2 Minutes With … Ming Chan, Founder and CSO of The1stMovement

On solving problems quickly

Ming is founder and chief strategy officer of The1stMovement. A Silicon Valley software engineer by trade, Ming has devised digital solutions for brands such as 20th Century Fox, ABC, Adobe, Apple, AMD, Cisco, Disney, Microsoft and Nike. He has also worked for TBWA/Chiat/Day and AKQA.

We spent two minutes with Ming to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Ming, tell us …

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I grew up in Hong Kong and now live in Los Angeles.

How did you first realize you were creative?

I started collaborating with some talented designers at the beginning of my career, and they told me I was a "creative developer" because I was able to write code quickly to visualize their ideas. 

Who is a person you idolized creatively early on?

Starting my career in Silicon Valley in the '90s, Steve Jobs was the obvious choice to idolize.  

What's a moment from high school or college that changed your life?

I was "sent" to the United States for boarding school in my junior year. That experience of living alone in a foreign country and barely speaking the language changed my life.

Who is a visual artist or band/musician you admire?


What is a book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring?

Book - Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley

What is one of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on? 

One of the first big projects we had at The1stMovement for G4TV.  We were commissioned to create an online game for Ninja Warrior.

What is a recent project you're proud of? 

Cisco Partner Journey

Share someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

MONO*crafts website in 1999, which started my obsession with Flash.

Share someone else's work you admired lately. 

Which Howl’s Moving Castle Character Are You Most Like?

What is your main strength as a creative person?

My ability to understand the root problem and visualize the solution quickly.

Biggest weakness?

At times, I tend to jump into solution-solving too quickly.

Who is a mentor that helped you navigate the industry?

William Wang, CEO of Vizio. His beliefs on how to build, grow and maintain a giant company are inspiring and influential in how I navigate the industry.

How are you paying it forward with the next generation of creatives?

Speaking engagements, local community activities and just making myself available for anyone who would like to hear my stories, advice or recommendations.

What would you be doing if you weren't where you are today?

Living the nomad life of traveling the world and doing photography.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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