Andreas Sigurdsson

September 13, 2021

The next decade starts today

It seems most people expect you to take turning 40 like something negative or big or even a time of crises. Sure, I did notice how my physics changed a few years back, more pain in the joints after exercise and stomach putting on extra pounds a bit too easy...but apart from that I have gained so many experiences, professional and personal and keep doing, making me feel even better equipped each year. I spent my 20s in China and my 30s in Myanmar - doing all type of projects and starting different businesses. Turning 40 is quite exciting, and like Jack Ma said, in your 40s focus on what you do best.

This year a lot of things changed - both professionally and personally. We ended up taking a break from Myanmar physically, working from Sweden due to the coup and COVID-19. Our media business slowed down and instead I went on and started another venture that has been on the sidelines waiting for its time. And the timing couldn't be better. Privacy and remote work have put digital identity as a crucial thing to get under control as both businesses and individuals face the risk of fraud and data theft. Our mission with ZADA is quite simple: ensure everyone has equal opportunities to benefit from new digital services and offerings in a safe way without risks of fraud or privacy.

With support of an old friend and business partner we made a push and things moved fast. A few months after officially registering the company we were asked to support the vaccination process in Myanmar and we jumped on it. Ramping up the speed we took a SSI network from test to production and launched a Digital ID Ecosystem in Myanmar with both android and ios apps in just two months time. Sure, it was not perfect but it worked! And then we kept working day and night to improve things as we quickly scaled up adding around 1,000 users each day passing 10,000 users in less than two weeks.

Personally I have probably been affected by the situation of COVID-19, remote work, becoming a farther and getting older :-) In fact, I work harder then ever when I need to but I have also set off times with my son Anton and my wife Thiri...Happy wife, happy life....Writing this "post" with Hey World is in fact part of my changed behavior online and similar to what we want to achieve with ZADA. We want to change the current "normal" behaviour that resulted in workarounds, accepting to be spied on, and personal data lost or sold, and being influenced through targeted content. Hey is a great concept that is Secure by design and Blocking email spies among many cool things making using email a new experience. In fact, this year I have put more effort into controlling my online presence through avoiding social media, switching browser and now also moving personal emails to a email service that are not making me into the product.

As your life develops, so must also your behavior and routines. The crisis we have seen is a proof this as well in so many ways. And it is in our minds that we decide how to react and feel. And I feel great and am optimistic for the future!

Writing this I have enjoyed an espresso at a small cafe in Haga, Gothenburg, while my wife and son played at the play yard next to it. Next time I share something maybe I am in Stockholm or some other country where the situation has taken us, or hopefully just back in Yangon again.
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