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  • Writer's pictureLisa Ratner

Reflections from UX Night

Every month I attend Cascade's UX Night to mingle with other UX Designers and hear experts in the field present.

Last night I got to listen to Sahil Lavingia talk about being a Founder with a Design background.

His current company is called Gumroad:

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 3.19.50 PM.png

This is the event description:

Sahil Lavingia went from being the first design hire at Pinterest to the founder of Gumroad, where he raised more than $8 million and built a 20 person team. For this special UXNight, he will share his experience of transitioning from working as a successful designer into the design founder role.

You will learn:

• How to go from product idea to implementation

• How to apply design thinking principles to build a company from the ground up

• How to communicate your vision with the world

• How to delegate design and product decisions as you grow

My takeaways:

  • Sahil is incredibly articulate, has great vision, and is very young (22). His fearlessness, and sense of balance and respect is inspiring.

  • He had an idea and played with it using only 4 hours of Python programming experience. He used Google's resources such as python files and app engine to prototype out his idea quickly.

  • He advises to "Build the thing", get something out there, and diagnose/ iterate later.

  • He is a solo founder and it hasn't been too much of a problem not having a co-founder so far.

  • He strives to have a company and a product that is transparent and open and feels that strategy will help him in the long run.

  • The marketplace app Gumroad is not a new concept, but something about this product has attracted funding. Perhaps all the stars aligned with timing of the release into society and the design of the product.

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