Workspaces - 210 - SJ Zhang

SJ Zhang is the Design Lead at Compound and also advises startups on design and hiring
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Good morning and welcome to another Sunday edition of Workspaces.
I'm thinking of adding a group of new questions to the Q/A rotation of these interviews. What sorts of questions would you like to see guests answer going forward?
Let's have some fun with it!
-Ryan (@rjgilbert)
SJ Zhang the Design Lead at Compound.
He has a very high bar for any object that I own. Before tech, he was in the business of building physical stuff, so he cares a lot about build quality and material honesty. He also cares about integrity of the makers and the culture surrounding the brands.
Since he gets asked often, he has decided to share some of the stuff that he owns or researched on his personal website here.
Tools (that I don't already have linked on my site):
  • LG 5K
  • Apple magic keyboard
  • Apple magic trackpad
  • Sonos one
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPad Pro
  • MBP 14
  • Dyson air purifier fan and humidifier
Software:
  • Arc
  • Superhuman
  • Texts.com
  • Cron
  • Things
  • Figma
  • Notion
  • VS Code
  • Pixelmator Pro
What is your favorite item in your workspace?
My 3 in 1 charger by Native Union. It keeps my phone up, facing me while being charged. I only bought it recently, and I wished I had bought it earlier.

I also love my chair and I think Haworth and Steelcase chairs should spend more energy marketing to consumers. My Haworth chair (Zody) was more comfortable than every Herman Miller chair I tried when I did my WFH shopping in 2020. But tech people seems to only look at Herman Millers. I later saw my chair in the 2010 film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps". They had a full conference room of it! I'm guessing everyone besides Herman Miller slept on marketing to consumers and got caught off guard by Covid.
How do you spark creativity?
By learning and doing research. For me, fresh ideas only come from having more knowledge and references to draw from.
How do you manage work-life balance?
I like to go hard when I'm in a flow state and rest when my flow state stops. When I have to control my rhythm, I rely on music to encourage getting into focus mode or relaxing.
Thanks for checking out another edition of Workspaces!
If you enjoyed this edition, please consider forwarding it to someone that you think would love it just as much!
-Ryan (@rjgilbert)
Loops, 9450 SW Gemini Dr PMB 22902 Beaverton, Oregon 97008-7105
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