Left, Jonathan Nguyen. Right, Justin Chan, founder and CEO of biomed startup, Gense.
I'm Jonathan Nguyen, marketing strategist, not Jonathan Nguyen with the “age-defying mum” on Insta, but man do I want his SEO.I’m the founder of a marketing strategy advistory, Unsensible. We work with health and tech founders and their investors to validate / develop their offering in the marketplace. I've been an insider many high profile marketing and comms programs:
BHP/Deepwater Horizon crisis management team
Merck/MSD, first pharma team to push into social media
Built the first social media command centres/content factories in the world for: Ford, Coca-Cola, Standard Chartered
It's a highly unlikely that whatever marketing problem you're grappling with, I've seen a version of it. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.Alright, now that that is cleared up, you can use this as a launchpad to look at some of my other projects. This page exists because you can’t just trust a platform to stay around forever. Myspace was cool, then it wasn’t, Facebook was cool and then it was geriatric; Twitter was great until the Great Turmoil of ’22. You can always come back here to see what I'm up to.
...or things I learnt the hard way.
This is not a prescription for you or anybody else, but these are a collection of rules I've written for myself over time as I messed things up over the last 40 years on earth. In the words of the late Bruce Lee, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own."
The First Rule
If all else fails, remember this rule. We exist for an infinitesimally short time, no matter how important we think we are. Our legacy will not be the structures we've built or headlines; structures fall and headlines become yesterday's news. But kindness is a ripple in a pond that radiates from one person to the next through successive generations.
For every progression, there's an equal and opposite regression
Beware of the prophets who herald the dawning of a new era that is only full of rainbows and unicorns. Disruptive innovations disrupt good practices as much as they disrupt old archaic ones. Social media enabled scientists, writers and thinkers to connect on ideas and make the world a better place, but it also connected racists and flat-earthers and polarised society. The greater you think the good you can do, the more thoroughly you need to look at the harm you can cause.
There are no prophets
There are no Messiahs, prophets or gods when it comes to any endeavour pursued by humans. We tend to lionise billionaires or inventors as prophets when in truth, they may have worked hard (or not) at one thing and stumbled upon a different way to write a piece of code or kill a particular strain of bacteria. We should give credit to them for that. But in other aspects of their lives, they're pretty ordinary and sometimes problematic. Don’t take their advice on running your own life, treating others, or dictating public policy.
This is incomplete work
The Last Rule
Be humble even if you think you're right, because tomorrow you could be wrong. Be grateful when you're wrong, because you've learnt something new. All work is incomplete and unfinished because our perspective is limited by our experience. Even what we understand as science today may be folklore tomorrow as more data comes to light or our understanding of the world fundamentally changes. I made up a Latin phrase for it which is the last sentence I write on every text I author as a reminder to myself hoc opus numquam perfectum.
A deeper look into technology, marketing and culture | Newsletter
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I used to shoot commercially, now just for art
When I first started Unsensible, I was producing content as well as writing the strategy (and also the garbage disposal and accounting). Now I have help, but I've always been a photographer, switching between being professional (where it was my primary source of income) to pure hobbyist. I don't have a lot of time to shoot commercially anymore but have kept my site up for my artistically motivated photo pursuits.
6th floor, Yiuga Factory Building, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
I usually respond within 24 hours.