The best advice I've been given is to 'do you'. Being genuine and true to yourself will come across and resonate with people. It’ll act like a beacon and attract the type of people you want to be with, and the type of people you want to work with. Trust in yourself."
Today we spent 5 minutes with a brew having a chat with the ubiquitous Charles 'Chuck' Rice, Head of Design at The StartUp Factory. He lives in Didsbury when not in the gym or in his car. Thanks for joining us Chuck!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Knowing that each day is a new opportunity to make the world a better place. Changing the world for the better starts with one small tweak, and every new tweak I give back to the world hopefully creates a snowball effect to make it better for our children ( and children’s children, etc).
Also my job. I’m responsible for all things related to Product and Design and blending that with a business lens, from the top-level strategy down to the nitty-gritty of guerrilla user research and sketching by hand. This often crosses over with aspects of marketing, and I still get my hands dirty with code from time to time.
My typical day…
… is never a typical day. When there are project commitments my days often comprise of setting a rough plan, prioritising the needs of the businesses we work with and executing across the whole Design stack as required. Although I do spend a lot of time burning through pencils and sketchbooks, mapping out problems and communicating solutions!
Outside of that there’s currently a lot of relationship-building I’m doing to help bring together the Design Sprint community in Manchester. This involves spotting collaborative opportunities and ways to deliver value to both the well-versed and uninitiated in Design Sprints.
My most memorable work moment…
The most memorable moment at work, blended with a touch of awkwardness, was going downstairs for a group coffee trip, and accidentally getting a plain black coffee. I definitely didn’t want it to go to waste, but only moments later a man dropped by asking where the coffee machine was and lo and behold he was looking for a plain, black coffee.
After he said thanks, I replied as a knee jerk reaction…
“It must be fate!”
…and cue the whole team creasing 😂.
(for those of you not in with the British lingo, crease = laugh).
The best part of my job...
...is being able to make a connection with somebody, whether internally or externally, and to get inside their head and tease out their vision. It’s this teasing and connection that makes it possible to truly help turn that vision into a reality and understand another person’s view of the world and the problems that exist in it.
And the worst part...
... is creating a fantastic connection with someone we could happily collaborate with, and then not having the time nor the funding available to do that work with them. I’d love to see everyone succeed and use my sense of curiosity to explore all sorts of problem domains, but there is a limit to how many people we can work with at a time.
What inspires you?
Anyone who gets out of their comfort zone to do something they’re afraid to do. It could be anything such as the doctor working 100 hours a week yet committing to a body building competition, or someone travelling by plane for the first time to a new country. Taking a risk takes courage, bravery, tenacity and almost always some form of trust.
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
What I COULD be remembered for is being an absolutely top banana, but what I PROBABLY will be remembered for is always going off-tangent in conversations and circling back to Design Sprints or Jake Knapp.
What food sums up happiness?
Ramen noodles, always– they can be extravagant and fully featured noodle bowls as a luxurious treat, or as simple as a the humble instant ramen packet feeding students since 1958.
What would you tell your 16-year old self?
CAN YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE TALKING TO FUTURE YOU?! Also, trust your gut and take some risks; laugh, fall in love, get your heart broken. It’s all part of what it means to be human– sit tight and enjoy the ride.
If I wasn't Head of Design at The My ‘Plan ‘B’’….
I figured that being a voice actor or impressionist would be pretty dope. I’ve been meaning to assemble an Instagram to start off with some impressions of Rick and Morty, or Jason Mendoza from The Good Place. But for now, I've just got my musings on Medium.
What does The Federation mean to you?
If you’re a solo founder or work for yourself, it can be tough to have those incidental conversations that spark insight and innovation. Without a place like The Federation, I think some of the people we know and have become friends with would struggle to make as much progress as they have.
What is your favourite quote?
Can I have two quotes? *insert laugh here*
“Design is not just how it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”, Steve Jobs
Note to my younger self: Trust your gut and take some risks; laugh, fall in love, get your heart broken. It’s all part of what it means to be human– sit tight and enjoy the ride."
What’s the best advice that you’ve been given?
You do you. Being genuine and true to yourself will come across and resonate with people. It’ll act like a beacon and attract the type of people you want to be with, and the type of people you want to work with. Trust in yourself.
Tell us a joke.
What’s long, brown and sticky?
A stick. What did you think I meant?
Follow Chuck on Twitter or Medium to stay in the loop with his musings!