Brand is Product is Marketing is Operations

A talk by Josh Silverman

In the beginning… founders create a business entity, and it is good.

The first moments of any new entity hold a massive concentration of energy – not unlike a big bang. You're creating worlds that previously haven't existed. Everything is possible.

As your world expands, natural separation occurs. Things… settle. So how do you continue tapping that latent energy, and keep your system orbiting together?

Turns out… design operations, design systems, socio-cultural programs, the end-to-end employee experience, and more – that's the stuff that truly makes it happen; it's the context of work that makes all the difference. This talk will show how people persist over products, and share proven methods of working at the people layer. Especially at this critical moment on Earth, now is a terrific time to focus on the integration and intersectionality of teams.


Josh Silverman

Designer and entrepreneur at Startnership. DesignOps consultant with Blend

For 25 years, Josh Silverman has created successful relationships through design. He speaks and hosts workshops globally, teaches and guest critiques nationally, and is always connecting people and communities.

Currently, he is consulting in design operations for Salesforce and Blend, and advising startups and Joint Futures. Most recently, he advised and designed for the portfolio of companies with Sequoia Design Lab, served as Twitter's first hire in design operations, and was one of the founding designers of the IBM Cloud Garage.

In 1997 he founded Schwadesign, a lean, holacratic-model business, where he managed diverse teams and scaled the business for 18 years. Together, their work was recognized by The Wall Street Journal, Rebrand.com, The Boston Globe, and more.

His wide range of clients have included startups (iRobot, Buildium, Trinity Pharma), educational institutions (MIT, Harvard Medical School, Brown University), global corporations (UBS, Wells Fargo, Accenture), cities (Providence, RI, and Bethesda, MD), non-profits (American Heart Association, Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and many more.

Josh is preternaturally curious about patterns in decision making and the shapes of teams. On the daily, he is driven by great pairings, trusting relationships, harmonious intersectionality, and long bike rides.