David Lai

David Lai

I think being connected to what is going on around me culturally is really important. There are so many things that inspire me, from film to music to art. I'm a curious person so I'm always interested in experiencing new things. I love going to museums, mom and pop shops, and restaurants that are all about creating wonderful experiences.

We live in a really exciting time with design, technology, and business all converging, and all of those things influence my work. I believe in asking the 'why' before getting to the 'what' and the 'how'. For me, conceptual thinking is really important. The ability to go from research to insight to concept is not always a straight or obvious path. Often it's about connecting dots that don't seem to connect at all, but when they do it's really exciting and the solution almost seems obvious. I think to do good work, you really have to understand first. It's not just about the surface.

I am most inspired by our clients and what they do. From day one, we have chosen to work with diverse and interesting clients, and once I'm immersed in their world, there is so much that keeps me thinking late at night. In a way, I sometimes feel like I get to work at many different companies at once and it really keeps me energized to be part of all these different teams vs. just working at one company.

I also love books. Even though I work in a digital world, there is something that I love about being able to hold a physical book. They can be works of art in themselves and that can't be easily replaced. There is obviously so much you can learn from books and if there's anything I think is really important to invest in, it's books. Whenever I travel, one of my favorite places to visit is the bookstore. I also love magazines, they are very timely and again I love to read. It's the best way to get a sense of what is happening, to understand what is relevant at this moment.

I'm also an avid cyclist. Getting out on the road really does influence my work. Ever since I was young, there's something that happens when you work on a problem in the back of your head away from the day-to-day work. It's about focus and often it's hard to focus when there is so much in front of you. I think once I get away from the everyday distractions and get into the rhythm of riding somewhere, my mind starts to wander. I think it's through this process that I come up with some of my best ideas.

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