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Hack To Start
Episode 196

Joshua Brewer

Co-founder/CEO @goabstract. Previously: founded @madebyhabitat, Principal Designer @Twitter.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Josh Brewer is the Co-founder & CEO of Abstract, a platform for modern design teams to work together. Josh’s career in design started off with teaching - but quickly lead to him diving into the emerging web and mobile product design industry. He eventually joined Twitter where he became a Principal Designer. Josh joins us to share his story, how he got into design, what it’s was like working as a Principal Designer at Twitter, what led him to starting Abstract, his advice on raising funding, how he thinks about the design industry, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Josh got into design & startups
  • Learn more about what it was like starting his career
  • Learn more about what motivated him to create Abstract
  • Learn more about where Josh thinks the future of design is headed
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Josh Brewer is the Co-founder & CEO of Abstract, a platform for modern design teams to work together.

Josh’s career in design started off with teaching - but quickly lead to him diving into the emerging web and mobile product design industry. He eventually joined Twitter where he became a Principal Designer.

Josh joins us to share his story, how he got into design, what it’s was like working as a Principal Designer at Twitter, what led him to starting Abstract, his advice on raising funding, how he thinks about the design industry, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:09
Can you tell us more about yourself - where are you from and what did you study?

3:54
What was it about the web and that type of technology that pushed you towards those roles in 2006?

4:43
Can you tell us a bit more about your journey as a designer and how you created the opportunity to join Twitter - eventually becoming a Principal Designer? And what were some of the projects you had the chance to work on?

7:47
What were some of the biggest lessons you learnt?

12:55
So on that note and diving into the business side of design a little bit more, today you’re the co-founder & CEO of Abstract. Can you start off by telling us a little more about what Abstract is all about and what motivated you to start it?

17:10
What were some of the biggest challenges in transitioning from that demo to a scalable product?

20:46
Can you tell us more about why you took this approach launching Abstract?

22:50
How did you guys really see your own place in the design tool industry when Abstract first launched?

25:30
Over the course of building the product, you’ve been able to raise $8.2M in funding. So what was that process like for you and what advice would you have to share with other entrepreneurs looking to raise themselves?

27:16
Where do you see the future of design tools heading? And are there any more opportunities in a designer’s workflow that remains to be addressed by a platform like Abstract?

31:49
Do you have any last thoughts or words of advice to leave us with?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Josh Brewer on Twitter
Josh Brewer on the web
Abstract on Twitter
Abstract on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

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