Working at 10,000ft

Joining the 10,000ft team: A redefinition of my career in Design.


Dinner party conversations often highlight an astonishing number of people who have dreamed to be architects. People who at age 13 took a drafting class and loved it, people who read The Fountainhead, or people with a favorite wine-loving, turtleneck-wearing architect uncle. And there’s me, saying, “I left architecture for the tech industry.” I may no longer practice architecture, but I still design. I just have a different problem to solve.

The profession of architecture is evolving. It now requires expensive technology and specialization, there is increasing competition from non-traditional design service providers, and all this is further burdened by the expectation that architects produce creative solutions quickly. Coming out of the recession, architects will need to change their own expectation that architecture is simply not a profitable profession. More times than I can count, I have seen designers and architects become martyrs under the guise that their passion for design is enough to sustain themselves and their business. Ultimately, it’s not.

A U.K. research group, Building Futures, reports on the Future of Architecture, stating, “While the future for the practice as a discrete business is uncertain, the opportunities for architects have never been greater, not withstanding the current recession. However, to grasp those opportunities, architects will need to develop a greater financial nous and commercial acumen, to welcome the integration of their work with others in the wider creative industry, and continue to work hard to promote the extraordinary benefits which society gains from design process”.

I probably always knew that my passion was not the design of buildings, but the design of process. By re-directing my focus to creative process, I am pursuing a social agenda that led me to architecture: how people generate ideas, collaborate and communicate. What drives creative outcomes and how teams are motivated? I care less about what we create, and more about how we create.

I know that design (both the profession and the process) can be a profitable and fulfilling. I joined 10,000ft because I want to design tools that support the passion creative thinkers have for their work with the ease of running their business. I have experienced firsthand the tremendous pressure architects feel to be more innovative, while spending less time or money to get there. The management methods that work to track linear processes often fall short when needed to support the iterative processes of creativity. 10,000ft was built to address this conflict.

In my first few months at 10,000ft I have been learning the world of technology. Yes, I have relied on Google more than I would like to admit, but my outside perspective is a nice contrast to the skill of the brilliant 10,000ft tech team.

I am honored to learn from them, grow this business, and support other creative thinkers with our tools.