It’s hard to resume more than seven years in a brief text, especially when it’s filled with so many remarkable moments. A recurring memory I have is watching the center of Helsinki from our previous office, where I would many times stop to watch people passing by or contemplate the snow falling gently to the window, slowly covering the roofs during the graveyard shifts while I thought about what the effort I was putting into helping the company grow would mean to my life and to others around me. It’s with this memory in mind that I write this text.
The reasons that triggered my leave from the company are many, but they’re ephemeral and easily eclipsed by all the significant moments in my personal and professional life that the job has provided me. After such a long time of sacrifices and herculean efforts to help the business grow, this rupture is the most significant one in my professional life, but also the most anticipated due to my long time aspirations of working with arts, heritage and technology. But I prefer to leave my aspirations for a future announcement to focus on this moment.
Success is perceived in many ways, for some it's only about finances and the luxury that it brings, for others, status, but for me it's purely about personal plenitude and lifting others into a fulfilling life. My job was rough, and like many other immigrants, I was able to build a new life halfway across the planet from scratch ( I guarantee that there isn’t any “garage myth” here). Now, seven and a half years later, I'm not rich or even have much, but I got more than I have ever wished for: A roof above my head to call home, countless meaningful experiences, food on the table and my own family. (can't forget all the cats, of course).
Having been the production’s backbone since the very start of the company, and being a producer until my last days, I had not only the responsibility, but the duty to provide sustainable conditions to nurture and lift the people around me, even when conditions were unfavorable. And that's what I consider to be the greatest success in my professional life.
I sleep with a warm heart whenever I think of the many lives I was able to transform even with the limited “power” and influence I had, giving opportunities for people to grow and excel not only their skills, but also their perceptions of the world and, with that, their own humanity.
Those results were often achieved through managerial skills, other times by simply giving a little boost and autonomy to the team to do what they do best, and, in special times, it meant giving people the opportunity to participate in projects that would take them abroad, improve their life quality or even flying an airplane or visiting the beach for the first time!
This nurturing led us to unimaginable places: traveling around the world, meeting people with diverse backgrounds, visiting places that only a few can enter, pioneering the use of videogames technology in other fields and even being awarded for that! The most significant of so many cases was the Virtual Helsinki project, which has been the company flagship since its start. A project like many others that could only be achieved by the collective effort and growth of everyone involved for many years. And the results were clear: it opened many new opportunities and guided us into uncharted territories when it comes to real-time technology and business development.
All those moments of exploration, pioneering and, quite honestly, collective struggles, created a sense of camaraderie that I haven’t experienced anywhere else so far, but something I aim to recreate in future endeavors with more sustainable conditions. As one of the “OGs" (Original Gangstas) of the company, the very first employee to move abroad and a pioneer in the XR field, my sacrifices and opportunities allowed me to see the furthest, but nothing matches the feeling of knowing many others are now able to also fly the highest.
I yearn that our paths cross in future opportunities, for now I wish all of you a prosperous and, most importantly, a happy life. Remember to always believe in your own capabilities, fight for your rights, protect a sustainable professional life, be compassionate, and lift others whenever possible. Your future belongs to you, but the present is for all of us.
It's with a clear heart and teary eyes of a fulfilled spirit that I bid my farewells to ZOAN and all the humans I met along the way.