Batista R. Harahap

Thank You, Urbanesia

So when joining Urbanesia on July 2010, I wrote a blog post about it. It's only right to bid farewell to Urbanesia with a blog post too. Yesterday, 30 January 2014 was my last day there.

It's been ~3.5 years since I first joined Urbanesia and a lot has changed since then. The most notable change being Kompas Group of Digital's "Strategic Alliance" and Urbanesia's direction for the future with its first taste of e-commerce in Indonesia.

Technologically, everything has changed within Urbanesia's core. What was once a CodeIgniter with its frontend & backend in one source tree (wow!) to a more scalable approach both in its source code and its infrastructure.

Google and its array of crawler bots taught us to scale and it remained the most grueling lesson, the more important lesson will be to NEVER be dependent on anyone else for traffic. The best dependent is the product and the users.

Mobile Apps were a lot that I can bring to Urbanesia. I enjoyed building mobile apps mostly in Android and building a product out of it. In the early days, we were lucky to have an opportunity to work with Nexian and our app embedded with every Android handset they sold in Indonesia.

With mobile apps, a stable and secure API was in need and it's pleasing to know that Urbanesia is one of the first startup to ever implement OAuth v1.0a as the auth mechanism. Other than building an OAuth v1.0a provider, we created OAuth v1.0a consumers (clients) for various platforms.

The development culture was radically changed. Every developer who has worked under me in Indonesia knows this, "bisa nggak bisa cuman masalah waktu" (The only attitude is a can do attitude). It became the trend in any development efforts.

I have been lucky enough to work with developers who have been battle tested with long nights and really difficult challenges but still they always prove themselves able. It's a priceless feeling to be able to motivate and develop people and see them rise.

All of Urbanesia's developers either current or in the past will at least have 2 core skills they're really good at. One specific guy even added a skill by combining his photography hobby with his programming skills and generated revenue for Urbanesia shooting panoramic photographies. A badass frontend developer with an eye for art.

I myself grew from the experiences along with the developers. From having no skill in certain areas of developing a website to at least knowing everything I need to know about it. The fun part being to learn all the skills and work as a team.

It's one thing to develop a product solo; leading a team and getting my hands dirty is a whole different beast. But bottomline, any developer's achilles heel is the same: their thirst/curiosity for knowledge.

Outside the development team, again I am lucky to have known people with a sense of belonging for what they do high enough, they can't stop learning.

From people who knows nothing about a website and excelling to be our frontlines to businesses. It's not easy to sell a product and most definitely a tech product riddled with bugs (if any). So they should be given strong appreciation and an example for others.

Some joined Urbanesia initially not as a developer but ended up developing our Python based payment gateway. Some have orgasms by reading raw data and compiling them into information, she did the queries herself by Googling.

Another badass woman used the Text Learning I created to strengthen her team's content to better attract traffic through SEO. Her desire to defy the norm is also something that has given life into the articles.

UI/X is one of the most challenging part of Urbanesia. With that much data, it's difficult to present them properly. We never really got the right recipe but that didn't stop the UI/X guy to keep iterating. He just kept on going, he only stops if the flood is really bad in Jakarta, no electricity.

Last night when we were out for coffees, they showed to themselves (without even realizing) that they don't wanna give up yet. They want to be a part of something successful, not necessarily big, just success. Bottomline, an energetic and passionate bunch of people eager for challenges.

That being said above, I can say with confidence that the team is the best team I have had the pleasure to work with. They will manage themselves well enough to a point where they will eventually be great on their own.

Winning a war is about winning battles, the little things that matter will eventually set us apart from the pack ~ Me peptalking circa 2013

I wrote a lot about others but little about me. The most important reason for the decision is personal and it's time for a change. The other reason is because I have failed in things that are important for Urbanesia to develop much more currently.

I am not the right person to manage Urbanesia at its current position. Relaunched Urbanesia with a different concept but it's operational reponsiblities to which I am responsible for is not a role I am able to perform comfortably.

Therefore I believe I am not a fit for the company.

Now that I got it off my chest, I want to thank these people:

  • Deche Pangestu
  • Kurniawan Aji
  • Emelia Lionhearty
  • Anindita Puspita
  • Shinta Tri Putri
  • Yodie Putra
  • Ridhi Mahendra
  • Aditya Prasetio
  • Arieditya Deha
  • Nurhidhayani
  • Anggita Widya
  • Farhanah Faridz
  • Tines Priandini
  • Rizka Adhanawanti
  • Ratu Amalia
  • Tris Ramadhan
  • Baga Warmansyah
  • Faris Bassam
  • Agustinus Patrisius
  • Selina Limman
  • Limman Nugroho
  • Willson Cuaca
  • Batara Eto
  • Edi Taslim

The people above have been instrumental in developing Urbanesia during my time there. Thank you all and may the force be with you.

Bye Urbanesia.

31 January 2014 by Batista Harahap on jakarta | startup | StartupLokal | urbanesia | farewell | gratitude
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