452 episodes

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot's Chad Pytel is joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.

Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots thoughtbot

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 87 Ratings

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot's Chad Pytel is joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.

    452: SHEMATTERS with Jade Kearney

    452: SHEMATTERS with Jade Kearney

    Jade Kearney is the Co-Founder and CEO of She Matters, a digital health platform designed to improve postpartum comorbidities for Black women through community, culturally competent healthcare providers, and culturally relevant resources.


    Victoria and Will talk to Jade about why postpartum depression is so dangerous for women, her experience as a mother and why she founded She Matters, and what culturally competent care looks like for Black women.



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    Transcript:


    WILL: This is the Giant Robot Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Will Larry.


    VICTORIA: And I'm your other host, Victoria Guido. And with us today is Jade Kearney, the Co-Founder, and CEO of She Matters, a digital health platform designed to improve postpartum comorbidities for Black women through community, culturally competent healthcare providers, and culturally relevant resources.


    WILL: Jade, thank you for joining us.


    JADE: Thank you for having me.


    WILL: So I want to start off the podcast and really talk about the issues that you're working to solve because, to be honest, before I was a dad, I had no idea about any of the things that you're trying to solve, but now that I am a dad, I am very well aware of it. So, can you explain to our audience exactly what you're working to solve?


    JADE: No problem. What we're working to solve is we're trying to decrease the incidence of Black maternal morbidity and what that means is how Black women are treated in the delivery room and postpartum. I'm not sure if anybody is aware, so I always try to give the statistics upfront: Black women are four times more likely to die during pregnancy and after pregnancy than White counterparts. And here in the state of New York, we're 12 times more likely to die.


    So what we're doing as a company is we're looking to decrease postpartum comorbidities through culturally relevant resources, community, and culturally competent healthcare providers that we supply through our She Matters app.


    WILL: Those stats are so devastating to hear. You hear the stats and postpartum and things like that. Why is postpartum so dangerous?


    JADE: Postpartum is dangerous because postpartum starts the moment you have a child. And when you first have a child as any type of woman, Black, White, Asian, your focus is on the child, and you're not paying attention to the signs of your body. Also, postpartum is not talked about that much. After you have a baby, the focus is on the baby, and a lot of women don't understand what they're experiencing when they're experiencing it. So there may be some very, very alarming signs that are happening that are going off in your body or mind because we're talking about mental health and physical health that a woman doesn't resonate with because no one's talked to her about it. So there's no information.


    So a woman is experiencing...has an out-of-body experience having postpartum anxiety and depression and doesn't know what's going on because there's been no information given about it. It can be a silent killer, really, when you think about eclampsia, and you think about HELLP syndrome, which is like high blood pressure during and postpartum. These are the top killers of all women. And if you don't know the signs of that, if you don't know what to look for, you may very well think it's a part of postpartum when you're actually in danger.


    VICTORIA: And that sounds so important to increase awareness in the education and community around these issues. Can you tell me more about what culturally competent care actually looks like for Black women?


    JADE: So culturally competent care means that you are receiving care from a health provider that

    • 26 min
    451: Product Strategy with Jordyn Bonds

    451: Product Strategy with Jordyn Bonds

    Jordyn Bonds is the Director of Product Strategy at thoughtbot. Jordyn helps companies validate new product opportunities and reach that first key milestone, from validating an early adopter market to creating a pitch deck to building a prototype, proof of concept, or an MVP launch.


    Chad talks to Jordyn about what a Director of Product Strategy does, how Jordyn's career has evolved (She got to build madonna.com for the Confessions on the Dance Floor release and tour!!), and finding practices that keep you motivated and inspired to be working towards long-term, large goals.



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    Transcript:


    CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel. And with me today is Jordyn Bonds, the Director of Product Strategy at thoughtbot. Jordyn helps companies validate new product opportunities and reach that first key milestone, from validating an early adopter market to creating a pitch deck to building a prototype, proof of concept, or an MVP launch.


    Jordyn, thank you for joining me not only on this podcast but at thoughtbot.


    JORDYN: Thank you. It's wonderful to be here.


    CHAD: You joined us in September of this year. And it's been really fun to watch...well, let me say it's always fun to watch people come into the company and begin to digest everything that's there, begin to, like, okay, I can see how this is working, and then to start to make your mark on things. And so thank you for everything you've done so far. And I look forward to seeing everything in the future too.


    JORDYN: I look forward to it too. It's been a super interesting experience. I think thoughtbot has a really unique culture, and it's been really fun to get on-boarded into it.


    CHAD: Cool. I'd love to talk a little bit more about that in a bit. But you have joined us as the Director of Product Strategy, which is actually a new position for us in the Ignite team, which is the team that focuses on those early-stage ideas, products, companies. Obviously, if we added the position, we thought it was important. We don't take those things lightly. What led you and made you perfect for that position?


    JORDYN: [laughs] I think taking something from a nascent notion, whatever that is, an idea for a product or newly identified market opportunity to that first concrete thing out in the world is a really special phase of the work of new product launches. And it is, over the course of my career, just the thing I have really zeroed in on professionally over time. That's kind of my wheelhouse. And so I think that's thing number one. But what makes it special is that I like to think of it like it's almost like the first few seconds of the existence of the universe after the Big Bang...


    CHAD: [laughs]


    JORDYN: where you are inventing the ground rules of the thing you are building as you are building it. And that is a very...it's just a really special time. And some people love it, and some people despise it. There's a lot of chaos and uncertainty, and you have to move forward despite all of that chaos and uncertainty. And some of us love the; I don't know, there's just this feeling that anything is possible, a sort of sense of newness and really paving the road while you're hacking through the jungle, and I just love that.


    And I feel like I want to help other companies love that phase too. [laughs] It's like a weird thing to say. I'm almost like an evangelist for that time. But I'm an evangelist for it because I feel like it's really important to make sure that you're tying the mission and vision of the business; you're weaving it into what it is you're doing in the product ASAP. Do it early. Make sure you're thinking about this stuff from the jump. And if I can be an evangelist for that kind of thinking and the processes that ma

    • 39 min
    450: StoryFile with Heather Maio-Smith

    450: StoryFile with Heather Maio-Smith

    Heather Maio-Smith is the Co-Founder, President, and Chief Visionary Officer at StoryFile, bringing global audiences an interactive ecosystem that records and preserves human conversations in a way that removes the traditional boundaries of time and space.


    Victoria talks to Heather about why this product needed to exist in the world, supporting human connection and storytelling, and the journey to get funding, expand, and plan what's next for StoryFile.



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    Transcript:


    VICTORIA: This is The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with us today is Heather Maio-Smith, Co-Founder, President, and Chief Visionary Officer at StoryFile, bringing global audiences an interactive ecosystem that records and preserves human conversations in a way that removes the traditional boundaries of time and space. Heather, thank you for joining us.


    HEATHER: Thank you for having me, Victoria. I'm excited to have a conversation with you.


    VICTORIA: Yes, I am really excited to learn about StoryFile and your product Conversa. Tell me a little bit about it.


    HEATHER: You did a great job on the introduction; thank you. The one thing that I would add is that it's very important that people know that this is video. And this is the differentiator between us and maybe a traditional chatbot, for example. We are video-based. That could mean an actual human being creates the content. The video content is always preferable. [laughs] But you can also do it in some sneaky other ways too [laughs], so it's very interesting.


    VICTORIA: Right. So as I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, you can record a video of a conversation and then use Conversa to turn that into an interactive video where a user has the freedom to ask their own questions.


    HEATHER: Correct. Essentially, what you do is you answer whatever questions that you like. You're in charge of the storyline script. You create all the questions. The interviewee answers all of the questions via video record, and then all of those video clips are put into a database. Anyone can ask you basically any conversation. Most of them are open-ended conversations. If there are shorter, like, let's say you've only [inaudible 02:03] questions, and it's kind of a focus, you have a point, and it's a focused line of questioning, then that's obviously going to be you can't ask anything.


    But we usually have the individual introduce it and say, "For example, this is my bio. I've answered a few questions about my life and my career and me personally, so feel free to ask me anything about my career or my life." Then the individuals will know what the parameters are for that conversation. And you could just ask anything, learn anything anytime you want. So it's in real-time for you.


    No going on Google and searching through 20 pages to get an answer anymore. You should be able to talk the ideas. You should be able to talk to someone who's lived that experience or has that knowledge, ask them a question, and find out the information that you want to find out, or get to know somebody that you would never have the opportunity to talk to.


    VICTORIA: What an interesting idea. And what led you to think that this was a product that needed to exist in the world?


    HEATHER: Well, they say that necessity is the mother of invention. I happened to be in Holocaust education back in the early 2000s. And one of the main things that the entire field was concerned about is what are we going to do when the Holocaust survivors are no longer alive? They had spent over 60 years in the public telling their story, talking to students, for example the public. They've done documentaries; they've done books; they've done

    • 35 min
    449: Welcome, Will Larry!

    449: Welcome, Will Larry!

    Will Larry, Software Developer at thoughtbot, joins Giant Robots as host! 🎉


    Will talks about how he got into tech, how everything is going so far at thoughtbot, interviewing at thoughtbot previously, but not getting the job, and why he decided to interview again (and snagged the job!)



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    Transcript:


    CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel.


    VICTORIA: I'm your other host, Victoria Guido. And with us today is our brand new third co-host, Will Larry. Will is a React and React Native developer at thoughtbot. And we're so excited to have him join us as a co-host of the show.


    CHAD: Will, thank you so much for joining us. Congratulations and welcome. Woo-hoo.


    [applause]


    WILL: Thank you for having me. I'm excited.


    CHAD: Will, I was so excited when I put out the call for people to join as co-hosts, and Victoria raised her hand, and then you did as well. You were on parental leave when all that started to happen. And so congratulations again on your new family member, and I'm glad we could finally have you join us.


    WILL: Yeah, I was excited about it. When I thought about joining, there are two things that came about: the excitement of joining and just the fear of it.


    CHAD: [laughs]


    WILL: And I was like, I need to do this. I need to do this because it will make me better. So I'm excited to be here.


    VICTORIA: That's a lot of change to navigate in one year, Will. [laughs] How's that got going for you, and how's everything so far in your first time here at thoughtbot?


    WILL: Yes, change, change, change, that's what has been this year. I changed and started working at thoughtbot, our third kid. This year, we moved to Florida, just a lot of change. But I've learned along the way that change is life, and so we just embraced it. And I'm hoping that we're kind of settling out a little bit, but it's been good. It's been great for our kids. I think they're ready for some consistency and just the same thing over and over for a little bit. But it's been good. And we made it through. We're on the other side.


    CHAD: Was there a grand plan to all the change? Like, did you have everything planned out in advance? Or did it all sort of just happen one thing after the other?


    WILL: Yes. If you know anything about me, I'm a very big planner. My wife, my spouse she is the one that pushes me to be more spontaneous, but this was too big to be spontaneous, so it was definitely planned. It actually got changed. We were supposed to move in September, but with the birth of my son, we decided to move it up and move sooner.


    VICTORIA: Right. I'm going to ask you the same question but about your career. So you made a big change from operations into mobile development, and was that part of a grand plan, or did you happen upon it? How did you make that change?


    WILL: That change was kind of out of desperation. I was in operations working for a nonprofit; I loved it. My spouse was working at the same company, and I was a promotion ahead of her. It was an amazing opportunity. But the teams are so small that we couldn't be on the same team. So they had multiple locations throughout the country. And you don't have to step off the team, but if she's going to take this promotion, you have to step off the team. There potentially is a way that, down the road, you can come back.


    And Katie is my spouse. She has been so supportive of everything that I've ever done. And I just felt this was a time, a great time for me to show that I support her in everything she did. But it was probably one of the toughest times in my life. I didn't have a job. I thought that I can easily jump back into it and find a job. I ended up working at a clothing store, which is not my strong suit. I really struggled work

    • 35 min
    448: AIEDC with Leonard S. Johnson

    448: AIEDC with Leonard S. Johnson

    Leonard S. Johnson is the Founder and CEO of AIEDC, a 5G Cloud Mobile App Maker and Service Provider with Machine Learning to help small and midsize businesses create their own iOS and Android mobile apps with no-code or low-code so they can engage and service their customer base, as well as provide front and back office digitization services for small businesses.


    Victoria talks to Leonard about using artificial intelligence for good, bringing the power of AI to local economics, and truly democratizing AI.



    The Artificial Intelligence Economic Development Corporation (AIEDC)
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    Transcript:


    VICTORIA: This is The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with us today is Leonard S. Johnson or LS, Founder and CEO AIEDC, a 5G Cloud Mobile App Maker and Service Provider with Machine Learning to help small and midsize businesses create their own iOS and Android mobile apps with no-code or low-code so they can engage and service their customer base, as well as provide front and back office digitization services for small businesses. Leonard, thanks for being with us today.


    LEONARD: Thank you for having me, Victoria.


    VICTORIA: I should say LS, thank you for being with us today.


    LEONARD: It's okay. It's fine.


    VICTORIA: Great. So tell us a little more about AIEDC.


    LEONARD: Well, AIEDC stands for Artificial Intelligence Economic Development Corporation. And the original premise that I founded it for...I founded it after completing my postgraduate work at Stanford, and that was 2016. And it was to use AI for economic development, and therefore use AI for good versus just hearing about artificial intelligence and some of the different movies that either take over the world, and Skynet, and watch data privacy, and these other things which are true, and it's very evident, they exist, and they're out there.


    But at the end of the day, I've always looked at life as a growth strategy and the improvement of what we could do and focusing on what we could do practically. You do it tactically, then you do it strategically over time, and you're able to implement things. That's why I think we keep building collectively as humanity, no matter what part of the world you're in.


    VICTORIA: Right. So you went to Stanford, and you're from South Central LA. And what about that background led you to pursue AI for good in particular?


    LEONARD: So growing up in the inner city of Los Angeles, you know, that South Central area, Compton area, it taught me a lot. And then after that, after I completed high school...and not in South Central because I moved around a lot. I grew up with a single mother, never knew my real father, and then my home life with my single mother wasn't good because of just circumstances all the time.


    And so I just started understanding that even as a young kid, you put your brain...you utilize something because you had two choices. It's very simple or binary, you know, A or B. A, you do something with yourself, or B, you go out and be social in a certain neighborhood. And I'm African American, so high probability that you'll end up dead, or in a gang, or in crime because that's what it was at that time. It's just that's just a situation. Or you're able to challenge those energies and put them toward a use that's productive and positive for yourself, and that's what I did, which is utilizing a way to learn.


    I could always pick up things when I was very young. And a lot of teachers, my younger teachers, were like, "You're very, very bright," or "You're very smart." And there weren't many programs because I'm older than 42. So there weren't as many programs as there are today. So I really like all of the programs. So I

    • 53 min
    447: Gembah with Neil Macqueen

    447: Gembah with Neil Macqueen

    Neil Macqueen is a leading industrial designer with 78 patents to his name, having previously spent ten years at Dyson and is now the Head of Design at Gembah, the world's first global marketplace for product development.


    Chad talks to Neil about being focused on industrial design or actual physical products as opposed to interfaces and digital products, working designers and developers, and design to manufacture as a process.



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    Transcript:


    CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel. And with me today is Neil Macqueen, a leading industrial designer with 78 patents to his name, having previously spent ten years at Dyson and who is now the Head of Design at Gembah, the world's first global marketplace for product development. Neil, thank you so much for joining me.


    NEIL: Oh, it's great to be here with you today, Chad. Thank you for having me.


    CHAD: One distinction I feel like we always need to make, and this is one of the things we struggle with at thoughtbot; people want to put themselves out in the community and say, "Here's what I do," and people use the word product design. And there's actually a pretty big, you know, some designers are, or product developers are industrial design physical products and others are digital. What do you do at Gembah?


    NEIL: For me, myself, what I do at Gembah explicitly is far more focused around industrial design or actual physical products as opposed to interfaces and digital products.


    CHAD: And as the world's, you know, the self-described first global marketplace for product development, what does that actually mean?


    NEIL: What it means is that Gembah provides a platform in which anybody with an idea or an aspiration to even have an idea has a single source by which you can tap into all the resources you need to get your product to market. So I think a good metaphor for it would be that it's very easy for myself, yourself, any of the listeners today to become a seller. Like, I can set myself up with an eBay or an Amazon account this afternoon and start selling a product. There are very low barriers to doing that.


    Whereas if you want to become a product creator, that is a very disjointed process. And what you'll see from large companies like my experience at Dyson and other companies is that they have a vertically integrated business. They own each part of that product creation, development, engineering, production, logistics. It is all very integrated. And what we try and do and provide to creators is that single integrated structure by which you can have an idea, work with a designer, develop that in conjunction with a manufacturer, and then very seamlessly move over into your production and logistics.


    CHAD: You mentioned Dyson, and you spent ten years there and moved through various design roles. I definitely want to touch on that in a little bit. But what attracted you to Gembah?


    NEIL: I think, as with all people who are interested in ideas, whether digital or physical, it's the process of creating something that really attracted me, has attracted me to all my roles in the past, and certainly to Gembah. In as much as what I just described previously, it is a world first, like, it is a category-defining company.


    So I think what really attracted me to Gembah was the fact that what we're doing here is not only building lots of very interesting products and helping entrepreneurs, and product creators, and businesses, but what we're doing is developing a platform which is entirely unique and one of its kind.


    CHAD: I have to admit, I did a little bit of research on you, as I always do. And I looked at your Twitter, and I saw that a lot of you

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Anuj Adhiya ,

The human side

Lindsey is a great host. She keeps the entire conversation moving and ensures that the discussions lead to thought starters for listeners, even when the topics being discussed might be highly technical. You're guaranteed to get something out of every interview. Lindsey's also wickedly funny so you'll never be bored. Give this show a go.

TravelHardyLlama ,

Worse over time

I can’t say I’m a fan of the more recent podcast episodes. It’s gone from discussing interesting technical problems to business to solely interviews with clients who hired ThoughtBot. High quality audio, low quality filler content.

JoshCrist ,

Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🔥

Whether you’re well established as someone who can translate creative energy into the impact you want to have on the world, or just getting started as a catalyst for change - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Chad and Lindsey do an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving career and life you can be proud of as a creator - from leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

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