About

I'm a designer who loves the impact of strategy, the power of code & technology, and the leverage of leadership.

I'm passionate about designing digital products, building new businesses, and cultivating high-performance teams.

I believe in honing the craft of design by practicing fundamentals and always learning. I believe in being a true champion for users by questioning assumptions and seeking real-world evidence. I believe in being highly strategic by obsessing on how we can create & capture value. I believe in getting better as technologists so we can be better builders of digital products. Most of all, I believe strong leadership is what enables all of the above.

For more about me, you can see my past work or visit Feel Eternity, my consulting company.


Summary

Born in Manila, Philippines. Grew up in Yonkers, New York. Lover of design, technology, and the humanities.

Design is my life. I drew rockets, cellphones, houses, and sneakers when I was a child. Though I grew up modestly, I was lucky enough to attend a technical school at a young age to learn the fundamentals of electrical & mechanical engineering, computer science, and industrial drafting.

I moved to the U.S. for high school and applied all of that creative energy into graphic & web design, theater, and poetry. I studied English & journalism in college and later combined my love for technology and the humanities to move into digital product design.

I've had the privilege to work on a lot of great products with great teams. Today, I constantly study and think about how product, design, and engineering can create better products, better teams, and better businesses that lead to better lives.

In my free time, I scour the web for fonts and collect random visual inspiration to use in side projects. I like to get lost in a good book, watch a fun or deep TV series, and drink a good cocktail. I'm also a huge Michigan Wolverines fan so I watch every football and basketball game.


Purpose

Combining my life experience, personality, and personal gifts, I've arrived at three core purposes that I strive for:

These things motivate me every single day, keep me grounded, and help me when things get difficult. Ultimately, it's the standard by which I measure my life.


Influences

Below is a list of books, essays, & talks in design, business, & leadership I return to often to help me think about building impactful products, teams, and businesses.

And much like software which is never finished, designers are never finished. So I update this list as often as I can when I find something worth returning to.

Note: I don't agree with everything from these authors, let alone with anyone, but their thinking has definitely helped stretched my own.

Books

High Output Management
by Andy Grove

What Is a Designer: Things, Places, Messages
by Norman Potter

Function, Restraint, and Subversion in Typography
by J. Namdev Hardisty

Detail in Typography
by Jost Hochuli

Are We Human? Notes on Archaeology of Design
by Beatriz Colomina & Mark Wigley

Beauty
by Stefan Sagmeister & Jessica Walsh

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader
by Brett Schendler & Rick Tetzeli

Designer Maker User
by The Design Museum

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
by Rory Sutherland

The 33 Strategies of War
by Robert Greene

Build Better Products: A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products
by Laura Klein

Collaborative Product Design: Help Any Team Build a Better Experience
by Austin Govella

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Leadership, Strategy, and Tactics
by Jocko Willink

Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond
by Pauline Brown

Practical Design Discovery
by Dan Brown

Just Enough Research
by Erika Hall

Designing Interfaces
by Jennifer Tidwell, Charles Brewer, & Aynne Valencia

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

Several Short Sentences About Writing
by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Siddhartha
by Herman Hesse

The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
by David Brooks

Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee
by Shannon Lee

Leading With Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit
by Lee Bowman and Terrence Deal

What I'm reading right now: The Gift by Lewis Hyde, Expressive Design Systems by Yesenia Perez-Cruz, and Bulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn & Robert McLean.


Essays

  1. Fundamental Truths by Rebekah Cox
  2. Tech as a Taste-Based Industry by Jong-Moon Kim
  3. The Importance of Being Ruthless by Jon Schlossberg
  4. Where We Can Go by Dan Eden
  5. How to Make Things High Quality by Julie Zhou
  6. Managing Product Development by Integrating Around Concerns by Ryan Singer
  7. Finding Fulfilling Work by Sean Rose
  8. Fuck Content by Michael Rock
  9. There is No Such Thing as Neutral Graphic Design by Ellen Lupton & Leslie Xia
  10. Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom by K-Hole
  11. No to NoUI by Timo Arnall
  12. Intuitive Means Familiar by Jef Raskin
  13. The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me) by Elon Musk
  14. Divine Discontent: Disruption’s Antidote by Ben Thompson
  15. Letter to the Equity Partners of Philadelphia 76ers by Sam Hinkie
  16. My Urge to Fail and Fail Again by David Duchovny

Talks

  1. Applied Discovery by David Cole
  2. Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change by Neil Postman
  3. Insights: 2020 by Leland Maschmeyer
  4. Understanding Identity, Power, & Equity in Design Leadership by Antionette D. Carroll
  5. Ten Things I Have Learned by Milton Glaser
  6. This is Water by David Foster Wallace