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Another New Chapter

Soon, it will be my last day with DBS Bank, and my last day in Singapore.

I am returning to Indonesia. Not sure what I’m going to do next, at least I am going to take a break for a while and enjoy time with my family and new-born daughter, Janis.

It’s been a rough six-month period. I learned a lot of things, about the company, about myself, about the industry, about design. Bad or good, I take everything as lesson.

It might sound immature to some of you, but for me, it’s just a spice of life. You learn, you move on. You design your life and forget the past. Six months later, the company you worked for would’ve moved on and would’ve forgotten about you.

There is one reason why I leave DBS Bank, no matter how many people say it’s better to be here.

Culture.

Before you think I am a self-entitled guy, let me explain. I’ve been in corporate, but never been in an industry outside technology. It is very difficult to adjust myself in. Even if I give myself time, I am afraid I’d fit to their culture even more and will not be able to “depart” from that culture. I am afraid I will be blended in. I want to stay what I am now.

Corporate environment is where you are not allowed to make mistakes. Your heads will be cut off. Everybody is risk-averse. This is not how design operates. We assume, experiment, prove and iterate. Business environment is different. They never can make assumptions, nor experiment, let alone prove and iterate. They are very strict and money-driven: This is what we want to do to make profit and here’s our projection. Do this our way or we’ll cut your head off. The only measurement tool is profit, profit and profit. Design success is not measured only by money — nor short term benefits — it’s about recognitions, experiences, feelings. These things can’t be directly measured. Only good companies who care can really recognise these benchmarks.

I know you’re going to say that every company has the same problems, big or small. Well, I gotta say you this: I am not expecting to escape all these. I am just expecting to get out of these frustration within a grand scale and find a scale I can tolerate more with — maybe with a smaller company, maybe with a better culture. I know I will always find issues, but I believe there are issues and companies I can deal with.

That said, I am currently open for opportunities. If you are interested in engaging a full-time digital product designer who focuses in user experience and user interface, please email me and let’s talk!

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