I gave notice to Intuit yesterday. It is a sad moment for me. There are some people there that I will miss terribly. There have been a few people throughout my career that I have just loved working with.Ben Nadel, Tom Quaile, Sean Zimmerman, Florence Tang, Bill Mirbach, Chris Nesladek.
These are people I consider ultra-talented. I wish I could work with them every day. The last 4 names are reasons why I would stay at Intuit.
Reasons I would leave:
- Micromanagement is the norm. In general, the powers that be don’t trust UX experts. Everyone wants to be in the kitchen. I know what I am doing and I collaborate, but I want to be able to weigh the different points of view and make an informed decision. I don’t want to have a website-by-committee. Telling me to change this color, or move this button or change this nav item name is just depressing.
- Stretch. Making money for Intuit is too easy for me. I can beat the controls in the tests with my eyes closed. Despite being able to do that, I am constantly fighting to maintain the design integrity because of #1 above. I want to work on something harder. Something that can make MORE money. Something with more excitement.
- Intuit bonus structure. The total annual comp was fine and the benefits were great, but man, waiting for that one giant summer bonus was killing us. We were in the red each month!
- Career path. I learned something very valuable at Intuit. I don’t want to be a manager of managers and lose touch with the problem solving for the user. I would like to manage people on a team of contributors, but not a division where I only speak with managers of contributors. I want to be a rockstar UX architect.
- Intuit DNA. The DNA of the organization seems more interested in HOW you conduct yourself on a project than with the end results of the project. To be a rockstar UX architect, I would need some breathing room. The DNA of Intuit says that everyone gets a vote and no one is the creative lead. How is an important thing, but it isn’t the only thing.
- Cubicles. Cubicles suck. I hate them. I feel enclosed and cut off. The walls are 5.5 feet high. It’s a horrible physical environment. This is something so fixable. Like Ronald Reagan said, “Mr. Bennett (CEO, Intuit), Tear Down These Walls!” Cubicles cause communication problems and severely diminish creativity.
I hope that I have had a positive effect on my colleagues at Intuit. I hope that I have championed the user and made their lives a little easier. I hope I influenced some people to make them better professionals. I don’t know if I did any of these things, but I would like to think I had some success.
My new position is UX Architect for Marketo. I am employee #1 or #2, not sure. This is an exciting opportunity for me. I have very high hopes. Hopefully, this will be a moment that I remember years from now as the best thing I ever did. My intent is to build a UX that is so compelling and so easy that users feel obsessed with using it. The sales go through the roof and the company has a mega IPO. I collect a bazillion dollars and have enough to buy a small fixer-upper house in Palo Alto or Menlo Park!
Technology note: The new gig is not a jQuery shop. Looks like I am going to have to learn YUI! OK, well, new stuff is fun! YUI and Marketo, here I come! In two weeks.