One day I was feeling especially frustrated with open office floor plans. Maybe some people like them, but I assume we just get them because space is scarce in Silicon Valley.

Personally, I like my back to a wall, with easy access to a couple exits in case of emergency. Some sort of animal instinct, I guess. People passing in and out of my peripheral vision can be very distracting.

But enough complaining. I hate complaining. I like building. So I thought: what product could solve this problem? DND Shades are my answer to that question.


Here in Silicon Valley, we like to pitch new technology products in terms of existing products you’re familiar with. It’s like Uber for ____, The Google of ____, etc… In that spirit, DND Shades are like horse blinkers for knowledge workers. They block out your peripheral vision, and simultaneously provide shade from harsh, overhead lighting.

Best of all, to make DND Shades, all you need is:

  1. a piece of paper (thick card stock is best),
  2. a printer,
  3. scissors, and
  4. this pattern, which I am generously making available for free.



DND Shades are physical hardware, but they can be distributed as pure information. I think that’s pretty neat.

If you have deployed DND Shades in your organization, let me know in the comments, and I can add your company logo and link at