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Q&A with James Costa

Founder & Creative Director of The Phuse

I’m James, and I’m the founder and creative director of The Phuse. We’re a small team of international designers and front-end developers that craft digital experiences. For me, this means providing direction on projects to clients and our team, making sure things are moving forward, and ensuring our culture and processes remain smooth. (I also serve as our HR and accounting department.)


I have a Belieber-like addiction to Apple products (I mean, who doesn’t?), and the majority of my condo is filled with stuff I’ve bought at the Apple store.

While most of my life is on my 13” Macbook Air (2011) and my iPhone 4s, at home I spoil myself with a 27” Cinema Display. Since I don’t work from an office (besides some shared space a couple of us have in downtown Toronto), having an Air is extremely useful for all the travelling I do and the different places I tend to work from every week.

I also have a 17” Macbook Pro (late-2000s) kicking around that I use primarily for when I’m out DJing or at home with my Numark NS6 controller, and two iPads (one for me, one for my 5-year-old son so we don’t fight!).


Since I work remotely, I have a few applications set up and running every day with my team: Basecamp (project management), Google Hangouts + Apps (collaboration), HipChat (communication), Harvest (time management), Dropbox + GitHub (files).

Personally, these are the apps I find myself using most that keep me organized and motivated:

  • Rdio. I couldn’t work without Rdio. Seriously. I have a very random taste in music, and it would be too consuming to get all the music I want to listen to and keep it available on all my devices.
  • Sparrow. I’ve been using Sparrow for quite a while now as my mail client. I really don’t need much in a mail client, and I love Sparrow’s clean interface.
  • Things. I’ve been through a ton of task management applications, but I always seem to come back to Things. Things is actually the reason I originally bought an iPhone, and then was the reason I ended up getting my first Macbook. It takes care of most of my notes.


I could use a bit of a hardware upgrade, but I’m a pretty simple person when it comes to my dream setup: I’d just like a clean desk and sunlight.


My inspiration often comes from conversations I have with the amazing people I constantly surround myself with. While anyone can attribute specific people in our industry as inspirations, I truly believe the energy I bring to work is a product of the relationships I have with truly incredible people.