In this episode of UX Leadership By Design, we explore design leadership and entrepreneurship with Cameron Ridenour, Chief Design Officer of CoNote. Cameron brings listeners into the process of novel product design – highlighting the intricate journey of aligning user requirements with a company’s strategic goals. Mark and Cameron discuss transitioning from traditional design roles to co-founders and product leaders.
This is a great episode for UX Design leaders interested in strategies for harmonizing often conflicting aspects of product development. Through practical, real-world examples, listeners gain an understanding of how to maintain a clear and consistent product design direction, even when faced with varying user feedback or short-term opportunities from stakeholders.
- Non-Traditional Paths to Design Leadership
- The Evolution of UX Research Tools
- Balancing User-Centric Design with Commercial Viability
- The Role of UX in Product Development at Startups
- Managing Technical Debt in UX Design
- User-Centered Design Across Different Mediums
- Building a Cohesive Design Team
- UX Leadership and Positive Team Culture
- AI in UX: Enhancing Research and Synthesis
- Tools and Strategies for Effective Research Synthesis
About Our Guest
Cameron Ridenour is currently Chief Design Officer of CoNote (www.conote.ai), an innovative research tool. Through his leadership and guidance, he is involved in every aspect of the design process from UI/UX to marketing. In the past, he’s led product design used by financial institutions as well as executed and designed multi-channel marketing campaigns across many different mediums. Beyond his background in graphic design, he is also passionate about listening to and creating music.
Resources & Links
Mark Baldino: Hello and welcome to UX Leadership by Design, the podcast by and for UX design leaders. Your host, Mark Baldino:. This podcast is and always will be brought to you by Fuzzy Math, the user experience design consultancy that brings consumer grade design to the UX. At Fuzzy Math, we love partnering with nascent and growing sort of design teams to ensure they have the right people in the right seats supplying the right process. So if you're in need of a partner on your design team, please feel free to reach out. Today we are talking to Cam Ridenour. Cam's the co-founder and Chief Design Officer of CoNote, which is a design research synthesis tool. You can find it at CoNote.ai. Very cool tool. The target users are you folks who are listening to this podcast, design leaders and people looking for ways to stream design some of their design research processes. So please go check it out. And on the call today, you know, Cam takes us through his, you know, sort of non-traditional path into the design world. And actually for gamma non-traditional path into leading a software company and becoming a co-founder and a chief design officer. It's just a really interesting journey. And I think just a ton of like positive vibes and encouragement along the way. And I think in this day and age, we all need lots of positive vibes and encouragement. So please give it a listen and enjoy and thanks. Mark Baldino: Cameron, how are you? Cameron Ridenour: Doing great, how are you doing? Mark Baldino: I am doing well. Thank you very, very much for joining us on the podcast. I think I checked this before. Cam, Cameron's is all good. It doesn't matter from a name perspective. Cameron Ridenour: Either is fine. Yeah. Mark Baldino: All right. All right. Perfect. Well, thanks for joining me on the podcast. Super excited for our conversation. I know you have a really interesting background kind of into design, into UX, and then in kind of your current role as a co-founder and chief design officer of a startup. I want to get into all of those details, but can you give the audience just a sense of your background? What's the history been over the past several years to, you know, to where you are now? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, and also for I'd answer that question. Yeah, like thank you also for having me on yeah, pleasure. Um Yeah, it's been It's been quite the journey just overall. I know like, you know, it started way back in Like 2010 no, sorry in 2006. Yeah, so um. It was let me back up a second. I'm a graphic designer by the trade. Let me say that first. Mark Baldino: By trade. Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, like that makes sense. So my career has been mostly marketing and advertising, doing graphic design work across all types of different mediums and things like that. But yeah, it all started back then when I went to college. At the time, of course, I think many people, they don't really know what they wanna do. I think they have an idea. At one time I was gonna be a doctor and that was my thing. But it wasn't for me. So going to... Like going to the college, you know, to like figure out what I'm going to do. I was just like, I don't know. I like video games, I guess. Maybe I'll do that. And then like going through the tour, they were just like, oh, well, that's graphic design, which of course that is not what that is at all. But I was just like, sure. Sounds great. Sign me up. Thankfully through, I feel like this has been like a part of my career and just life in general, where everything just kind of works out thankfully like that, where I ended up being meant to do this anyways, as I realized later, like when I was in grade school, I would draw and sketch literally ads, you know, like when Tony Hawk's Pro Skater came out, like all the skateboard magazines, I would like, I would like copy and be like, all right, I guess I'm gonna design my own shoe ad. And I would like have my notebook where it'd be like my magazine. Mark Baldino: So not even traditional art, what I would kind of, more traditional art, this is actually like kind of like marketing and advertising. You were doing art that was around like almost product placement. Fascinating. Yeah. Cameron Ridenour: Right. Yeah. Because like I was getting like video game magazines and like the art within like Game Informer and PlayStation magazine and like Skateboard Magazines and like the way that they, you know, put their ads together, which at the time I think was revolutionary. Like no one was putting ads together like that during that time period. Um, what spoke to me clearly I was like copying it. Um, so yeah, so I ended up, you know, I majored in art. So I have an art degree, concentration in graphic design. So like just honed my art skills in that learned minor in art So just grew, you know, was able to grow my love for art and grow with my understanding of what that could even be at my college was Anderson University, I'm in Anderson, South Carolina was where I went. And then from there, I got a job at a small agency called Duo in Greenville, South Carolina, worked there for a couple of years, just like the typical junior. Or entry level designer stuff, doing social media ads, emails, you know, making mistakes, doing terrible ideas, making, you know, as it goes. Then from there I moved on and went in-house and was doing, it was for Delta Apparel. They own Salt Life, which would be the big one that a lot of people would know, and Sophie. So if you're familiar with Sophie shorts, where like the cheerleader shorts where you roll the tops over. So they own them. So we ended up doing website stuff, work for them, social media stuff, email design. And always leading up to this point too, up until then, right? Like website design was something that like, I was taught that. I enjoyed it. I really liked it. I liked that more than the other things. It was just the interactivity that comes along with that and the digital component, which I think also comes my like. My love and passion for that definitely comes from playing video games. I've seen, there's no telling how many you wise I've seen now in my life. But, um, so I think like, you know, the beginning of not really knowing what UI or UX, you know, was at the time really, I think it was pretty early, you know, like we knew that, you know, like I remember that, that book, uh, Don't Make Me Think, which is very much just like about, you know, all of those patterns and user experience and building that right interface, making the right choices for what you're trying to get the user to do. So I really started to hone my skills on that, but not knowing that I was essentially doing UI, UX work in a sense. So going from there, then I moved on to another agency here in DC. I'd been there for like five years, I was there, and then that was just all kinds of stuff. And that was when my career definitely took off, where I was doing a lot of... I started to manage a team, a design team there at a certain point. I was a director. We worked on same stuff, website stuff, all the way to social media, like all the marketing, all the print ads, bus ads. And we also worked on an environmental design for ACLU. It was for their 100 year, it was a tour. So it went from LA all the way across the country. New York City where they're headquartered. So that was quite the experience trying to get all of that together, all the components for that. And then also I've never done environmental design. So then I'm also having to think and take everything that I've learned about even at that point, I haven't taken any UX classes, like specifically, right? But I just know, if I'm someone and I'm walking through this, like what is it that I want them to feel? What is it that I want them to see? How does this need to... If they touch it, what's the texture, the textile nature of it, which is definitely a way that I approach everything that I design. That was how I was taught at my university. Very much to think about the user. Mark Baldino: Like the user, what's their response to this? I mean, you're thinking about like print design or advertisements, marketing design. I mean, it's, as you said, it's very different from experiential, but you still are able to draw a thread between those two? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, I think that it's, that was like the greatest thing that I believe I was taught there in the way that they structure things. It was very much, I mean, you know, my professors are amazing. I still keep up with a couple of them to this day. Everything that they… it was always based on the user, no matter what it was. So that's the kind of philosophy that I've always taken with me, no matter what it is. And then into my role now from that into where I am doing specifically UIUX work for our product, Cono. It's always about the user. It doesn't matter what it is. It could be, it's anything, right? To me, everything is art. Doesn't matter what it is. It's designed for a purpose. Could be functional, could not be functional, right? But that's the point. Like that's like, that's all a part of it. It's always for someone and you should always be doing some type of research to figure out, right? Like, why is this not working? Why is this working, right? What can I do to expand on that? And we're very much just taught that. No matter what it is. Mark Baldino: So even in, as you mentioned, if I'm doing a marketing piece, if I'm doing a promotional piece in sort of the advertising space, if I'm designing something that's actually experiential, like to work for the ACLU, or what you're working on now, which is a tool. And I'd love to get into that in a minute, kind of what CoNote is up to, because its audience is the same audience as the podcast. It's sort of buy in for UX designers. That's really, really cool. But that sort of common thread of being user centered, user focused in terms of a design approach is common amongst those. Because I do think there's people who think of fine art, maybe consider less about the user. It's sometimes more about the artist. Now it can be very experiential, but some people sort of separate those two and they think like a fine art or marketing is really about selling, right? I'm trying to, there's an advertising component to this. I'm trying to sell a product. And then I think UX designers get very protective of their space. No, no, products are where did we design digital products or experiential products, but we're very different from the marketing folks were very different from fine arts. Like people like to draw lines in their work. I think sometimes cause it makes it feel comfortable. I kind of, I can own this or I'm part of this, but like, but you seem to have both you've experienced across a bunch of these mediums and verticals. And it sounds like you're able to still maintain kind of a user centered focus. Am I getting that right? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, yeah, I think so. And even to me with like bringing in like fine art and to me those lines are almost either it's like blurred or non-existent to me because like even when I am, like if you're designing a product, right? At the end of the day, like someone's gotta buy it. Like it has to be marketable, like it has to be usable, right? If it's not usable, then it's not marketable, right? Like to me, that stuff goes like hand in hand, especially like with that. And like, how do you walk a user through the process to like get them to like love it, right? To make them want to buy it. Like I, that's like to me, all of this stuff is really important and it's just like interconnected. Yeah, like fine art definitely is one of those things, but then once you release it out in the world, you could argue that at that point, right? The meaning, it does, it leaves the intention is now with everyone else. That's how you get things being misinterpreted, like Fight Club or American Psycho, as movies. But... Mark Baldino: Yeah, right, right. Can you tell me more about what you might miss if you do create a separation between the functionality of a product and actually not focused on that translation between I love using this, I'm willing to pay for it? Like some people will separate those, and they're really just focused on the user as they're using it, but they're not thinking about how to create a following for it, how to create. You know, intense sort of like passion for it and actually how that translates to the commercial aspects of it. And I know in your role as co-founder and chief design officer, you have to balance all of those. So what happens when people sort of separate those out and just think about the user or maybe just think about the financial components? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, I mean, I think that it's it starts to suffer in one way or another. It's like I mean, that's it's such a hard balance to strike to within those to get it right, which, you know, I mean, that's the whole like the iterative process where you're like, oh, it's never perfect. Right. But like. The this is like a tough question to answer is this like a it just feels like it's more nebulous. It's just like, it's hard. Like I'm trying to like find exactly how to, how to answer it. Mark Baldino: Yeah. Well, what advice would you give a designer who tells you that they shouldn't be worried about the commercial aspects and whether somebody wants to buy it? They really want to focus on the usability of the product and they're not concerned about marketing, advertising. Maybe some folks who are listening fall into that camp and feel really strongly about it. Maybe there's not a lot of people out there, but I do think some people get kind of be black and white in their thinking. But like what suffers or what advice would you give if somebody's like, no, I just really want to focus on the usability of this product. I don't care if somebody wants to pay for it. Cameron Ridenour: I think that if that's your purpose, I mean, that's like getting at, you know, like, yeah, if you don't care that anyone, like that you wanna sell it or want anyone to buy it, then that's one thing, right? If you only wanna focus on that. But at the same time, it's just, how do you... I mean, it's just like the difference between making something that you want to just give away for free, I guess, and something that you want to try and make revenue from. Like neither is right or wrong. I think that both need to be viable. If it's a good product, truly good product, right, that you're trying to build, you want it to be commercially viable, right? I would want people to use it. Like I want people to like, right in the, in an ideal world, like sure, we all would love to give away all this stuff for free. But, um, yeah, I, I think that it's, yeah, that's why I think I'm like, I'm, I'm having a little trouble. Like it's not, I'm having trouble answering it. It's just that if your intention is to just, is the only focus on the user and you're not concerned with, I'm not saying that can't work. It could work. If you're building the best product, you know, available. But, you know, I think that when you're working on a team, once it gets to a certain amount, like the separate teams, like sales needs, they need stuff to do their job. Like stakeholders need what they need to do their job. And if you're only focused on doing what you think is best for the user only and not like including everyone, like you're pushing everyone else out, right? And then they're not able to do like their jobs and what they need. Because at the same time, some like users go to the sales and they tell them things, right? Sales here stuff that they then try to relay to you know, UX designers, UI designers, and a lot of times they're just like, well, you don't know. Like, that's just different. How are you know, like, you're like, I need more data points, right? When it needs to just be like a cohesive unit together. So I think in that sense, it does make sense, right? Mark Baldino: Yeah. And I think the problem, no, I was going to say, I think the problem, I'm going to guess the problem. I haven't, I mean, I run a business now, but it's a consultancy. It's very different than kind of running a software company like you are, but the problem and a startup, like those problems are really acute, right? Like your teams probably not, I'll say this. I think a lot of people work at organizations where there is a big enough team that there can be separation kind of between sales and marketing and business and design and development. Maybe shouldn't be, but people are in their different spaces and there's almost, there's key translators. There's people who translate the message from sales and business down to product and product to design and product to engineering and design to engineering. And there tend to be a few sort of key translators, but when, at least they understand about your business, now it's a little bit smaller. Like you don't have those folks. So I think, and I'd love to hear, like, you need people who work on your team that are probably wearing a lot of hats, and they do have to think about, yes, this is a great feature, but are we going to make money? Or we could design it this way, but does that make it more desirable from a financial perspective? I don't know if I'm describing the problem exactly correctly, but like, what are some of those balances or trade-offs that specifically in a startup, in a software startup, that your design team, your business, like sales team, marketing team, what are some of the trade-offs you all are thinking through as you're building out your product? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, I think a lot of it is, especially now, it's like getting the product to where we want it to be, like what our version of V1 is, and minimizing technical debt as much as possible, because we have an assumption, right? It's always just like hypothesis-based, but like we think that this will work, right? And then we'll get like customers. So as we move along, we make small incremental adjustments, but we keep like our North star. We're like, but overall, this is where we're going. And right now it's like, we can't deviate into like a hard left turn because like, you know, we talked to seven people and three of them said, you know, whatever. And then like, we can't just like turn for three people. Right. So yeah, I think it's just we. It's making sure that we are always aligned and we do check-ins to make sure that we're aligned right. Like this is where we're going, you know, like, because we'll come up and think of like really cool features that like we want to add, but then it's just, we should do that. Like that'd be so cool. And it's just like, well, let's pump the brakes a little bit. Right. It was like, we need to get to, we need to build the foundation of where we're going, because I designed it when I put it all together and designed it with that in mind, right? The layout and the navigation is the way that it is because I know that we're gonna be adding stuff to it over time. So it's planning ahead as much as possible, but while also being honest with ourselves that we will have to just completely uproot some things and just like, this just doesn't work. We tried it, we've interviewed for it at the time. It seemed like it was going to, but it's not. But we're just, move fast break stuff, just like get it out there. Mark Baldino: Okay. Yeah. I mean, maybe now is a good time. I'd love for you to give folks just a little bit of a background on the product, why you guys started, you know, the company. I think it's about a year old to sort of to build it. And I don't know if it aligns with the North Star, but you mentioned that. I think it's a really interesting point for people as designers and design leaders. Like, yeah, we could vary back and forth, but there's a North Star we're pointing towards and we're going to bring, only in a very little bit, we're going to kind of bring it towards that North Star. Cameron Ridenour: Yeah. Mark Baldino: I don't know if you could share that North Star with the team, but we'd just love to understand like, you know, how did the product come about? What are you guys up to? What are you doing at CoNote? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, absolutely, I can share that. So at CoNote, we are a product that's focused on the UX designer, UX researcher, just to get through the very painful part of research, which is going back in. Going through all those user interviews after you've already taken them right to find all those common threads, like, okay, this person said this, this person said that, like, how are these linked? How do I write, you know, like the whole thing with the sticky notes, like all over, you're like trying to move everything around, bring it all together. Yes, that's what the logo is based on. That and finding the diamond in the rough. Mark Baldino: Yup. Cameron Ridenour: So it's about that. And that's our North Star is about what can we do to make that process easier? Not concerned with taking your process or like the general UX process and just making it digital, right? A lot, everybody's, there's a bunch of people already doing that. I think that the next thing is like, what can we do to just make that entire process a lot easier and sure, like give you the like tools that you need to, you know, go from there, but like what... Like what's the next evolution of what UX research is? Can be, right? So, and of course, right, we are using AI, but within that, what it does is it takes all of your user interviews, it transcribes them for you, and then the AI engine goes through and finds all those common threads, all those like commonalities between every interview and then brings it together for you. Our next release, It's really exciting. It's action items. So it comes in and it tells you a list of five things. It's like, this is what we heard from this. Go in, do, let's see, one of those from ones that I just saw the other day, testing it. So yeah, we also run our interviews through it. We use it for our own stuff. Yeah. Mark Baldino: I was going to say, so you're doing the eat your own dog, eat your own dog food. You're doing interviews. A full disclosure, folks who are listening, I actually was part of a user interview. I only had 30 minutes, but talked to one of your researchers. You're then taking my data or the other folks' data and running it through your platform as a way to test it out and probably improve it. Cameron Ridenour: Absolutely. Yes. Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, yeah, it's all self contained within our own workspace. Yeah. So like what we do is we take right. So like we're using it and then we our researcher is giving us feedback. So we're getting feedback from ourselves, like with me using it. I get annoyed by things that I design. I'm just like, I got to change that. Like the unforeseen circumstances. But yes, it gives you action items like very actionable, like this, like improve the UI in this section or like talk more about. Mark Baldino: Yeah. Cameron Ridenour:( I'm trying to remember the exact things that said, but I'm doing it a disservice right now. Look at me. Mark Baldino: No, that's OK. That's OK. I'm putting you on the spot. Is there an example you can share of things you all that is kind of a weird meta question? And so say no if there's not an example. You're just talking about there being a North Star, and you're trying to guide your team on that North Star for the product, right? You think, your team believes, these are the things that are going to make the product the most successful, both from a user perspective and from a business perspective. Actually being able to sell the product. And maybe you found some stuff, you heard it from three people, or there was an instance. Was there anything that like your tool came back with or a recommendation or a finding, and it was like, it didn't actually line up with that North Star, because I think you're describing a very acute problem for designers and design researchers, which is like, yeah, we kind of understand what the business wants, we maybe understand what the North Star is. We know what's gonna make this product successful from a financial perspective. We talk to these people, they kind of told us something differently. They really want it. Hey, if you don't integrate with Miro, we're not using it. Like that sort of stuff. And I think that could really like, teams can get totally unfocused and they can really, they've done research so they feel strongly in talking to users, but it also kind of can at times be a distraction. Are there any examples that you've seen in the development of the product where it's like, the team kind of wanted to go a little bit sideways and you had to steer them back? Cameron Ridenour: Yes. Yeah. Yeah, it's literally a similar example to what you just said. It wasn't exactly Miro, but it's like other things, right? Because we're in the mode now, like we were a startup, right? We want users, we want people to use it, we want people to buy it, right? So it's, you know, well, this user said that if we had this, then they'll do it. This user said if we had this, then they'll do it, right? It's just.It's hard to you can't just like go wherever that is. It's just like you have to stay on the path. It's just like. Because that happens all the time. My previous job before this one, we were building a product and it was a lot of that kind of thing where like a stakeholder would come in a lot and be like, well, this person says if we do this, then. They'll buy it and then we would shift and then we would do it. And then so they would talk to someone else and then they'd be like, well, if they, if I had this and work this way, then they'll buy it. Like right now they'll buy it. Right. So we shift and we do that. And then all that did was just create a lot of technical debt, um, and also frustration within the team. So it does way more harm than good, um, to do that. I, it's, it's hard to know when to pivot and to know what, uh, feedback you're getting is actually valuable. But I think it's just like, if you just keep to your, like what is the thing that you want to do? Does this get you there, right? Not is this gonna get me quick money now, right? It's like long-term, I think is what it's about, not short-term gains. Because if you compromise your vision early, then, you know, like where are you gonna be left with at the end of the day? Mark Baldino: Right, right. So you just, are you literally, do you steer your team through discussion back to, this is our North Star, this is where we're heading, hey, what we heard was valuable, but in the short term, you know, it's too much of a pivot. Like what those, that's the conversations you're having as a, you know, a founder, chief design officer. Cameron Ridenour: Yeah. And we and we have it amongst ourselves. And this is not even to say that, like, I'm always right. And I always keep that in mind. Of course, I think of stuff too. And I'm just like, wouldn't this be cool? And then like my other co founders are like reel me in right. So it's very much Yeah, like we are it's good that there's like, we all have different mindsets and the way that we think about stuff. So I'm like the designer. Nisha Ayers, our CTO, and she's like in the data science, the technical side, and then James Frisha is our CEO. So he handles like more, me and him overlap with marketing and things like that, but he handles like more the business side and sales. So like we're getting all the, we're getting the three perspectives that we need to keep us all in check. So like it works, it works great, yeah. Mark Baldino: That's awesome. That's great. So I want to step back a little bit, just in terms of your journey, types of design you've done. But at some point, you made a decision to not just be an individual contributor as a designer, but to start a company. And not only start a company, but start a product company. Was there a point where you felt ready to do that? Or like, yes, my experience has given me. I've checked all the boxes. I'm ready to go. Was it a little bit more of a natural progression? Like, how did you find yourself in this role, which is, I think, a pretty big shift from design leader, individual contributor in-house or at an agency to, okay, no, I'm gonna be a co-founder, chief design officer at a product company. Like, what was that shift like for you? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, it's been, you know, there's been some growing pains there. I think that it. It makes sense to me now. I definitely have very much like an attitude of have always kind of had one where I'm like, OK, well, I'll where like I'm going to do it my way. Where I was like, the way that we're doing this doesn't make sense. So like, I'm just going to like just figure it out and like, we're going to do it this way, so I think this makes more sense. So like, it's been natural and. That's like, I'm excited to be able to like build a company and a culture of like what I've always wanted to work at. But, you know, like getting shifting into this has been, it's been great. Hasn't been easy. I don't think, I can't imagine it's ever easy. I think some people would be lying to themselves if they said that it is. I don't know, maybe some people are just built different. But, you know, I've got great co-founders that are very supportive. We all help each other and get the best out of each other. So yeah, I think that it's, you know, like are you ever ready to start a business? Like, I don't know, maybe not. Because it's a lot more stress and headache comes with that. You know, a lot more responsibility. Because not only am I responsible for myself, I'm responsible for them, they depend on me, I depend on them, you know. Yeah. Is that a good enough answer? Mark Baldino: That's great. I mean, what? No, no, no. I appreciate the honesty there, that it's not always like super clear or the path isn't always clear forward, but you want to try something new. I mean, do you have advice for people? Because you have kind of a, you know, you have a non-traditional journey into design, into design leadership. Like, do you have any advice for people who are designers now and want to be design leaders or are thinking about starting a company like... And they're not sure when the right time is, or they feel like, I don't have the right background to do this, which I think is people feel a little bit like imposters at times. Like, what's your advice to those folks? Cameron Ridenour: Yeah, I think anyone can do this. I think that everyone feels like an imposter. I tell myself that all the time. I think it doesn't matter who you are, everyone, we all have the same feelings and we all have the same fears, the same anxieties, right? Some people just are better at covering that up, which that tells me that we're all capable, we're all able to do this. Right? Some things just may be harder than others. Right? Like doing admin work, dude. I don't want to do it. Find you someone that likes doing it. I don't know. That'd be really hard. But yeah, like it's you know, find you want to find people that support you that are always there to help. Mark Baldino: Yeah. Cameron Ridenour: And I mean, yeah, like, you know, I just I can't reiterate enough. Like it's out there. Like, go, go do it right. Like you see people do it all the time. Now, granted, this is like very pie in the sky positivity, which is like, you know, like I am a very positive person, but I understand that there are a lot of factors that make it difficult, and I am very fortunate with a lot of different aspects and how like my career has like gone. I've been very fortunate, very lucky in a lot of ways. So that part is not lost on me. I do want to say that and point that out. But right. It is very much out there. Yeah. If you got a good idea, a passion, strong, you know, will do it. Go for it. Mark Baldino:(30:41.172) Yeah, that's great. Listen, I think we can, we can, we all, amen to that. Right. And we do need a little bit of positivity. I don't think it's, I don't, it's funny. Like that, that message might feel like, Oh, this feels pie in the sky or too positive, but like, there's a lot of anxiety in the world. There's a lot of anxiety around kind of the broader economic system. Uh, I feel like people need some positivity and yes, even in these kind of challenging conditions. You can start up a business. You can find a group of people to support you. There are resources out there. You know, take a shot. And while I started a business as well, very fortunate, was lucky in a lot of ways. I think that's important to acknowledge. There's also a level of kind of effort and push to get something started and off the ground. And you kind of have to have a positive approach Cam. So I just want to say, you know, thank you for sharing that advice because it may sound simple, but I think it's actually not said enough to folks out there. Cameron Ridenour: Like we're all out here just anxious as hell. Hahaha. Mark Baldino: That in the back of their mind are thinking about something they could be doing a little bit differently and are, are sort of reserved and, you know, feel like they should hold themselves back. So I'm all for positivity. I'm all for pushing people to, you know, take a little bit of a chance and, and try something if they feel kind of passionate about it and they feel like they have, as you said, like the right or a good idea. Cameron Ridenour: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I feel that deeply. Mark Baldino: Well great, we're just about at, sorry. Yeah, no great, sorry, talked over you there for a second. I was just to say we're just about, yeah, we're just about at time, but I know people can find you at CoNote, which is CoNote.ai, but what else can folks find and connect with you online, Cam? Cameron Ridenour: Sure, yeah, just like you said, CoNote.ai, C-O-N-O-T-E.ai. The app is live, you can use it now. We're always, always looking for users, for friends. Come be a CoNote friend. Yeah, and we're available on LinkedIn. You can find me, Cameron Ridenour. Search my name, you'll see me. It'll, it's this face. If you see this face, if you're listening just imagine. Mark Baldino: Amazing. Awesome. Mark Baldino: Awesome, well I'll include a... yeah of course, of course, I'll include a link to CoNote for sure in like the notes and then I'll include a link to your LinkedIn profile. It's awesome that the tools out there, I know I have some folks at Fuzzy Math who want to give it a try, so we're gonna try to be some sort of beta testers for you, but it sounds like a general call. Folks head there if you're and you want to leverage the power of AI to help with a really difficult part, which is going from a ton of notes in an organization to some action items and takeaways. It just sounds like a really valuable tool. I want to be clear, this isn't a paid spot for Cam. We happen to be talking just about UX design leadership and Cam happens to run a company that I think a lot of folks that are listeners could, you know, could utilize their tool. So Cam, just want to say thank you again for joining us on the podcast. Super, interesting conversation about your journey. And the company you've recently launched. Really looking forward to kind of your future success. So thanks very much for your time and energy today. Cameron Ridenour: Great, thank you so much. Thanks for everyone listening. Keep on rocking in the free world and doodly-doo. Yeah. Mark Baldino: Right on. Right on. All right. Thanks, Cam. Have a good one. Cameron Ridenour: All right, you too.