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Do you remember the time that Marissa Mayer said, referring to Adobe Illustrator, "I’m not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous" and then "helped" designing the new Yahoo logo? by that time, Mayer's (micro)management style had already resulted in the Lead Yahoo Mail Designer quitting the company[1].

This time it seems that, because of Kalanick's micromanagement of the Uber logo design, Uber's Head of Design has left the company[2].

A non-technical co-founder shouldn't write code, right? So I don't understand why a non-designer co-founder should design a logo.

[1] http://www.inc.com/cody-steve/yahoo-logo-redesign-marissa-ma... [2] http://www.fastcodesign.com/3056457/fast-feed/ubers-head-of-...




This is a common problem in marketing. Given marketing unseen soft skills it's common for people to feel they can be great contributors. I've literally had an occasion when a exec waited til marketing left the building and held design/programming staff back the night before a launch to implement his messaging, look and feel which had been previously discussed and rejected. And no joke, he had the gall to criticise the marketing team for the launch when it didn't get the traction expected. My jaw still hits the ground someone can be like this.

While not normally as bad as that example, executive input is acceptable at some companies, typically from those people we've all seen whose confidence clearly outweighs their ability (though to be fair some people give great commentary too). In areas like brand its very difficult to 'prove' bad suggestions right or wrong as measuring impact/result is difficult given so many variables, and for what you can measure you'd have to run the alternate to truly know results, which is unrealistic. The other one I see is sales management get promoted to run marketing as many operations/finance leadership dont realise how different the skillsets are, assuming 'selling is selling'.

For this, life is a bit easier in the performance marketing channels vs brand type channels. I've found the best solution is, rather than fight the political fight to keep them out, simply build what they want (assuming digital campaigns) and A/B test their campaign version. Afterwards be sure to present the results at a suitably high/wide level. Its win/win as if they contribute good work the company benefits from their insight which is great. And if they are the manager sticking their untalented nose in repeatedly, after several presentations (all done in a genuinely friendly manner) the bad internal press tends to keep them quiet, at least for a while.

And to be fair, some marketing people are not the best themselves and probably deserve micro-management...


I understand your point with regards to your last sentence, but that doesn't justify bad management. I think the main point here is that, as you said, institutional marketing/design/UX success is not as easily measurable as other endeavours. You can A/B test a landing page but you can't really A/B test things such as logo/corporate identity.


"For me, I’m using our recent successes as a chance to take time off to rest, reflect, and recharge. I miss being there for my kids and I’m making a decision that enables that. Soon, I’ll be ready to take up the next challenge and it’s going to be great."

What part of that implies that he left because of the redesign ?.


You are right, in the announcement he does not imply that. In my previous post I have written "it seems that" where maybe it should have been "it seems to me that".

However please consider that:

1. he made the announcement just a few hours after the logo was presented to the public

2. according to numerous reports in the press, Kalanick closely managed the redesign.

For these reasons I believe that my claim is not completely unfounded.




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