Reflections on 8 Years of ZoCo

By Lacey Picazo

Today marks my 8th anniversary as the founder of ZoCo Design, and the best way to describe the last near-decade of growing this studio is simply rare magic.


I’ve never found something as rewarding, as challenging, and as intoxicating, as entrepreneurship (other than parenting perhaps). It’s thrown me some curveballs over the years in ways that were truly unpredictable, but I couldn’t have asked for a better team of people at ZoCo and in life to help me navigate it.


Here’s the highlight reel:

We’ve continually upped the ante for what I thought was possible.


From our surprising start with global innovation teams when we were just a few people, to our recognition now as a trusted research, product, and prototyping team for corporate powerhouses, to changemaking for visionaries great and small in our own backyard—we’ve shattered all my original expectations for the impact and trust a small team achieve.


Our culture and our people are the most precious part of the business, and I hold them in the highest regard.


The memories from years of Pinewood Derby trophies, an all-team roadtrip to Chicago, seeing the team shine during my first maternity leave leading research in London, to our outrageous annual holiday videos…these are memories I’ll hold dear throughout my life.


I’ve realized the impact of our design can create a better future ahead—especially through our work across the social determinants of health.


Over the years, ZoCo has designed software and experiences to support addiction recovery, to combat food insecurity, to upskill impoverished communities, to improve senior care, and to interconnect social services in a community information exchange. While it’s a joke to say “there’s an app for that,” the reality is that technology can advance and improve upon these challenges—and we’re the tinkerers figuring out the how.


Through countless heart-to-hearts and candid conversations with peers, I’ve learned so much about myself.


I appreciate each and every thought-partner, and all of the invitations you’ve accepted to coffee talks or late-night rants. The relationships I’ve built and the perspectives you’ve shared have shaped me not only as a business owner, but as a human. Thanks to each of you for your part in this journey with me. I see you, and I’m grateful.


A group of ZoCo employees gather around their conference room table and intently discuss their latest design challenge.

ZoCo’s values, our promise, our magic—it’s all the same.

In reflecting on these memories, I realize they were all made with fantastic people who believe in the power of design to reimagine futures and bring bold visions to life. Those are my people. What’s more? While the times have changed, at our core, who we set out to be is who we are now. ZoCo’s values, our promise, our magic—it’s all the same. We set out to improve the experiences of people—for our team, our clients, and our community—and that’s just what we’re doing.


After all, we were founded on the belief that design can do more. Together, we’re proving it.

So what’s different? We’re always a work in progress, and are constantly evaluating ourselves and our practices. My biggest takeaway across 8 years is that to iterate and improve, our work is never done. While our non-negotiables and vision have remained true, we’re always questioning our methods and how we bring our story to life. That’s why we’re unveiling a series of updates to our visual brand, and have more goodness on the way (wait til you see our new digs!). Consider it a new and improved reflection of who we are and who we aspire to be. We’re ZoCo… but bolder.


Thanks again for these 8 years. The best is yet to come—and I can’t wait.


Lacey Picazo