People Persist

A presentation at GIF London in in London, UK by Josh Silverman

Where I’ve worked

Where I’ve worked

We’re living in a time where design has never been more valued and technology accelerates ever faster. There are more companies at billion-dollar valuations than ever before. And yet, hustle culture hasn’t fully evolved, and startups are still moving so fast that a few things do get broken along the way. Before we reach a critical stage, let’s pay more attention to the stuff that persists – like people. This talk will show you how to diagnose and solve for the People Layer, including:

  • activities and resources to increase productivity and build empathy
  • proven methods for soliciting and providing feedback
  • the configuration of teams and optimization of team performance
  • relationship maps, personal user manuals – and more



The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • GIF London resources

    Design Fucking Thinking by Marc O’Brien

    Relationship maps author Michael Polivka

    User Manual of me, by Cassie Robinson

    Project Aristotle by Google

    Level Up, a framework for self-assessing team performance, by Designer Fund

    The cost of meetings 📅💸

    Clockwise, a tool for managing time

    Range, the startup building healthy workplace habits, and the Medium post that quoted its co-founder, Braden

    Meeting Design by Kevin M. Hoffman

    It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work by the co-founders of Basecamp

    Andrew Lightheart, an excellent coach and your neighbor up in Brum, author of Presentation Now

    Design Better, a series by InVision on team performance – including videos, workshops, conversations, and more