This year has granted me a lot to reflect on, not only exciting but challenging too. Our team grew from three to seven staff. My thanks go to the National Research Council of Canada for their support of tech startups like mine and Industry Canada for their focus on developing digital skills for Canada’s new generation of talent. Each of my team members are dear colleagues to me and I will do my best to support each and every one of your successes now and in your future endeavours.
As of this year, we now have representation on both sides of Canada – both in Vancouver and in Toronto. Because of this, finding the right balance of sleep while holding meetings in pacific and eastern times continues to be a challenge. Being digitally connected can sometimes feel like a 24/7 connection. To mitigate this, I’ve started setting Wednesdays as my half days.
We have also relocated our main office from Richmond to a more centralized location in downtown Vancouver. As COVID cases stabilized earlier this summer, we even had a an in-person staff meeting! However, we continue to put safety first and we will continue to work predominantly remotely for the near future.
At the height of the pandemic, I made the conscious decision to put my tech start-up hat back on. I’m grateful to coffee for that valuable experience in preparing me for a smooth init. But oh my, I definitely was not prepared for the late nights of reviewing merge requests, writing epics and following up on issues and tickets, or even of deciding on #5DC5C0 or #3D4DE0 in Figma. Although the work was sometimes challenging with the great team I have the privilege of working with, I will happily continue to do it again and again, continually improving in iteration after iteration.
On the topic of improvement. The past three years have been a humble reminder of my own moral compass. As a self-declared, but hopefully benevolent, CEO, I know that there’s an expectation to lead by example. These are unprecedented times and I know that I am not always prepared to respond to everyone’s moral quandaries by myself. With this and other aspects of my role as CEO, there definitely are and will continue to be room for personal improvement. This year, my key focus will be:
To ensure that each staff member has dedicated one-on-one time with me at least once a week to team code, brainstorm and think problems out loud together.
To continue to find skills and development opportunities every quarter for staff. I also commit to allowing release time for staff to pursue workshops and tutorials.
I also hope to focus on giving everyone the opportunity and room to make more decisions and to support them in the decisions that they make. I believe strongly that we must not fear trying new things. Not everything will work, but we won’t know unless we try.
To complete the loop, it’s important to first thank all of the organizations, institutions, and companies from around the world that put their faith in us. It’s with profound gratitude to be able to collaborate with each of them and to build lasting relationships with point persons on every team. It has been my absolute pleasure to learn together, leaving no stones unturned and to provide the insights from qualitative analysis which we continue to focus on.
Lastly, one of the main motivations of founding Kai Analytics was really to spend more time at home with my family. For close to a decade, I’ve spent periods of time away from home, studying or working across multiple countries. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of my family: Kafumi, Kurumi and Konoka ❤️.
Thank you for reading and looking forward to many more years to come.
Kevin "Kai" Chang
Founder and CEO