. And that only considers the highly developed segment of humanity. For me, spending a lifetime building an Instagram just isn't fundamental enough. At Work-Bench, I knew I could be a part of, and evangelize for, well-designed tools for doing better business.
At the time, I was designing great products for great companies, but I was intrigued by going in-house to lead the design of a brand and its experience. The driving force came from the opportunity to build a company from the ground up that integrated design and human experiences at a foundational level. After several sleepless nights and a healthy dose of spinach, I took the crucial leap-of-faith required of an entrepreneur. Something more people should do more often—especially designers, who have no idea how well equipped they are for the matter. If there's any doubt in your mind or enormous chance of failing, say yes and do it anyways. It's the journey and learning that really matter when all is said and done.
What does it mean to be Design Director?
Our founding team has tremendous respect for design and an innate attraction towards making and makers. Work-Bench would be a company where design was vertically integrated and experiences consistent. It would require a culture of doing and not talking, where process was king and iterating towards unattainable goals was second nature. Hugo, one of our advisors, and I had observed many of these qualities in designers at MIT's Media Lab and as classmates at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, and we wanted the same for Work-Bench. Even before my first day, we were quickly at work on a simple and functional workspace and robust digital presence; the foundations for a reputable brand and community.
At Work-Bench, design is the practice of improving experiences. We have and continue to pour blood, sweat, and tears into refining the smallest details, from business cards to custom furniture for member offices, all to foster a culture that will rally together to improve the future of enterprise technology. We don't let a deck out the door that doesn't tell a great, well-designed, story. We've even gone as far as making custom extension cords for members in the workspace. We take great pride in the experience that anyone has with or while at Work-Bench. As an optimist, I hope that each of these interactions are meaningful and potentially educational, where people leave with a small nugget of new knowledge.
With design at our core, Work-Bench will spread a culture of wonderful experiences to the members of our cooperative, who will spread the same to the people using the products and services they build. Work-Bench will take part in a future where we head off to work everyday to enjoy time in workspaces we love while using well-designed tools that deliver wonderful experiences.
If you could bring any person, dead or alive, into the space, who would it be?
I haven't completed Benjamin Franklin's biography, but what I have read demonstrates the grit and hustle of a true entrepreneur at a time when most people were satisfied being the town blacksmith. He's the person I would bring into the space, if only to have a completely out of context conversation—since he's from about 250 years ago—that might lead me off towards discovering a wonderful nugget of new knowledge. He could also give a fantastic lunch and learn on leading an inspired lifestyle!
What is your favorite quote?
There's nothing quite like Franklin's "What good shall I do this day," but I'll suggest some conventional wisdom instead. Whether for general approach to life or for handling complexity, presentations, conversations, or frustrations from a colleague, spouse, or child… it's always best to, "Keep it simple."comments powered by Disqus