We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnny Neang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johnny, how do you think about risk?
Risk is an assessment of a cost-benefit opportunity where I weigh the potential net benefits of the outcomes. We take on risks daily; some larger than others. The larger and abstract risks are the ones that take a bit more foresight and thinking to make sure we’re not solely relying on luck. Once you start taking enough risks and often enough, you realize that you can hedge your chances when you build risk as a personal skill.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to take on more risk and really embrace the cost and failures that come with it. I believe when it comes to one’s risk tolerance, there is a strong correlation for an interpersonal desire for change that can’t be met without it.
From where I stand in life, I have great aspirations that require great risk as my time on this world is constantly getting shorter to accomplish these goals.
What should our readers know about your business?
We (UpperCloud) are a creative agency that services the Bay Area and Greater Sacramento Area for a decade and we’ve evolved continuously over the years getting more refined in our methods and process. There is always great work out there to be done and beautiful campaigns done by people in our industry. What we’ve learned so far is that if we perfect how we do things, the what continues to be deliverables that we can always be proud of.
What is critical for a creative agency is culture. We have to be able to embody the type of empathy, perspectives, and shared paradigms in the very fabric of our process. This allows us to ask the right questions, build with people that are aligned with us, and most importantly believe in the work we put out in the world. At it’s very core, it’s building meaningful relationships that are at service to our larger mission – lifting the voices of great ideas and movements.
We accomplish these things in practice from weekly mental check-in questions before every meeting, immersive summits where each employee is a contributing participant to the experience, a dynamic process that is always subject to change, valuing family time and flexibility, and our guiding principles that sits at the center of our identity. This reminds each person at UpperCloud is a critical element and have a vital role to play in the world we are influencing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would break up the experience into; eating, activities, and culture.
Pretty Good Advice, All Vegetarian
Garden Deli, Best sandwiches in town
MeloMelo Kava Bar, it’s a kava bar, I take everyone here. It’s my top near daily spot to visit and connect with people.
Roxa, hammok bar with elixirs, an interesting experience for people to check out.
Hiking and Mountain Biking (so many trials and so much of Santa Cruz is virtually beautiful forests)
Surfing, I’m still learning this, but lots of great places to go
Motiv, the only club in town to dance, pretty trash, but there is an upstairs speakeasy kind of place for good cocktails.
Bonfires, though an activity, there are a few lesser known gems to have them and it’s beautiful if you know where to look.
Dances, there’s different types of dancing and movement that I feel is pretty native here.
Makers, there are so many local brewers of tinctures, growers, etc of different things you can find all over Santa Cruz
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My largest shout-out goes to my business partner, Glenda Macatangay. We started our first venture back in 2012 and have continued to build in so many different ways; business and personal. She’s taught me how to listen and be vulnerable which led me to unlock so many of my abilities that were in the shadows that have allowed me to thrive and help shape my view of the world.
There is an incredible amount of power that is bestowed to you from within when someone truly believes in you, it will be one of the greatest gifts I will ever receive in my lifetime.
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