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I worked at Smart Design full-time (More than a year)RecommendsNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEORecommendsNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEO
Smart Design's greatest asset is its people. They're fun, creative, some of the most talented in the industry, and rarely take themselves too seriously. That's a pretty special combination, especially given the nature of consulting. There's an authenticity to the staff that can't be faked. The San Francisco studio, where I worked, felt more like family than simply a set of coworkers. I was inspired to come to work everyday because I was sure to learn something new.
Smart is an organization built upon proactive well-meaning people. That's what makes it work well, but if you're not willing to jump in and make it work, it might not be the place for you. Clearly established processes and willingness to invest financially in internal tools are not high on the priority list. I've loved it here, but it's certainly what you make of it.
Advice to Management
Smart has done amazing work over the years, but is at an inflection point in terms of defining itself in the changing market of hardware and software. Leadership needs to strongly establish their point of view. It's about more than great industrial design now. Spending a little more on internal initiatives might be necessary to create the right show pieces.