2023 Rewind

2023 Rewind

'山重水複疑無路 柳暗花明又一村' That is how I describe my 2023, This year, marked by numerous changes and uncertainties, granted me lots of time for introspection even though things didn’t go like what it plans.

Embracing the Unknown

In January 2023, I joined a 6 months contract role in B2B digital marketing with an exciting startup. However, upon completion, I realised the fire inside has gone, feel like I am not engaged with Digital Marketing and driving lead for the sales team, so I chose to part ways after the contract ended without knowing what my next role would become.

Not sure what I was heading to, I embarked on a 2-month trip, reconnecting with friends, residing in hostels & Airbnb, and engaging in conversations with friends, strangers, and former colleagues. These interactions exposed me to diverse life stories and offered insights into life and career choices.

During this time, I thought of being a Product Manager for tech company, as I talked to some PM, I believed it could leverage my skill set. Consequently, I enrolled in an online PM course while travelling, only to discover it didn't resonate with me.

After 2 months of travel, I still found myself at a crossroads, unsure of my destination.

Introspection and Insight

Returning to Hong Kong, I took stock of my past experiences, including previous roles, side projects, and conversations from my travels. It is a thing worth spending time to do, and I am truly grateful for having time to do it. I realized that despite deviating from the conventional path, my 2023 isn’t that bad and I still accomplished some personal growth this year.


Last year I wrote an article on “What does travel mean to you ?” during a 2 weeks trip to Singapore, emphasizing the value of conversing with strangers, and making new connections.

What Does Travel Mean To You?
Hi friend, In 2023, I will restart my newsletter (again). And some of you might saw my Instagram story in the past few weeks - I went to Singapore for 2 weeks. During the trip, I wrote this short article to remind myself the meaning of travel. After two and

And this year during my 2 months travel, I lived up to this philosophy and did it more frequently with zero fear. Engaging in conversations at bars, chatting with fellow passengers on flights, and mingling with people in hostel common areas became my routine.

I cherished the experience of opening up to strangers, knowing our paths might never cross again, both of us will be more engaged with the conversation and the experience you had together.

Memorable Conversations and Interesting People I Met During My Trip

  • Met an Indian jazz bar owner in Kuala Lumpur while attending a big band jazz performance at Jao Tim (a live house in KL). He is passionate about jazz music and shared his story of how his jazz bar in India survived during COVID.
  • Talked to a passenger sitting next to me on a flight from Singapore to Taipei. Many Taiwanese individuals work in Singapore, and now, I know more people based there.
  • Met a girl when I was in Kuala Lumpur, everything just happened at the right place and time. I spent the last few days in KL with her, dating, sharing our childhood memories, and discussing life stories that I seldom share with others.
  • A friend of mine in Singapore is deciding whether to leave her job and focus on her side business. We discussed strategies for business growth, our perspectives on work, and her plans to operate the business in the Philippines.
  • In a Tokyo hostel, I met a Russian guy who happened to be my roommate. He works in the transportation industry and follows a unique schedule: 45 days of work followed by a 45-day holiday. This lifestyle allows him to dedicate a significant amount of time to travel during his breaks, a lifestyle I hadn't encountered before.
  • Engaging conversations with a violinist in Tokyo and a young German traveller, currently on a working holiday, took place in the hostel's common area. We discussed classical and jazz music, Haruki Murakami's fictions, and their aspirations. One had already travelled for 3 months and was contemplating pursuing a second degree in Japan, while the other, fresh out of high school, was using this working holiday in Japan to decide on their university major.
  • Meeting a colleague from my previous company in Tokyo for the first time i. Despite being in his 50s, he occasionally stays in hostels during his travels. His advice to those in their 20s was simple: don't stay at home, go out more, and just do it.
  • Another colleague from my former company in Taipei, originally from Hong Kong, and we discussed our reading lists, envisioned financial freedom, and exchanged thoughts on embracing a nomadic lifestyle.

All these travel memories and conversations will remain etched in my mind, shaping me. I am grateful to have met so many incredible people and reunited with friends during my two-month trip.

2023 Casual Tech Meetup wrapped- An unexpected journey

Behind the Scenes of Casual Tech Meetup: Part 1 - Connecting the Dots
Recently, as I reflected and penned an article about the community I am building, I realized that numerous events in my life have significantly shaped me and ultimately led me to embark on this community-building journey. And I also want to share the behind-the-scenes of Casual Tech Meetup. This article

Casual Tech Meetup aims to curate transformative gatherings for participants. I founded this organization in 2022 September. Looking back to 2023, we did 12 events.

I hope these events we hosted can foster conversations and connections within the tech sector, transcending beyond work-related topics to personal growth, interest, and more. It is great to see participants with a growth mindset gather and share their aspirations.

What we went through in 2023:

  • A total of 200 participants attended events in Hong Kong and Singapore
  • Ran 6 mixer sessions for participants working in UX design, growth, data, digital marketing and more
  • Facilitated 3 Round Table Discussions covering topics ranging from Growth Marketing to Product and Change.
  • Co-hosted 3 diverse experiences: a World Cafe-style discussion to reflect on 2023, a startup exhibition walking tour, and a Lego Serious Play workshop focusing on facilitation.

In the last quarter of 2023, we also tried to down-size the gathering from a large group to a smaller group but each gathering aims for a greater impact on participants. Each time I received participants’ feedback, it filled me with a sense of pride.

Looking forward to 2024, Casual Tech Meetup will continue to curate transformative gatherings for change-makers, trailblazers, and technologists. And I am looking forward to seeing everyone in January.

UX Design, Teaching and freelancing

Facilitating a 6-week UX course

Last year, I enrolled in a UX Design course, where I gained extensive knowledge in experience design and had the pleasure of meeting many remarkable individuals.

My Experience Design Learning Journey (First Two Weeks)
Hey friends, After a couple of weeks working on my website and email system, I finally migrated the entire website to Ghost.io (ULR [timothychank.com] is still the same, I only changed the content and email system). Hopefully, I can spend more time writing about business, design and digital

This year, I got an opportunity to become one of the learning facilitators for the course, guiding the educational journey of eight students.

My reflection as a learning facilitator can be encapsulated in one sentence: Perspective shifts from mere checkbox completion to understanding the user and creating value.

When tackling workplace challenges, we often seek input from colleagues, stakeholders, and supervisors to generate ideas and formulate action plans. However, this approach frequently overlooks a crucial aspect – the user's perspective.

Mere checkbox completion seldom addresses the underlying problem. To address the issue, we need to engage directly with end users, striving to understand their needs and frustrations.

So that we, as a designer, can have a solution that solves the user's problem and creates value for the user.

I also discovered that, somehow, I enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge.

Secured the first corporate training client in digital marketing analytics

I acquired my initial training workshop client, an engineering company, for an in-person digital marketing analytics session with over 40 participants. I distilled all my experiences to create a strategic framework for digital marketing analytics.

2023 is a year of change & realization, and 2024 will be a year of impact