You probably associate the idea of “comics” with things of a trivial nature, like the newspaper’s funny pages, or maybe Saturday morning SpongeBob marathons. But according to Kevin Cheng, the web exec and entrepreneur who is well known for helping steer the vision and strategy for products such as Yahoo Pipes and Twitter before founding his own startup, those colorful doodles can be more powerful than many people give them credit for — and that serious businesses can put the comic format to use in complicated (and ultimately profitable) ways.
In his new book released last week called “See What I Mean: How To Use Comics To Communicate Ideas,” Cheng makes the case for taking comics outside of their typical realm and using them to convey complex ideas in the corporate and technology worlds. The idea, he says, is that “just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products.”
It’s a unique pitch and a very cool book, so we invited Cheng to come by TechCrunch TV and discuss the subject in person. Watch the video embedded above to hear Cheng’s case for the comic format, how industries beyond tech are using the medium in big ways, how non-artists can leverage the power of comics to tell their stories (stick figures are OK!), and more.
Kevin Cheng is a Product Manager working on the web client at Twitter, where he joined in December 2009. Previously, he was the Director of Product Strategy at Raptr, a videogame social network, the co-founder and artist for OK/ Cancel, a webcomic on user experience, and the co-founder of Off Panel Productions, an online comic publishing network. Kevin is the author of See What I Mean. He was previously at Yahoo!â€™s Brickhouse incubator where he designed Pipes and Bravonation, and at...