Startup Grind hosts Alexander Fernandez

Streamline Studios CEO, Alexander Fernandez Wows Malaysian Entrepreneur Community

Kuala Lumpur, July 17th, 2017 – Streamline Studios’ very own powerhouse CEO, Alexander Fernandez was recently selected as a guest speaker at the Special Edition: Startup Grind
talk series in Kuala Lumpur; a collaborative initiative by Endeavour Malaysia, a high-impact global movement that has groomed and shaped the entrepreneur community.

The talk captivated an audience packed into the exquisite design space at Common Ground, Kuala Lumpur, a collaborative partner of Endeavor Malaysia.

Alexander Fernandez, an avid philosopher and a tenacious force to be reckoned with in the games industry, shared his personal journey from the humble beginnings to the powerful state of success Streamline Studios experiences today; “If you have the drive and ambition, you will make it happen! Talent is a piece of it, but it’s the willingness to learn that defines if you will be successful.”

Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 1,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 200 cities. We nurture startup ecosystems in 98 countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations like Google for Entrepreneurs. The cornerstone of our global community is monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Founded in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind has now hosted 5,000 fireside chats since its founding in 2010. To date, Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding, and reach new users.

Endeavor is leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement around the world, with the support of a unique network of seasoned business leaders. Endeavor works to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best of the best entrepreneurs worldwide. The movement includes, but not limited to, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, and Indonesia.


Internet Of Things Turns Nasty. 3 Ways To Protect Yourself

October 21st, 2016. Take note of the date. Something extraordinary and scary happened.

The Internet of Things turned nasty. Hackers used Internet-connected devices, like CCTV devices and printers to take down sites like Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit. First off it’s extraordinary they were able to get my printer to work. That thing has a mind of its own.

The attack was against a company called Dyn, which directs users to sites. It affected users in the densely populated east coast of the US, all the way through the Midwest, parts of the west coast, and to a lesser extent parts of Europe. I was in the middle of working on a recipe in my kitchen and the Internet just disappeared. Totally ruined my frittata. But there are serious issues here.
Like power stations. And hospitals.

And nuclear missiles.

There’s an abiding suspicion a state actor is behind it. And the news is filled with stories of the US launching retaliatory strikes against Russia for messing with the election. Maybe Putin doesn't like the threat. (He doesn't strike me as a live-and-let-live guy.)

There’s this lingering shadow--this is just beginning.

Which got me thinking about my record collection.

It doesn’t exist anymore.

I don’t have any drawers filled with snapshots either.

Or even many bookshelves.

Books and albums used to be a big part of home decorating. Now I mainly live in a digital monastery. Minimalist decor. No large sprawling media center. Just a big screen on the wall connected to the Big Internet. There’s an abiding vulnerability there.

We built this grand digital city, but did we build it on sand? How much there is there? It can disappear in a nanosecond. The Internet of Things, the ultimate realization of the ultimate virtual dream, is making it worse.

Security experts have been sending up alarms about the Internet of Things for quite some time. Over a year ago Jon Bruner, editor-at-large, O’Reilly Media said this:

There is an enormous security risk in IoT. IoT can scale up the attack surface for any kind of a cyberattack. The risk is going to be a distributed attack on a lot of things. We haven’t seen consumer products connected to the Internet in very wide scale yet, but there’s certainly a risk that once everyone has a connected door lock or a connected car, that that will present a bad security situation.

Bruner comes off like Virtual Merlin after Friday’s massive cyber-attack. Your little home router turned into an ICBM.

So is there anything you can do to stop your webcam being co-opted as an element of the next cyber Death Star launch?

Not easy. Here are three ideas.
1.   Turn off and on your smart devices. Sometimes that's enough to debug the hidden code waiting for visiting attack bots.
2.  Change default passwords on your devices - even if it is not on the list of hijacked devices, many share the same chips and code.
3.  Update device software. Hardware makers are reacting to hacking issues. Updates will begin to plug loopholes hackers exploit.

So the next time SMITE on Steam is hanging you out to dry with severe latency problems, beware, it may be a sign your smart sprinkler is being activated by Sergio in Vladstock to open values on your local municipal dam.


How Do You Become A Video Game Designer?

How to be a video game designer? Play games. Don’t play games. A contradiction? No. Here’s why.

Play

First the yes. Playing games is where you begin for a very simple reason. You’re going to be designing games people play. So a basic understanding of what is good gameplay and what is bad gameplay is critical. An ugly game with great gameplay will do a lot better than a great looking game with mediocre gameplay. So understanding the difference is step number one and the best way to learn is break out the controller and play. And play. And play.

Okay, you played all the way through school and became a game ninja, and now you have to pay the rent. Bummer. What are you going to do? Become a video game designer, right? Okay, but what does that mean?

Well, in a very fundamental sense it means stop playing video games.

Confused?

Let me explain.

Don't Play

The goal is not to become a video game designer, but to become the absolute best video game designer you can possibly be and to do that you need the very broadest range of skills you can possibly get.

But not only skills, knowledge. Knowledge of art, design, architecture, music, writing, planning, thinking. Thinking is the most important thing, understanding conceptual thinking, how artists think, how filmmakers think, how they pose and answer conceptual problems. How business people think, how they budget, forecast, work financial deals across global borders. What don’t you need to know? You need to know everything, so start opening yourself up to all sorts of things. If you can do that and play games be my guest, but most likely you can’t, and increasing your knowledge base is critical if you ever hope to conquer the world of video game design.

Trust me. Every skill you acquire will be put to use in your career. Nothing is ever wasted. It’s just the way it works. So put down the controller and experience things, travel, sing, walk, run, learn what is meant by the phrase abstract thinking. It separates the bees from the wannabees.

That’s what I meant by yes and no. Play games and don’t play games. You need to do both.

So, you’re cramming all this wide world of things into your head (that never stops, btw) now what?

T-pose

Let’s talk t-pose for a sec. T-pose is a concept that in any career you need one fundamental skill you can build on and rely on as you go forward. See? Like standing on one solid leg and all your other skill spread out from there. It looks like the letter T. So you begin there. Master one thing. Art. Programming. Producing. Writing. Wherever your career takes you (and if you’re talking video game designing it can bring you to a million different places,) you have that one core skill that anchors your entire career. Whatever that skill is master it. Not only will it provide stability in your career, but it will also serve as a key to get you going, to get you in the door, and ultimately, that’s your first goal: To get a job.

I guess that’s another way of saying master your tools. Learn several code languages, find out how to use Unity, learn how to build a budget in Excel. Like I said, what do you need to know? Everything.

 

The Magic Tool

I like to end with a little story. I met this guy at GDC earlier this year, nice guy, an old hand like me, and we were talking about designing, the difference between working in games and maybe something else, like graphic design. This guy had done both and more. In fact, at one point he’d been a draftsman in the Navy. He’d done a lot of stuff, so I asked was there one fundamental thing that worked across all designing disciplines? He thought about it a moment and then grabbed a pad out of his bag and threw a pencil on top. “Always start by working things out with pencil and paper.”

Don’t get hypnotized by technology. Great design is more fundamental. The most awesome design tool ever invented is a #2 pencil. Master that first.


Using Video Games To Change The World

Is it crazy to think video games might save the world? Read on.

There’s only so many hours in a week. I think about this stuff all the time. Tick tock. Life slipping by. So what do we do with all this precious time? Well, for one thing, we’re spending billions of hours a week playing games. Nice. Really. Why not kick back with a good old video game and conquer the world? Or the galaxy? We all love a good romp through the Outback in Horizon or embarking on a journey, as they say, without limits in Final Fantasy XV.

Remember the 60s? I didn’t think so. But between Beatles and Dick Nixon they started doing something no one else but a research scientist would find interesting. They started tracking our leisure time. How did they do that? I have no idea, but Jane McGonigal does. Check out her TED talk here. Cool stuff. I do know since that time we’ve gained about 8 hours a week. Does that sound like a lot? Research scientist say yes and who am I to argue with them?

Hey, you know what? I bet in the entire history of everything we’ve never had this much leisure time. Think about it. You can slay a wild slurpie any time you want at the local 7/11 (or global equivalent.) Try that in the Stone Age. We had bigger things to worry about back then. Or even the 1940s. They weren’t playing games. But now? The state of the art VR game almost defies imagination. And where it’s going is beyond belief.

But wait a sec. We’ve got big problems in the world, right? Hunger, obesity, poverty, wealth inequality, climate change, climate denial, the god and the godless, a world of clashes, and we collectively spend almost 20 billion hours a week playing games? You look at that long list of global woe, and you go, yeah, let my pull out the RPG and get lost. Reality sucks. I get it.

But the point McGonigal makes is this: We harness all that insane focused gamer-power and use it to do good. I mean if you can work your way through Dark Souls you might be able to work on world hunger. Or climate change.

People get into games. They take to them in a profound way. They connect with them; the stories, the characters, the environments; the subtexts, the colors, the music. It all matters. And it’s a fantastic opportunity.

I'm not suggesting mind-control. I’m suggesting mindfulness. And focus.

When people enter a world of games, when they begin the journey you’ve designed for them, the experience, they are surrendering to you. They are yours. And something else. They are leaving the real world behind.

Online they are entering a world of co-operation, problem-solving, and challenge. In many ways, in the world of games, they raise their game beyond what they do in the real world. And this becomes an opportunity to raise their awareness. Game playing, in a very fundamental way, can affect life playing in a very positive way. What if there was a way to harness gamers’ superpowers?

The team McGonigal worked on, Institute for the Future, put together a game called Superstruct. They got 8000 gamers to play. Their job was to ‘invent the future of energy, the future of food, the future of health, the future of security and the future of the social safety net.’ The solutions they came up were ‘insanely creative.’

Can video gamers save the world? Why not? Somebody has to.


What's The Entrepreneur's Secret Sauce? Ingredient #5 Sets You Free

They're the wizards of the business world. Striking out on their own and flipping companies like a short order cook at the pancake grill. But what's their secret?

They get up in the morning, stretch, brush their teeth and head to the local coffee shop, but that's where they change into a different being. Entrepreneurs approach their day with an entirely different perspective. Here are five ways the entrepreneur is different than the rest of us.

Why are they important? Because even if you don't own a business, these things will help you out in your life.

1. WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?

Here's a little nugget: Working as an entrepreneur you learn to never, ever discard any idea. I can't tell you how many times I've worked on an idea, said this idea sucks, it's wrong, it has no merit, then at the end of the process of refining it, I suddenly realize it's an excellent idea. In fact, my crappy idea mysteriously morphed into a winning idea.

How's that?

Why is that?

I don't know. But I do know it happens, and I do know talking to other entrepreneurs they do the same thing. Never make assumptions until it becomes abundantly clear you're down the wrong path. And even then, months later, you may discover, hey, that's where you want to be.

It's likely you're reading this post on a smartphone with a touch screen. Well, Hewlett-Packard invented that technology 30 years before it was put to use, and that was by another company. An idea they discarded as impractical was just an idea decades before it's time.

I have this thought that the brain doesn't come up with bad ideas. Another way of saying our brains are a lot smarter than we are. Our goal is to get out of the brain's way. Follow your gut. That's a way of saying a bad idea is just an idea that might not be understood yet. Give your ideas time. You might surprise yourself!

And when you get the idea going take the next step.

2. 30,000-FOOT VIEW

If you want to get a view of what's going on, take off to the clouds. Do you know that detached view of things you get when you're gazing out the window of a jet? The world is down there, but in an odd way it has nothing to do with you. Entrepreneurs learn to develop that detachment. Not every moment of the day, but now and then it helps just to float above a situation.
From 30, 000 feet you get to the long view. The little things disappear and the big things remain and your focus naturally drifts to the decisions that matter, the ones that make the difference. This helps in business, and it helps in life. And here's something else that helps.

3. DON'T TIE KNOTS, UNTIE KNOTS

I've been in production for almost 30 years, and I've seen two types of producers. Those who cause problems and those who prevent problems. Like most things in life, I think it boils down to a kind of fear.

Entrepreneurs see problems as opportunities. You get to strut your stuff. You get to rise to the challenge. You get to try out new ideas, uncover new techniques, discover new paths. Problems are anything but problems, unless you don't have the skill set or temperament to deal with them, then your approach is probably to cause more problems.

Ego comes into play as well. Real entrepreneurs are happy to find answers wherever they find them and give credit too. A great business is a place where everybody is working together, and that's the entrepreneur's ultimate goal - a functioning, well-oiled machine. Which brings us to this:

4. ALL TOGETHER NOW

This is the no man is an island part of our program. You can't do it alone. You need your family. You need your friends. Your team. Your need your network. Your clients. Your competitors. A lot of business focuses on financials, time-management, asset deployment, P&L sheets, planning, but the critical component in any business, big or small, is people. If I've learned anything after years of running a business and doing deals it's this: take a long hard look at the people involved, and if there's any doubt, any hesitation about their behavior or character, walk. Life's too short. You can work with good people just as easily as you can work with jerks. Be careful. But always remember this next bit.

5. THERE IS NO LIFE OR DEATH DECISION

Okay, sometimes there is, I'll admit, but most times, most days, most decades there's not, and certainly life or decisions in business are rare. Why is this important? Entrepreneurs make hundreds of decisions, big and small. We all do. Heck, deciding what pants to wear is a daily decision, but entrepreneurs recognize the most important thing is to make a decision - good OR bad. Decisions lead to momentum, and lack of momentum is more critical to the life of a business than a bad decision. Most bad decisions don't turn out all bad. And bad decisions can often be transformed into a learning event.

Make the decision. Don't hem and haw endlessly at every fork in the road. Make a decision and move one. Sometimes the best decision is the wrong decision. I learned a valuable lesson from golf: never spoil a good shot with a bad mouth. In other words, after you swing, keep your mouth shut until you see the result. That way if the ball went someplace you didn't intend, but it turned out to be a good place, you can still take credit for it! Be decisive: the entrepreneur's creed.


How Do You Become A Video Game Developer?

We get asked questions like this at every show we attend. Here it is in 12 easy steps! And after the last step, we'll give you a magic key.

A studio like Streamline needs people. Needs all sorts of people. Over the next several months we’ll be looking at various ‘How to’ answers. Like ‘How to become a game designer.’ ‘How to become a game programmer.’ And ‘How to to become rich and influence people.’ Well, maybe we’ll skip that last one. If we knew the answer, we’d be running our vid game company from Kauai.
So, exactly how do you become a video game developer? That’s a pretty big question, maybe the biggest of them all. A video game developer is more a goal than a first step, but when we thought about it several ideas occurred to us, and the first one was obvious.

1. BE READY TO WORK.

I mean a lot of work. There’s always a ton of things to do in development. Organizing and keeping track of it all becomes a major part of your skill set. You might be thinking 'I got that.' I mean compared to coding it’s a walk in the park to keep a to-do list. But you’re wrong to think that. Game dev is massively collaborative, all sort of people working toward a single goal and you don’t ever want to be the person who crashed the team. Understanding Agile and other productivity methods get you ready to be a team member. Become familiar with Jira and Trello, Slack and complex productivity platforms like Streamframe.

2. GET ALONG.

At our studios, we speak dozens of languages. Our team has a diverse cultural background. Being able to get along with all types of people is a critical job requirement. You won’t last long on any game development team if you turn into the ’squeaky wheel.’

3. HAVE SKILLS.

Programming and art are what most people think of when they think of developing games, but there're other parts of the job that quickly become large tasks, like community management, promotion, marketing. It’s not enough to make the game; you need to sell the game too! There’s more than one game plan to bring to a video game company. Keep your focus broad. A background in computer skills can help you, yes, and everybody should have at least a passing knowledge of basic code, no matter what discipline you chose to follow. But if you have your path set on game dev, broaden your skills in as many areas as you can. Writing, music, art, programming, design, character dev. Sit back, look at your favorite game and figure out every component - how did they do that, how can YOU do that, what works and what doesn’t?
And go beyond game production. How did the tiny indie market the massive hit game? Brand the game? Get players and build a community? Make yourself valuable in as many areas as you can.

4. CLIMB THE RIGHT LADDER.

This is kind of the first thing you should ask yourself know matter what job you’re considering. I always tell folks to make sure you're climbing the right ladder. No use working your way to the top and then finding out you didn’t want to be a game developer after all. And believe me, a lot of people do that.
It’s an insanely competitive industry and the only way to the top is through consistent, focused, hard work. Hard work will pay off. But nothing will work if you heart is not really into it. Before you begin, ask yourself this and wait for an entirely honest answer: Do you really want to be a video game developer?

5. THE SECRET.

Do you want to know the secret to becoming a great game developer? Put in the time. There are no shortcuts.

6. CARPE DIEM, DUDE.

Windows open and shut fast in this business. Be ready to jump through the first one you can. Take any opportunity you can to get in the door and go from there.

7. LEAD.

Find the technology edge of the industry and go three steps forward. I heard about this guy who once learned the ins and outs of SSL mixing boards. He had a gig at an industry trade show helping set up, but he got one of the techs to teach him things about this new technology they were displaying. When it came to the city, he was the only punk around who knew how to plug it in. Got an excellent job out of that in an industry impossible to get a job in. He was just a little ahead of the technology curve.

8. HAVE A KILLER CV.

Be honest about the skills on your CV and bolster any holes in your skill set. If something looks a little thin, beef it up. For instance, get some familiarity with Cry Engine, Radiant, Source, and Unreal. It ain’t going to hurt. And knowledge of C++ is going help you get taken seriously.

9. PRACTICE.

Practice makes perfect (a hoary cliche if ever there was one. ) The best artists and programmers never settle for just knowing language and techniques. Master it.

10. MAKE YOUR OWN GAME.

What I mean is the best way of learning is by doing. Set your expectations to reasonable mode. Street Fighter V is not coming out of your bedroom, but basic fundamental game making skills are something you can get started on today. Why not go for it?

11. NETWORK.

Every single great opportunity I’ve ever had came from people introducing me to other people. Get out there.

12. PLAY A LOT OF GAMES.

Yay! This is the best part, right? Become a game ninja. If you play games, you know games.
So if you want to become a video game developer, what are you waiting for?
Press play and go!

Thanks for reading. And below is that magic key we promised! Just click and get in touch with us.


The Idea of Video Game Art at Streamline Studios

We set a high bar for our digital art. But where do our ideas come from?

"/

Have you read Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'? If you haven't, stop reading this and read that right now. It's an unbound tsunami of creativity. You read a story of such intensity, and you think where did the dude come up with this stuff? Lucky for us, Neil is very forthcoming about his process.

"For me, inspiration comes from a bunch of places: desperation, deadlines… A lot of times ideas will turn up when you’re doing something else."

Sometimes I think perfecting your process, your workflow is the greatest key to getting a consistent creative result. But the real trick is to recognize when it's time to take a detour. Real creative inspiration often lies down the unexpected path.

". . . Ideas come from confluence — they come from two things flowing together. They come, essentially, from daydreaming. . . . "

An artist's work matures when they learn to recognize a detour as the main path. Not every detour turns into platinum inspiration, but every spark of authentic inspiration comes from an unexpected place.

"Writers tend to train themselves to notice when they’ve had an idea — it’s not that they have any more ideas or get inspired more than anything else; we just notice when it happens a little bit more."

"


Unleash Your Creativity: 5 Ways To Set Your Game Dev On Fire

Video Game Development sets a high bar. What are the keys to keeping the creative fires burning?

1. FAIL

When I first started out, this single idea set my creative process free. My whole focus became please myself. And I had to try a lot of things to please myself. Once I had an idea I loved and was convinced it was the best I could do, I didn't give a hoot what anybody else felt. If they didn't like it, or my idea landed with a fatal splat, who cared? I embraced the possibility of failure, and it set me free. Ironically, I started having a lot of success.

"I have not failed. I found 10,000 ways that didn't work." Edison vs Tesla

 

2. DREAM

By dream I mean take a walk in the woods and let your mind go. Do the dishes. Watch TV. Play a game. Distract yourself. I like to work on ideas then go to sleep. Invariably, I wake up with a some of the best ideas I'll ever have.

"Trying to force creativity is never good." Sarah McClauchian 'Angel'

 

3. JUMP

How are you going to fly if you don't jump? I look for the single idea that scares the pants off me and go for that one. Sure, there's been times when that crazy risk turns into an abysmal, embarrassing failure. When that happens, refer to #1 on this list.

"The biggest risk is not taking a risk." Mark Zuckerberg vs a toaster

 

4. WATCH

What does great creativity do? It connects. Become an observer of life. The more you understand what makes people smile, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry and what makes them love, the more you infuse your ideas with the deep humanity you need to make people connect with your work. Every bus ride, walk down the block, and hang out with friends is an opportunity to learn. I find a wall to lean against at big parties. It's who I am. But I also love people watching. It's how I learn things that help me write.

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra deja vu all over again

 

5. PLAY

Back in the days when I was teaching music, I used to tell my students 'they call it playing.' Never get so rigid in your process you don't just let go and have fun. Follow your passions, work your craft, perfect your tools, but never forget sometimes to let go and rock. You bump into the most extraordinary ideas that way.

"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." Michael Jordan is rich


Are You So Dependent On Technology You Die Without It?

The tyranny of tools - the phrase kept coming into my mind. We've haplessly drifted into a place where we can't walk down a street without a technology leash.

I began thinking this way when I moved from team to team, and every team had a set of tools to increase our productivity. Each team had an almost religious fervor about 'their' tools being better than the tools those other teams used. Until there was an outbreak of tool envy and suddenly the team shifted into a new tool set. Slack, Jira, Asana, Whats App, Skype, Zoom, onto bigger things, Zoho, Salesforce, and bigger still, Hansoft, Streamframe.

Good steady workers keep their heads down and learn the ins and outs of these tools, the quirks, the shortcuts until they 'own' the technology, and the team starts to hum and settle in and then . . .

There's a new tool.

There's always a new tool.

It's the restless nature of the technology beast.

Code builds on code and spews out better tools.

Technology has the shelf life of a mayfly. 18 months. And the update better be revolutionary.

And what does that make us? Worker bees tied to the technology tit?

In his paper, Legacy Systems and Functional Cyborgizations of Humans, Alexander Chiselenko coined a word for what we become when we are too tightly bound to our technology: Fyborg - functional cyborgs. He even devised a self-test for you to check your fyborg status,

  • Are you dependent on technology to the extent that you could not survive without it?
  • Would you reject a lifestyle free of any technology even if you could endure it?
  • Would you feel embarrassed and "dehumanized" if somebody removed your artificial covers (clothing) and exposed your natural biological body in public?
  • Do you consider your bank deposits a more important personal resource storage system than your fat deposits?
  • Do you receive most of your knowledge about the world through artificial symbolic language, rather than natural sensory experience?
  • Do you identify yourself and judge other people more by possessions, ability to manipulate tools and positions in the technological and social systems than primary biological features?
  • Do you spend more time thinking about -- and discussing -- your external "possessions" and "accessories" than your internal "parts"?

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions you are already a cyborg! Congratulations!

Here's an amazing thing, of course. This is not a new test. It was first proposed in 1995. It's been appropriated in lots of ways, including by a rock band that called themselves, Fyborg. Catchy.

But let's be honest. Didn't we all answer yes to most of those questions?

And that's telling. In 1995 the odds were you might have failed the test. Twenty years later?


The Future In Video Games Is Southeast Asia

We've been building the company at supersonic speed. We see the future all around us in KL.

The trick is not to predict the future, not to wave your hands over a crystal ball, not to toss bones or read omens in a dancing fire. The trick is to actually live the future, declare today the day things change, evolve, move on.

So we went to Southeast Asia, a part of the world that’s been growing, coming together, taking control of its future. Things are changing, the world re-shaping itself on a daily basis and Southeast Asia is in the middle of it, maybe in some cases at the epicentre.

SEA is the fastest growing games region in the world.

In terms of diversity, population, revenue, SEA’s new economic clout is starting to send signals: Look at us, here we are. An area as dynamic as Europe, growing in leaps, something to pay attention too.

"SEA growth is outpacing Latin America and Eastern Europe. Revenues have surpassed a billion dollars. The huge population means no ceiling on growth."

Maybe more importantly, entry into the SEA market is wide-open, with fewer barriers than China.

There is a more compelling opportunity for foreign investment. Trade is invited to create something new, explore different possibilities, find its own place, with fewer dictates from the government. And culturally too, the welcome is open-armed, the door ajar.

"All countries in the region are familiar with English as a language of international business. In Singapore and Philippines, English is an official language. In Malaysia, English is an active second language and other regions widely use English in business." 

SEA culture is in step with the West online as well.

"Southeast Asia also shares many of the same preferences for social networks as the West. As high as 95% of those using mobile social networks or chat applications in Vietnam are active on Facebook. The lowest percentage of Facebook users in the region is Indonesia, and that is still at 78%. Twitter and Instagram are also utilized at a good rate in all regions." Newzoo Research

New standards, new currents of entrepreneurship and investment flow across the Pacific in both directions. New economic opportunities are on the horizon. The time has come to live into the future and seize the days that lay just ahead.