Hardships of working at Outblaze: receiving bags of presents

Last week at Outblaze was so action-packed that writing about it has spilled over into this week. On Wednesday we had the Pumpkin Challenge, on Wednesday night we received an award as one of Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies, on Thursday we went hiking in the metropolis that inspired Blade Runner, and you’d think that would be enough for one week. But no. Here’s what happened before all that, on Tuesday

Click an image to view it in full size. The company gathered for a surprise event:


The curiosity was plain to see on everyone’s face:


Suddenly, we all received a mysterious black sack nearly bursting with stuff. What could possibly be in there?


The first items to emerge are… videogames!


But there’s so much more! A T-shirt, a USB charging hub featuring all manner of plugs, a portable mobile battery, a hoodie, a set of coloured pencils, a beautiful sketchbook, a bag full of coloured building blocks, a large bouncy ball, a mousepad and more, all gloriously branded by Outblaze or our sister companies like Animoca and TurnOut Ventures.

Armed with these amazing toys, we all split up to participate in a game: each team had to build the most fantastic thing possible using only the contents of the sack they’d all received. Some frantic construction ensued.

Here are members of senior management attempting to build a racing car. The observant eye will quickly note that only two of the team members have succeeded in maintaining the required supervisory stance:


And here are the efforts of more talented block-builders:


Everyone is impressed with the results:


Outblaze CEO Yat Siu concludes the day of fun by declaring the winners:


And that was Tuesday. Little did we suspect that the next few days would unfold in a frenzy of pumpkins, awards, and insanely fun hiking trips. And that was our week of work @ Outblaze. Thanks for reading!

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Outblaze takes a hike in the metropolis

When Ridley Scott worked on the monumental film Blade Runner he drew inspiration from the landscape of “Hong Kong on a very bad day”. It’s known for being visually impressive, but not everyone knows that Hong Kong also has miles and miles of stunning natural parks and scenery – within the city boundaries. Here are pictures of the Outblaze company hiking trip on November 1, 2012.


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Outblaze one of Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies

Receiving the award: Lobson Chan, Yat Siu, Ibrahim El-Mouelhy


In what turned out to be a pretty busy week, Outblaze was honoured as one of Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies at the Mediazone event of the same name. We’d like to thank the organizers of the event and especially all the amazingly talented and dedicated people who made this possible: our fellow Outblazers! The criteria for inclusion in this distinguished club included:

– Corporate Social Responsibility
– Innovation
– Quality of training
– Track record
– Proven contributions to Hong Kong
– Proven management team
– Value-added components
– Recognition for best business practises
– Accolades and other merits from industry peers & organizations
For more information please see the event web site.
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Pumpkin time!

A host of amazing pumpkin creations at Outblaze! It wouldn’t be Halloween without it. This year, we once again enjoyed a range of amazing vegetable productions for our Annual Pumpkin Challenge! Here are some of the finest handiwork. Congratulations to the winners!


Outblaze CEO Yat Siu to speak at Start Club (Oct 29)

Yat Siu, CEO and founder of Outblaze, is the special guest at the next Start Club, the event for entrepreneurs organized by StartUpsHK. Come by to hear Yat’s philosophy of entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and his thoughts on the theme of “starting local, going global”.

The event begins at 7:30 pm on October 29, 2012. The venue is Grappa’s Cellar located at Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central District.

There is no entry fee, but please register if you wish to attend. Find more information at the event web site, or see the Facebook event page.


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Outblaze Mooncakes and a happy Mid Autumn festival

Happy Mid Autumn Festival! This year to celebrate we organized a batch of Outblaze-branded mooncakes. The adorable Cuby of Pretty Pet Salon fame (created by our partner company Animoca) had to get in on the Mooncake munching action.

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Android Tablets for Education – delivered

Chan’s Creative School has received the 50 Android tablets donated by Outblaze and Animoca in a social programme designed to reduce the digital divide and assess the impact of tablet devices in the learning environment.

Outblaze and Animoca believe that all children should receive exposure to mobile computing in the classroom in order to enjoy the learning and economic opportunities (short and long-term) associated with use of  modern tablet technology. The affordable devices all run on Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s latest Android operating system. Over the next several weeks we will evaluate the impact of touch-based mobile computing on the school and students.

On Animoca’s blog there are more photos of the devices being unpacked while the school staff wait to begin the training session. More info to come as the project gets under way.

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Happy birthday Outblaze!

Outblaze was born in May 1998, so we celebrated by getting cupcakes for everyone! Happy birthday to us!

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It's an Android world

Animoca’s recent updates have caused somewhat of a furore in the mobile industry, as PocketGamer.biz reports. Below is the original photograph, titled “All the Myriad Androids,” which triggered the discussion:

Animoca issued a reply in a lengthy follow-up post titled “The Varieties of Android Experience“, explaining its point of view on Android fragmentation, QA methods, and much more. It’s an interesting read and offers a glimpse into the international developer’s side of the story.


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Animoca's rebuttal to claims of an Android decline

Animoca has posted a rebuttal of claims that appeared on TechCrunch about some sort of Google Android decline. Apparently,  Android as a mobile OS was thought to be on its last legs until Animoca swooped in and set the record straight in a post titled Hey TechCrunch: what Android decline?

Animoca starts in a pleasantly lyrical manner:

The posts of the legendary MG Siegler on TechCrunch have soared fantastically over the mundane landscape of technology news & analysis, reaching adulatory heights rarely matched by other Web publications while providing an interesting and entertaining (if occasionally slightly skewed) read.

But now a TechCrunch post by a different writer (Matt Burns) alleging the rise of an “Apple monopoly” in smartphones and tablets has left readers confused on some points, and not because of adoration in the classic Sieglerian style. The article, titled The Decline Of Android Foretells The Rise Of A Total Apple Monopoly, makes some surprising claims – among, it must be noted, some fair points

and then settles in to a systematic analysis of the situation interrupted by the occasional wisecrack. Of special note is a new malady identified, named and described by Animoca:

Morbus silicii vallis. It is a (fictional) condition found among some technology professionals in the Silicon Valley area, resulting from over-preoccupation with one’s immediate sphere of activity and leading to a geographical attentional deficit. [Offered with apologies to all medical professionals and students of Latin, plus everyone in Silicon Valley]

You may already know that Android is probably not in decline, but you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the dangers of Morbus silicii vallis!