David Gilbert

Independent product manager from the UK based in Tokyo.

I specialise in planning, designing and building engaging digital products for big and small companies.

I’ve previously worked with Gengo, CNN, and Sapient. I also write a blog.

Things I can help you with


  • Carrying out a product audit to assess gaps & opportunities
  • Helping you prioritise your roadmap for maximum impact
  • Writing user stories and functional specifications


  • Designing mockups and prototypes for your app/service
  • Writing concise copy and coherently organising content
  • Carrying out in-person or remote usability studies


  • Building a lightweight agile process with your team
  • Setting up an onshore or offshore quality assurance team
  • Helping close the gap between business and engineering

Get in touch or connect on LinkedIn


Independent Product Designer for various clients (Tokyo)
2013 & Aug 2016 – Present

Currently working with a consumer internet security company to improve their apps:

  • Designing comprehensive product style guide and component library
  • Finding and fixing usability issues through in-depth user research
  • Carrying out focused design sprints to evaluate new concepts/ideas

Product Manager at Gengo (Tokyo)
Jan 2014 – May 2016

  • Responsible for maintaining and executing the entire product roadmap/strategy
  • Restructured scrum process, built offshore QA team and dramatically improved stability
  • Decommissioned underperforming services and refactored areas of technical debt

View portfolio

Product Manager of CNN Travel at Turner Broadcasting (Hong Kong)
April 2011 – Dec 2012

  • Worked with editorial, technical, marketing and sales teams to build roadmap for CNN Travel
  • Specified, planned and oversaw the development of new features from concept to launch
  • Designed and managed development/launch of mobile apps and responsive website

View portfolio

Project Manager at Freeborders (Shenzhen)
Sept 2008 – Jan 2011

  • Carried out Enterprise Application Integration investigation to consolidate internal systems
  • Designed and built multiple CMS based websites for clients using open-source technologies
  • Worked with financial analyst in New York to design web app for managing ontologies

Co-founder / Product Manager at Uxplore (Shanghai)
Nov 2009 – June 2010

  • Designed travel planning web app for Shanghai integrated with Google Maps and Facebook
  • Managed phased implementation of the service using CodeIgniter framework and jQuery UI
  • Worked with international partners to form business and marketing plan

View portfolio

Senior Associate: Business Consulting at Sapient (London & Beijing)
Sept 2005 – Sept 2008

  • Oversaw development of web services platform and business rules engine for NHS Choices
  • Planned and implemented large-scale deployments of Microsoft SharePoint and EPM
  • Coordinated teams between China, India & UK for roll-out of broadband internet services

Founder / Writer at Randomwire
Dec 2003 – Present

  • For 10+ years have been writing articles relating to my passions about Asia and technology
  • Built an audience of over 100,000 unique visitors per month and 1,500+ subscribers
  • Popular articles featured on sites including Gizmodo, io9, Web Urbanist, Huff Post and SCMP


University of Durham (UK) – BSc (Honours) in Software Engineering
Oct 2002 – June 2005

Completed the 1,400km Shikoku pilgrimage trail on foot
May – June 2016

Currently studying Japanese and have previously taken courses in Mandarin and Korean.