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Hey, I'm Arisa!
In this time, let me try to write the article in English because today's interviewer is a designer from LA!
His name is Taka 😎 Oh wait, is he Japanese? Yeah, he is totally Japanese, but he spent his college life in LA🌴☀️That is why his personality is kind of American! I'd like to introduce why he is here and how does he feel like about ookami and so on!
To beyond my experience🏄♀️
Why did you decide to move to the US?
I was absorbed in soccer and surfing all through the middle of high school. Fortunately, I could get a sports referral to enter high school. However, I thought I didn't think I would be a soccer player that I wanted to become in the future. When I thought so, my best friend from junior hign school left Japan to Chicago. We kept in touch with each other even if he went to the US. One day he came back for a couple weeks and we hang out a lot while he is back in Japan, and I saw he spoke English with foreigners. I thought "Speaking English is super cool!!" at that time. I quit the soccer club right after he went back to the US and started studying hard to improve my English skills. My father told me "If you really want to study English, you can go to the US."
What did you do there?
In the United States, I majored in graphic design because there were many friends who created their own designs or logos in Japan, so I just simply wanted to try!, but I could have studied various things other than design. While I was in college, I worked for some companies as an internship in LA, but I decided to go back to Japan.
By what criteria were you looking for work in the US?
When I look for a job, I have a chance to make a difference in whatever industry I choose. The only downside is choosing a place to start out in. It’s a matter of deciding which company is a fit for ME. Everyone has different goals and interests. A big corporation, though there are many opportunities, may not be the best choice in the long run, depending on your goals and values. My decision as a designer for the very first yeat was based on a mix of four primary components: The Industory/Misson, The people, The growth/Learning, and The work/The project. And finding a company that suits those four primary componetns in Japan was one of the biggest reasons why I decided to return to Japan.
Meeting incredible and young designers👬
How did you find ookami?
Through Wantedly! I browsed "design" and visited about 20 companies. At the first time, it was hard to find the ookami's office and I almost got lost haha, but I managed to arrive and talked with Yoshi-san for the first time. He told me that the designer team in ookami is so young. Next time, I went to the hamburger restaurant and met Riomar and Take. They were nice and cool, and Taiyo-san told me if I would like to work for a week like a trial as a intern.
What do you think about ookami?
I think we are good at switching on-off to work. The environment is really good and everyone is kind. For example, they often give me feedback and help me when I have any troubles because I think that everyone is supporting each other and products can be made as a team!
What do you think about the design team?
We are really close and have a conversation a lot. For work, Riomar designs the foundation of the project of the design team and made the base for all of us to design freely and fun. We often go to Shimokitazawa with skateboards and talk while drinking a couple of coffee. We talk about not only work but also private things. All designers are strict and love the design. We often speak in English, thanks to Nancy joined us in the company, everyone in the company totally changed their mind about English. Like those who are not familiar with talking in English started trying to improve by English lessons with Nancy.
Self-managing is always difficult and fun☺️
What was the hardest thing you've ever experienced at ookami?
Self-management! It was first time for me not to have manager for projects that I work on and was hard for me to manage the projects by myself as a designer at first time. However, I received many feedbacks and I tried to be clear the process. The feedback is usually strict tho, Riomar always says "You don't need to take it personaly because it's just for your process and outcomes, not for yourself."
What about the most incredible one?
I'm enjoying everything! Self-management is new and interesting, and we are working together not only with the designers but also with the engineers and marketers literally everyone in the company. We have many things we can learn with each other.
Passion about his future and ookami🔥
What do you refer to as a designer?
I can definitely say that's designers in ookami! I'm so happy to be part of these cool and talented people! I've been always interested in technology and thoughts behind what we always use everyday. Technologies have always been experimented to create something that can change people's lives, however they become meaningless unless everyone can use it regularly. Recently, I'm interested in Mubert which is an app that is from Russia and let us listen to music appropriately with the current situation using their own algorithm to generates an infinite non-stop music stream using a huge database of samples recorded by experimental electronic producers. I'd also love to design AR and VR in the future. These cutting edge technologies can usually be understood by the experts but not for people who are not skilled in technology. That is why I want to create something difficult but easy to understand for everyone.
What is your global strategy at ookami?
I don't want users to use Player! to watch the game only. I want to make the community beyond the game. Player! would be able to be a platform that people around the world can enjoy sports and become happy. I'd like to create the app which would be used and loved by everyone including foreigners even elderly people.
Tell me your passion for ookami!
I really want to contribute to growing ookami by the design team. I believe ookami could definitely reach something great. I won't be afraid of making mistakes to create new things from nothing and get better consistently. I'd be happy if I could make use of the possibilities in design for Player! and ookami.
Do you have any comments on our future colleagues?
We would like you to come and see people who are full of ambition to try something while young! If you are willing to step on a venture company, If you choose ookami in that, you will never regret it!
Let's open up sports business that is the still-developed industry!!
Thank you for answering all questions Taka!
If you guys are interested in our open jobs, we are always welcome to meet you at the office😎
Player! Download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/apple-store/id897872395?mt=8