My Year in Review: 2019

"You don’t always get to choose what you work on, but you can choose how you work on it." – Jason Fried

This blog post is an annual review of what happened in my life in 2019, what went well and what went wrong. Hope we can learn something from here.

Sunset at Lapasi Beach, Lakoakelamo (West Halmahera)

Intermezzo: Google Year-in-Search is my most favourite year-in-review video in the last few years. Check it out!

I spent my new year's eve in Seminyak, Bali in a spontaneous end-of-year vacation, which I booked few hours before. I think it's a good idea to start a new year in a relaxing place, so we can think strategically what we should do in the upcoming 365 days.

At work, we finally had outing for the both business units together in Lembang, Bandung. It was two-days company gathering to know more about each other since we separated into two units. I learned that communication, collaboration, and good habits are very important for our growth, not only in professional life but also in personal life.

It was my fifth Kelas Inspirasi Bandung, a volunteering event that I continously joined since 2015. I chose to be facilitator again and I got school in SDN 2 Wangunsari, Kab. Bandung Barat with the other 11 volunteers. We shared about our profession to elementary students in Bandung. It was all good.

It was a special month because on my mom's birthday I could arrange the second family trip abroad. Previously on my dad's birthday in 2017 we travelled to Singapore – as it was my parents' first experience travelling with passport. This year we travelled to Kuala Lumpur and spent two nights there. It was a short trip but my parent were happy as we took a lot of photos haha.

It was a bad day at work when my best friend left the company to pursue something bigger that I couldn't afford eventhough I worked my ass off đŸ”Ĩ💰.. but life must goes on.. 😔

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work . When I was a CS student in ITB 11 years ago, I had to be crazy to finish all school projects in one night. Our teachers knew that the given project duration didn't really affect our real effort 🙈. Pulling all-nighter every week was kinda normal back then. Deadliner in action!™ . When I was working in Samsung 8 years ago, I had to be crazy to work from 8am to 1am, 6 days a week, during our busiest development months. My manager was upset when we went home "early" at 10pm although our tasks were all completed for that day. Work-life balance? What is that? . When I was pursuing MBA in KAIST 6 years ago, I had to be crazy again to study from 10am, and (most of the time) finish all school projects at 4am, fell asleep at school dorm at 5am, and woke up at 8am to prepare presentation rehearsal before school started at 10am again. Getting A felt "just okay" when you were expected to get A+ in the class with grading on a bell curve. Giving 100% was not enough when everyone was expected to deliver 110%. ęŗ ėƒ 끝ė— 낙ė´ ė˜¨ë‹¤, at the end of hardship comes happiness. Does it? . Now I've been running @Suitmedia for the last 5 years, we decided to be much less crazy with flexitime and other work-life balance policies. Yet I personally still need to work anytime, anywhere, almost 24/7. I always think.. if I don't work hard, people who are counting on me will be in distress. It requires a lot of "craziness" to serve clients well, maintain employee happiness, and survive in digital industry where competitors can just burn their money. . These days I'm still learning how not to be crazy at work. As Jason Fried wrote in his book: Being effective is more important than being productive. And yes, startups are easy, stayups are hard. . So, what's next? . . . #ItDoesntHaveToBeCrazyAtWork
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In April, we had the most awaited movie in a decade. So I decided to book twice, firstly in the early morning with my girlfriend, and secondly in the afternoon with my teammates. Great job, Marvel! Everyone's happy 😊

I joined Kelas Inspirasi Bali for the third time, and this year I got SDN 2 Pegayaman, Kab. Buleleng with the other 14 volunteers. It was a unique experience because local people in Pegayaman village have different religion than the rest of Bali. We didn't just share about our profession to elementary students there, but we also visited the school twice months later for some social contributions. I feel blessed with the spirit of my new friends who are all doers, one of the best Kelas Inspirasi groups I ever had.

This month we opened new branch office in Yogyakarta for technical department. Initially some team members requested if we can open new office in central Java area so they can visit their parents more frequently. I think it's an honest request, has a noble cause, and rational decision to expand our business to Yogyakarta, so that my team members become closer to their family and our business become closer to some good universities. Now we are hiring more people for Yogyakarta office, so it's not only for technical department (software engineers), but also creative department (UI/UX designers, content writers, media planners). Visit

My fellow partner in Suitmedia and I decided to explore some business opportunities in Singapore, so we tried to establish new company in Singapore. The process was very straightforward. We need to have one director who is ordinarily a resident in Singapore, and it is my Singaporean friend who is experienced in managing social media agency. Then as foreigner I only need to bring two documents: 1) original notarized copy of passport, and 2) proof of residence document (which I could use my credit card statement from international bank). The registration process normally took few hours, but in our case we need to wait for six days because our company name was referred for a check in ACRA.

This month I joined Ruang Berbagi Ilmu (RuBI) for the second time, and I got Jailolo, West Halmahera, in North Maluku with the other 15 volunteers. It was my first experience visiting Maluku, so I went there earlier and spent two days in Ternate before going to Jailolo. It was really great and it was my best traveling experience in 2019.

Generosity đŸŒģ . I'm still learning from those people who are generously giving their own resources, time, and efforts to share good things to others. . They paid themselves to come all the way. They left their comfort for a moment to encourage teachers in remote area. They didn't really care where they slept or what they ate, as long as they did it together. They were up all night to prepare all stuffs to share with the teachers. . They are not perfect. They just care about this country and our education. They are in love with 🇮🇩. They are friends with anyone regardless of background. . They are volunteers. Thank you for giving me a chance to know you guys! 💙 @rberbagi_ilmu . . #rubihalbar #ruangberbagiilmu #lakoakelamo #jailolo #halmaherabarat #malukuutara #exploremaluku 📷 by @nurdiansyah_zang @adhiwin @darx82
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At work we had a CSR program,, which is a mobile app to discover orphanages and other social activities nearby. It's available on both Android and iOS platform. We created it because we had some difficulties to find nearby orphanages when we wanted to hold social events in Ramadan. We hope that through this app people will help each other more. I also joined YC Startup School, submitted, and got some valuable insights to grow it further in the future.

This month I joined Kelas Inspirasi Yogyakarta for the fourth time. This time I also asked my team members in Yogyakarta office to participate and they got selected as well. I went to SDN 2 Kandangan, Slemen, which is located only 16 km away from my office.

At work we celebrated Independence Day with #SuitMerdeka events in Jakarta and Bandung. Our theme this year was back to high school, so everyone wore their high school uniform and participated in pesta rakyat.

I was very lucky to get a new Arsenal jersey as a gift because I was invited to join The Arsenal Collective to help the club understand their international fans better. I was very lucky too since I got a two-days meeting invitation in Bali right before my birthday. I spent my birthday by visiting a school in Nusa Penida that I was assigned to in Kelas Inspirasi Bali 2018.

This month we held two knowledge sharing events at Universitas Padjajaran (UNPAD) and SMA Cita Buana. At UNPAD Career Fair, I shared about "Discovering Your Expertise in Disruption Era" to communication students who would graduate and enter the industry soon. Meanwhile at SMA Cita Buana, I shared about "Careers in Industry 4.0" to students who were still considering college majors.

After two years of hiatus, we returned to Kepulauan Seribu for volunteering with Komunitas Inspirasi Jelajah Pulau (KIJP). Previously I went to Pulau Pari (2017), Pulau Tunda (2016), and Pulau Panggang (2015). This time I got Pulau Pramuka, which is one the best islands in Kepulauan Seribu. It didn't feel like my previous volunteering experiences, since we stayed at a very nice villa with aircon and nice bed. Haha. This time we didn't introduce our profession to kids there, but we shared about content writing and storytelling using social media. We chose this topic because there are free Internet wi-fi on the whole island, so we thought that it would be better if students could utilize this facility to improve their written communication skills.

“Facts tell, stories sell.” ⛵ . Nov 28, @jelajahpulauid volunteers returned to Kepulauan Seribu to share our knowledge and experience based on what people need in the island. . As one of the most popular island there, Pulau Pramuka has better infrastructure, including Internet coverage, so that kids are already familiar with social media and online games. . We tried to encourage healthy Internet uses by sharing about citizen journalism and storytelling to middle school students in Pulau Pramuka. . We began with workshop about the basic of citizen journalism at school, then moved outside to RPTRA to learn about the basic of photography, and practiced to write the photo stories. . It was a very brief experience with these youth, but we hope what we shared will be fruitful in the future. 🌴 . . 📷 by @aribowojuliarso @irfanoktv @faqihnashir @jelajahpulauid #kijp #kijp7 #pulaupramuka #kepulauanseribu #explorejakarta
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At work we had a costume party on October 31. As I can remember, this was the most effortful costume party at office in recent years. Almost all team members prepared their own costumes and even some team members had initiative to create decoration by themselves.

This month I joined volunteering with Ruang Berbagi Ilmu (RuBI) for the third time after Yapen (2018) and Jailolo (H1/2019). This semester RuBI sent volunteers to Aceh Singkil, Jember, Lombok Utara, Sula, and four regencies in Bali (Nusa Penida, Buleleng, Bangli, Karangasem). I chose to volunteer in Nusa Penida to catch up with teachers from SDN 8 Sakti that I visited before with Kelas Inspirasi Bali. In this RuBI, I shared about creative learning methods to elementary school teachers (grade 4 to 6). It was really nice experience.

Time flies.. On Dec 1, we had 10th Anniversary of Suitmedia! Ten years!! When I joined the company in its second year, we were just less than 20 people working on several companies (Suitmedia, Bukalapak, HijUp, and other already-shutdown ones). Now Suitmedia has more than 100 employees, while Bukalapak and HijUp have more than 2,500 employees in total. It's a long journey and we're ready for another decade!

Happy new year!

Bonus: My Top Songs 2019

"If you have good habits, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience." – James Clear

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