If you expect something in return, you are not really giving.

Jérémie Tisseau, Managing Director at Morphosis Apps Co.

Since a very young age, I have always been passionate about building stuff with my hands. I would spend most of my time in my father’s workshop creating and building new things. Later as a teenager, I developed a passion for art such as oil painting, watercolour and drawing comic books. After 10 years doing so, I felt that I was not going anywhere with it. Something was missing. A bit later in life, I discovered design and then I knew: this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I love that design, unlike art, has a direct purpose 

Early beginnings 

My background had nothing to do with design or art though. Of all things, I studied instrumental optics, and then began my career in a Solar Telescope in the Canary Islands, Spain.  I’ve worked there for 4 years but never really enjoyed my job. 

One year in I created an exchange language group to meet new people and learn Spanish. To advertise it I created my very first website using tables (yes, this was still a thing at the time). I fell in love with web design right away and I thought to myself: what if I could make a living out of it? 

With that goal in mind. I worked really hard to turn this dream of mine into reality and I began creating my first professional website. I advertised to sell my services for $79 for a full website (more than a bargain, but I had no idea what I was doing back then). I dedicated every spare hour including weekends to learn more about web design, sometimes even waking up in the middle of the night too excited to sleep any longer. After only three months, I got my first client. I was in business.

Moving to Asia

A few years later I decided to move to Thailand to turn this passion into a full-time freelance career as a UX/UI designer. It was a pretty scary move, but I knew I would never be happy in optics. I had to make a change in my life.

After 5 years as a freelancer in Bangkok, my business was booming so I decided to set up Morphosis Apps, a UX/UI design agency that would help clients use UX and UI to meet their business objectives. In the beginning I just hired a few people to help take some of the weight off my shoulders, but things kept moving fast. 
From a humble beginning as a freelancer, the company now offers the full product development cycle, from conceptual idea to user research, wireframing, design, development and optimising the conversion of a monetising product. 
Already now the company counts almost 30 people and is still growing rapidly.  My goal is to keep growing the team and for the company to be a leader in our field before eventually to start expanding to other countries in the region.

Making a name for myself

During my early years, I created a blog to share my learnings. I would set myself a goal, try to build something new and post it online for free. In the beginning, I didn’t get much traffic but eventually, a few people started sharing my articles and scripts which helped me get noticed by some of the top web design publications in the world.

Share knowledge, expect nothing in return.”

One of those was Smashing Magazine. They published one of my free WordPress Themes called OnePress. It ended up as the #1 theme in their list of the 100 Amazing Free WordPress Themes for 2009. This – and other articles – brought me 30,000 unique visitors per month and a constant flow of potential customers. This was a big boost early in my career. 

Developing local tech communities

A few months after I arrived in Thailand I felt I wanted to do something more in the community so started setting up the BKK WEB events. My simple goal at the time was to create a small education platform for designers and programmers. Every month we would invite different speakers to come share their knowledge about web design, digital marketing, UX Design, SEO or related topics. Over the last 9 years, this group grew larger than I ever imagined with now 5000 members and attendance reaching up to 200 people at every event.

I never expected anything from these events, I just wanted to share. 

During the first few years in Bangkok time I also created a bunch of other groups and events always with the goal of giving back to the community. These events helped me create a reputation for myself and my company and I got to know some of the top tech influencers in the country as well. Accidentally, this brought me a lot of clients and I don’t think my business would be where it is now if I didn’t try to help develop local communities in this way
As an additional bonus, these events helped hundreds of people to improve their design skills or even get a job in the industry, which is more than I could ever ask for. 

You have permission to fail. Don’t get discouraged.

The last 13 years of my life has been a chaotic journey. Never in my life before was I forced to go through so many challenges and learn so much in such a short amount of time. One of my biggest learnings was probably to not be afraid to take risks. Sure, there is a possibility to fail but nothing can happen if you don’t make the first jump. The second thing I have learned is that you should not always expect something in return when you do business.
Call it Karma but when you truly give back to others without any expectations, the returns can be greater than you can ever imagine. 

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