Capital One, the McLean-based bank and credit card company that wants to change “the way you interact with money” with a growing digital arm, has put its money where its mouth is — again.
It has acquired Monsoon, an Oakland-based design firm with a roster of clients that includes HP, Microsoft and the NBA.
“You can’t just kind of dream it up,” Capital One Managing Vice President Skip Potter told Re/code. “You have to really attract the right talent.”
Monsoon, for its part, explained the move via animated video:
In July 2014, the bank enlisted James Makoski, a former Google designer. Cue the justification game.
“And I don’t blame you if you’re like a few of my colleagues who think I’m a bit insane to leave one of the world’s most admired tech companies for a bank,” wrote Makoski, now Capital One’s VP of design, in a blog post at the time.
Last October, Capital One also purchased San Francisco-based UX firm Adaptive Path. “You can see where this is going, right? Somebody came along who finally, truly, seemed to get it,” Adaptive Path cofounder Jesse James Garrett wrote in a blog post explaining why the company took the buyout. “And that somebody, remarkably, turned out to be Capital One. I know, weird, right?”
Capital One’s growing design focus may help make our bank accounts more manageable. Then again, these acquisitions might well indicate the end of the design industry’s golden age. Enter the era of “Mass Extinction: The Corporate Takeover,” as Wired put it.
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