Waking up early again

Daylife - I'm now the Design Director there

When I turned thirty a couple months ago, I never had any regret about hitting that milestone. I’d had a good run up to that point – there’s been a lot of opportunities in both personal and professional life that has always kept me interested. I thought I was ready for more of a challenge professionally, as the saying goes you should be careful for what you wish for. The night I turned thirty Tamara surprised me with a party. At first it was a little scary b/c it was so unexpected, but it was also a lot of fun. At the time I didn’t realize that my career would follow the same unexpected surprises after that night.

There was a couple reasons why I moved to NYC – on the surface it was to work specifically with Renegade, but it was also about the experience of a Canadian living in NYC with Tamara. As first jobs in NYC go, Renegade was a great place to work when there was a lot of work and the people that they had were curious and lived with the same attitude. But things change and Renegade made some deep cuts – and I was included in that. It happens, you move on – when I blogged about the experience I was humbled with all the people that tried to help me. Both from people I knew and people I didn’t. About a week and a half later I found myself working with Hillman Curtis. I was pretty excited – who wouldn’t be? During this time of thinking about finding my next career path I also had another big thing to think about. I was going to be giving my first design talk in Saskatoon – where I’m originally from. From all the different things going on with my career I kept having to re-write parts of the talk. Like I mentioned I was pretty excited to work with Hillman – unfortunately it didn’t work for either of us. The simplest thing to say is that it wasn’t the right fit.

So two days after leaving that I was in Saskatoon trying to explain publicly about what the hell happened. There wasn’t much that needed to be said about the work situation – in the end I thought the talk went pretty well – I’ve even kept up a dialogue with some of the audience up until now. So I get back to NYC without a job, deal with Visa stuff once again and I have to prep myself to start talking to a lot of people. But I ended up not having to that many people. Before I had accepted my previous job I had been talking with Tom Tercek at Daylife. We’d had some interesting discussions about how the net could work. He invited me to come help Daylife with a couple small projects to get a sense of how I worked and also for me to see if I would fit into their culture. What is Daylife? My simple idea is that if you’re one of those people that read both the NYT and the WSJ – this news site is for you. Daylife finds interesting news stories and then makes connections from other papers, but also visualizes the cast of characters in the story too. The functionality and the engineers behind the site make the information great. The only issue from my POV is that it’s not the easiest or nicest thing to read online. That’s where I’d like to say why I’m there. I’ve been named the Design Director of Daylife and may goal is simply to make Daylife a site that a news explorer would want to use. It’s by far the most exciting challenge that I’ve had the opportunity to consider so far. When I was in school many years ago it was extremely easy to wake up early – I was happy to be learning. I haven’t really had much time to sleep since starting with Daylife, but sleep is not being missed at the moment.

From my experience so far, companies that have a curious person leading makes it easier to believe in what they’re about. It also makes you want to kick a lot of ass and do something that’s worth putting your time into. I’ve been really fortunate to work along side Upendra Shardanand who was the person that conceived Daylife. Being able to pick his brain on a number of different levels is exactly why I want to be in NYC. I can’t say a whole lot about what will be happening in the next couple months with Daylife – but it’s going to be fascinating and a lot of fun. Stay tuned!

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  • http://muhsashum.blogspot.com Adrian J.K. Shum

    Michael,

    Congratulations on your being named Design Director of Daylife! I’ll be watching for your future posts in the next couple of months to see how you tackle your newest, exciting challenge. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Cheers!

    Adrian

  • http://tomcannondesign.com Tom Cannon

    Congratulations! What a ride.

    Tom

  • debbie millman

    congrats! so glad for you!
    happy happy hollies!

  • http://www.portigal.com/ Steve Portigal

    Fantastic.

    Your optimism and enthusiasm and general attitude towards life and the adventures you get into is really inspiring. I’ll be looking forward to more stories.