My professional beginnings were as a Maker, creating digital marketing and enterprise software for big brands. Later, as my interest in applying emerging technologies to human needs grew, my work in user experience led to speaking invitations for local associations and management teams, then to propelling a cross-disciplinary team to the Cisco i-Prize finals. I soon found myself leading product launch teams, then departments.

I am naturally a strategic risk-taker, enthusiastic about new ideas and technologies. But I temper that enthusiasm with the pragmatism of years of experience as a technical architect and a product manager. Having directed a Digital Solutions department ensconced in an IT-focused firm, I appreciate the effort involved in persuading people to think differently: Technology can’t overshadow the needs of either the humans it serves or the businesses it extends. But neither should imaginative advancement be sacrificed to skepticism.

I’ve also persuaded external clients to imagine more: From teaching a custom home builder how to use digital-plus-physical iBeacon technology to create an “at-home” experience for prospective home owners visiting their models, to helping companies shape their customer journey through optimized interactive and email campaigns, and creating digital communities for an urban developer.

I am always eager to guide my teams to reach beyond usability and predictive analytics – as important as they are to understanding the preferences and movements of “users” – and connect with the human beings whose lives are touched by what we do. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge and adventure of leading teams as they move from developing user stories and epics, to iterating between design and development, while driving toward the tight deadlines characteristic of digital product launches.

Bill E. Dawson