In episode 12 of Media Will Eat Itself, William Villalobos joins me to share his passion for design. He is founder of The Futures, a company comprising, in his own words, designers, video professionals, developers and marketing experts. He refers to his company as a solution machine!
From his background in architecture to his fledgling turn as an entrepreneur, William has, in a relatively short period, amassed an impressive resume. In this interview, I try to tap into how his sense of structural design has played a part in how he’s handled the transition from designer to leader, and how media has played its part.
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01:39 Skip the intro. This is where the main conversation begins, where William describes the interesting business model behind The Futures.
05:55 William’s background is in architecture, and William describes the work he did while working with Foster + Partners on the new Apple headquarters.
08:25 From architecture to leadership, William explains his leap from designer to leading large groups of people. Did the demands of leadership feel natural to him?
11:40 Styles of leadership, honesty and the human side of managing the daily professional lives of people.
13:15 How did William fall into entrepreneurialism? He shares an emotional story of how family circumstances shaped his personal and professional decisions.
16:33 What’s it like to run a design studio? William breaks down how operations is the lifeblood of the business, and how seeing things through the eyes of the customer is the key to success.
We see ourselves as a solution machine.
20:46 What does the size of a business have to do with creating a successful, cooperative working environment? William also talks about how he markets his own business.
22:35 Is it easier to start a business these days, bearing in mind the tools at our disposal, such as the internet, or is it as hard as it’s ever been? William says it comes down to attitude.
25:00 “Everything we do design. Everything around us is design! Yet, more than design, I’m a storyteller. Everything is a story!”
27:20 Trends for the future, including artificial intelligence and its impact on design and storytelling. Also, what advice would William pass on to the new generation of design students and entrepreneurs?