Sean Sperte

Sean Sperte

Currently looking for a new role, I’m a designer with 20 years experience in products, media, and marketing.

My experience

My professional career began as a teenager in 1995 with my first job designing yellow page advertisements for local businesses. Prior to that I’d dabbled with some graphic design as a hobby and had won a few logo design competitions.

For almost 12 years I helped lead digital and media productions at The City Church, where I launched several award-winning websites and campaigns, the most notable being “Jesus Is __”, which was nationally recognized and inspired dozens of lookalike projects and installations.

During that time I also co-founded a side business called Sky Balloon with two friends. We developed iPhone apps in our spare time to hone our skills. We worked on over a dozen apps and shipped five. Our most popular app (with over 300k downloads) was a quick-launch video camera called Capture, which was featured on CNN, CNET, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Wired, and dozens of smaller publications and blogs.

In 2011, I left my career at the church to help start Tagboard, a social media software company. After creating the brand, I helped lead the product team to build, deliver, and manage the whole of Tagboard’s product offering, and then transitioned to a more central role in the company as Chief of Staff.

What I know and do

My core competencies are software design, user experience design, and product management. I’m fluent with most design tools (Photoshop, Sketch, typography, color, etc.) and can pick up and start using modern software with ease. Lately, my preferred tools have been words (written and verbal) and whiteboards.

Because of my experience path, I sometimes feel I lack some tactical skills common to trained managers. I make up for it with technical knowledge and intuition. I know how to code HTML and CSS (including SASS and LESS), and can at least do some damage with JavaScript. (I also git and grunt and all that.)

I enjoy coaching and leading (through serving) others. My leadership style and approach is summarized with three P’s:

  1. Protect from danger – make sure the team is safe (not necessarily comfortable)
  2. Prepare for the future – cast vision, equip, empower/enable, etc.
  3. Push for greatness – constantly encourage more, better, and farther

I try and apply creativity and innovation in everything I do. I rarely allow the status quo. And I try to guide those around me towards new approaches and ideas.

I’m also good at distilling broad and complex concepts into digestible pieces. I’ve been told I’m a good technobabble translator. I just try to get and be real.

About me

My last name is pronounced “spur-tee” (but I don’t mind if it’s mispronounced). It’s French, but I’m actually French-Irish-Jewish — a mutt of nationalities, really.

I’m 36 years-old, happily married, and have four awesome kids. I love my family.

I was born and raised in Colorado and moved around a lot during my formative years, finally landing in Seattle, Washington in 1998. I’ve been here ever since.

I love Disneyland.

My philosophy

A rule that plays out through both my design acumen and leadership is “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. I have a strong bias towards being intentional or purpose-driven. I believe as a creative professional I have a moral responsibility for what I put out into the world. In other words, I’m not in it for the paycheck.

With me, what you see is what you get. I believe in extreme candor and authenticity. While I’m always careful to guard against inappropriate sharing of information, I default to transparency. I think the foundation of good teamwork is vulnerability, and I strive to get and remain vulnerable.

I believe in diversity, and I believe diverse teams perform better. I’m a strong defender and proponent for females and minorities. I’m passionate about changing the current state of the technology industry in this regard. We can do better… and I want to help.

More and elsewhere