Making the decision to leave Hong Kong for pastures new conjures up many emotions and nobody knows that more than Localiiz’s own co-founder Richard Codron. As he bids farewell to the city he has called home for more than two decades, he shares his departing thoughts.
As I contemplated my last week in Hong Kong, I found myself looking back over the 22 years that I have lived here.
They say life is a journey, a marathon, and not a sprint. At 55 years old I have certainly seen and done a lot, but I feel truly blessed that I am able to start a whole new life back in London, my home. I am exceptionally excited to think of all the possible opportunities that lie ahead of me.
To all our Localiiz fans – what a journey it has been. We arrived on the scene with a big bang and saw huge, rapid growth in our first few years, and as we welcome three new top level people to the team, I’m sure we’re going to continue making an impact on Hong Kong. I took a couple of hours to review our Facebook page, from way back to the beginning in April 2012, and boy did we work hard!
To all the businesses who supported us, I thank you. To all the events we sponsored and added value to, I also thank you for allowing us to be part of it. But to our fans, and to all the people of Hong Kong, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude. Not many of you know where the name came from, but what Localiiz truly means is the ‘Eyes of the Locals’. And when I now look at how far we have come and where we are today, everyone of you, everyone of us, are the eyes of Hong Kong.
People have a lot of negative things to say about Social Media and about Facebook, but whatever way you look at it, #MarkZuckerberg has changed the entire way stories are being told to the world. He has allowed every one of us to have a voice and so, in our little way, that’s what Localiiz is. Localiiz truly represents my own values, of helping people, allowing people to have a voice, uncovering great talent and great small businesses, and helping them to be recognised.
Hong Kong is an incredible city but desperately needs to re-engineer itself. The old, thriving industries are no longer there, and whilst the elders desperately cling on to what they have built, they are truly not allowing the young to flourish in new directions. Hong Kong will become part of China, it is inevitable. But that leads to huge opportunity as the southern gateway. The integrity, hard work, and huge aspiration of the people will always play a significant role in its future. It was, and still is, a dream of mine and of Localiiz’s to be part of that re-engineering. I feel incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far, but we have only just started.
When I stood at the top of the Admiralty flyover looking out onto the thousands of Hong Kong people below, on the first full day of Occupy Central, I was completely overcome with emotion and I knew what the people were fighting for. Change can only truly come about if the people make it happen. Apathy is not an option. So to you, our fans, what is your role? What would you do to bring about change to a city that you love? How can you contribute? Localiiz is a platform that allows a voice. Thousands of voices in fact. What could we all do to grow bigger and louder?
Every day, every minute, every second, stories are being told throughout the streets and alleyways. Life as we know it in Hong Kong. Online was always about taking these offline conversations and sharing them to a bigger audience, in a much quicker way. But it became more than that. It started building communities. Localiiz is just one such community – a community of businesses, a community of contributors, and a community of fans. They are indelibly interlinked. How far can we go?
I’ve always been a dreamer, and I have always wanted to make a difference. We can all play our small part in making that difference.
Farewell Richard and best of luck with this exciting new chapter of your life!