A geek in Japan, with Héctor García “Kirai”

If you accept everything as it comes to you, you are not living with your ikigai.

So my advice: to find your ikigai or start living a little more connected with meaning, think a little more about what really makes you feel good, because if not, what the hell, right?

— Hector Garcia

Hector Garciabetter known as Kirai (@kirai), is a Computer Engineer, has been living in Japan since 2004, and throughout his life he has worked as a programmer in several of the large companies in the sector, including Technorati and Twitter.

In addition, Hector is the creator of A geek in Japanone of the most famous blogs in Spain and one of the first blogs that I remember having read, and he is also the author of 5 books of which he has already sold more than 1 million copies worldwide.

The truth is that Héctor is a fascinating person, who has experienced a lot of things and therefore has a lot to tell, to the point that when we met to record the episode we started talking and talking… and at the same time In the end we were almost 5 hours straight chatting about life.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with a 5 hour episode, so for your own sanity, I’ve decided to split it into two parts.

In the first part (episode #10), Héctor and I talked about his arrival in Japan, about the first jobs he had there, and about some more personal things like the chronic illness he has suffered since 2012, and we covered topics as interesting as …

  • Hector’s adventures during his early years in Japan
  • How Héctor got to know the co-founders of Twitter and YouTube
  • How was Hector’s wedding with a Japanese girl
  • How Hector lived through the Fukushima earthquake
  • Or how Héctor has managed to live with a disease that causes him pain every day

In the second part (episode #11), which is a bit more chaotic, Héctor and I talk about his book Ikigai, about his current life and about some various topics that make us both make out and philosophize, and we touch interesting points like…

  • How Héctor has managed to sell more than 1 million copies of his books
  • The strategy that Héctor has used to meet important people and access all kinds of opportunities… and what you must take into account to apply it correctly
  • What is the process that Hector follows when writing
  • The most important lesson Héctor learned in 2018
  • Or why one of Hector’s resolutions for this year is to read less

It is a conversation with a geeky touch, but at the same time deep and personal, and whether you like technology or are passionate about Japan or not, I think you will love it.

listen in itunes | iVoox | Spotify

listen in itunes | iVoox | Spotify

Episode #10 Links

Where to find Hector:

Mentioned in the episode:

Mentioned books:

Mentioned people:

Quick index of episode #10

1:01 – Presentation of the guest

2:47 – Start of the interview

5:10 – Where does the name Kirai come from?

7:39 – What was it that led you to become interested in programming?

15:09 Why did you choose Computer Engineering?

17:05 – Why did you decide to create Kirai’s blog?

23:00 – Is the blog you started with the one that has evolved until now or were they different projects?

12:00 p.m. – How did you finish your computer engineering degree in less than 5 years and why did you do it?

28:19 – When he finished his degree he began to apply for scholarships to leave Alicante. Why did you make that decision

31:58 – How was your experience working at CERN in Switzerland?

35:57 – What was your relationship with Japan before you received the Vulcanus scholarship?

40:21 – What were your first impressions of Japan?

49:15 – The scholarship with which you went to Japan had two parts: one to learn Japanese and another to work in a company. How were the Japanese classes?

57:03 – What is it like to work in Japan, with a Japanese boss and with Japanese colleagues

59:14 – After a year in Japan, he returned to Spain. how was your return

1:11:54 – How was your time working at Technorati in Japan

1:17:10 – In February 2008, he decided to quit his job to start his company with Dani Choo. Who is Dani Choo, why did he know him and how did the idea of ​​forming that company together come about?

1:23:23 – How the company changed and what it did next

1:26:25 – What is your first book about, A Geek in Japan?

1:30:55 – At what point did you come up with the idea of ​​publishing your book from your blog?

1:37:12 – On one of his trips to Silicon Valley he met the founders of Twitter. How was his experience with them?

1:41:02 – How was your experience working on Twitter?

1:44:46 – During the Fukushima nuclear accident, Hector was working in Japan. how he lived it

1:50:49 – A year after the nuclear accident, Hector married a Japanese girl. What is a Japanese wedding like and how was your experience?

1:59:22 – What is it like to have Japanese in-laws

2:02:16 – In 2012 Hector contracted a mysterious disease that slowed down his life. What illness is he, how does he experience it and what reflections has he drawn

2:21:52 – What have you tried to try to overcome your illness?

Episode #11 Links

Where to find Hector:

Mentioned in the episode:

Mentioned books:

Mentioned people:

Quick index of episode #11

0:50 – Presentation of the guest

2:07 – Start of the interview

2:07 – Who is Francesc Miralles and how did you decide to write a book together?

10:13 – How is the process of writing a book between two people

16:22 – Ikigai surpassed one million copies sold worldwide last year. What have been the keys to success?

23:04 – Why at the end of 2017 he decided to leave his job at Digital Garage

31:47 – What role does your blog play in your life today?

37:47 – How has the change been from living in Calpe, a small and quiet town, to living in Tokyo?

40:02 – What did you like most about Japan and what convinced you to stay?

42:24 – In 2018, 97 books were read; how is he able to read so much

45:58 How do you choose the books you read?

50:25 – What are the 3 books that have marked you the most?

59:47 – Of all the famous people you have met, which one has surprised or impacted you the most?

1:06:01 – Many of the famous people you met, you met by sending them an e-mail. What is the technique to do it right

1:16:12 – Do you think everyone would benefit from having a personal blog?

1:25:31 Where does your interest in writing come from?

1:35:45 – Do you follow any process that helps you write?

1:45:24 – How he discovered photography and how he became fond of it

1:52:42 – Being a writer and a fan of photography, but also a programmer, has it ever been difficult for you to match your logical side with your artistic side?

1:55:36 – In your post “37 life lessons that I have learned in 37 years” the last lesson is to tell the truth: “we must not lie to ourselves or to others. We must always put the truth above all else, with few exceptions, such as when telling the truth directly and intentionally harms others.” Where did this lesson come from and why do you consider it so important?

2:02:45 – What are your future plans?

2:07:43 – Final words

2:08:43 – Where to find Hector

2:09:08 – Farewell

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