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Cap One Buys Design Firm. Why?

Although a new TV commercial campaign called “What’s In Your GUI?” is unlikely, Capital One has set its sights on user interfaces and has purchased Adaptive Path, a San Francisco design firm.

Adaptive Path co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Jesse James Garrett explained the move in a non-traditional way on his company’s site: ” You can see where this is going, right? Somebody came along who finally, truly, seemed to get it. A company with a great culture that shares and values our intellectual curiosity and design sensibilities, that wants us to continue doing great work inside their organization, but also continue helping others do great work too, by fostering dialogue and teaching what we have learned. And that somebody, remarkably, turned out to be Capital One. I know, weird, right?”

This is probably the first time an acquired company founder described the acquisition—officially, formally, publicly—as “Weird, right?”

“Believe me, no one here was more skeptical than I was. I simply could not imagine that a huge bank would be able to foster an environment of creativity in which we could truly flourish. But honestly, when it comes to truly human-centered thinking, Capital One is among the top tier of all the organizations I have worked with in 15 years of consulting,” Garrett said. “As a design consultant, I have learned to pay attention to how organizations think about and value design. And what I’ve found is that there’s a particular mindset or approach to the work that seems to go hand-in-hand with success. And that mindset, as demonstrated by the Capital One people I’ve met, is what ultimately made me want to work with them.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. Weird, right?

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