IXDS moments with… Jerome Nadel, Rambus CMO

How well do you know the people you work with? From cycling champions to skateboard inventors, we're telling the stories behind our friends & partners.
Through our work, we build up close relationships with our clients, which allows us to get to know and be inspired by a range of interesting, creative people. People who take a unique approach to what they do, and are driven by passions and interests far beyond the boardroom. Through our ‘IXDS moments with…’ series, we’re telling the stories of our community of collaborators, because we want you to have the opportunity get to know them too. Even if it is only for a few short video minutes.
IXDS moments with… Rambus CMO Jerome Nadel
Meet Jerome Nadel

First up, we want to introduce you to one of today’s most innovative CMOs, Jerome Nadel. Despite working in the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley driving innovation for tech giant Rambus, he finds time to cycle 16,000 kilometers a year, and just generally keep things real.

The hilarious out-takes from our interview were an example of this “realness”, but because they are a bit too rude to share, we’ll give this little anecdote instead: His “lead with love” mantra is such a prominent part of his life that his kids recently surprised him with his handwritten “dad-ism” — as they call it —  tattooed on their torsos. Jerome isn’t a fan of tattoos, but how can you not love that!

Take a few moments to get to know how this kind of attitude drives success in a company, and how someone ends up going from being a psychologist, to a design-led marketer who just happens to win national cycling championships in his spare time.

Our work with Rambus

When Rambus says invention is at the heart of what they do, they mean it. Known for creating cutting-edge semiconductor and IP products, spanning memory and interfaces to security, smart sensors and lighting, we’ve witnessed this innovative spirit in action working on several projects together creating next generation products and experiences.  

It’s like they say in Spain: ‘If you cook with love, people can taste it.’ I believe it’s the things people don’t see that make it very special, and that’s a bit of the recipe at IXDS.

Rambus CMO Jerome Nadel

Rambus first came to IXDS in 2013, with a revolutionary approach to optical sensing that replaces traditional lenses with tiny diffractive optics. Yet to explore the technology in an everyday context, our multidisciplinary group of strategists, designers, and engineers joined its Partners in Open Development (or POD) program, working alongside the Rambus team to design and prototype key use cases for Lenseless Smart Sensing (LSS) in IoT.

Prototyping the potentials of emerging tech

The above pictures show the three use cases we prototyped using the LSS. We placed the sensor in a toy car, which allowed it to be controlled hands free — it moves by following lines drawn on the ground.  A cheap, innovation solution for the toy industry. It was also used in a smartwatch to replace the touch interface, as well as tested in an industrial and maintenance context, enabling precision assembly of large and inaccessible machine parts.

Getting down to business

Our client collaboration with Rambus has always been unique; namely, due to the close involvement of Jerome who, as he explains in the video, is of the mindset that marketers need to take a design-led approach and be involved in the ideation phase and inception of the product.

“To me, if you apply the design think narrative in the design of what you’re building to make it special, to make it unique, and to differentiate it, to me that’s the story with its authenticity that should carry through to the promotion of the product at the end.”

He was on board for LSS, and has been working with us again as we’ve supported Rambus on their next big business journey — the commercialization of cryptography. Focusing on the future of ticketing and mobile payments, we’re working across strategy, business models, design and implementation, to help Rambus create new products and achieve exponential growth. With Jerome, we discuss directly what the business model should be, and then what that means for the technology.

Tackling the technical side

Although there are some similarities, the standards around ticketing and payments are vastly different and complex. So in order to realize new business opportunities across various projects, we’re helping Rambus build back-and front-end solutions that connect, and create synergies between these systems.

We’re working as the connectors between Rambus’ in-house cryptography team, and external tech providers to recognize these synergies and build demonstrators that show the basic functionalities, applications, and interactions for the future of smart ticketing and mobile payments.

The big vision is that by offering this support, we can help Rambus refine and commercialize these technologies, and step into markets with game-changing solutions for both consumers and retailers.