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Jeff Veen

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Jeff Veen's Social Links

Profile

I'm the Vice President of Product Design for Adobe. I joined them in October, 2011, when they acquired Typekit, the company I co-founded and ran as CEO. In addition to Typekit, I was one of the founding partners of the user experience consulting group Adaptive Path. While there, I lead the development of Measure Map, which was acquired by Google. During my time at Google, I redesigned Google Analytics and lead the UX team for Google's apps. Much earlier, I was part of the founding web team at Wired Magazine, where I helped build HotWired, Web Monkey, Wired News, and many other sites. During that time, I authored two books, "HotWired Style" and "The Art and Science of Web Design."

Companies and Investments

Hotwired (founder), Typekit (co-founder and CEO), Adaptive Path (founding partner), Wired Magazine (founding web team member),

Lessons Learned

Typekit has grown tremendously and our goal of putting web fonts on every website in the world is going better than we could have imagined.

We got involved with Adobe after three years of going it alone as a startup. We were growing quickly and had to make a decision about whether to keep going ahead on our own or come into Adobe. The timing was fantastic because we were at an inflection point. We had to get much bigger and there was the potential of having to do more venture capital fundraising, which we decided not to do. Adobe was starting the transition into Creative Cloud and that was exactly the kind of work we had been doing at Typekit. It was a great opportunity to try what we were already doing, but on a much broader scale. Now we have the ability to affect millions of people on behalf of Adobe. It’s been a fantastic challenge and I’ve learned a lot.

You need a team. I don’t believe you can do it all yourself, or even with a co-founder camped out in your parents’ garage. Examples to the contrary are the exception. It’s rare that one person can write all the code, craft an exceptional user experience, communicate transparently with customers, and manage the financial health of the business. Yes, you can build tangible proof of your idea. You can even launch it and get traction. But to really build something that has broad reach and significant impact, most of us need the diversity of talent and experience that comes with a team of collaborators.

Inspiring Quotes

Same-sex couples should be able to get married.

President Obama

Im renewing my vow to never answer the question

Mark Lukach

Ive always found that my career happened as a result of a tremendous synergy of all the talented people Ive worked with.

Harold Ramis

Everyone please stop working on this because it’s getting worse.

Anonymous

Whoever shall be heard to utter the abominable word Frisco, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor.

Thrillist

Jeff Veen's Quotes

However, one of the things I firmly believe about seemingly risky decisions is that you can’t fully imagine how things can be better while you’re in the thing you don’t quite like.

Jeff Veen

I liked the thought of taking an investment from somebody and saying, “Let’s give it a shot, but I’m not going to pay you back if it doesn’t work.” That is motivating! You put your reputation on the line.

Jeff Veen

Going into technology never crossed my mind until the web came around—for me, the web was the humanities brought to computers.

Jeff Veen

Creativity is part of everyone’s childhood until they learn—or are taught—how to not be creative.

Jeff Veen

It’s a different thing to shape an idea, build a team around it, gain an audience, spend time getting to know your users, and grow a community—that takes time. No one is going to hire a consultant for three years to pull something like that off. Product development and leadership was where I wanted to go.

Jeff Veen

Influential Books

Mike Monteiro - You're My Favorite Client

William Strunk Jr. - The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition

William Zinsser - On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Mentors

Mike Monteiro, Farhad Manjoo, Kris Veen, Ken Norton, Dan Benjamin

References


Technical

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