New Kind is delighted to welcome Josh Mobley to our team as Director of Technology. Josh is a native of Johnston County, North Carolina. He graduated from NC State University with a degree in Visual Arts Applications, an interdisciplinary studies program within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Josh’s family consists of his wife Kim, a three-month old son named Jonathan, and their dog Parker. I had a chance to sit down with Josh recently and ask him a few questions during his first week at New Kind.
Do you consider yourself to be a “creative” person?
Yes, I believe I am a “creative” person. During my senior year in college I took a course where we analyzed the definition of creativity as viewed through the lens of successful creative people. One of my favorites from that exploration was Twyla Tharp, a dancer, choreographer, and author. Tharp presents an idea that creativity is as much of a process as an innate quality. In her book she states, “Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.” I continue to find her thoughts regarding the discipline of creativity encouraging and inspiring.
In the area of Digital Strategy, in what area do you consider yourself a specialist?
How do you see the field of web design changing?
Web design has transitioned from a separate discipline to simply a new medium used for creation, just as sketching or watercolors have been for years. Digital (web) design is a part of nearly every project. Secondly, the skills & knowledge that are required to continue to push the medium forward are increasing by the day due to the explosion of emerging technologies. It demands a desire for continuous learning and exploration.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
I would use the words ‘curious’, ‘intentional’, and even ’passionate’ at times, for better or worse.
What do mean by intentional?
I attempt to be committed to thinking through any idea, belief, or opinion that I either hold, or am being presented. I am constantly challenging my own ideas and perspective, in search of what I believe is the truth.
What would surprise me about you?
I have played the saxophone for 16 years.
Have you played in a band?
Yes, I have played in a variety of ensembles—everything ranging from classical French saxophone literature to jazz, funk, and rock and roll.
What is your favorite kind of music to play?
My favorite is jazz, and specifically jazz out of the 50’s and 60’s such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Charlie Parker, when I can cut it. Those guys were the giants of their craft.
What is your greatest passion?
My greatest passion is learning new things. As said earlier, I am a curious person.
What is your favorite quote from your favorite music artist?
I would say one of my favorite quotes is from Charlie Parker who said, “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.” I love the idea of using discipline and process to develop skill, but allowing spontaneity to present itself in amazing ways.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of the quality of people who I have been fortunate enough to call family, friends, and mentors.
Could you give an example or two of people who have made a difference in your life?
My wife Kim has done a lot to expand the way I look at the world. She challenges me every day. In respect to my career, I believe that Raleigh entrepreneur Heather Hesketh has had as great of an impact as anyone. She gave me a user-experience internship in college, when I had little to no skills and no meaningful experience. That job was my first real exposure to this industry, and a great one at that.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
My faith is a significant part of my life and constantly provides me with perspective and inspiration. Professionally, I get inspiration from witnessing the success of other people.
What defines success for you?
Ultimately, I think success equates to gaining new knowledge. You can fail by a wide range of metrics, but if you walk away with knowledge that’s going to lead to an improved outcome in the future, then you have obtained some level of success. You can’t knock the ball out of the park every time, but you can get on first base a lot of the time. Incremental wins add up.
You owned your own business for a short time. What did you learn from that experience?
I tried to place the value of producing quality work ahead of everything else. I believed that if we gained a reputation of doing good work, everything else would fall into place. That theory was reinforced and validated in a big way.
What do you hope to accomplish at NK?
My hope is to facilitate conversations about digital strategy with the New Kind team so that we can grow in that direction together. I believe that evolving our digital strategy will provide vast opportunities to better serve our clients.
With exception of two years when you were working in Washington, DC, you have lived in North Carolina and the Triangle area for your entire life. What has been the biggest change that you have seen in the state and the region?
It’s hard to ignore the explosive growth that we have seen over the past few years and with that growth comes new ways of thinking and increased diversity. As a child growing up in rural Johnston County, I could never have imagined that NC State would evolve into the research-enterprise that it is today. The thought that the New York Public Library would be looking to NC State for inspiration would have been unbelievable.
What are your hobbies?
Apart from music, my wife and I have recently started gardening. Everything didn’t die, so I mark it as it as a success. With a new baby, my hobbies are changing diapers and striving to be a great father and husband.
Thanks Josh! We’re excited that you have joined our team and particularly excited about adding your specialty in digital strategy to the New Kind portfolio of services for our clients.