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Story-driven drawings by James Buckhouse

Every endeavor, every undertaking, every hope, every mystery, every product, every artwork, every romance, every skyscraper, every novel, every film, every chair, every hammer, every automobile, every shopping mall, every dining hall, every bookshelf, every comic book, every app, every company, every government, every lawsuit, every piece of clothing, every can of dog food, every hand-tooled leather saddle, every wedding, every multi-billion-dollar-valuation, every dilapidated warehouse, every city of the future, every graveyard of the past, every childhood dream and every lifetime achievement starts with one thing: a story.

Sometimes the story inspires nations and millions and propels humankind forward. Other…

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Sequoia is hiring a Sr. Designer.
Please apply.


Sr. Designer

Role: Design and create products, programs, and experiences for Sequoia and Sequoia-backed founders.

How: We’ll draw from the long history of humankind’s ingenuity and Sequoia’s 48 years of company-building experience to help founders design their companies, products, cultures, and businesses.

Why work at Sequoia?
You have experience designing products, leading discussions in a cross-functional context, working closely with product, engineering, and research, and have a proven ability to ship desktop and mobile apps.

And yet… just climbing the traditional corporate ladder isn’t your only hope in life. You also want to make a difference. You’d rather help…

How to run a Friction Audit

At the Sequoia Design Lab, we use story-driven design to help founders build exceptional companies. The process starts with story and later translates to every part of the experience.

Once you get your story straight, the next step is to audit your experience. We call this process a friction audit.

A friction audit is a list of every moment of confusion, frustration, concern or delay in your product experience and a plan for how to improve the total experience. …

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Seeing with your ears

If you believe we are about to enter a post-visual era, where voice, gesture, and ML/AI guide our product experience just as much as the screen, then how should we think differently about our approach to design?

The first step is to acknowledge that design has always been about how something works — not just what it looks like.

The second step is to get better at choreographing aural product experiences. How do we do that? It takes listening, observation, practice and experimentation.

It takes seeing with our ears.

Recently at a gathering of design leaders from Sequoia-backed companies, we…

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Problem→ Suffering → Idea → Transformation

Over two millennia ago, Aristotle created a reusable architecture that can help today’s innovators design everything from better stories to AR apps. You can use this structure to write the next HBO/Netflix binge-worthy series or to design the next influential tech platform.

Here are two maps to show the flow—the first written with Aristotle’s original terms, and the second written in terms we use today.

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From Andrew Loomis

If you can draw from your imagination, you can create the universe. But how to get started? Here’s a helpful list of resources for people who want to learn to draw.

  1. Buy some books. (Loomis)
  2. Go to video school. (Proko or Alex Woo at Schoolism)
  3. Buy more books. (Bridgman)
  4. And one more book (Hale)
  5. Draw everyday
  6. Oh, and UX designers, remember if you can draw these three shapes, you can draw the Internet.
  7. @ mention me your progress on Twitter and I’ll fav. Why? …

What will it mean to live in an AR world?

I’ve sketched out a few provocations here of what might happen when we combine AR with ML to create ARML apps. Think of these drawings as equal parts sci-fi storyboards and cultural inquiries. I’ll keep adding more to this article over time, so check back in.


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Image visiting ruins and seeing the buildings return to different moments in history

Walk into your Airbnb flat and find that the host has pre-selected a series of walkable tours from your front door. The tours include AR moments that recreate history before your eyes. The ARML is able to both recognize the ruins and know…

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Design your content like you design your products

We needed a way to transform the mysterious art of content into a repeatable and measurable process.

To get there, we identified a series of characteristics common to exceptional stories. Find the PDF checklist embedded below. Did we miss any? Find me on Twitter @buckhouse and let me know.

This article originally appeared on Sequoia’s site.

Towards Exceptional Content, by James Buckhouse on behalf of Sequoia Capital, originally posted on Sequoia’s website here:

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What if we could draw together by drawing together?
Here’s how to do it.

  1. Pick a place. Your #DrawTogether event could be at a museum, a park, someone’s house, a library, a community art center, a classroom, a bowling ally, or a gallery—anywhere you can gather with a group of people. Try botanical gardens, sculpture gardens, parks, museums, galleries, campuses, or even local businesses. Chose a spot that helps augment the vibe you want to send. Location serves as your second, silent host. Craft your first impression with care. Consider how that space will be physically embodied by your guests…

The Inventor’s Worksheet combines drawing, design, and a little expository persuasion to encourage your kids to think like inventors—so that one day they might have the courage to take that first step to create the world in which they wish to live.

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The Inventor’s Worksheet

Step 1: Download the Inventor’s Worksheet

Step 2: Print out a pile of copies and then dream up new inventions with your kids over breakfast, while waiting for the dentist, in that perfect 20 minutes after diner, or on those too hot or too rainy afternoons.

Step 3: Ask questions with enthusiasm, candor and curiosity…

James Buckhouse

Design Partner at Sequoia, Founder of Past: Twitter, Dreamworks. Guest lecturer at Stanford’s GSB &

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