I started writing this maybe more than a year ago. I wanted to try a new update to keep in touch but fell off the idea of doing an e-mail newsletter. I think this is a good yearly public post format.
Overall, I’ve been fascinated by the ways people have turned inward and outward during the pandemic. A year or so after the NYC lockdown and life changing overnight, I’m trying to maintain better ties after turning inward for a year and not being present the one prior. A year of rootlessness contrasted with a year of what feels like a loss of freedom of movement and the basic ability to see loved ones has definitely made me think differently about connecting with people.
It’s been a jumble of contrasting years. I spent the pre-COVID times traveling the world with Remote Year before moving back to NY last fall, where I’ve been living the past few years. I’d been writing about that experience and on off here — a personal project/bit of brain dumping for my own sanity. It felt like I got back and COVID happened. The lockdown here felt very real. Weeks of ambulances wailing in empty streets and picking up my neighbors followed by weeks of unrest was quite a time to live in NYC. I didn’t talk to another person in person for 72 days and didn’t see my family in California for over a year. I thought this podcast was very informative on what the pandemic has done to our nervous systems. The year ended for me on a good note, having recently bought my first home.
I’ve been working at GroupM for the last five years and change, an advertising agency holding company. I’ve been a Product Manager building products to “democratize machine learning” for our agencies. A big emphasis in what I do now are privacy-first platforms as the advertising world finally pivots away from third party cookies and looks in the mirror at practices that have wrought havoc on the world. Parts of the process I’m enjoying are collaboration with technology partners, building Data Ethics products, exploring how we can build more sustainability in tech infra, and do advertising a bit better for people.
Things I’ve Enjoyed:
I really like sharing things I enjoy or think are important. Below are my greatest hits of the last few months:
As you all know, I love food. I’ve started a Food Instagram. A few pandemic break favorites:
- Nadiya’s Time to Eat
- Giri/Haji — mind bending British/Japanese Yakuza crime drama
- The House of Flowers — Black Comedy about an upper-class Mexican family
- Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian: Taking a Stand on Racial Equity
- Why Are We Here?
- A Letter to My Fellow Asian Women Whose Hearts Are Still Breaking
- GDC 2020: R-E-S-P-E-C-T Practical Tips to Prevent Abuse & Build Team Trust
- Revenge Eating in Taipei
- ‘Free speech has never been freer’: Pankaj Mishra and Viet Thanh Nguyen in conversation
- How Taiwan’s Unlikely Digital Minister Hacked the Pandemic
- Transnationally Asian
- Freedom Is Ours, We Just Have to Keep Fighting For It
- After winning the battle over third-party cookie tracking, will privacy advocates lose the personal-data use war?
- Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation
- Police Unions And Civilian Deaths
- As Coronavirus Panic Spreads, I Went in Search of Wuhan’s Defining Dish
In the tradition of WIP breakfasts I’ve gone to, I’m ending with an open gives and asks.
Give: Thoughts on product management, advertising, and digital nomad life when mobility returns
Ask: Any tips for a first time home-owner, first-time manager, and collaborating on data ethics/privacy/sustainability in tech
Hope you and your families are happy, healthy, and safe as you can be in these challenging times.