Interact with these doodles to jump to the topic in the video

00:00:09 Hi everyone I’m Kadambari Sahu. I'm the head of design at Value Labs.

00:00:13 Design Inspire is the web series of passionate innovative and young inspiring designers.

00:00:19 The web series dive into their passion inspiration and what makes them go.

00:00:23 It's an effort to understand how they are navigating their career path and how they

00:00:28 are investing their creative energies. We believe hearing their bold moves and inspiring

00:00:32 stories that will ignite interest and inspired the next generation of bonding designers across

00:00:37 the globe. So let's go forward with our guest today.

00:00:41 Hi Dhruv Welcome to Design Inspire. How're you doing today?

00:00:45 I'm doing great. Thank you.

00:00:48 How are you? I'm good.

00:00:51 So the first part of the show is your choice presentation.

00:00:58 So let's go forward All right let me start by sharing my screen.

00:01:08 All right Hey hello everyone. My name is Dhruv and I will be talking to

00:01:16 you today about creativity and growth in my journey as a designer.

00:01:20 So this is a time lapse I have from an experiment that I did of growing spinach without using

00:01:27 soil and sunlight. And I think it kind of naturally fits in really

00:01:31 well with the context of today's discussion so this is going to be an overview of my learnings,

00:01:40 decisions and outcomes as a designer. I have divided it into several chapters and

00:01:47 the first one that I want to talk to you about is jumping into the unknown.

00:01:53 So that chapter really covers the decision that I made about moving from India to the

00:02:00 United States and there are a few reasons that I want to explain why.

00:02:05 First of all right off the bat really unpopular opinion I would say that NID or National Institute

00:02:13 of Design where I did my master's degree in New Media Design I felt it lacked a few things.

00:02:20 So education at NID Don't get me wrong, it was eye opening in many many ways especially

00:02:25 for someone like me who comes from computer science engineering background with like very

00:02:30 coding heavy mindset. For that kind of a person it was a really

00:02:35 great experience to unlearn first and then start from level zero start picking up on

00:02:41 what design really means. That was mind blowing.

00:02:44 But I still felt like it lacked a few things. And this not that this is not a complaint

00:02:50 but rather an honest observation that I have. And each educational institution is in some

00:02:56 sense imperfect. So I just want you to explore How I can fill

00:03:01 in those gaps or I can look outside look at more educational Institutes.

00:03:06 And the next reason is I wanted to get closer to the latest innovations that were happening

00:03:13 in the world. So I'll talk about this in a bit more I can

00:03:19 say that this has really paid off really well in my experience.

00:03:24 And then the last reason that I want to touch is the money.

00:03:27 Yeah, not going to lie. I was impressed to hear stories from a lot

00:03:32 of friends and family about the work culture in the US.

00:03:35 So I wanted to give it a shot. It’s not just only about the dollars but

00:03:40 largely about experiencing a different work culture a different lifestyle from where I

00:03:46 grew up and then seeing how design is treated in the world of business.

00:03:51 How design is explored as a discipline outside of India.

00:03:56 So those were the reasons and that's when I joined New York University.

00:04:01 Tisch School of the Arts. And honestly it was a financial gamble.

00:04:07 When I look back at it I come from a very simple yet extremely supportive and sweet

00:04:13 family from the city of Pune in India. And this was a significant risk that I took

00:04:19 by going to the art school in the US. I genuinely think it is important to mention

00:04:26 that here because I want the budding designers and makers creators to understand that you

00:04:33 must go and venture into what your heart really wants.

00:04:36 The outcome may not always be the most beautiful one but I promise you that will be the most

00:04:42 rewarding one. So in my story it paid off.

00:04:46 It was unreal to visit a different educational institute and for example see and learn physical

00:04:54 computing from Tom Igoe who was the professor who created Arduino Learning Creative coding

00:05:01 from Daniel Schiff man who has created many maker tools such as processing or P five JS

00:05:09 libraries that was fun. So that was my first chapter jumping into

00:05:14 the unknown. And the best visual that I think that captures

00:05:18 this sounds really well is this painting by Van Gogh.

00:05:21 This is starry night in New York's Museum of Modern Art which by the way I visited over

00:05:26 a million million times when I was a student in New York.

00:05:31 With that my next chapter related to that story thing is investing in big ideas.

00:05:37 So let's not call it big ideas but let's rather call it your ideas.

00:05:42 And I'll tell you why I don't really care about whether an idea is big or not.

00:05:48 It has to be a genuine one that has a lot to do with how I joined Bose.

00:05:57 So let's take a step back. This is a very interesting story and hopefully

00:06:01 an inspiring one as well. This visual is a map of New York subway and

00:06:07 also my tribute to Massimo Vignelli and another legendary designer Michael hertz who passed

00:06:14 away earlier this year. So this is the map of New York City subway

00:06:19 and while in New York I observed a very common phenomenon on the subways.

00:06:25 I observed that people usually maintain their personal space by wearing headphones and listening

00:06:33 to their personal choice of music. And many people are kind of head banging as

00:06:37 they listen to the music. And that's perfectly natural that's very human

00:06:41 to kind of catch up with a few and catch up that beat and start your reaction as like

00:06:47 to that music. So it was in a sense it is very commonplace

00:06:53 behavior. There's nothing really interesting novel about

00:06:56 that. But it's fun to just see so many people doing

00:06:59 that asynchronously in their own zones in a

00:07:02 very tight physical space like the subway. So I decided to kind of make something quick

00:07:08 that would be fun and simple out of this observation. And what it was I simply mapped the up and

00:07:15 down movement of the head to the volume of the music that you're listening to going up

00:07:21 and down as you go up and down. And I mapped the left right tilting of the

00:07:26 head to panning the audio towards left and right.

00:07:29 So as you tilt your head to the side and the audio is fading gradually more and more from

00:07:34 that side and it goes away fades out from the other side gradually.

00:07:39 So I was able to put together a quick and dirty prototype real fast and then I shared

00:07:45 it with my classmates. Their minds were blown if you think about

00:07:50 it it's like this is really a stupid and straightforward idea right.

00:07:55 And it's really easy to comprehend. Even fairly easy to explain to a 10 year old.

00:08:04 But to experience something like this that's a whole new dimension.

00:08:08 It is so much fun. It's unreal.

00:08:11 So after I told this to my friends and classmates at New York University I thought why not scale

00:08:20 it up. And I took it from showing it to about 10

00:08:22 people to taking it to over hundreds of people at the annual exhibition of interactive design

00:08:29 projects at New York University. So this was amazing on so many levels because

00:08:35 I got a number of worthwhile ideas from people who experienced this.

00:08:40 I made a bunch of new connections. And most importantly it was just so rewarding

00:08:46 to see those smiles. And ultimately this level of documentation

00:08:52 and outreach was caught by the recruiters and designers from Bose.

00:08:57 And in a simplistic sense that's how I landed a job at Bose and moved from New York to Boston.

00:09:04 So, to back up a little bit I'm not saying that this project was the sole reason why

00:09:10 I got to work at Bose. But this project was without a doubt the most

00:09:16 crucial factor in getting the right exposure and getting the right conversation started

00:09:21 with the right people. So I think the takeaway here is small projects

00:09:27 can really go a long way. And I would kind of encourage all of us to

00:09:33 never discard your interesting ideas as worthless or as too small no idea is really too small

00:09:41 and no dream is really too big. And it's always very much rewarding in one

00:09:49 way or another to follow your passion. So I moved from New York to Boston and I got

00:09:55 to work on two flagship headphones at Bose. The first one is quiet comfort 35, which was

00:10:03 already launched when I joined. I supported the post launch interactions and

00:10:09 design processes for this headphone and then the one on the right side Bose headphone 700

00:10:15 is really my baby at Bose. This is the latest flagship noise canceling

00:10:20 product from Bose that I worked on right from inception ultimately towards the launch.

00:10:28 I worked on leading the design process on hardware interactions and gestures as well

00:10:33 as the Bose music mobile app experiences to use these headphones and I'm happy to share

00:10:41 that this product won the IF Design Award and the reddot best of the best design award

00:10:47 for the year 2020. Bose and although I took charge of the design

00:10:56 processes of individual products I was all the time able to expand that to the entire

00:11:03 headphones category. For example, defining general interaction

00:11:09 design framework for how noise cancellation would work not for just one headphones but

00:11:16 for the entire portfolio of headphones at Bose or how Bluetooth pairing could be optimized

00:11:23 for the entire portfolio of Bluetooth products, I suppose so this involved a really complicated

00:11:30 process of getting all disciplines to coordinate together under a heavily design driven framework.

00:11:38 It was especially complex in an environment where hardware and software platforms kind

00:11:44 of coexisting together under the same roof. So at that point I thought Hey this is really

00:11:52 the summit. This is really the height of my career at

00:11:55 this point and my next chapter is climbing further even beyond your summit.

00:12:00 So, if you're someone who has recently started their design career there will be a point

00:12:07 in your career where you will be extremely satisfied with a product launch or you will

00:12:14 be extremely happy with the process the service or the project that you just worked on and

00:12:20 handed off. And I would say that especially at those point

00:12:23 really think about how you can take it up a step ahead.

00:12:28 So that brings me to my next chapter in the story of how I switched my job from Bose to

00:12:39 Facebook. The first reason I felt about working at Bose

00:12:46 is that, that was a very limited walk of life. And I would rather love to broaden that scope

00:12:53 and look at solving more widespread problems. The second reason was I was simply being greedy

00:13:01 with both flagship products my design process had reached a million users.

00:13:09 And now I wanted to scale that up I wanted to target a billion users why not?

00:13:13 So the scale and user base is really a big motivator and really a good metric to chase

00:13:19 as a designer. And then lastly another reason is I wanted

00:13:25 to tackle more abstract problems and more kind of abstract ideas then the tangible ones.

00:13:33 So this is purely personal and subjective reason and something that I'm still trying

00:13:38 to articulate in a better sense for myself. But these were essentially my reasons of why

00:13:44 I wanted to move. And next I'll talk about the most common question

00:13:49 I get these days which is how did I track the design interview at Facebook?

00:13:54 Unfortunately there isn't just one key idea that will magically work just for everyone

00:14:01 but let me share an interesting part of my experience.

00:14:05 When I interviewed on site at Facebook I had to present my design projects as part of the

00:14:12 interview process right so I'm going to share how I made the presentation for the day of

00:14:18 the Onside standout really well. I started my presentation at Facebook with

00:14:25 a very intriguing visual caption. My presentation had a label it was called

00:14:30 designing experiences and running a half marathon. And I said that Hey, my name is Dhruv and

00:14:37 I'm here today because I would love to join you

00:14:40 at Facebook. And I think just like preparing for a long

00:14:44 run preparing for a marathon. I believe design is a process of dreaming

00:14:50 big and starting small. And you people the interviewers at Facebook

00:14:54 are designing and building great products. I want to dream big with you that was a premise.

00:15:02 Then I showed them two design projects that I had worked on recently.

00:15:08 One was about my broad expertise around high level design connecting the dots thinking

00:15:14 about product and brand. And then the next one was about the depth

00:15:19 of my skills especially the pixel level skills. Then coming back this was the most interesting

00:15:26 part. After presenting the two projects.

00:15:29 I had a very nice wrap up of my presentation I concluded by saying that hey I worked on

00:15:35 many exciting design projects. And I've run many marathons in New York and

00:15:39 Boston which is true by the way. And now let me join Facebook.

00:15:44 Let me run my next marathon in San Francisco. So that was pretty nice.

00:15:49 And we designers always say that storytelling is the crux of everything.

00:15:54 And I think that's 100% right. It does a lot of things.

00:15:59 It shows how really serious and well prepared I am for this particular purpose of the presentation

00:16:07 and having a parallel story like this and really magically bring in a friendly vibe

00:16:13 to the interview process which is otherwise perceived most commonly as an intimidating

00:16:19 process. So now being a product designer at Facebook

00:16:23 for almost one year I am really delighted to see how I can grow exponentially when the

00:16:30 environment around me is so much open and so much inspiring.

00:16:34 Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer

00:16:39 together. And as I spent more and more time here at

00:16:43 Facebook, I realized that these are not just fancy words.

00:16:47 But I genuinely see that mission statement being reflected into all levels of decisions

00:16:53 that are ever made up Facebook. That's pretty big.

00:16:56 And so I work at business integrity organization with In Facebook where our mission is to enable

00:17:04 trustworthy connections between people and businesses that means tackling some of the

00:17:09 world's latest and most prominent problems around the social digital space.

00:17:16 So think of it this way for larger social networks of any kind with millions of users

00:17:23 and businesses interacting in a digital ecosystem there will always be new emergent and urgent

00:17:30 problems that were never even articulated before in the history of technology.

00:17:34 So that's the kind of field that I'm exploring here at Facebook.

00:17:38 So all right that was too much about the brand and the business.

00:17:44 Let's back up a little bit. And let's focus on the perspective of an individual

00:17:50 designer. We all agree that design is a very collaborative

00:17:54 process and a very important part of that collaborative process is listening to feedback

00:18:02 that you receive when you present something as a designer.

00:18:06 So let me show you how I navigate through feedback that I receive when working on complex

00:18:13 projects. So to kind of set the context generally feedback

00:18:17 is perceived as either positive or negative. Instead of that binary nature I like to think

00:18:25 of it as appreciative and constructive feedback. And then there's another dimension to it which

00:18:31 is whether that feedback is something I was clearly anticipating or not.

00:18:37 So that gives us these four quadrants. And then whenever I present my design inputs

00:18:41 and receive feedback from the stakeholders I try to see which quadrant that piece of

00:18:47 feedback really fits into. And then I try to take next steps accordingly.

00:18:52 So this is a very useful framework I believe and I would really encourage all of us to

00:18:57 give it a try. The next time you hear feedback.

00:19:01 So I want you to relax a little bit and look at something lightweight.

00:19:06 Now, this last part is just how I keep myself inspired and motivated in the creative field.

00:19:15 And I think creativity is a very deliberate pursuit.

00:19:21 It's different in the sense that it's not pastime or it's not a hobby.

00:19:26 You have to find time for creativity rather than resorting to creativity when you have

00:19:30 free time you see there's a difference. So the first routine that I kind of tried

00:19:36 to follow regularly is indulging into calligraphy and Indian scripts I think are really beautiful

00:19:45 and attractive. I think of this as a channel for me to have

00:19:50 proximity with my culture and literature. And these days I'm exploring how I can combine

00:19:56 this with other art forms such as poetry and singing.

00:20:01 My wife Swapna So she is a classical singer and also a designer.

00:20:06 So we both work on a project recently where we tried to mix the visual and auditory aesthetics

00:20:12 together for this old classic poem from Marathi language.

00:20:17 So there's always more and more room for experimentation with different art forms.

00:20:22 Watercolors is another medium I enjoy using a lot.

00:20:26 And again kind of going back to the notion of finding new avenues.

00:20:29 I have exhibited the paintings a few times around India and those experiences were tremendously

00:20:36 rewarding because I could meet likeminded people and even few renowned artists those

00:20:44 are based in India. So the moral of the story is don't just stop

00:20:48 after you make things but try to find ways to put those things in front of the world.

00:20:55 See how the world reacts to what you have created and sketching of course is the foundation

00:21:02 and the backbone of all of those opinions. This is something I try to do continuously.

00:21:10 And lastly woodworking is another passion, another dimension that I'm kind of picking

00:21:14 up on. And honestly these days I miss going to the

00:21:19 workshops going to my favorite machines in the woodshops because of the pandemic restrictions.

00:21:26 So I'm going to stop here at the note of COVID-19. I hope everyone is staying safe and taking

00:21:32 care of themselves. Thank you so much.

00:21:34 This was my creative journey so far. And I'm always always happy to connect with

00:21:40 all of you and learn more about what's your next adventure. Thank you

00:21:44 Few questions on your professional pursuits and creativity and design.

00:21:49 So let's start with the simple question. How do you spend your time?

00:21:55 How does a day in the life of Dhruv Damle look like?

00:22:02 Yeah that's a really loaded question especially given the current context of the pandemic.

00:22:08 And there's kind of remove that premise. And let's just think about the world where

00:22:14 everything is normal. On those days I typically try to spend only

00:22:24 9 to 5. And again, this is another kind of explosive

00:22:30 dimension to a lot of people from the world of design.

00:22:33 I want to spend only 9 to 5 for the professional job.

00:22:37 I try to stick to that and there are days when I cannot but most of the times I managed

00:22:43 to and apart from that I try to focus on a lot of routines that I try to build up over

00:22:53 time and try to getting better at those and that includes not just be creative activities.

00:23:00 But I kind of touched base on towards the end of my presentation but also few mundane

00:23:06 things like cooking for example. I just cook daily every evening after I finished

00:23:13 my day job. So that's one thing the other is taking care

00:23:18 of my beautiful plants here. And kind of going back to the 9 to 5 routine.

00:23:28 I want to emphasize that when you think of it in a holistic sense design is not essentially

00:23:36 a unicorn. It's just like other phase that I think for

00:23:42 the business perspective. And to say that creativity is a pursuit that

00:23:49 takes its own timeline. I think that's the wrong premise at least

00:23:53 to think in the professional world. So even design has its limitations and its

00:23:59 boundaries that you must respect and try to maintain and some kind of trying that as I

00:24:05 go further in my career. So there are a lot of hobbies that you have

00:24:10 right like taking care of your plants. And even cooking if I may say so.

00:24:15 So what do you think what are the benefits of these on your life and creativity in general?

00:24:23 Yeah. That's a good question.

00:24:28 So I kind of go back to sharing an experience and where I came to realize that these routines

00:24:39 really have an impact on my creative process. So I was not very much aware of that happening

00:24:47 in the back of my mind. But then something really interesting happened

00:24:53 when I was in New York. I looked at the New York and Brooklyn half

00:25:01 marathon which was something that I just came across by.

00:25:06 And I don't really exactly remember the reason why.

00:25:09 But I gave it a serious thought, Hey, I was never an athlete person.

00:25:15 I was never into sports. And I never thought seriously about my physical

00:25:20 fitness. I thought why not give this one a try?

00:25:25 Why not start running and let's see how that goes.

00:25:28 So I started running. I started from level zero and then I started

00:25:34 gradually ramping up starting really just one or two miles away in a day in my first

00:25:40 week and then going all the way to 13 miles. It was the end of three months.

00:25:47 I think that was pretty awesome. And it made me realize a few things that I

00:25:54 was not previously aware of. Those were that once you start spending more

00:26:00 and more time on those routines. And it's like you automatically develop the

00:26:06 habit of getting yourself into that zone where it's kind of easier for you to block everything

00:26:15 else block all the thoughts all the kind of bonds you have with the physical world around

00:26:23 you. And then just focus so much on the task at

00:26:27 hand the routine that you're going to follow. So kind of setting the time windows in part

00:26:33 of your routine. I think has a big impact on you being able

00:26:37 to switch context really well. And you've been able to focus really well

00:26:40 on that. Do you think its meditative right?

00:26:45 Absolutely. I also see that like you pick up different

00:26:50 skill sets or like different hobbies and things like that like in running one of those and

00:26:55 then I met you at Facebook this margin you said that woodworking is something that and

00:27:03 there are a couple of other things that you were trying right even plants and stuff like

00:27:11 that. So do you deliberately do to challenge your

00:27:14 limits? Is that one of the aims that you try with

00:27:21 your things? Yeah, let's kind of disintegrate that question

00:27:25 a little bit. So adapting to new hobbies is definitely something

00:27:31 I take a lot of interest in. And then thinking of that as a means to challenge

00:27:38 myself. I think that may or may not be true for all

00:27:41 of us like running was definitely something that I took up as a challenge and evolved

00:27:46 into something that was actually achievable. But for a lot of other things.

00:27:52 There were failures as well like woodworking is a good example where there are factors

00:28:02 that are completely outside of your control like woodworking is a costly hobby.

00:28:06 It's like if you need a base where you can actually track up all your tools and material

00:28:11 is costly. And then you have to like really either have

00:28:16 that set up ready with you at your disposal are have somewhere where you can just go visit

00:28:23 paper or something and then use that facility. So whenever I had access to those, I was able

00:28:29 to spend time on that. But otherwise it's pretty much kind of outside

00:28:34 of my reach. So going back to the notion of challenge,

00:28:39 I think that's definitely true. And I remember reading this book called Moonwalking

00:28:46 with Einstein where the book is about how we can improve your memory techniques and

00:28:51 how we can really excel at remembering so many different things.

00:28:58 So many desperate things at the same time into our capacity.

00:29:04 So, the author writes about how he used those techniques to learn so much about memory improvisations

00:29:12 and even won the world championship contests that happened on this topic.

00:29:18 I think there is definitely value in that mission.

00:29:23 While trying these new pursuits right be it hobby be it creative pursuits or anything

00:29:29 you do encounter like some time failures. How do you deal with such failures?

00:29:39 I think it's kind of unavoidable for many of those pursuits.

00:29:46 And so I think I go back to asking myself what was the point again and why exactly I

00:29:57 started this why exactly did I pick this route. So going back to that question sometimes gives

00:30:03 me clarity. For example let's say indoor farming was something

00:30:13 I was really passionate about at certain point couldn’t pick it up after a while.

00:30:17 So I really asked myself what was the core motion that I have wanted to tackle while

00:30:24 I started this project? It wasn't really about getting to eat food.

00:30:30 It was just about the roller coaster and getting into that sense that hey, I want to try this

00:30:37 side give it a shot and then I might fail but I wouldn't have degrades that I did not

00:30:44 try. Every designer has a story that why did they

00:30:50 become a designer? What's yours?

00:30:53 It’s an interesting story. So before becoming a designer I was an engineer.

00:31:02 And that's pretty mundane in India especially in Pune.

00:31:08 So I studied under graduation my bachelor's degree in computer science engineering.

00:31:13 And then I worked for a year as a front end software developer.

00:31:18 That was a time when I came in touch with the designers.

00:31:23 And I was amazed to see their abilities to convert an abstract thoughts into tangible

00:31:32 ideas or let's say abstract ideas into actual tangible products that you can actually look

00:31:40 at. So that gave me a starting point and then

00:31:45 always having this passion or sense that we meet or see aesthetic values that are visually

00:31:50 appealing to me. I think the combination of both of them really

00:31:53 pipeline me to the career of design. What is good design for you?

00:32:01 Yeah I think good design for me it's something that leaves no more room for you to kind of

00:32:07 add more and more stuff to it. And I would also like to add that good design

00:32:16 does two things first of all it kind of tries to respect the decisions that were made in

00:32:23 the past and tries to resonate well with the old design, if that is to be maintained.

00:32:29 And the second thing is it does the same for scaling up so tomorrow if that feature or

00:32:34 product service or project has to be the redesign this design that I'm currently working on

00:32:40 should arrive some kind of a segue into that. What part of your academics did help you in

00:32:48 changing not changing or switching these jobs or working on really different things you

00:32:53 worked on amazingly different portfolio right starting from your headphones at Bose to Facebook

00:32:59 right now. So what part of your academics really help

00:33:02 you in these processes or changing these jobs or working on them in general?

00:33:10 Yeah, that's a really good question. So I would say that the moment I entered National

00:33:17 Institute of Design the moment I joined NID, I knew that there is something different about

00:33:22 the world of design. And it's not that I had not thought of pursuing

00:33:28 a creative career ever before. I at one point as a teenager I had given serious

00:33:36 thought to architecture for example. So coming to the world of design as a new

00:33:42 student that had entered NID and I think the process that completely changed my perspective

00:33:52 about the world is just unlearning the engineering approach even for the tech industry as I grew

00:34:00 up being the designer in the digital space I realized that even in the computer science

00:34:06 industry there's hardly like half or even fewer than that people that are engineers

00:34:16 that take care of the core itself. The rest everyone is mostly about making the

00:34:22 right connections within the business models or within people are finding the right opportunities

00:34:30 of how that product would connect ultimately to the ultimate users.

00:34:34 So that unlearning was I think the big moment that really pushed me to think that hey, there's

00:34:41 so much more to the tech industry and the tech world that I can really exploit being

00:34:45 the designer. What do you think the future role of designers

00:34:49 are or how do you see design in future? Yeah, that's something I really passionately

00:34:56 think about a lot. I think the role of designer is being a Philosophical

00:35:04 in some sense but at the same point being tied to the ground reality of

00:35:10 it. And when it comes to future I think the role

00:35:15 of a designer is to enable the reaches of the technology so that the end users can actually

00:35:26 benefit from that. For example there are really a lot of fancy

00:35:30 ideas in our view at this point in time like stop driving cars or colonization of Mars

00:35:35 by the designer and the one in the future. I like to think about really big ideas like

00:35:40 how will people interact with one another when they're sitting in completely driverless

00:35:46 cars? What would that experience look like?

00:35:48 So yeah, those are the kind of projects and I think designers shouldn't limit themselves

00:35:54 right there. Think of like ideas that are not even decades

00:35:59 but like centuries ahead of now like think of problems or opportunities that that are

00:36:07 here today in our world but those are just not articulated well.

00:36:11 A good example would be think of how the society and the socio economical structures were like

00:36:18 in 1700s or 1800s. What are those behaviors or social patterns

00:36:25 that are so that were so normal back then but are now totally obsolete are now totally

00:36:33 transformed into something else and then try to extrapolate that about going from today

00:36:39 to let's say 2100 Do you have any design inspiration that you

00:36:45 would like to share with us? Yeah, I have a rather different take on answering

00:36:55 this question of course there are a number of industrial designers that are putting in

00:37:01 really amazing work in front of the old world. What really inspires me is the grassroots

00:37:12 innovations or the grassroots not just big ideas but big takes on even mundane ideas

00:37:20 like people that think about hey how can make payment simpler or how I can just remove the

00:37:29 notion of banking altogether I think those are interesting things.

00:37:34 And to go to real people or real bank that kind of do that few things that come to mind

00:37:43 and few people are definitely Satish Gokhle from Pune who I think is a kind of a grassroots

00:37:50 design person in that sense another couple of things that I can think of definitely from

00:37:57 Silicon Valley. How small businesses really take advantage

00:38:02 of seeing gaps in big models of financial platforms.

00:38:08 For example Google Facebook all of these products have a certain model of e commerce.

00:38:17 And then there are in the Bay Area there are like literally hundreds of companies that

00:38:22 that have built their fortune on kind of bridging those small gaps and finding those new really

00:38:27 small opportunities. So it doesn't have to be a big idea but it

00:38:30 has to be something that would really appeal to.

00:38:33 You read lot of books right and you did share with us Moon Walking with Einstein.

00:38:39 That was the book that you did share with us.

00:38:42 Are there any more books that you would like to recommend us?

00:38:47 Yeah, definitely. And one thing I like with books is something

00:38:52 I'm trying these days is kind of reading multiple books parallelly like before finishing the

00:38:59 first one you start reading the second one and then going back to book and minus one

00:39:04 would always have you excited about hey, where I was and would make you shuffle through a

00:39:10 number of pages you would read a lot of stuff. I think that is exciting and few books that

00:39:16 I'm reading in parallel these days. The first one is called “why we sleep”.

00:39:24 I forgot the name of the author unfortunately the book is about essentially the topic of

00:39:34 sleep and psychology of sleep. It ultimately tackles the goal of being able

00:39:42 to take care of your mental health and then answering the question about how you should

00:39:51 sleep but it really starts from why you should sleep.

00:39:54 That's an interesting book called why we sleep the other one I'm reading is “Zero to one”

00:40:01 from Peter Thiel. Peter was one of the fundamental early day

00:40:10 person who offered funds to Mark Zuckerberg to start Facebook.

00:40:17 He is a categorist and he has lot of venture activities in the Bay area so has this Flip

00:40:22 Kart “Zero to one”. He talks about how we can take small ideas

00:40:25 to the platforms and the third one I’m reading these days is “The Hard Thing About Hard

00:40:33 Things” that’s from Ben Horowitz. Interestingly that book is written from perspective

00:40:39 of how to run a startup and I would like to relate chapters from that book to just a word

00:40:46 of Design and just to look at how design and business kind of unite.

00:40:51 Any of your favorite quotes that inspires you?

00:41:01 The favorite quote I remember right at this moment is, I wanted to do something really

00:41:20 extraordinary and the quote is “It’s not really whose going to let me do that but it’s

00:41:27 really whose going to stop me” it essentially imbibes the very solid vibe of self-confidence

00:41:36 and kind of taking step further into following your passion and interestingly this is from

00:41:42 a Fictionary from Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” And the last question do you have any advice

00:41:54 for young budding designers though your presentation did not cover lot of it but any advice that

00:42:01 you have? I would like to say couple of things number

00:42:04 one is think of design as a field that is complementary and that is not competition.

00:42:14 It’s ultimately the user that you want to evocate for, it’s not you that ultimately

00:42:20 So don’t just solve problems that are kind of seen by others but try to find problems

00:42:30 that was never ever seen by others. Think of the known unknowns, think of what

00:42:39 everyone knows that hey, this is what something we need to solve and think of unknown unknowns

00:42:43 like what is something that would really take my project or product miles ahead from where

00:42:48 it is today and I think the key to that is bold communication really step forward really

00:42:57 be bold have an opinion we all are humans it’s ok to kind of say how cloud your opinion

00:43:03 without having any data backing it up. Data is only something that supports you but

00:43:09 essentially it’s you who have to hypothesize your opinion first so that will be my advice.

00:43:18 Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today Dhruv.

00:43:22 There is small token of love and appreciation for all the good work that you have done and

00:43:30 inspiring us we confer upon you the title of “Inspiring Young Designer”.

00:43:34 So you inspired us today. Thank you so much for your thoughts and answers

00:43:38 to the questions and your time. Thank you so much Dhruv you are our inspiring

00:43:46 young designer. Thanks for having me.

00:43:50 This was really exciting for me on so many levels because this was first ever appearance

00:43:58 from my side on such a platform so it feels nice.

00:44:04 It also allows me the kind of give back to the community in certain sense.

00:44:09 I’m always open to hearing from all of you about your big ideas so let’s stay in touch

00:44:16 Thank you


Dhruv talks about his decisions and career moves that enabled him to design reddot award winning products at Bose and then move to Facebook to design experiences for a billion users. His determination & astute art of storytelling is something every young designer can learn from. Watch this episode to learn more about his recipe for success as a young inspiring designer.