Source: Christopher Tan blog — Copyrights © 2020 CHRISTAN DESIGN SDN BHD

A closer look at the micro-sized building block maker and LEGO competitor from Japan

I have always enjoyed games and toys, and while playing video games when you’re over 30 is widely accepted nowadays, playing with brick toys to build miniature stuff is not quite up there with the coolest grown-up hobbies (for most people). For that reason probably, and because I have been moving around a lot, I haven't really played LEGO bricks for the past ten years or so, save for the occasional afternoon with my niece when I am back home.

Rewinding back to 2018 and I am wandering around San Francisco’s Japantown mall by myself on a Saturday afternoon, bored…


Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Fundamentals to enjoy the sweet violence of Mixed Martial Arts

In the wake of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight and the first MMA event organised in France, a lot of very relevant questions about the sport started popping up around me:

  • “It’s basically pro-wrestling, right?”
  • “What if some huge fighter gets in there with a small one? That seems unfair…’
  • “Who would win between Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee in their prime?”
  • “Simple: Just kick’em in the nuts!”

MMA is relatively new in France (where I’m from), and I figured it would be useful to break down the basics and bring some light to a sport I’ve enjoyed watching for years…


Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Règles et Histoire du sport, et par où commencer pour mieux en apprécier la douce violence.

A l’aube du combat entre Khabib Nurmagomedov et Justin Gaethje, et au lendemain du premier évènement MMA en France, de plus en plus de Français commencent à s’intéresser au MMA. Les questions fusent, toutes plus pertinentes les unes que les autres:

  • “C’est comme le catch en fait?”
  • “Ils ont des gants? Des catégories de poids? Les femmes peuvent en faire?”
  • “Qui gagnerait entre Mike Tyson et Bruce Lee?”
  • “On peut tout faire pendant le combat? Même se taper dans la zigounette?”

Afin de poser les bases et d’éclairer un peu les lanternes, j’ai décidé d’écrire un petit guide où vous…


Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Navigating leadership in an increasingly diverse workplace.

Over the last 8 years or so, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in a bunch of countries: France, the USA, the UK, Ireland, Germany and now Canada. In most of these places, the companies I worked for were composed of people from all walks of life and parts of the world: Brazil, The Netherlands, Ghana, South Africa, Italy, India, and more. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn and grow, but also came with its challenges.

During my Master’s degree in 2016, I started to look into the topic of intercultural management. I was…


Spoiler alert: I failed, but I have some advice if you want to try.

At the beginning of 2019 I made a conscious decision to try and read a book a week for the year.

This came from wanting to broaden my interests, educate myself, and most importantly to get rid of some of the “noise” that I felt was increasingly filling up my life. Scrolling through Instagram, Youtube or Netflix, while very enjoyable, had become progressively mind-numbing, and I wanted to commit to using my free time more intently, in a more stimulating way.

For the past ten years of being somewhat of an ‘adult’ (if you can call it that), I have…


Honest advice and tips from my IELTS experience.

Last September, after more than a decade of trying to lose my accent, I decided that it was finally time. Time to…… PROVE THE WORLD I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH!

For a bit of context, I was born and raised in France, and started learning English at school from the age of 11, like every other French kid. I had no specific inclination for the language and was even struggling quite a bit in class, until my high school years when my interests outside of school led me to learn more English on my own.

I am now in my…


How MMA’s biggest upcoming promotion creates its own lane and manages to escape the UFC’s shadow.

As some of you might know (Mom, if you read this), I have become quite a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) enthusiast these past few years. What initially started as a morbid -and somewhat quite common- interest in seeing people getting knocked out in brutal fashion, has slowly evolved into a genuine interest for the sport, athletes, and business dynamics of modern MMA.

Although I always had an interest in martial arts, I often found watching professional competitions underwhelming, most likely due to my lack of expertise and deep understanding of these sports, and the poor entertainment value for the uneducated…


A compilation of my favourite and most useful Facebook groups for Marketing, Copywriting, Startups, Product, Sales and more.

Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash

Over the past few years, Facebook has shifted for me from a personal platform to a professional one. I barely check up on my facebook friends’ feed (which they don’t really update anymore anyway, most have switched to Instagram), and started spending an increasing amount of my time using the group feature.

There is a myriad of useful professional groups and communities, especially catered to digital businesses: Marketing, product, copywriting, etc. A friend asked me to compile a list for them, and figured I might as well share it with the rest of you good people out there.

⚠️ Word…


Interested in teaching English? What is the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is it worth the money/time and why ?

(I do not recommend teaching in a kitchen — Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash)

The picture above is how I pictured myself after getting my CELTA certification: inspiring people, empowering my students with cool activities, and rocking eccentric yet very cool hats.

Instead I ended up wearing sweatpants on weekdays, clocking in at the unemployment office to collect social welfare every month, and was never able to teach English abroad in my life.

But let’s start from the beginning.

What’s a CELTA and why do I need one?

According to the Cambridge Assessment English website, CELTA is “the essential TEFL qualification that’s trusted by employers, language schools and governments around the world.” …


La messagerie instantané en 2019 et son impact sur la vente B2B

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

Dimanche soir. Le weekend touche à sa fin et vous êtes prêt pour une soirée tranquille devant Netflix avant de recommencer une nouvelle semaine. Le dîner est prêt, vos pieds confortablement installés sur la table basse du salon, et avant d’appuyer sur lecture, vous jetez un dernier coup d’oeil à votre réservation de train pour le lendemain matin. Et vous réalisez que… vous avez réservé le mauvais ticket (ça arrive aux meilleurs d’entre nous).

Qu’est ce que vous faites? Est ce que vous vous lancez dans une mission d’exploration du site de la SNCF pour trouver un nouveau ticket, le…

Thierry Maout

Jack of all trades, master of some. Vancouver-based, I write about tech, business, MMA and education. Mostly in English, but sometimes in French too.

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