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5 for 5 with Dan Rose

It’s hard to remember our studio days before Dan. In his five years he’s brought to us so much knowledge, creativity, expertise, and most importantly, fun. So fitting is his May 5th start date anniversary (a true taco lover’s dream), that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to press him on matters professional, personal, and culinary.

Dan standing on his deck holding a customized growler

It’s quite amazing that it’s been five years. It’s shocking how fast time goes. So… we’ve had a lot of contributions from the team for questions, so there are some good ones.


But, we only have room for five, so I’m going to start in no particular order. You’re such a big part of our team, instrumental in so many areas. We were curious if you could describe yourself in five words.

Yeah, that’s tough. Wow, without listing adjectives—I feel like that’s the thing I don’t want to do.

It doesn’t have to be adjectives; it could be just five words, any words. Or a sentence fragment.

Oh, wow. Okay. Now I finally understand how Tom was, when I was asking him questions and he’s like, “Hold on, I need time to think!”

This is a good format though, it’s a good challenge to try to be concise. Let’s see. Five words. Probably…enthusiastic, is one of those five words.

It’s a good challenge to try to be concise.

Dan Rose

Excellent, that is absolutely one.

I feel like that’s right on target. Oh boy. Wow, this is really hard…

I don’t think the intent was that you fully sum up yourself in five words. Maybe if you could use five words that would describe you, that might be a better way to say it.

Okay. Enthusiastic, driven, optimistic. Committed or faithful, I guess.

Very good!

Is it, though? What’s a word for paying attention to detail? Something like that. Detailed?


Yeah, detail-oriented. Sure, okay. That wasn’t as much of a softball as maybe you thought it would be. I think those are five. Did I get the five (laughing)?

Yup, you got it.

I promise more articulation from here on out. (laughs)

No, this is super hard. I’m glad I’m not on the receiving end of this yet. Poor Tom—he had to go first.

Okay, so this one hopefully we can have a little fun with. So right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Where is the first place you want to go when it’s over?

Thank you for that question. And if it’s only one, oh wow. I mean, honestly, it’s gonna sound a little hokey, but definitely back to the studio. Only because it represents more than just like, “Oh, you get to go back to work, you get to have routine, and a sense of sanity back.”

…and good lunches, and coffee, and chai (laughing)…

…and all that comes with it. So by virtue of that, it’s like, yeah, Otro Cinco! And all that stuff again. But back to being downtown for six, seven, eight hours a day is definitely helpful. So that’s what’s front-of-mind for me.

Awesome. Okay, so this one we’ll give you a moment to think about: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Wow. And this is a general question, not as it pertains to design or something?

In general, but I guess you could angle it towards design.

I think something that would make maybe more of an impact in a lot of areas is just to be as thorough as possible with investigating anything—any type of life choice.

There’s a school of thought about not overthinking things and diving in and just going for whatever is in front of you. I think if I look back, I’ve probably done an adequate amount of thinking—maybe not overthinking—about stuff. But especially when it comes to career, just having a plan in mind or talking to as many people as you can about their experiences and trying to get as much information as you can before you make a decision. It’s not that I have any regrets, necessarily, just I think you can go into those experiences with a little bit more behind your decision.

For instance, buying a house: you kind of have baseline knowledge about what it takes to buy a house or what’s involved with owning a house, but to know a little bit more than I did, maybe I would have a little bit more more momentum or less things to fix, seven years in—that kind of thing.

Yeah, I think that’s really good advice—in both life and career.

This one definitely has more to do with the design end of things: What design trend from five or more years ago do you miss, and which one are you relieved is not coming back?

The design trend that I wish was coming back was an eye towards skeuomorphism. I feel like the web was pretty fun when people were trying to make things look realistic and kind of like faux-realistic. I kind of miss that, and there’s some character that’s not there today because of that, I feel.

What’s the one that you’re glad is not coming back?

The one that probably precedes skeuomorphism a little bit…right before then, the bubbly Web 2.0 stuff that was like glossy buttons and thicker graphics. I feel like that stuff was maybe necessary to the next trend after that, but it was just too over-the-top. Definitely, I could do without that coming back full circle.

Well, we’re on the last question, so you’re doing pretty good! We were held up a little bit on number one, but we breezed through the rest.

So this is a really, really hard one for you. Which would you rather give up: tacos or chai?

Okay, wow. I want to answer this with as much tact as this question deserves. If it had to be one, it would be chai. It really would. Let’s start by laying down my platform for tacos. I think tacos are so versatile. There’s so many different kinds of tacos you can make, so many different ways you can spin it. The versatility of tacos is inherent to what a taco is. I feel like that is a major disadvantage for chai. There’s really only one core way that you can have chai. There’s maybe some ways you could remix it, between hot, or iced, or different flavors that you’re mixing in there, to maybe give you a change of pace. But it doesn’t have anywhere near the versatility that tacos have. So that would be my first demerit to chai, and probably something that wouldn’t really help the case here.

The other thing is, while there are certainly other foods you can eat besides tacos, I feel like there’s more viable choices for me to have a warm, caffeinated drink than chai. There’s different kinds of teas, I’ve already dabbled in that. I’m not considering coffee as an alternative, but certainly, if push came to shove and I had to, sure. I think there’s more viable alternatives—certainly hot chocolate—with chai than with tacos. Because you take tacos out of the picture, and that’s like a core tenet of Mexican cuisine. Now, what? We just have burritos and other enchiladas? It’s almost like you’d be begging for something as simple as a taco.

So yeah, I think the contest is pretty close in some ways, but I think I can confidently arrive at tacos being the thing that I couldn’t do without. Had you asked me tacos versus ice cream, then we would probably be on a 40-minute kick.

I think I can confidently arrive at tacos being the thing that I couldn’t do without.

Dan Rose

I was thinking of that (laughing)! So that was an easy choice for you, then. And you gave some good rationale.

And I don’t think I waver on that. I can’t imagine a scenario where I’m even drinking a chai at the moment, and I say, this is far superior than being able to eat a taco.

I think you’re also proving how much consideration you give to our design projects, if it’s even half as much consideration as you gave to this question.

Clearly, I have not thought about this before.

Awesome. Well, I think we have what we need.

Well, those were fantastic questions, thanks for asking them.

It should lead to some interesting quotes!

Get ready for your time, Maribeth. I guess we have to ask you 10 questions when it comes time for your anniversary! (laughs)