Jonathan (or Jon, as most people call him) has a unique take on the work hard, play hard anthem – work hard, sleep, work harder.
He leads a powerful team of software ninjas based in Singapore and Manila, building some of the best programmes used all over the world. His impressive roster of clients includes Onboard Informatics, Klout, Federated Sample, Microsoft, EMP Industries and Singapore National Environment Agency. Just to list a few.
When he’s not busy building world class software, Jon is “living the dream, fighting the good fight”. We sat down with this jovial chap to pick his brain on what it’s like to be surrounded by the best software engineers in developing software for some of the world’s leading corporations. Once you go mobile, you never go back.
How has working with creative agencies helped you in your business?
Jon: Creative agencies fill a skills gap that we don’t have – graphic design and user interface. Agencies like Advocate understand how branding, audience and corporate culture affects a product and all the related product assets like images, screen design and user work flow.
How can creative agencies collaborate with individuals from the software industry?
“Most software development firms do not have the awareness of the end user in mind. Let’s face it, we are geeks. We need to bridge the gap between a good idea and a successful product.”
Jon: A good creative agency not only can provide the skills to mock up a screen or create JPGs, but understands the commitment required to build the best product possible without compromise. What impresses me most about Advocate is that they embrace current product development methodologies like Agile and Lean. These methodologies are how products are being developed now and they are adept at working within this free-flowing structure.
How important is it to think out of the box?
Jon: “Thinking out of the box” only makes sense if the thinker has the experience, intelligence and skills to implement the ideas in the real world. The evolutionary process – try something new, always questioning, evaluate, keep what works, discard the rest – is important.
What would you tell other software engineers on working with creative agencies?
“Work with people who share the same work ethic and principles. My belief is that success is the by-product of effort, professionalism and respect.”
Jon: We don’t work with many. Once we find a partner we enjoy working with, we don’t look elsewhere. Advocate has been our partner for the past 8 years and the partnership has been a resounding success.
Finish this sentence! Curiosity killed the cat but creativity…
Jon: …is useless if not put into action. I’m happy to say that over the last 8 years, we have had a superb creative partner who has helped our clients transform ideas into reality.
Our Take As A Creative Agency
Working with Jon and his team from Duration always feels like the meeting of great minds. We have been fortunate to collaborate on various projects in launching established businesses onto the mobile technology platform.
Partnering with the software industry enabled us to create interactive apps for our clients that operate across multiple devices – the perfect solution in keeping businesses mobile and abreast to the universal fixation with mobile technology.
Embrace the rapid technological changes and seek solutions in responding to the growing needs of your clients. Let technology, and the brilliant people who know how to build them, work with you.
Jon has over 25 years of experience building commercial software products in USA, Singapore and Philippines. Since 1996, he has managed and guided Duration with continuing success. In addition to his role as Founder | CEO of Duration Inc., he is involved in philanthropic work, whiskey sampling, extreme sports, basketball and poetry writing. Jon’s goal in life is to be an agent of positive change, and he strives to be a better person by trying new things and learning from past experiences every day.