I’m a product manager and designer.
For me, both these roles are about problem-solving and getting things done. I believe great products and services take vision, design, and execution. I thrive on translating between these 3 components:
Framing the problem, selecting a target audience, and understanding the larger context (market, social/cultural/technological trends, even policy)—all to create a compelling hypothesis for how & why a particular solution should work.
Seeking to understand people and what they need, prioritizing, paying attention to details, and iteratively learning—all to form the vision and bring it from abstract ideas to concrete plans.
Doing whatever it takes to ensure the product ships. Communicating with, advocating for, and troubleshooting for the team so specialists can focus on what they love doing most.
I have hands-on experience in each phase of the product development lifecycle: business strategy, design, development, and marketing. Having had a taste of each of these roles helps me be a better communicator and advocate. It also helps me translate between high-level vision and ground-level execution. Ultimately, I hope to contribute my best to my team, my community, and society at large.
I’ve always been interested in the intersection of people, design, and technology. At Wellesley, I studied computer science, visual art, and philosophy. After working in San Francisco as a product manager, I joined the inaugural class of Harvard’s Master in Design Engineering program to learn more about how design and technology can be applied to solve complex, societal problems. My coursework included human-computer interaction, data visualization, AI & Society, government & policy, business strategy, and philosophy of technology.
I’ve worked across every step of the product development lifecycle, focusing on design + people:
Product Management: Madison Reed (2014-2016), Individual consulting (2017-18)
Product + UX design: MIT Mobile Experience Lab (2011-12), Lucidworks (2016), Individual consulting (2017-18)
Design Management, Branding, Marketing: Digitas (2013), EMW Bookstore (2017-18)
Software Development: MIT Media Lab (2011)
I was born near Boston but moved around a lot when I was young. I’m bilingual in English and Chinese, and love seeing common patterns among seemingly disparate languages & cultures. These are the places I’ve called home: Boston, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Beijing.
I’m particularly interested in working on search and content discovery products.
This began with asking what software technology is good and bad at, and how we can leverage the good while mitigating the bad—technology is not a substitute for human connection, but it does allow us to connect information and resources like never before. It can help people be more productive and fulfilled. To that end, I believe content discovery is a key part of the puzzle.
Of course, content discovery is usually embedded in a larger web of products and services, each with their own priorities. Research & theory need be validated by real-world applications. And most importantly, the work needs to be sustained by viable business models and efficient execution.
I believe that my systems thinking + design/engineering training can help the team fill in the cracks and do whatever it takes to deliver results. My top priority is learning and growing with an open-minded, ambitious, and fast-paced team.
I deeply appreciate people, nature, and art. I’m happiest when:
Reading: averaging 1-2 books per week since 2014. (Do you use Goodreads? Always looking for recommendations and discussion partners!)
Hiking & traveling: favorite recent trips include trekking to Everest Base Camp and going to a wedding in the beautiful mountains of Whistler. Some pictures here.
Drawing: specifically, observing and capturing people. Sometimes-active portraiture account here.
Learning: about history, sociology, economics, politics, art, design, technology, science, philosophy…everything ultimately to better understand the world, my place in it, and how I can best contribute. My greatest learning experiences have come not from books or classes, but from the people in my life :)
Want to work together? Collaborate on research projects or art? Start a book club? Shoot me a message!