Here we are again starting to write the end of the year post. Last year I wrote a similar post but it was in a different blog, a photography blog that actually I only use for photography purposes, here. I have to admit that I didn’t pay enough attention to this blog during the last year. 2010 was a really busy year, many changes, some deceptions, some great things but an average it wasn’t so bad.
I would like to share what I learned during this year and what I shouldn’t repeat the next one. Maybe these impressions and experiences will be useful for some of you, at least I hope so.
This was my last year working for AXA, an insurance company where I helped with everything related to Linux and Open Source. It was a good experience, after 3 years working for an insurance company I learned that intercultural working environments could be more difficult for adaption than just a foreign environment of only one different nationality.
In AXA I had the opportunity to work with many people of different nationalities: Indians, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The adaptation process changed depending on the nationality. We used English as a common language, it wasn’t the native language of anybody. So at the end the conclusion was: It doesn’t matter if people speak the same language, “culture” is the main topic to be understood to reach a real communication.
Sometime ago I thought that international environments were good to increase communication and the exchange of cultures among people. That’s still true and that is a priceless experience. But also it has the disadvantage of spending a lot of time to fix, correct and understand what is really going on. The same phrase could have different meanings among cultures, even body language turns out to be as important as the spoken one. All these differences, very interesting from a self enrichment point of view, imply a big spent of time dealing with all the cultural issues of international environments.
So from this multicultural experience in AXA I learned that for a tech working environment, where dynamism and quick action is a main requirement, mixing everybody in the same communication layer could be a mistake. It could be much more productive to create nationality layers with people that act as a communication hubs between different groups. So people can concentrate on their tasks and relax forgetting all the issues related with cultural differences.
It was a really good experience for me but I can’t deny that it took a lot of time for me to figure out all that cultural information. Anyway, now I got used to it, so it won’t be an issue for me anymore, but for somebody else starting for the first time it could be a big deal.
Those 3 years are gone. I will start 2011 working for GXS a B2B leader company doing a completely different job. Thanks AXA for the time being, but it’s time for me to move on.
Blogging, Social Networking and Web2.0
During this year I changed a lot the approach about Social Networking, Blogging and all Web2.0 related behavior. I learned that having a lot of followers in Twitter is meaningless as far as they don’t really follow what you say. Why we start following someone means a very different reason for everyone of us. Nobody truly fully understood what is the right thing to do to have more followers yet. Also having thousands of followers doesn’t mean that our voice will be heard by all of them. One thing is the number of our followers and another thing is how many of them really read what we say.
Blogging is alive and despite of many opinions out there saying that blogs are dead, I think that it is and it still will be, for a long time, one of the main portals for our digital personality. Before the micro-blogging and life-streaming era, there was no other way to share our lives online, except a static web, and later a blog. Actually, the decrease in numbers of blogs just means that blogs are getting more serious, more blog focused and that people that abandoned blogs to just exists only on Twitter, Facebook, Buzz or any other SNS is because they didn’t find in a dedicated blog the right environment to share.
What 2011 is preparing?
Almost ready, a couple of projects that @depepi and I are working on, will see the light in 2011. It’s still a secret anyway it will be announced soon :)
Also my feelings are that the job market in Japan will be a little more open and more opportunities are to come during this year. At least in the IT sector.
A kind of magician I talked to in the street said to me that the year of the Rabbit is going to be a year of changes, like a rabbit changing quickly from one location to another… let’s see if it will be right. Anyway, many things are going on and honestly I doubt that anybody is really able to make a prediction. We are in a time where history is helpless to make any prediction because never ever before people was able to communicate as fast and border-less as today.
But please don’t forget what history still can teach us: Governments and greedy organizations that base their power on fear and ignorance will always try to keep people from evolve and move freely. So let’s work together to keep the status of freedom we have now and to improve it, and never let it come back to the dark ages that some few people with personal interest are trying to do.
Cases like Wikileaks shouldn’t happen in a civilized and democratic society. Freedom of speech and movements that help to show out what some governments do using illegal practices should be protected.
Because of this, I feel that 2010 wasn’t a good year for Net Neutrality, Freedom of Speech and the Internet in general. Let’s make 2011 much better!
Thanks to my Friends!
During this year I was really lucky to have friends that helped me out with advices, smiles, stories, and just with their company. It doesn’t matter if physically or virtually, their support was always really appreciated.
I can’t put somebody as first or second, so let’s use alphabetical order:
Alvaro Correal (Facebook)
Thanks for your help and your advices. I can’t count the many times you helped me in my job with your technical advices. Also thanks for staying there despite the distance!
Thanks for bringing here in Tokyo that piece of Italy that I miss so much. I can’t remember how many laughs we had this year and I hope to have many more in 2011!
Danny Choo ( Blog | twitter )
Thanks for your advices on how to run ones own business.
You are my web guru by all means!
David Santo Orcero ( blog )
Thank you for priceless help and experience.
You know you are my personal guru for almost any important decision I take!
Dean Fuji ( twitter )
Thanks for your help introducing me to so many good people and interesting events.
It’s always nice to hang out with you in the Tokyo IT night scene.
Derek Arnwine ( Twitter | Flickr )
Thank you for sharing so many good ideas and photography projects. I hope 2011 will be our photo-year!
Florian von Bock ( twitter )
Thanks for your advices to be a freelancer in Tokyo. Really appreciate!
Don’t forget the Yakiniku in Asakusa!
Francesco Fondi ( blog | twitter )
Porco Dio!! Thank you for your help expanding my vision about so many things, Internet, Social Networking and Publishing. I hope to see you soon here again in Tokyo.
Also thanks for bringing here that peace of Rome that I also miss so much!
Jim Grisanzio ( Twitter | Blog )
I hope for you all the best on 2011. This was the year of the storm, after it the calm is coming. Thank you for being one of the oldest friends I have in Tokyo. You know that you always have my support.
Jose Maria Atencia
Thank you for no matter what, you are always the same as 6 years ago when we met! We are battle partners in the war we faced in our job.
Jose Moreno ( blog | Flickr )
Thank you for your photography advices. I learned so much form your experience behind the camera. I hope to show you so many places to photograph in Tokyo some day!
Juan Enrique Macias ( twitter )
Thank you for the big professional change for next year. You know what I mean.
You know you have my support for your future projects on 2011!
Oren Magut ( twitter | Flickr )
So when are we going to take that Yakiniku in Asakusa with Florian!!?
Thank you for your never-ending energy and ideas!
Paul Papadimitriou ( Twitter | Blog )
Thank you for keeping this friendship no matter the distance. I hope for you the best on 2011. Your countless advices helped me to see opportunities and new challenges where before I saw only difficulties. Thanks my friend!
Thank you for the dedication and time spent in our studies. You are one of the most well educated persons I know in Tokyo.
Steve Nagata ( Twitter | Blog )
I can’t just count how many times you literally showed me that I was wrong. Thank you for your help, for your patience and for your priceless time.
Tack Narita (成田健) ( twitter | Flickr )
Thank you for your trust in my ability as a photographer and for your help in improving the technique.
Happy new year to everybody!!