Connecting with Bill SobelCarsten Wierwille is the kind of guy who tweets that his autocorrect turns "happiness" into a "happy mess" — and that the early bird gets caught by the bird.

He sees things a bit differently, as he should: he's vice president and general manager at frog, a global product strategy and design firm.

He manages frog's operation in the US, aligning creative passion with client goals. He has more than 15 years of experience in digital design, technology and innovation strategy, and has worked extensively with clients in a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, telecommunications and media.

Can You Say 'Eclectic?'


Before joining frog in 2007, Wierwille worked as managing director at R/GA, a leading digital agency, where he oversaw a broad portfolio of clients including Verizon Wireless, Nokia, Apple and Subaru. Previously, he was vice president of client service at Thinkmap, a New York City-based Internet services and data visualization company backed by Motorola Ventures. And before that, he worked as a management consultant for Accenture in Germany, focusing on the wireless and telecommunications industry.

Wierwille has a master's in political science from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and studied with 2009 Economics Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom at Indiana University.

Sobel: Can you tell us a bit about yourself where things are now and where you see them going down the road?

Wierwille: My background can be best summarized as “eclectic”. I have always been interested in making the world a better place, which is how ended up in the social sciences. When I studied the development and distribution of public goods and services, I certainly didn’t consider a career in design. However, through luck and serendipity, and after a stint in management consulting, I ended up in the world of design, working in a data visualization start up, a leading digital agency, and finally here at frog.

It's a wonderful time to work in design. Over the last decade, the opportunities for designers have increased dramatically, as more and more businesses have embraced the value of design and user experience. At frog, we have also left our mark in a number of significant social impact programs, from trying to tackle the HIV epidemic in South Africa to increasing the responsiveness for disaster recovery organizations such as FEMA and Unicef. Today, we can see that human centered design has the ability to touch virtually all aspects of the human experience. 

Sobel: I'm fascinated about the work you all do at frog. Can you tell us a little about your company's history and purpose? 

Wierwille: In the first two decades of our history, frog played a critical part in creating iconic design solutions for consumer electronics, personal computing, and many other categories. From this foundation, we moved further and further into digital design, branding, and user experience. Today, many of our clients are asking us to solve complex and ambiguous problems: Where can we grow? How do we improve the experience of our products and services? How do we stay relevant in a world of digital transformation and ubiquitous connectivity? The perspective of human centered deign has remained a constant but the types of engagement have become dramatically broader and multi faceted. 

Sobel: I’m also interested in the story behind the name frog.