Engineering Engagement

Smashing Ideas is an 85-person agency with deep expertise in creating highly engaging digital experiences. Our Motivational Design Methodology for mobile application, web and digital innovation looks holistically at a customer's experience from their point of view - allowing us to unearth insights and opportunities others don't see. The result is higher retention, increased loyalty and new product ideas that help leapfrog the competition.

Our services include:

  • Strategy
  • User Experience
  • Ideation and Design
  • Web and Mobile Development
  • Connected Product Planning & Development 
  • Quality Assurance
  • Analytics

The SI Motivational Design Methodology


Our team is comprised of thinkers, designers, coders, developers, project managers, artists and more, but at heart we're all engagement engineers.

  • Steve Jackson

    CEO Bio >

    Steve Jackson


    Steve joined SI in 2005 and has grown the company over 3x with, expansion into mobile, ePublishing, and cross-platform development. SI was acquired by Random House/Bertelsmann in 2011. Previously, Steve was President and CEO of Applied Semantics (Acquired by Google in 2003), SVP and General Manager iXL, Inc. (IPO in 1999) and Founder and CEO of Spin Cycle Entertainment (Sold to iXL, 1998).

  • Brian Burke

    President Bio >

    Brian Burke


    With over 15 years experience helping build digital companies, Brian oversees agency operations and business development, focusing on SI’s strategic growth and continued market leadership. He led SI’s efforts into mobile and ePublishing, and is committed to helping our partners realize a successful digital present and future.

  • Jen Freeman

    Director of Production Bio >

    Jen Freeman

    Director of Production

    Jen leads cross-functional teams dedicated to concepting, designing, and building the most engaging digital experiences possible for clients including Mattel, PBS and Random House. Prior to joining the team at Smashing Ideas in 2008, she worked at ESPN, the National Basketball Association and a few Seattle startups.

  • Patrick Cousans

    Director of Engagement Bio >

    Patrick Cousans

    Director of Engagement

    With expertise in consumer products, strategy, and technology, Patrick partners with Smashing Ideas’ clients to understand and identify their business and technical challenges. He works with all of SI’s departments to define strategies and user experiences to deliver the most engaging experiences possible.

  • Chad Otis

    Executive Creative Director Bio >

    Chad Otis

    Executive Creative Director

    An award-winning creative director, Chad brings more than twenty years of experience to SI. With his history as an art director, designer, illustrator, animator and game designer, he has assembled a world-class team of creative directors, UX and visual designers, strategic thinkers and idea generators.

  • Victor Allen

    Chief Technical Officer Bio >

    Victor Allen

    Chief Technical Officer

    Victor brings over fifteen years of experience in creative technical leadership. He works to nurture the engineering culture at Smashing Ideas; overseeing the development and QA groups, technical standards and R&D. Outside of technology, he brings his passion and experience in game design (both on screen and at the table).

  • Brian Marr

    Director of Strategy Bio >

    Brian Marr

    Director of Strategy

    As the Director of Strategy, Brian brings over 15 years of experience in product management, marketing, and digital media to Smashing Ideas. He is passionate about working with clients to create the strategies that drive their customers to engage with a brand in deeper and more meaningful ways. 

  • Drew Erikson

    Director of Finance Bio >

    Drew Erikson

    Director of Finance

    As Director of Finance, Drew is responsible for accounting, reporting, financial planning & analysis, and HR. He brings more than 20 years of financial management experience from a range of technology products and services companies, as well as working with venture-backed startups, corporate mergers and acquisitions. 

  • Charlie Barr

    Director of Business Development Bio >

    Charlie Barr

    Director of Business Development

    Dedicated to helping companies define their digital engagement strategy, Charlie has more than a decade of experience developing deep partnerships in the digital and brand ecosphere. Prior to Smashing Ideas, he helped start and build pinch/zoom, a mobile consulting and development agency catering to global Fortune 500 companies.