Sunday, February 24, 2008
Okay... so I left Apple and went to a new company. If you're a Java Posse listener, you got a bit of a scoop on where I landed. I am now the Director of User Experience at Navigenics. It might sound like a lofty title, but hey - it's a startup. Take all titles with a grain of salt when talking about a startup. In short, my job is to focus on the user experience of this relatively uncharted territory of personalized genetics.
Our company is still pretty stealth, so I can't say much about it... but it is really really cool, and frankly is a key part of the "new world" of genetic science. I learned a bit about genetics in high school - and bit more in college on my way to a degree in engineering physics. I am now surrounded by the smartest folks I've ever met, which are apparently the top folks in the genetics industry. This is going to be a wild ride and I am going to learn a lot in the process.
The simple description of our company is this: We receive a DNA sample from you, and use it to run your genome (DNA map). With this raw data, our scientists can determine what chances you have of developing several genetic conditions (diseases), and more importantly what you can do about it. The goal is to provide a prioritized action plan for you to proactively overcome whatever issues you may have in your cards. It's about responsibility for your health - leveraging the amazing new tools available to us only now.
Privacy is key. This is not a DNA Facebook. Your DNA information is perhaps the most private thing anyone can know about you - so it is for you alone. We take this very seriously, and we treat your DNA and the information within it with the highest medical respect that it deserves. This industry is too new to be regulated, but we're acting like it is very tightly regulated already - and working with the groups that will eventually define the regulation standards. We're looking to set the bar.
User interface is key. This is where I come in... :-) DNA information is extremely complex, and there really isn't any precedent for how it can be visualized in a meaningful way to regular people like you and me. Navigenics will make it very easy to understand what you need to know about your DNA, and more importantly understand what you should focus on.
A lot of other things are key - but I think I've said enough. I am really excited about this new challenge! By the way, we're hiring!