I worked with Hattery to create a logotype and custom font for their brand. The project began a few months back, and I’m extremely pleased to see how well everything has come together over time. It’s been an amazing process working with the people over there. They are a very enthusiastic and passionate bunch who brought up a million different valid points during the process. The outcome is a reflection of consistent effort on both of our parts to get it all just right. Shout outs to Josh, Michelle, Mark, James, Peter, and everyone else who helped out during the project, and also to Dan who did a brilliant job putting this video together.
Ideas that Matter is one of the programs that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of over the last couple of years.
Applications are due on July 20, 2012 and for those who are interested in applying, visit http://www.na.sappi.com/ideasthatmatter/callforentry
Below is some of our work that was featured in the latest Calls for Entries booklet.
For many people in the developing world, access to a cell phone is more of a given than is access to a clean toilet, particularly in regions of Africa and South Asia. Cell phones are used for money transfers, audio lessons, and business development. Sanitation is something we take for granted but is key to the health and economic empowerment of communities in the developing world.
Hattery Labs, with the Gates Foundation, worked to turn this disparity into an effective strategy for improving sanitation. Luis Arbulu, a partner at Hattery, and Hattery Associate Ben Armstrong, headed up research into gamification strategies used in developing countries, and developed a plan for a set of mobile games to educate and encourage better sanitation practices in cell phone users in these areas.
Visually rich games are a compelling medium for messaging and can be used by a large segment of the population, regardless of literacy levels. However, cell phone usage is largely prevalent among young, successful males, making it more difficult to disseminate the message to other demographics. These and other challenges and findings are explored in the research Luis and Ben conducted.
Gamification strategies represent an interesting opportunity to use design and the available and widespread technologies of a region to solve key challenges — this research has the potential for much broader application in other imperative global challenges.
We’re excited to announce that Hattery will be the home of General Assembly’s San Francisco based classes, the first of which begins tonight in our SOMA office and collaborative space.
GA is a natural partner for Hattery, and we’re excited to be participating in as well as teaching UX, design, and product development classes. Our team couldn’t be more excited, having watched from afar the great work being done by the east coast GA team and been inspired by it.
For anyone who is similarly enamored with General Assembly’s great work, wants to learn more (or share your expertise) about how to create beautiful, intuitive websites, or just wants to see what happens when all that awesome bi-coastal creative energy sparks in one room, come and visit us!
Watch this space for class listings and more about the Hattery Labs/General Assembly partnership.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Josh To. I’m a designer, an entrepreneur, and a passionate advocate for user focused, socially responsible innovation.
I’ll be blogging about the intersection of these: my experience and thoughts on using design and technology to scale businesses and products, company branding, and social entrepreneurship and nonprofit work. Much of this will be informed by what I’m doing right now with Hattery.
Hattery is a seed-stage investment fund and consultancy that has a strong tendency toward fostering projects that contribute to a greater social need. It’s the expression of a vocation to build extraordinary and innovative companies that make a palpable, positive difference in people’s lives — a conviction shared by my partners Josh Mendelsohn and Luis Arbulu. We want to fundamentally change the way businesses are created and scaled, and in doing so we’re equally guided by an exacting focus on user experience, design, finance, and operations.
Each of my experiences has led me in some way toward what I’m doing with Hattery — my passion to work in this space is informed by both inspiration and also frustrations with the current model for startups. Too often I’ve witnessed unsustainable non-profit projects and business models, and organizations that are hindered by excessive bureaucratic processes. But these as well as other experiences have fueled an excitement for enriching the existing startup ecosystem — many new companies have the ability to make massive change with the platforms they have managed to build; Google, Facebook, Twitter are obvious examples of new companies who have enacted large-scale change in the lives of many.
I studied design/media arts and communications at UCLA and was inspired to harness design in a way that was not purely driven by aesthetics but that was also useful and served a meaningful purpose. While still in college, I co-founded RESONANCE with James Buyayo — who is now a design lead at Hattery — and used design to strongly convey wearable social messages. I then worked at Google in various roles — technology development for global communications, product management, and business development for Google.org, the “philanthropic arm” of Google. Between Google and Hattery, I was an Entrepreneur in Residence at C2, where I ran idea generation and innovation workshops in Saudi Arabia and spoke at TEDxArabia to encourage innovative entrepreneurship among young Saudis.
During this time, I also launched BRUTE LABS, a collective of young volunteers with a “do whatever it takes” attitude to fostering socially responsible entrepreneurship and providing open source solutions to worldwide problems. Out of BRUTE LABS stemmed a variety of different projects, from WellDone which brings clean water to African communities to Air, a solution to Silicon Valley public transportation deficiencies.
So that’s me, and a sampling of what is important to me. I hope you’ll keep reading, and join myself and the Hattery team on our journey forward. This is an opportunity for us to share our knowledge, skills, and experiences — I’m excited to learn from you and I hope I can return the favor.