Me, myself & JJ Tan

Hi, I’m not a potential client, but I would like to say I love your work. It’s innovative and clean, how design should always be like. Though I think you should reveal a little more about yourself, (a little biography never kills!) and even a picture would be good. Anyway, it’s been great looking at your stuff, it’s quite spiffy! (:

I was looking through my mailbox yesterday when I saw the above email which was received from a stranger in February this year. It warmed my heart to receive such encouraging emails from random people. So I shall dedicate this post to talk a little more about myself (a little biography never kills!)

I am a freelance web developer/designer who is in this industry for close to ten years.

My first website was a school assignment which showcased the food stalls in my polytechnic. Based on my memories, the website was very very very ugly (Unfortunately I do not have the website anymore, otherwise it will be awesome to show it here), but it marked the start of a remarkable passion.

My first client was a cybercafe owner who wanted to create a website to promote his cafe (I cannot remember who recommended me to him). Before I could finish the website, the cybercafe closed down after one week of operation and the owner was unreachable. The incident was devastating to a 17 year old who was trying to earn his first bucks.

Fortunately things got better. I became the webmaster of a intranet website during my national service period and continued with my freelance projects during my university days.

It is ironical that after creating numerous websites for so many years, I do not have my own website. It was two years ago when I decided to create http://www.wemeanit.sg to showcase my work. I renamed it to http://www.jjtan.sg after a year as I believe the best branding is to use my own name.

My style of work is minimal and clean. People visit websites because of content and minimalist design compliments content by using the simplest and fewest elements to focus people’s attention on the content.

I am very grateful that several people (including strangers) have recommended me to their friends over these years. I believe it is because I am passionate in what I do and this passion is shown through my work. It is important to love what you do because nobody wants to work with someone who treats their job as a chore. To end off, I will like to share this venn diagram about passion, talent & career. I feel blessed that I am in that sweet intersection. How about you?

Third Time Lucky

Third time lucky is the belief that the third time something is attempted is more likely to succeed than the previous two attempts.

It is interesting to see that three seems to be the right number of times to try. Two isn’t enough but four is too many. The reason why I mention third time lucky is because this is the third time I am starting a blog. I failed twice previously because of these two statements.

I shall do this tomorrow.

It sounds very familiar isn’t it? It seems that there are always more important things to do than writing my blog, hence it was delayed, postponed, adjourned until it died of natural death. So why do I want to revive my blog again? Recently, I have some free time to think seriously about the things that I want in my life. And I realize that I have always wanted to write a blog to share my thoughts and knowledge with others. It is through sharing that allows one to learn the most and i am always thirsty for new knowledge. And I hope to use this blog to inspire others to pursue their own dreams.

I am scared of writing

Writing a blog is something very new to me. It is very much different from report-writing or writing passages for my primary school examinations. When I previously started my blog, it was the case of typing a few words, then deleting a few words and the vicious cycle continued for 3 hours before I finally finished my blog entry. There was always this fear of using the wrong words or conveying the wrong message. It was unproductive and reduced my level of motivation for the next entry. I dreaded starting the next entry. When learning a new skill, you have to start from scratch and the best way to learn something new is to do the thing itself. There are books and online articles which you can learn from but nothing beats learning on the job. That is when I decide to conquer my own fear and revive this blog again. There are definitely mistakes along the way and learning from these mistakes makes me better in the future.

I will keep the entries short and concise.
I will share the huge number of ideas in my mind.
I will enjoy writing this blog.
And I will be third time lucky.