From saving the seals to solving the energy crisis, from imagining mice to redefining software — Dave’s been on a mission, including helping others to find theirs. Starting at Stanford with dreams of following Jacques Cousteau as a marine biologist, Dave realized (a bit late) that he was lousy at it and shifted to mechanical engineering with an eye on the energy problem. After four years in alternative energy in the late 70’s, it was clear that idea’s time hadn’t come yet. So while en route to biomedical engineering, Dave accepted an invitation to work for Apple, where he led the mouse team and introduced laser printing to the masses. When Dave’s boss at Apple left to start Electronic Arts, Dave joined as the company’s first VP of Talent, dedicated to making “software worthy of the minds that use it.”
After 15 years as tech exec, including two more “real jobs” in telecommunications, Dave decided his real mission was to help others find and pursue theirs. So he went out on his own working with start-up executive teams, some large corporate clients, but also with countless young adults. They were all asking the same question. “What should I do with my life and why?” Helping people get traction on that question continues to be Dave’s real work, which he finds is most enjoyable and effectively done in the university setting.
Dave taught a course for eight years at UC Berkeley entitled How to Find Your Vocation (aka: Is Your Calling Calling?) and has been a Lecturer in the Stanford Program in Design since 2007, where he co-teaches the popular course Designing Your Life. Dave holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and a graduate diploma in Contemplative Spirituality from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is the co-author, with Bill Burnett, of Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life (Knopf, 2016.)