It’s been just over a month now since we wrapped up our Kuala Lumpur meet-up and community night and I’ve finished formulating my thoughts on everything we did there as well as finally purge the last remaining taste of durian out of my mouth. It was a wild two weeks. Here are some of my takeaways from the experience.
People Need Face Time
I just finished reading Steve Job’s biography and one the things that made an impression on me was that he wanted people within his company to bump into each other and talk. He went so far as suggesting that there be only two bathrooms available so that people would naturally have to move through certain areas of the building and be almost forced to interact with people they may not have a chance to talk with during their regular work routine. Conferences like Kuala Lumpur were great opportunities for our company and people to get a little face time with those they don’t regularly see.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being out of the office, but there’s just something you don’t get when you do everything over email or Skype. Meeting together allows you to see sides of people’s personalities and nuances of their character that you just can’t get from a distance.
I particularly enjoyed meeting many of our awesome Development Team for the first time. They’re a great group of people and very approachable. I don’t think I would have felt free to just sit down and bang out some ideas with them if not for having met them and socialized with them during our conference. After all, don’t we all think of developers like geek vampires that live locked away in darkened rooms with only the blueish glow of monitors to keep them alive? Let me tell you, other than the vampire part, most of that is simply not true.
We Have an Awesome Community
I know we love to throw the word awesome around a lot, in fact, I think if we had to choose the official buzz word of Envato, awesome would be it. But truly, in all definitions of the word, our community is downright awesome. They simply amaze me.
When we were in Chicago a few years ago, I was impressed with everyone who showed up. But to be honest, that was North America, and I fully expected people to show up there. But here we’re talking about Malaysia. Do we really have any fans in Malaysia?
Boy do we have fans in Malaysia.
It was so great to see how many people showed up from the community and how we could just relax and talk like long time friends. While working in the Community Team, you always hope that you’re doing something special and that you’re building something more than just a place to facilitating the buying and selling of goods. To see all the people who turned out in Malaysia, and to subsequently yell in their faces during foosball, was an amazing experience. It really showed to me how valuable the authors and buyers are within our community, and how I can’t wait to meet more of them!
Envato is Like a Family
I know that sounds really cliché and corny, and I’m not a high emotion guy that likes making more of something than it is. But I honestly feel like Envato has a real family feel to it. People clicked and gelled so naturally that it was like we weren’t just meeting many for the first time. And I think that family feel really comes down from our directors. After all, Envato began as a group of family and friends, and that has had a major impact on how the company has grown.
I remember sitting one night in a revolving restaurant high above the Kuala Lumpur skyline, and as the beautifully lighted Petronas Towers came into view I took a look around our table. Here I was with my wife, another Canadian, and whole flock of Brits – over half of whom I met for the first time on this trip – and thought to myself “These are special people, and this is pretty damn sweet.”
Then I had another helping of curry.