One of the things I admire most about my favorite photographers is that I can tell their photographs apart even if they weren’t labeled or tagged as such.
Each one so unique and clearly their own.
In the world of technology and products I see the same thing with founders behind their art.
The most obvious and well known of course is Johnny Ive. You can see his personality, passion and obsession in all of Apple’s products.
I see the same thing with David Karp’s work. Tumblr is David and David is Tumblr as Marco described.
With Twitter, you can see Biz’ personality shine through with the brand/community, you can see Ev’s passion for publishing and Jack’s instinct for simplicity.
You can feel Anthony’s love of music in the Hype Machine.
You can see Dennis sense of humor, adventure & life long pursuit of local/social/mobile in Foursquare and Swarm.
You can see Joel’s quest for the truth in Stack Exchange.
You can touch Zach’s design genius in DIY and Vimeo.
I’d like to think I could identify their future products even if it didn’t have a logo or credit. The art and the artist are one.
I try to look for that in every startup I meet.