Submit     Newsletter     Search     Register  
Hustle on Smash Notes

Hustle podcast.

May 19, 2020

The Hustle is a show dedicated to the evolution of the craft of design. We chat with design captains, inspiring designers, product leaders, agency owners, and the Funsize team about building teams that can create products that matter. Hosted by Funsize's Partner and Head of Design, Anthony Armendariz

Episodes with Smash Notes

“My role isn’t about seeing every pixel but setting the standard, getting the right people in place, seeing the big picture of where we are going and what we can accomplish.”

Updated on August 26 was a marketplace for high-end design where anyone could find and book fantastic professional designers to design apps, websites, and logos. The company formed in 2011 and raised a small seed round, took part in Y Combinator in 2012, but eventually failed to achieve venture-scale growth. As of 2015, the Scoutzie team decided to shut the product down. Kirill and Anthony discuss the experiences, and what’s to come next.

Updated on September 06

Dan Mall talks to Anthony Armendariz about his design apprenticeship program, his Philly based design agency SuperFriendly, and his new company SuperBooked.

Updated on August 21

“There’s a consequence to the prioritization of anything. It’s about having a framework for understanding those tradeoffs, and creating a pattern of decision-making so you can have a structure for your priorities.”

Updated on September 04

Anthony, Natalie and Rick discuss what they've recently learned on a client trip to Finland about work–life balance.

Updated on September 09

Funsize friend, Chad Engle, is the Product Design Director at GoDaddy, a company that is rapidly expanding its product offerings and leaning into design with a focus on in-house talent.  He stopped by to share his experience growing design orgs, explain what he looks for in applicants, and provide some insight into how he approaches leadership.

We cover:

  • Growing a design practice at GoDaddy

  • Transitioning from designer to Design Manager

  • Using a different set of design skills to create a design org

  • The value of pier-to-pier conversations and mentoring

  • "Steering the bull" of culture

  • Hiring for aptitude vs. craft

  • Growing as an IC

  • Designing design ladders


Note: We recorded this one before COVID began, so some references (like to our SXSW party) did not come to fruition.

Theo Strauss is an 18-year-old product designer out of NYC who's already making waves in the community through his involvement with companies like Apple, Postmates, and Figma. As someone on the bleeding edge of a new generation of designers, we loved having him on the show to share some of his thoughts on where the industry is heading and how young people are getting involved. 

We cover:

  • Creating an entire portfolio in Figma

  • Growing up in New York City

  • Childhood career dreams

  • The evolution of design tools

  • Going to college vs. entering the workforce

  • The ambiguity of "designer"

  • The democratization of design

  • Cold emails and personal networks

  • A lot more

Note: We apologize for the audio quality. There was an issue with the microphone.

Ash Huang is a designer, illustrator, author, speaker, artist and parent who currently works at Adobe. After finding design at a young age, Ash's career has spanned a wide variety of well-known companies and different pursuits that have left her with some fascinating views on accomplishment, progress, staying curious and more. It took us a while to get this one on the books but the conversation was totally worth it. 

We cover:

  • Working on the Adobe XD product team

  • How to choose what you will devote time to

  • Tracking progress

  • How having kids changes things within your career

  • Specialization vs. generalization

  • Staying curious

  • Management vs Individual Contributor tracks

  • Alone time as a parent

  • Legacy

Helen Tran is a designer, CEO, hobbyist writer, traveler and macaroon connoisseur (amongst other things). In this episode you will learn everything about software design, business ownership, bodybuilding, career risks, the meaning of wealth and the knowledge gap between employees and the founders. Enjoy!

Guigo Sanchez is the Creative Director at THIRD EAR — previously known as LatinWorks — an agency that specializes in creating advertising for the U.S. Hispanic audience. Born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, he is the husband of Mari Chamoun (Managing Director at Funsize), and father to Julia Elena Sánchez Chamoun. After completing his psychology degree in Puerto Rico, Guigo moved to Austin to study advertising and decided to stay forever (for now). He enjoys dad life, music, computers, food and personal finance.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How studying psychology affects advertising

  • Speaking to different audiences and cultures in advertising

  • The top skills needed for creative directing

  • Imagination as a skill

  • Hispanic marketing and advertising

  • Maintaining belief in the value of creativity

  • The temporary nature of advertising and design

  • What does "partner" mean in the advertising world

  • Commitment in professional relationships

  • The emotional operations of an organization

Thomas Ewart is an Associate Product Designer at Funsize, where he works with startups and enterprise design teams to craft thoughtful digital experiences. With a non-traditional career path that spans accounting, tattoos and electronic music, Thomas brings a unique perspective to his work and enjoys helping others find their place in the design world. 

  • Non-traditional paths to design

  • The decision to spend the money on General Assembly's design intensive

  • Year one as a product designer

  • Enterprise vs. startup design work

  • Collaboration

  • The three stages of design in an organization

  • Figma and the future of design tools







Desiree Garcia is a senior designer at Automattic, the company behind and most recently, Tumblr. Their goal is to democratize publishing so that anyone with a story can tell it, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. She's also an editor at A List Apart, a webzine that explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How a psychology degree can influence design and teamwork

  • What we miss about the old web

  • Star Trek's Kobayashi Maru and how it applies to design

  • How to respond to situations that can't be won

  • The challenges of talking about your work

  • Designing things that "aren't real"

Visit the Funsize website
Subscribe to The Funsize Digest

Mike Trozzo is the EVP at Tide University Laundry, a service business disrupting the laundry-norm on campuses around the country. His career trajectory took him from dreams of being an astronaut and doctor, to studying finance in college, pursuing acting in LA and  eventually leading design and engineering teams in Waco, Texas.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Connecting the dots between design and P&L

  • Budgeting for design

  • Staffing projects

  • Design roles and responsibilities

  • Balancing the skillsets and goals of team members

  • The shifting need for generalists and specialists

  • Childhood career dreams vs. adult career reality

  • Personal values and work values

  • How Funsize's values emerged




Brian Peterson is a former Funsize Design Director with a passion for collaboration and intentional design. He's a close friend and talented designer whose career saw a lot of growth during his time with us. Brian is making the move back home to Chicago, but before he left, he graced us with a send-off podcast to discuss goal-setting — a subject he's particularly passionate about.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The characteristics of a good goal.

  • What it means to work with intent.

  • Goal-setting for teams.

  • The importance of clear communication with clients.

  • Understanding different stakeholders in an organization.

“You wouldn’t design a product without talking to any of the users. Why design a company without talking to the employees? A big win for leaders is not always holding the talking stick, and the experience of being a student of something.”

“If you are working with a startup, you need to teach them how to fish. Don’t just hand them a fish.“

"Product designers at Facebook aren't order takers. We are not waiting around for requirements. We're driving requirements and determining what it is that we want to ship."

"I still have so much to learn. As a designer, it's best to start at a place of humility and recognize that you don't know everything, and you never will. If you start at that level, more often than not, you'll build great relationships and establish trust."

"It's all about how you present yourself."

“Until designers can speak the language of business (and to some degree talk their talk), we’re just going to be the people that make things look good."

“Many designers don’t realize the challenges their leader faces.”

Greyson talks about her journey as a designer and when to learn, when to make, and when to find your own path doing creative work.

At the intersection of reality and virtual reality, Gabriel Valdivia and Facebook are forging the vision, technology, and tools to usher in new immersive experiences.

Two agency CEOs exchange notes on growing their business, constant learning, empowering employees, and more.

Open Source, Conversational UI and the ushering in of a new wave of contextual design.

"Working in partnership with building a business or a team member on a project is what it's all about."

"When you collaborate with people and get their input and perspective it can be extraordinary and that's what gets me out of bed every day."

The importance of conversation in the context of design and how words can lead to success.

Enterprise software through the lens of User-centered design.

Design sensibility paired with confident ability are the keys to success when designing things for passionate people

From designing things to designing educational training, Travis has a passion for project management and digital solutions.

Ben Peck shares what it means to contribute to his design community, bring people together and conversations between humans and computers.

Mikael started at a design studio and fell in love with what was possible with the internet and design but also became familiar with the challenges that happen when you are providing design as a service.

Claudio loves products that change that way we work, how we think and the way we live and is working to be a part of creating value through meaningful services.

Johnnie Hamn spends some time in the studio talking about his Insights, thoughts, and visions about successful design teams and client collaboration and what those things mean to him and how being a dream chaser can inspire others.

A look at the state of the digital nation and why, for the bold, great opportunity lies ahead.

Dann Petty shares what's meaningful and inspirational to him, and some of his latest perspectives on work and life.

Funsize's Tony Sanchez talks about his journey to becoming a digital product designer.

Our own Andre Jurgensen is in town for a client meeting. We talk to him about working remote and what life has been like since he moved earlier this year.

Exploring some thoughts around psychology when designing products.

A discussion around a recent blog article entitled State of the Digital Nation 2016 by Jules Ehrhardt.

Building teams, assessing how projects are run.

Aaron O'Hearn discusses his path to Funsize, and also the nature of selling design work to product companies.

Travis Swicegood, soon-to-be Director of Engineering at Conde Nast in Austin. Discusses his path from engineering to design and shares opinions about today's product teams and how they build.

Funsize recollects our experience at the non-conference.

Ben Johnson of Elegant Seagulls, a killer design studio in Marquette, MI tells us how he adds personality to design and draws inspiration from things outside the screen.

Discussion with Nick Robalik, and Johnnie Hamn about experience in NYC agencies and doing creative work for the video game industry.

Steven Ray, Designer & Chief Creative Officer at Dialexa a product design agency in Dallas, shares his experience building a product internally that had success and the affect of that on their team.

We asked a bunch of designers and builders the same 4 questions at our sxsw party.

Design is never done, but you still need to make design decisions. Dylan Seeger, musician and owner of Lovably, a web and branding agency in NYC, discusses his process and journey of becoming a business owner, from being a freelancer.

How much research do you need before you can make some design decisions?

Sam Kapila, Director of Instruction at The Iron Yard, discusses the many challenges faced by designers and engineers today, and how they can approach them.

"We don’t want clients to fall in love with our designs, we want them to fall in love with our logic." Thoughts with Tom Greever, Author of Articulating Design Decisions.

Ben Cline, founder and designer at renown agency Rally Interactive, talks about the importance of motion design in modern digital products.

Product design in 2016. Rick Messer and Anthony Armendariz talk about what the new year holds for Funsize.

What happens when a project is over? How do you maintain a relationship with a client?

Rick and Anthony discuss Funsize process.

Comparing the mindsets of designing experiences on and off screen.

Hustle is back with season 2. Anthony recaps his experience at Epicurrence, Rick shares about speaking at Adobe MAX. Online streaming music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music are compared in light of Rdio's recent announcement that they are shutting their service down after being acquired by Pandora.

So, you’re a great designer - but do you know how to listen, drive a conversation, and build consensus with your clients, company, or teams?

Peter Merholz joins Funsize to unpack the myth of the "User Experience Designer," and along the way we try to figure out on whom the responsibilities of optimizing a product's User Experience should fall. Later, Peter flips the script to find out how Funsize manages their strategic impact as a consultancy with client partners.

Joel Beukelman and Ted Boda stop by during SXSW Interactive 2015 to drink bourbon and talk with Funsize about their process designing in Keynote.

Cool design work on Dribbble or Behance that was unsolicited or never saw the light of day... Is it really respectable design? Is it praiseworthy? We discuss with Bradee Evans and Seth Shaw, product designers at photoshop.

Do you know your product and how to get exposure for it? Jordan Menashy, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of, sheds some light on what goes in to marketing a product and how to get started your self.

Phil Coffman has worked in almost every type of environment a designer might find themselves in. From agencies and studios to in-house at large companies, he's been a designer on a product team, and now, working from home at an online retailer with a distributed team.

In this episode, we get a unique view from his perspective about working with humility, discipline and honing your craft.

A look at how HomeAway does user testing and what it means to the product.

We talk with 2 of Funsize's PM's and what it's like to play the part of ambassador between designers and clients.

Adam Saint, Head of Product at, has a more holistic view of design and discusses his thoughts on the relation between what design really is, and the modern day “product designer”.

The design agency landscape is changing quickly and it's time to adapt.

How the InVision product team is organized to divide and conquer and drive the product.

Brian Griffey, Android developer from HomeAway & Jim Jordan, designer at Funsize and Android enthusiast explain Android L and what they like about it to Rick.

Anthony and Natalie share a story about working with David Blaine and why treating people with respect and fair pay is critical to long lasting impressions.

A special "one-on-one" with Stu Smith of Sputnik Creative and Funsize owner Anthony Armendariz. Stu and Anthony discuss the traits of a good relationship between a creative agency and a client.

Funsize product designers examine time tracking alternatives.

Cross-over episode with @thedirtshow in which we discuss the evolution of the designer/developer relationship.

Funsize discusses inspiration, getting in the flow and design tips.

Everything a product designer is considering when working on a product.

Pricing is a tricky subject. In episode 3, we discusses pricing models as well as our own approach. We also talk about things we've learned from some very smart people who are experts on the subject.

We wear a lot of hats as product designers. What does that job title entail? Where did it come from?

Introductions. Anthony and Natalie give their background story.