My two lifelong passions are storytelling and technology. While they might not seem like they have much in common, I believe they complement one another perfectly.
A good modern product should be part of a larger narrative. You don't just buy a new phone; you incorporate a device into your life that helps you stay connected to the people and issues you care about most. You don't just download video editing software; you learn a new workflow in order to amplify your voice. You don't buy an EV to save money on gas; you make an investment in a better future.
Just as stories unlock the potential of products, technology unlocks the types of stories I like to tell. I don't write near-future thrillers and science fiction to indulge in futurism. I explore science and technology that don’t yet exist in order to put characters in situations in which they can discover things about themselves that would otherwise have been impossible.
This stunning near-future thriller from Cantrell takes some truly breathtaking turns. CIA data analyst Quinn Mitchell is sent in pursuit of the Elite Assassin, an apparently unpredictable and unstoppable killer. Readers, meanwhile, are introduced to the inscrutable murderer Ranveer, whose killings efficiently carry out someone else’s master plan. Quinn’s clever investigation, using neatly extrapolated high-tech gadgets, is fascinating in itself, and, as the CIA receives missives from the future through the time-bending Epoch Index, Quinn’s search collides with some darkly fascinating thought experiments.- Except from Publishers Weekly (starred review)
All this takes place in an only slightly futuristic world that snaps and bristles with technological capabilities that may seem distant or improbable but which are in fact just around the corner. There's snappy dialogue, sharp observation, and compelling characters in Quinn, Ranveer, and Henrietta; the technology sings, the physics is plausibly presented, and the suggestion of time travel fascinates.- Except from Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Scorpion is my newest novel. It started out as a short story called The Epoch Index which bounced around Hollywood for a few years before getting optioned by FOX (now Disney). I expanded The Epoch Index into a full-length novel now called Scorpion and published by Random House.
I have two other TV/film projects in development:
- ‘Brainbox’ Series In Works At Hulu From Christian Cantrell & Fox 21; David Kajganich Tapped As Showrunner
- TriStar, Escape Artists Producing “Crichton-esque” Female Fronted Thriller With Daniel Kunka Scripting
You can read (or listen to) a short story I wrote for Medium's Human Parts series called Negative Proof.
And finally, here's my IMDB page.
Between novels and short stories, I write about other things on my mind (usually technology-related). Here are a few of them:
- Building to learn: the role of prototyping in Design (UX Collective)
- The Universal Ecosystem (UX Collective)
- A deep dive into the Surface Duo’s virtual keyboard (UX Collective)
- Twelve things Microsoft should know about Windows 10 (that Windows users won’t tell them) (The Mission)
- When you work for your software instead of your software working for you (UX Collective)
- The Case for Defying Good Advice (The Startup)
- We Get the Monopolies We Deserve: How consumers can help stop anti-competitive corporate behavior (without government intervention) (Medium)
- If you wait for VR to be ready, you will have waited too long (The Mission)
- The Future is Disappearing (Salon)
- Digital Dark Matter (TechCrunch)
- Why Sound Is Digital Design’s Fourth Dimension (Fast Company)
- Why We Love Objects With Moving Parts (Fast Company)
- Why Tomorrow’s Best Digital Experiences Will Feel Analog (Fast Company)
- Everything You Need To Know About AMP (Smashing Magazine)
- Why Cross-platform Literacy Matters (SitePoint)
Adobe (December 2002 - Present)
March 2015 - Present
The Adobe Design organization is in charge of user experience for all of Adobe’s products — desktop, web, mobile, and immersive. As Director of Experience Development and head of Adobe Design Prototyping, my job is to lead an international, multidisciplinary team through the product discovery and development life cycles. That means close collaboration with designers, product teams, researchers, engineers, and customers to rapidly iterate on, and ultimately validate, innovative new product directions.
Half of my twenty-one person team is hyper-focused on discrete user interactions like next-generation drawing tools and precise object manipulation in AR. The other half functions as a full-stack product incubator, designing, prototyping, and researching entirely new opportunities such as:
The Adobe Design Prototyping team also does “tech transfer” (integrating the features we prototype into shipping products), and public-facing production work like:
To learn more about the team I built and lead at Adobe, see Building to learn: the role of prototyping in Design.
Senior Engineering Manager
October 2011 - March 2015
In late 2011, Adobe began working with Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla to help move the web forward. As Senior Engineering Manager inside Adobe’s Web Platform Group, I led a team of designers and engineers focused on helping to define and showcase the newest web technologies. Working with partners like National Geographic, Food Network, and PBS Kids, we created several extremely engaging experiences to help define and validate new web standards.
- My talk at Google I/O on New Web Tools and Advanced CSS/HTML5
- Making the Web Sweeter with Food Network and Cupcakes
- The Future of Responsive Digital Layout
July 2006 - October 2011
As Technical Product Manager for Adobe’s Flash, desktop, and Web Platforms, I was in charge of identifying requirements, defining APIs, and working with the developer community to help encourage platform adoption. The web, desktop, and mobile applications my team built helped validate platform direction, and were open-sourced to showcase new features and capabilities.
December 2002 - July 2006
I spent my first four years at Macromedia (later acquired by Adobe) managing a subscription-based product called the Developer Resource Kit. Between releases, I spoke at conferences, contributed to the Java open-source community, and built and maintained Macromedia’s first blog and RSS aggregation platforms.
Amazing Media (July 1999 - December 2002)
Senior Engineering Manager
I started out at Amazing Media as a Java developer. When I left three and a half years later, I was managing the design and implementation of a large-scale digital advertising platform. Because I reported directly to the VP of Product, I also helped define product requirements, prioritize features, and I collaborated with partners such as eBay and Amazon.
With over two decades of experience in the software industry, I've accumulated a few patents (with several more waiting to get published):
- Edit experience for transformation of digital content
- Web page reflowed text
- Synchronized content display across a plurality of devices
- Optimizing application compiling
- Application compiling
- Bundled mobile/desktop application package
- Biometric adjustments for touchscreens
- Application debugging
- Adding functionality with respect to one or more web pages
- System and method for ranking information based on click throughs
- Advertising application services system and method
- System and method for enabling user control of online advertising campaigns
Feel free to email me at the address below. (Move the slider to decoded my email address.)