Last week was kind of crazy. The company I would work for on Monday cancelled the Friday before. Almost turning three days of being in between jobs into a week and a half. Leaving me with an already booked plane ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi.
When I looked it up, I was impressed. Inspidea makes tv series for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon and other international clients.
To be completely honest, both me and Inspidea’s owners Andrew and CJ didn’t know what I would be working on before we’d met. Why did they want to hire me anyway? Their mantra is “Let the kid out”, and by inviting me over, that’s exactly what they did…
During my three days at Inspidea I stayed over at Andrew’s apartment. After a short first night on this sofa bed we commuted to the office by car. One thing is impossible to avoid in Kuala Lumpur traffic: jams. But I did not really mind, as commuting in an unknown environment is an experience in itself. Just like in Singapore. Not the least because the sunrise gave the sky a magical glance.
Because I’m a complete stranger in the world of 2d animation tv series, the goal of the first day was to get to know the company. During the tour I got to say Selamat Pagi —goodmorning— to most of the 250 (!!) employees.
After lunch with Andrew and CJ (the other owner) I wandered through the different office floors on my socks —you have to take off your shoes in the office— and randomly sat down at empty chairs to strike up conversations with designers and artists. They were all friendly, open and liked to talk to a tall stranger. They showed me how 2D tv series get made. It blew my mind how much effort is involved in making a single episode.
As mentioned, the mantra of Inspidea is Let the kid out. One of the questions I asked over an over was: “And how does Inspidea do that?”. While they already practice what they preach, I was asked to come up with more ways to be more playful. This is what I worked on for the greater part of the second day.
On my last day I shared my ideas over a sushi lunch. They liked most of them. One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that we in the Western world are proud people and like to show others how good we are at we do. Here, in the Eastern world it’s different. Being humble is more important. And this influences everything. From marketing, to presenting ideas and how people collaborate with each other.
I ended my third experiment with a presentation for the leadership team. It was fun to be in front of a group again for the first time in three months. Sharing my almost completely new story about traveling the world, following your curiosity, and how that applies to worklife.
Andrew, CJ, Stephanie, Chris, Sammy and all the others at Inspidea. Thank you for everything. Please stay foolish and keep letting the kid out. You guys rock!
This wasn’t the only thing I did last week. On Tuesday I got a message from the producer of the Hitz FM morning show. Malaysia’s most listened to program on national radio. He asked if I wanted to help them out on Thursday and Friday. He would also like to do an interview on the show.
After doing a celebration dance, I let him know I was more than happy to join them.
This is how an empty week turned into a packed one. In only three days time. A good lesson to remember: ‘Everything can change in an instant’.
The update of the Hitz FM experiment will be online sometime this week.
Now it’s time to hit publish. Currently it’s 05:29am and I’m sitting at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. My flight to Hanoi leaves in 40 minutes. Knowmads, here I come!
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