One of the most memorable moments of TechCrunch Disrupt NYC last year was office hours with Paul Graham, who is the heart and co-founder of Y Combinator. We are doing it again this year. But because Graham is back in Silicon Valley with a newborn baby, we’re doing it in a slightly different way.
Over the past few years, we’ve heard that it’s not only hard to find engineers. It’s hard to find great design talent. And if Apple’s still unbelievable and mind-boggling rise over the last 15 years shows anything, it’s that design matters. Design and simplicity made the difference between Instagram and every other photo-sharing app. It revived Path. It made Square stand out among all of the other credit card readers.
So we’re changing Office Hours to focus on design. Design Office Hours will be held on-stage at Disrupt NYC on Tuesday, May 22nd, from 11:55am to 12:30pm. Just like we did last year at New York during Disrupt, six companies will be chosen from the completed applications below to spend time on-stage with some talented design experts. Startups will get to go up on stage, show our experts their designs, and receive advice and feedback.
Our on-stage design experts include Leland Rechis, who is a director of mobile product at Etsy and was a lead mobile product manager at Twitter. He was also a user experience designer on the launch team for Android OS.
We also have Jamie Divine, who was director of user experience at Boxee, a senior visual designer and a lead search designer at Google and a head of user experience at AVOS Systems, the company led by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.
Jason Morrow is a lead product designer at betaworks and has led design teams at Google on products like Finance, News, Translate and Blogger.
Finally, we have Mimi Chun, who is the design director for General Assembly, a co-working space and startup education institute near Union Square. She was the communication design lead at Ideo before that for several years.
If you’re interested, apply below!