Melissa Miranda is in pursuit of a well-designed world. Her craft is design thinking, which she learned at Stanford, practiced at IDEO, and applied at her startup, Tiny Post, which was acquired by TripAdvisor. Igniting design thinking at skeptical-at-first TripAdvisor was one of the hardest things she’s accomplished as a product leader.
She is currently an entrepreneur in residence at Foundation Capital, where she is helping designer founders lead companies.
In her free time, Melissa is applying design thinking to climate change, which today involves working with Citizens Climate Lobby and top climate scientists.
“Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.” — Charles Eames
Make It New, Barry Katz
Design sometimes eludes definition. Barry’s thoroughly researched book on design and the role it has played in Silicon Valley is a wonderful read that gave me the context for what design is truly about.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
This book has more notes and dog ears than any other I own. From the professor that turned classical economics on its head, it documents how our intuition interacts with our capacity for critical thinking, and how we humans are susceptible to a comedy of biases and errors. It’s come in handy in everything from dealing with the planning fallacy of rosy engineering forecasts, calling out a former boss on his iOS bias, and building an awareness that I carry my own load of biases, too.
Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, George Marshall
Design guidelines for climate communication.
The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, Lewis Hyde
Seeing everything through the eyes of a market economy is blinding. Yet gift giving and gift economies have been at the heart of human civilizations since the dawn of time. Through the paradigm of gifts, it’s possible to fully understand artists, talents, and the ‘must’ of creation.
Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives, Christina R. Wodtke
Because you need a system to lead your team to get it done. Without this book, I’m a blind man crossing the Mall of America parking lot.
Syntax & Sage: Reflections on Software and Nature, Sep Kamvar
I got this book from Enrique and it’s one of my treasures. I love how it shifts my thinking each time I pick it up.