Posted in entrepreneurial, Vancouver

What I never learned in 5 years of university…

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I’m attending a hand’s on innovation & creativity conference called “Innovation Camp.” Basically, learning things I never learned in 5 years of Engineering Physics at UBC.

You may wonder what that is exactly. Here’s what the site promised:

Vancouver Innovation Camp is your opportunity to:

  • connect and collaborate with like-minded people
  • practice entrepreneurship skills such as: identifying opportunities; being not only creative but innovative (what’s the difference, you ask? An important distinction that you’ll experience in the course.); leveraging limited resources; and adapting to changing situations, to mention only a few.
  • have fun
  • be creative (if you feel you aren’t very creative, no problem, you’ll learn!)
  • learn from failure
  • plot world domination
“Those are some pretty bold promises,” I asked him, “what exactly qualifies  you to run this course?!?” His response took me by surprise. Normally, people would fiddle with qualifications of what companies they’ve started, etc. But Mack told me plain out:
“Because we did. That’s what qualifies us. We are so passionate about this stuff and if no one else is doing it, we want to!”
I was like, Yeah Man, Preach It!! haha.
After I signed up, I thought I should do my background check. The reason Mack and his two co-conspirators, Ben & Nicole, started the camp was because of one book they all read. I wanted to at least be familiar with its contents!

The book was “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” by Tina Seelig, Executive Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. I would give you my outstanding review but there’s enough said by others on Amazon where it received an average of 4.5/5 stars.

How I never heard about this book before is beyond me, but all I can say is I understand why Mack & Co started Innovation Camp after this. It really inspires you in a down-to-earth kind of way.

It’s basic premise of the book is simply this: (spoiler alert!!!!) Every problem, no matter how big or small, can be turned into an opportunity.

But of course, that doesn’t do the book justice. So have a browse at the first few pages on, but not which does not allow you to look inside because Canada is apparently inferior to United States.

She also talks about many basic things that we are never really taught in school but are so important to daily life. For example, the art of negotiation and how academic grading based on a curve teaches us a very unhealthy point-of-view that to win others have to lose! (which is not true in real life!)

But back to the camp. The first day was really a breath of fresh air for me as I have spent the last year trying to pursue my passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. The camp is great at simple hands-on activities that help you look at all problems as opportunities and creatively solve them starting with nothing!

For example, the first activity was to introduce yourself as you see yourself in five years. This was such a creative way to get people thinking – I know it was for me! I don’t want to give it all away, so check my blog after tonight’s second get together!

I’m so excited!


Jon Chui (pronounced "chew") has been building iOS/Android apps for the last 7 years, the last 3 working on Google Maps, Inbox by Gmail and Google's Search App. Though he grew up in a Christian family and to parents who would end up giving up their 25 years of hard-earned comforts/affluence in Canada to go back to China as missionaries when he was 14, being a Christian was always in his head, and he would constantly struggle with trying to unify the sacred and the secular - until last year. However, through a radical transformation[] @ work last year (which he can't take ANY credit for), he & his wife & 2 young boys have decided to leave Google, sell/donate everything they have so to serve the poor & marginalized with Jesus’ love as missionaries with's Family DTS in Kona, hawaii then to the Philippines. Read more about their family journey @, and reach out to him @ If you're a recruiter with freelance jobs or have tech projects for jon feel free to reach out to him -

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