Project Ara, Google’s new modular smartphone program, has lost its design lead. Dan Makoski, who was in charge of the overall design of the project, is departing google for greener pastures (pun intended, you’ll see why). Makoski was also instrumental in the design for the Moto X, which led the then-Google-owned Motorola back into smartphone prominence.
Makoski is taking a role at Capital One — yeah the credit company (now you get the pun). Makoski will be the VP of Design there, and says he’ll be building “a money team” for projects he can’t yet discuss. Makoski also mysteriously explains what we don’t get about his move:
1. there are few spaces as ripe for technology and human-inspired re-imagination as how people relate to their money,
2. Capital One has been steadily building a quiet but extraordinary design thinking, strategy and execution culture on top of its already legendary data analytics capability,
3. and when you stir the above and throw in the spark of vision & leadership:
Makoski also says he and his money team will be “focused on bold, breakthrough transformations that will help people connect with their finances in meaningful and delightful ways.” Our money is on some sort of mobile payment solution ala Square, but time will tell. For now, Makoski is forgoing free lunches and “subsidized massages” for a shot with Capital One. There has been no announcement from Google on who will succeed him in Mountain View.
Source: Dan Makoski