Julien Condamines, expert in design thinking, founded Co-Creation Lab an innovation studio offering a hybrid model of consulting and corporate training for MNCs.
What’s your story?
French Born, lived and worked in 4 continents and 6 countries. Worked for 6 years at Google in Sales in Dublin then led B2B marketing for YouTube in São Paulo, left to join the startup world (CMO of Worldpackers for 2 years). Expert in design thinking, founder of Co-Creation Lab, an innovation studio offering a hybrid model of consulting and corporate training for MNCs. Entrepreneur in Residence & Innovation Expert at the French Embassy, Mentor in Residence at ImpacTech and Leader of La French Tech Singapore.
What excites you most about your industry?
Working on problems that haven’t been solved, can’t be solved and are changing while you’re trying to solve them. Empowering people to take a new stand of wicked problems to find new ways through. Keeping very close to the user and building empathy to understand new realities.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I consider myself a true globe-trotter/citizen of the world speaking 4 languages and having lived in different continents and countries. And yet, I didn’t know Asia – half of the world – so I decided to move to Singapore 2 years ago to incorporate the company and tackle big challenges while consolidating my knowledge of the world. I guess Asia is the latest module of my real life MBA 🙂
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. It has all the decision makers and headquarters in a small place, money to fuel projects, a concentrate of the Asian culture but English is spoken everywhere, low taxes and an easy access to a barely tapped market of 600M users (ASEAN). It’s also very dynamic, networking is so rich it’s exhausting and there’s a huge diversity of profile and nationalities, making it very exciting, too.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Shut up, listen and ask why 5 times.
Who inspires you?
Hustlers, self-made entrepreneurs coming from nowhere. And if I have to give names… Arianna Huffington for being such a role model for Women, Elon Musk for tackling impossible challenges and Bill Gates, for spending a huge fortune where it really matters
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I read Abundance. The book is a must-read, it shows how we’ve never been in a better place while media keep selling us the contrary. The best demonstration of data/mind manipulation, and of how your perspective can influence your capacity to succeed.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
When I left Google, I went directly to a very small startup as employee #1. Took me a while to adapt and wasn’t particularly fun. I’ve been advising corporate dropouts to go gradually since then, and join a smaller yet structured company before plunging into the big pool.
How do you unwind?
I travel to remote places. Climb a volcano, hike a mountain, stuff like that. During the week, sports like running, biking and swimming help take out the stress. I find my performance improves with the level of stress. I was running up to 24km on a Friday night before getting fired for example 🙂 I love cooking too, that’s a creative activity that helps switch the brain from work to laid-back mode. Then going out, dancing and having drinks with good friends is a nice way to release the pressure too. And reflexology, OMG, I got addicted in Singapore 🙂
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I haven’t been many times to the same one, can’t really tell. I love discovering new places I guess, and look rather for inspiration than relaxation.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The hard things about hard things. Especially recommended for entrepreneurs.
Shameless plug for your business:
While every company these days is running after its digital transformation, the real challenge is to prepare the collaborators of the company for an ongoing change involving ever changing technology. Going for solutions developed externally before that, hence, is either useless or just a temporary relief. Coincidentally, that’s the premise on which Co-Creation Lab was built. Our mission is to empower people with the right mindset and tools to tackled a connected world. And since that’s a subject I’m passionate about, give me a call and let’s talk about your challenges (for free).
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.