Today we have a wonderful "dual" interview of sorts. A couple days ago Chad Kohalyk approached me, to do an interview with him, and for him to do an interview with me. I was, obviously, very excited to do both, and he thought it would be a good idea to publish both at the same time. Chad is on Pacific Time while I am on Eastern Time, this is why we decided 2:30 PM EST, would be good for both parties. Chad works for Apple Canada and also runs a podcast called Lining Things Up!
Q. How/why/when did you get into design and the tech world?
A. I was late to the tech world, buying my first computer (a Fujitsu laptop) at age 23, while I was living in Japan. I started building websites at that time and as I learned about design I became enamoured with Apple's products and made the switch. Within six months I had a 17" lampshade iMac, a 12" Powerbook and a 30GB clickwheel iPod. I was a full convert. A few years later, I joined the company.
Q. What computer do you use and why?
A. I have a 24" iMac maxxed out that I use as my photo and data homebase. I wanted something big and powerful to edit video on. Though nowadays I spend most of my time writing and coding on my second gen 13" MacBook Air. Since I travel back and forth to Japan I carry a SIM-free iPhone 4 (waiting for the iPhone 5). Lastly, I use my wife's iPad to read, watch movies and browse the web.
Q. Out of all the product released at WWDC, which is your favorite and why?
A. Well, it wasn't at WWDC, but my favourite product release by far was the 2007 iPhone release. Watching Steve unveil the iPhone brings a tear to my eye even today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uW-E496FXg). Just amazing, masterful presentation. And being in Japan at the time, I couldn't even get my hands on an iPhone until the 3G a year later.
Q. What is it like working for Apple?
A. I have worked for Apple for 5 years in Japan and Canada and it has been an amazing experience. The company has evolved a lot over the years (that is just how Apple is), and it has helped me to evolve as well. One thing that struck me once I joined Apple was how much the company values leadership, even at the lowest levels. Apple isn't structured like a traditional hierarchical organization — it is more like an amoeba. Taking the initiative, taking ownership and showing leadership can get you far, not just in the company but also in life. Ask questions. Don't let your assumptions hold you back. Make things. Connect to people. Considering how well you are doing at age 13, I think you have already learned this lesson (about 15 years before I did)!
Q. Why did you start Lining Things Up?
A. I became involved in the startup community in Vancouver because I wanted to talk to people who have been successful building things and learn from them. Soon it struck me that there are many people like me who are interested in what it takes to start a company. So, rather than just having one-on-ones with these entrepreneurs, I decided to record and publish them for the good of the community. I hope that these success stories will inspire other young people to start their own thing.
Chad is one lucky dude being able to be involved with Apple! You should all go and check out his interview with me here.
Here is Chad's desktop, you can buy it here.