Hey! I’m Tyler Hilker 👋

I get pumped about shaping perspectives and systems in order to overcome challenges and make the most of opportunities. I’m often addressing alignment issues, scratching itches, & learning how to slow down faster.

I’ve got an amazing wife, four kids, two dogs, and four cats. We live on a big yard where we grow various fruits, vegetables, & hops.

I’m one who hopes in Jesus but struggles greatly to consistently live into that reality; I’m thankful for grace & small wins.

As the VP of Strategy at Crema — a design & technology consultancy in the great minor Midwest metropolis of Kansas City — I help find, shape, and unlock opportunities.

You can find me elsewhere, too: X, LinkedIn, Medium, Farcaster, OpenSea, and Substack.


Some ideas I play around with

Asymmetric Attention is the phenomenon of unintentionally minimizing the work and contribution of others. It’s like seeing their work through a keyhole, assuming that whatever we can see through that keyhole is all that exists or all that matters when in reality, the space is much larger. This underneath why we ask others, “How hard can it be?” or “Why don’t you just do…?”

Collect the dots; connect the dots is a simple phrase to remind myself that both mindsets are required for great work.

Organizational Overhead is the cost of working in or with any organization. Politics, processes, systems, technology, etc.


Some things I like

Levi’s 511 jeans Comfortable and inexpensive enough to not care about them getting ruined.

Diner-style mugs It’s the right size (an even 300ml of coffee, with an even 20g of grounds), sits well in your hands, and has nice insulative properties. I have a collection of yet-to-be-determined size.

OXO Pourover Of all the brewing methods, this is my daily go-to for two reasons: Pour the water all at once and find the filters anywhere. The plastic is great for our house and ideal for camping. I prefer Central & South American, Indonesian, & darker roasted coffees, but I’ll drink almost anything.

Leuchtturm Classic Notebook The feel of this paper is outstanding. The shade of gray dot is perfect; it’s supportive if I want structure, but not so visible that it interrupts freeform sketches.


Sharing with other folks

Having lived through a handful of somewhat interesting experiences, I’ve been invited several times to share what I’ve learned with about a range of topics. Design, product, leadership, faith and work, or a combination of such. Some areas I’ve


Notable travels I’d love to tell you more about


Running list of Oreo varieties I’ve evaluated

Remarkable Not as much
Space Dunk Mocha Caramel Latte
Blueberry pie Easter
Apple pie Love
Rice Krispy Treats Rocky Road Trip
Kettle Corn Mystery/Fruity Pebbles
Birthday cake Cookie Butter
Fruity crisps Fireworks
Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Toffee Crunch
Carrot Cake Cherry Cola
Jelly Doughnut Peanut Butter
Cotton Candy S’Mores
Caramel Apple Watermelon
Peanut Butter Cookies & Creme
Maple Crème Peeps
Neapolitan Java Chip
Strawberry Frosted Donut  
Chocolate Hazelnut  
Pumpkin Spice  
100 Birthday  
Apple Cider Donut  
Blackout Cake  


Selected compositions of note

Growfish: Make learning the center of your sprint retros A new tweak to an old tool

Three questions for better project kickoffs Getting better collaboration with a single simple email

Land & Layers: The Game of Product Strategy Strategic product expansion packs that pack positive punch

Good Design is Not Enough On the interplay of understanding, communicating, & designing within a problem/solution space.

Effort to Resolve Absorbing the dysfunction of a system to alleviate customer pain.

Moms, Opps, & Obs Yet another way to approach problems of any sort, size, or context.

Mind the Gaps Transitions are the killer app…lication of holistic design.

How I Think About Work Musing on the importance of certain skills in an experience designer’s world.

The Planotes Method For task tracking & productivity nerds. [I’ve since moved on from this methodology, but still use parts of it.]


Noteworthy Resources

Over the years, these are the resources I’ve often and referenced into raggedness. They’ve shaped how I approach life and work in one way or another.