Two user experience and design veterans, Hillel Cooperman and Jenny Lam, are putting their technology startup and agency Jackson Fish Market into “hibernation” after nearly a decade, and taking new jobs with Microsoft and Amazon, respectively.
Both worked previously at Microsoft, so for Cooperman, the change is a homecoming. He worked at Microsoft from 1997 to 2006 on products including Internet Explorer for Mac and MSN Explorer, and the Windows user experience. In his new role, he’s design director on Microsoft’s Data Platform team.
Lam was the Windows User Experience creative director before joining Jackson Fish Market as a co-founder in 2007. In her new role as design director at Amazon, she’s on a team working on user experience design for Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Echo, Dot, Tap, and other devices.
Jenny Lam said via email, “Hillel and I are proud to have had a long, successful run at Jackson Fish Market – nearly 10 years! For me personally, it has been one of the best times in my career. After all these years of being a startup and agency, we both started thinking about what was the next chapter. We popped up our heads and realized there were so many great opportunities around us. As designers, we’re always curious and wanting to learn new things and it was becoming more and more difficult to turn away these offers.”
Cooperman added, “I think we both learned so much over the last ten years, that we really optimized on what we were going to learn for the next ten years and tried to find challenges that would really help us grow. I think the main bummer for me in this change is that Jenny and I weren’t able to find a way to stay working closely together. But I’m still hoping that down the road we will.”
Describing his new role, Cooperman said, “I was humbled to have the opportunity to join the Data Platform team at Microsoft. The team is building on Microsoft’s long tradition of industry leading innovative database technologies by creating an integrated data platform in the Azure cloud with intelligence at every layer.”
He added, “As an interesting aside, seeing how Microsoft has evolved over the last ten years since I last worked there has been absolutely eye opening. Microsoft had always been a center of gravity for deeply intelligent people. But nothing prepared me for the incredible openness, the commitment to collaboration, and the general positivity and maturity that I find in everyone I work with. I came back to Microsoft to learn, and everyone there has been incredibly generous with their guidance and expertise.”
In addition to serving as a design agency, Jackson Fish Market developed technology products including the service A Story Before Bed, which lets parents, grandparents and others use a web browser and webcam to record themselves reading books for the kids in their lives.
Cooperman said, “We still operate A Story Before Bed which has a loyal following, but we are actively looking for a buyer for the service and its IP. It belongs as a feature in a bigger service, and we just want to make sure we find the right home.”
Jackson Fish Market was named after an actual fish market established by Cooperman’s grandfather in 1942.