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Design Exchange with Thomas Grové

Thomas Grové

Thomas is a veteran of the video game industry and founder of the Séfu fashion brand. Join him as he interviews people around the world working in creative fields to find out what gets them out of bed in the morning. General topics include: Design, User Experience, Techno, Crypto, Cyberpunk, Making Things, Expat Life, Cultural Differences, Consciousness, and Zen. This podcast is also available as a video on Youtube.
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Gamejam's Hyper Casual Games

Christian Calderon is a mobile game executive and entrepreneur who recently co-founded his second hyper-casual game studio in Ho Chi Minh City. He's also an Advisory Board member at Ketchapp which was Acquired by Ubisoft.

We talk with Christian about living in Asia, his game industry journey, and some of the nitty-gritty of developing and monetizing mobile games.

This episode is also available to watch as a video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/GT6ZkPo1xKo

Christian's Links:

Table of Contents:

  • 00:35 - Intro
  • 01:28 - Christian's Vietnam Journey Thus Far, Travel in SEA
  • 02:42 - Exploring a Country Through Its Cuisine
  • 04:24 - Chris's Game Industry Experience, from Fan to Ceo
  • 06:33 - Game Life Cycles - Hard Core Console vs Mobile
  • 07:57 - What Keeps Christian in the Game Industry
  • 09:50 - What's Gamejam working on?
  • 11:49 - The New Mac Pro and Buggy Laptop Keyboards
  • 17:38 - Master Class
  • 25:44 - Eating Dogs and Cultural Experiences
  • 28:15 - Cultural Differences when Crossing the Street in USA, Vietnam, Japan
  • 33:57 - Breaking Rules in Games
  • 36:50 - When Does Christian Decide to Continue Developing A Game and When To Kill A Game
  • 39:35 - Increasing User Retention
  • 41:43 - The State of the Mobile Game Industry in 2019/2020
  • 45:24 - Monetization in Mobile Games
  • 47:50 - State of the Art in Game Monetization
  • 53:20 - Getting a Job in the Videogame Industry
  • 58:19 - Outro

Hashtags:

hypercasual #saigon #vietnam #mobile #gamedevelopment #monetization #entrepreneurship #cuisine

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From Free Agent to Chief Design Officer

For our Double-O-Seventh episode, it is oh so appropriate to have Jon Myers as our guest. He's an international designer of mystery—living a jet-set life and assassinating design problems with expert marksmanship. We talk to Jon about his 20 years of design experience leading up to his current role as Chief Design Officer at Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City based crypto trading platform Liquid.

You can find Jon at @JonMyers on Twitter and http://www.jonmyers.com/ You can learn more about Liquid at https://www.liquid.com/

Table of Contents:

  • 00:17 - Intro
  • 01:15 - Jon's Saigon Journey
  • 02:17 - The Columbus Connection
  • 02:43 - Jon's Design and Entrepreneurship Journey
  • 05:16 - Digital Nomads, Lifestyle Business, Scalable Startups, Affiliate Marketing, Vietnam and a Medium Article
  • 08:27 - American's Have an Unfair Advantage in Immigration and Global Citizenship
  • 10:54 - World on Fire, Working for Yourself, Working for a Company, Abstraction Layers
  • 15:04 - Introduction to The Liquid Crypto Platform
  • 21:09 - Advice to be a Better Designer
  • 24:31 - Smoking Shisha
  • 26:07 - Exercise, Daily Routines, Productivity, Intermittent Fasting
  • 28:42 - Distraction and Productivity
  • 33:13 - What Does Jon Like Most About Living in Vietnam?
  • 35:59 - Design vs Conducting
  • 37:04 - Entertainment, Tourism, and Restaurants in Saigon
  • 40:54 - Jon's Design Process
  • 44:39 - Sketch (UI Design App)
  • 45:54 - Game Design, New Platforms, and Gold Rushes
  • 50:04 - Dynamite Circle
  • 51:17 - Vitality in Online Communities
  • 56:28 - Outro

Hashtags:

#liquid #crypto #design #ux #vietnam #shisha #digitalnomad #productivity #entrepreneurship #leadership #columbus #saigon #expatlife

This episode is also available as a video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/bJ072HFD7ns

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Creative Leadership with The Lab's Tuan Le

Tuan Le is the founder of The Lab Saigon, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We talk about his journey from ad agency copywriter to serial entrepreneur and how Tuan runs his design agency.

Tuan's Links:

Table of Contents:

  • 00:27 - Intro
  • 01:43 - What is The Lab Saigon? From Co-Working Cafe to Creative Agency
  • 04:15 - Tuan's Long Route Back to Vietnam
  • 05:33 - The New Vietnam
  • 06:37 - We Don't Post About Our Failures
  • 08:23 - Where Would Tuan Go If Not Saigon?
  • 11:31 - Could You Work As An Employee Again?
  • 13:22 - No Pinterest and Will Power
  • 15:22 - Hands-on Design vs Design Direction and Trusting Your Staff
  • 18:38 - Turn Over and Company Culture
  • 20:47 - Crunch and Overtime in Creative Industries
  • 23:15 - Crunch in The Videogame Industry
  • 25:33 - Pitching in Ad Agencies
  • 26:48 - Multidisciplinary Design Studio, Which Service is the Easiest?
  • 29:59 - The Story of How The Lab Got Their First Big Client
  • 30:48 - What Videogames is Tuan Playing?
  • 33:08 - Video Production at The Lab
  • 34:13 - Where is the Target Audience of The Lab's Clients?
  • 35:06 - What Kind of Stuff Does Tuan Read?
  • 35:50 - Just Because You're Not Famous Doesn't Mean You Are Not Interesting
  • 38:05 - Naming Things and Blank Lounge
  • 44:13 - Outro

Hashtags:

#design #interriordesign #branding #designagency #saigon #thelab #thelabsaigon #vietnam #LA #foodandbeverage #entrepreneurship #copywriting #designexchange #dxp #podcast

This episode is also available as a video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/XWc1PvIz_Uw

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Engineering Art, Business, and Currency

Tomo is a Viet-Japanese-American entrepreneur, software engineer, and electronic musician living in Saigon. He has a great analytical mind and I always get a thrill from talking with him!

Tomo's Links: https://www.saigonist.com/ https://soundcloud.com/tomosaigon

Table of Contents:

  • 00:18 - Intro: How Tomo Ended Up in Vietnam
  • 01:10 - Bleep Bloop Music
  • 01:33 - An Overview of Tomo's Interests and Engineering Background
  • 03:00 - What Keeps Tomo in Vietnam
  • 04:55 - The Vietnam/American War and Viet Kieu Misconceptions of Present-Day Vietnam
  • 12:29 - Vietnam Startup Scene
  • 14:00 - The Challenges of Doing Business - Are You in The Right Business? Is It The Right Time for Your Business?
  • 17:59 - Overview of Bitcoin and Crypto Currency, Bitcoin in Vietnam
  • 45:42 - Music Festivals and Midwest Raves for Underground Electronic Music
  • 50:45 - Considerations When Writing Dance Music
  • 53:10 - Drum and Bass vs Techno, Tomo's Music
  • 57:38 - What Are The Conditions for A Vibrant Arts Scene? - 90's Underground Computer Art Scene, Asci, Ansi, BBS, Warez
  • 01:08:00 - It's Hard to Start Things and Hard to Keep Them Going. When To Keep Going, When To Pivot, and When To Give Up
  • 01:18:45 - Outro

Hashtags:

#crypto #bitcoin #bch #btc #eth #etherium #vietnam #war #startup #entrepreneurship #techno #ansi #asci #dancemusic #expatlife #vietkieu #lotek #ph34r #614 #Columbus #Detroit #Saigon #Chicago

This episode is also available as a video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/BLnWSLhzTf8

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Making Artisanal Gelato in Vietnam

Andrea Taviani is the founder and head ice cream experimentalist at SAPORI D’ITALIA. Let's talk to him about life in Vietnam and making gelato that really satisfies!

Andrea's Links: https://www.facebook.com/saporiditaliavietnam/ Instagram: @sapori__ditalia @aot81 Thomas's Links: https://dxsaigon.com IG/TW: @dxSaigon

This episode is also available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/sK6U8Cqf9cw

Table of Contents:

  • 00:38 - Intro / Un Espresso
  • 02:46 - Starting a Business in Vietnam
  • 05:37 - Sourcing Ingredients
  • 07:23 - Creating "Dolce Far Niente"
  • 10:06 - Foreign Food Prices
  • 12:03 - Doing Things The Old Fashioned Way
  • 15:01 - Vietnamese Ingredients in Ice Cream
  • 20:26 - Andrea's Cultural Background
  • 22:40 - The Most Challenging Thing So Far (construction)
  • 25:20 - Cultural Differences
  • 32:28 - Driving in Vietnam
  • 39:27 - Foreign Ghettos and Assimilation
  • 41:52 - Eating Local
  • 43:14 - Ice Cream Reactions: Thomas and Saigonese
  • 45:05 - Language Barrier and Learning Vietnamese
  • 51:55 - Customer Satisfaction in Italian
  • 01:05:10 - Goodbyes and Such

Hashtags:

#foodie #gelato #icecream #vietnam #saigon #italian #dolcefarniente #podcast #designexchange #dxp

Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by Séfu, creators of The Switch Bag, the bag that lets you bring your Nintendo Switch with you, everywhere you go! Use code DXP for free shipping and a 15% discount!

This episode is also made possible by Pinecast. After weeks of evaluating podcast hosts, we decided to go with Pinecast because you can get unlimited episodes, storage, and bandwidth for only $5 per month. That's a great value and if you use coupon code r-4b5077 you'll get 40% off for 4 months!

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Bag Manufacturing in Vietnam

Design Exchange Podcast Episode 3 is our first episode with two guests while drinking Korean soju. Dave Kim has been working at Korean owned bag factories in Vietnam for more than 15 years. Marc Mendoza is a product designer from Silicon Valley who relocated to Vietnam to start Post Carry, a brand catering to cyclists.

Marc's Links: https://postcarry.co/ Instagram: @postcarryco

Thomas's Links: https://sefu.jp/ Instagram: @sefustyle

This episode is also available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/iUoHJVbqolw

Table of Contents:

  • 00:38 - Intro Banter
  • 02:46 - Marc made over 100 bags for friends, why he moved to Vietnam
  • 06:17 - 15 years ago Saigon street coffee was better and people were friendlier
  • 09:58 - Taking taxis vs driving in Saigon
  • 11:14 - Korean Noodles
  • 12:25 - Dave's job: bring design to reality, and bag production at a factory.
  • 19:30 - Tech Packs and Design Documentation - How detailed does it need to be?
  • 25:41 - Advice for New Product Designers
  • 31:06 - Dave's Dream for 1 Million Dollars
  • 33:08 - Feeling Good through Customer Feedback
  • 36:20 - Climbing in Vietnam
  • 38:55 - Vietnam is a "Woman Country"
  • 40:31 - One of the benefits of being a foreigner is anonymity
  • 42:33 - Cheap Smoothies and a Growing Economy drew Thomas to Vietnam
  • 47:51 - The Number One Thing Thomas Doesn't Like About Vietnam.
  • 51:39 - Driving a Motorbike in Vietnam
  • 57:23 - Marc rode his bicycle 80km to the factory.
  • 01:00:40 - Marc Wants to be in Vietnam
  • 01:01:39 - Thomas lost meaning after separation from his son and seeks calmness and connection with his son in Japan.
  • 01:04:08 - Columbus Ohio is becoming more attractive to Thomas.
  • 01:06:49 - Silicon Valley vs Vietnam according to Marc Mendoza
  • 01:08:09 - Our Favorite Viet Foods

Hashtags:

#bag #design #manufacturing #madeinvietnam #vietnam #saigon #podcast #designexchange #dxp #postcarry #sefu

Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by Séfu, creators of The Switch Bag, the bag that lets you bring your Nintendo Switch with you, everywhere you go! Use code DXP for free shipping and a 15% discount!

This episode is also made possible by Pinecast. After weeks of evaluating podcast hosts, we decided to go with Pinecast because you can get unlimited episodes, storage, and bandwidth for only $5 per month. That's a great value and if you use coupon code r-4b5077 you'll get 40% off for 4 months!

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Making a Beach Bar in Vietnam

For episode 2 we head to Blush Beach to catch up with James Seebacher, former managing partner for three of the coolest night clubs in Vietnam. What does it take to run a beach bar? Let's find out!

James's Links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamestseebacher/ Blush links: https://www.facebook.com/BlushBeach/ Instagram: @Blushbeach

This episode is also available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/akcTG5jnyWE

Table of Contents:

  • 00:25 - Playful Intro Banter
  • 01:58 - Personal Branding - Big Fish in Small Pond
  • 02:53 - Branding Blush Beach
  • 07:16 - Contrasting Columbus Ohio, Las Vegas, HCMC, and Danang
  • 10:37 - Vietnamese Pronunciation
  • 14:19 - Design and Maintenance of a Beach Club
  • 18:17 - Give people what they want!
  • 20:20 - Vietnam Leasure Market
  • 25:28 - Who is the DX Audience?
  • 27:38 - Jame's leadership style
  • 29:02 - Blush Investment
  • 33:31 - Blush Music Selection / Volume
  • 34:42 - The Health Impact of Nightlife
  • 35:09 - Outro

Hashtags:

#blushbeach #vietnam #hospitality #nightlife #beach #beachclub #beechbar #designexchange #podcast #lush #blush #hoian #danang

Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by Séfu, creators of The Switch Bag, the bag that lets you bring your Nintendo Switch with you, everywhere you go! Use code DXP for free shipping and a 15% discount!

This episode is also made possible by Pinecast. After weeks of evaluating podcast hosts, we decided to go with Pinecast because you can get unlimited episodes, storage, and bandwidth for only $5 per month. That's a great value and if you use coupon code r-4b5077 you'll get 40% off for 4 months!

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Running a Media Company in Vietnam

What's up! Episode number one of my podcast is here! I'm pleased to sit down with Brian Letwin -- co-founder and CEO of Saigoneer. Saigoneer is a media company in Vietnam. Find out more at: https://saigoneer.com/

This episode is also available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Pcz7pOIzhx4

Table of Contents:

  • 00:19 - Intro
  • 03:40 - Origins of Saigoneer
  • 09:08 - Why a Korean Version
  • 10:34 - Saigoneer's Core Content
  • 12:46 - The Changing Media Landscape
  • 16:05 - Saigoneer's Media Kit
  • 21:10 - Is Saigoneer a Publication or an Advertising Agency?
  • 24:37 - What Motivates Brian?
  • 27:44 - Vietnam Modern Architecture
  • 32:08 - Brian's Grab Bike Accident Pt 1
  • 34:17 - Lack of Flood Prevention and Environmental Issues
  • 38:30 - Traffic and Walking in Saigon
  • 44:06 - Ride Share Popularity and Economics
  • 49:26 - Brian's Grab Bike Accident Pt 2
  • 53:55 - The First Time Brian and Thomas Met / Outro

Episode Hashtags:

#dxp #designexchange #saigon #saigoneer #vietnam #podcast #urbanist

Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by Séfu, creators of The Switch Bag, the bag that lets you bring your Nintendo Switch with you, everywhere you go! Use code DXP for free shipping and a 15% discount!

This episode is also made possible by Pinecast. After weeks of evaluating podcast hosts, we decided to go with Pinecast because you can get unlimited episodes, storage, and bandwidth for only $5 per month. That's a great value and if you use coupon code r-4b5077 you'll get 40% off for 4 months!

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Producing a Radio Show about Fishing

Pete Gray is the founder and host of Let's Talk Hook Up, a Southern California sports fishing call-in radio show that airs every Saturday and Sunday morning. We talk with Pete about the appeal of fishing, working with advertising partners, and transitioning from Radio broadcast to online media.

This episode is also available to watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/g5KF275GBG4

Let's Talk Hook Up Links:

Table of Contents:

  • 00:27 - Intro - What Kind of Show is Let's Talk Hook Up?
  • 02:33 - How Pete Got into Hosting A Radio Show
  • 05:36 - Challenges in Radio
  • 07:14 - How Advertisers Measure The Results of a Podcast or Radio Sponsorship
  • 10:56 - Types of Sponsorship Opportunities
  • 14:15 - Tips for New Podcasts When Working with Sponsors
  • 17:03 - Timeslots
  • 18:16 - How to Keep Your Show Fresh
  • 19:44 - Commercial VS Sport Fishing and Sustainability
  • 22:19 - Illegal Harvesting, Why Not Harvest Bycatch?
  • 26:22 - Catch and Release and Bonefishing
  • 28:11 - What's Fun About Fishing?
  • 31:13 - Sushi and Tuna Stocks
  • 32:36 - China's 9-Dash Line
  • 35:23 - Fishing Tales
  • 39:35 - Quietness in Fishing
  • 40:33 - How to Find and Maintain Sponsorships
  • 47:28 - Electric Outboard Engines
  • 48:42 - Conventional Outboard Engines
  • 51:44 - Some of the Logistics of Producing a Show and Keeping Up Enthusiasm
  • 55:49 - Bringing My Dad on as a Guest - Fishing Story
  • 1:00:27 - Outro

Episode Hashtags:

#sportfishing #sustainability #commercialfishing #podcast #radio #podcastproduction #radioproduction #sponsorships #fishing #talkradio #petegray #letstalkhookup

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