November 2012

Do Things That Don't Scale


Last month, I wrote about learning by doing, a principle we use in our daily quest to be the world's best at product design.  Learning is a huge component of each day at ZURB. Focusing on the "doing" speeds up the learning process. But, in order to learn like this, our teams also need to work on projects that don't necessarily provide foreseeable revenue.

At ZURB, we're always working on a few projects that don't have clear commercial value. That's not to say the ideas aren't aligned with our mission of helping people design for people. It's just that we're not always focused on solving the business side of the problem. We look for ideas that will create a spark whether or not we think they'll be a huge hit.

Which is why what Airbnb's Joe Gebbia said at his recent ZURBsoapbox resonated so deeply with us. In a nutshell, he said you have to give yourself permission to do things that don't scale. And that's what we've done and will continue to do.

When we started Foundation, we built the framework for ourselves to make it easier on the team to create consistent, solid front-end code. As it has matured, the framework evolved into a responsive solution that serves a huge global audience. Our product design tools were built the same way by building prototypes to solve our own problems. Today, we have a suite and nine free apps. The same could be said of our Soapbox events, which started with a few previous friends sharing their knowledge.

As you start thinking about projects and opportunities for next year, create something that doesn't scale!  It might just become the next big thing.  Now, on to the news ...

Introducing Responsive Email Templates

With more people using their phones to read their emails, we knew there had to be an easier way to ensure campaigns worked on any device. That's why we recently made our own campaigns responsive. Which had a lot of folks asking if we could do the same for them. So we did.

Get the Responsive Email Templates →

Get Test Results in Solidify

We know that it's not always possible to have user testers come to the office. Which is why we've now made it possible to purchase test results in Solidify. Our network of Enroll testers stand ready to give you feedback on your prototypes.

Sign Up for Solidify →

Additional Language Support for Verify

Our friends at have made it possible for us to offer our Verify test directions in other languages, such as Russian, Italian, Chinese, Polish, Arabic and Japanese. We want to thank for providing the translations and helping us meet the needs of our users across the globe.

Sign Up for Verify →

Great Insights from Our ZURBsoapboxes

We've been very fortunate lately to have a spectacular caliber of entrepreneurs get on their soapboxes. Airbnb's Joe Gebbia told us about doing things that don't scale, while Sahil Lavingia talked about designing Pinterest. Twilio's Jeff Lawson shared why a company is also a product.

Get More Insights from Our Previous Soapbox →

Wanted: Product Designer for Ancestry

Our friends over at are looking for an exceptional product designer to help them create awesome new features and products. They're looking for an individual who has a strong desire to help others discover their family history.

Check out their ZURB Job board Listing →

We're Hiring

We're currently looking for an awesome Designer to join our quest for world domination and help us build great things. While what we need is always changing, it's our philosophy to hire people, not roles. Think you've got the chops?

Read More About the Designer's Job →

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