“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

The Biggest Announcement EVER on tihs blog — From industry to academia

Yup, I’m leaving Motorola as of the middle of December and starting off the new year as a Professor of Interaction Design at the Savannah College of Art & Design in historic Savannah, GA, USA.

There are so many reasons for this move. The biggest of which is that it is time to focus on family and I’m hoping that the combined slower life of teaching and Southern US living will help me focus on what is most important right now. My family.

The other reason is related. I’ve always been someone to dream big and at least try to go big. I think my biggest success in this area is IxDA. But having a very engaged career at Motorola Enterprise Mobility, a wife & toddler, and my ambition for building not just a community of practice but advancing the growing discipline of interaction design has left me entangled. So I’m still thinking big and also in the spirit of Randy Pausch going to do one of my childhood dreams — teach. (Before going into computers I was an anthropology grad student with the goal of teaching.) I have been encouraged by one of my favorite people, Jared Spool, to take my teaching further and when this position came to my attention I had to take it very seriously.

I also believe I can do more for interaction design from this position. Part of my mandate leading interaction design on this design campus is to be outward facing, and to further myself as a community thought leader. For the first time my goals are getting closer aligned than they had been in the past.

So for people curious about what I’ll be doing. I’m going to be the Professor of Interaction Design within the Industrial Design department of SCAD. I will be taking over where John Kolko left off with the long term of goal of transitioning a minor in IxD, into a full-fledged program.

There are lots of problems to be designed around in this space and there are no easy paths through the new cultural landscape I am dropping into, but I enter with optimism, support from my Department Chair and Dean and with a sense of realism. I am also entering with the idea that I’m just going to enjoy what I do NOW and while the future is exciting, so is the present and I can’t wait to begin. I can’t believe it is less than 3 months away. Many people reading this have known for a while and well, now consider yourselves free to spread the word.

To this regard, there are a couple of negatives. First, I have not just invested myself in the global creation of IxDA.org, but the local group here in NYC. The team has bounced a lot over the last 4 years and is now I feel hitting its strongest stride ever. Right at a time when IxD is going to get exciting in NYC with the advent of the new Masters program at School of Visual Design, and the leadership of the local IxDA group being led so wonderfully by MJ Broadbent, it is both a good time and a very sad time for me to be leaving NYC.

The other big negative is that after my 2 1-day workshops this month for SmartExperience, I will not be able to teach for SmartExperience (and the great Victor Lombardi) again. Teaching these great students has been an amazing test bed for my thinking and all my students have been wonderful to have as the vast majority engaged in thinking with me and helped me evolve my thinking class to class.

But I have been hating my very long commute, and the politics of my never-ending project, and the hustle and bustle of NYC living (despite loving its diversity, community, and inspirations) for quite some time. And while Savannah is going to be a Twighlight Zone shift at first, I am so looking forward to throwing away my winter clothes, and finding a new home with a porch swing where I can just sip sweet tea all weekend long. Oh! the 22weeks of vacation time and 4-day work week when I do work, won’t be too bad either.

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