Julian O'hayon's Desk
Today we take a look at Julian’s home office desk where some of his magic happens.
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am a 25 year old tech entrepreneur based in Brussels, with a passion for design & development.
I have always been very interested in IT, I started to learn coding & designing when I was 14 and I have not stopped since. Two years later, I managed to get my first corporate client, a pharmaceutical company. It was then that I decided to found my own web agency, J-Studio.co, to attract more clients. I started my career at a very young age; it was not always easy, especially for the administrative part of conducting business. Today, J-Studio has over 100 clients globally, including BestWestern, Parrot, MyTF1VOD, Solvay, xMatters and Shopblocks. In June 2015, I graduated from the Solvay Brussels School with a Masters’ degree in business engineering.
Whilst at University, I launched MoodMovie, which is a movie recommendation application that is licensed to major video-on-demand providers. I co-founded this great startup with two of my best friends. Some of our achievements include raising 100k€ and a partnership with a Big Data company which helped develop the technology.
Besides MoodMovie & J-Studio, I am involved in several other startups. I participated in an entrepreneurial TV show broadcasted on national TV for two months. But this one is a long story. However, I met very talented people that I am in touch with today and meet on a regular basis.
So what do I do for a living? People always ask me this question on Instagram, I run an incubator web agency called J-Studio. It means we do mobile/web apps for companies and invest in attractive startups by doing design & development. There is around 10-15 of us at J-Studio, mainly developers, designers and photographers. I feel very lucky to do what I love.
Can you tell me something about your desk setup?
This desk setup is located at my home in Brussels. It is a minimal setup with a nice view from the city in a quiet green neighborhood. It has a nice drawer arrangement where I put the keyboard, magic trackpad and pocket stuff. It is handy because when you leave the desk you can hide messy things under this drawer.
The main equipment I use is the laptop. I have a 13” Macbook Pro Retina, which I consider to be my most precious tool since I switch desks a lot and I need to always have all my work nearby.
To complement this, I use a 27” 5K iMac, the definition with this is amazing. As a designer it is a must, it truly helps me gain a lot of time.
I also got the last Apple TV device, I use it mainly to test apps we develop. We have released MoodMovie on Apple TV recently; it helps to find movies that match the users’ mood.
For music, I use the Companion 50 speakers from Bose I got from my girlfriend, they have awesome bass. I also use the Band & Olufsen H8 noise cancelling headphones. These headphones are truly outstanding; I use them in my office all the time. I can’t work and focus without music.
I like photography, I use a Canon 450D with a 28mm lens. I love minimal design photography. I share my shots on Instagram. It is just a hobby though, I work with freelance photographers for big projects.
Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?
The main reason why I do not use this desk as often is because there is not a second screen on it. I would love to add a Thunderbolt display but I’m still waiting for Apple to release a 5K version of it. It has been a while. I will maybe go for the Samsung 4K model though.
Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?
I don’t like to switch offices during the day; I like to stay focused at one desk all day long. During the week I like to switch desks, each of my setups has a different atmosphere. I got two desks at home and one at the office. You can discover my setup situations on my Instagram profile.
Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?
I always keep the anchor box on my home desk. It is very special to me because my girlfriend bought it when I came to see her at her exchange program in Canada. She knows I love vintage stuff. In fact, I love the retro anchor illustration so much that it became J-Studio’s new logo. When you open it, you can see a compass inside, it is meant to bring luck and all I can say is that it has worked for me so far.
What are you doing to stay focused?
The most important thing that keeps me focused is to make a to-do list for the day before starting to work in order to have an overview of my day. When the list is long, I tend to drink a lot of coffee.
Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?
A clean setup with just the most important stuff is what helps me stay focused. But mostly turned off notifications. My phone is always distracting me; I think notifications are definitely what distract me the most. Minimal stuff eases my mind on the other hand.
What was your latest self improvement experiment?
My latest self-improvement experiment was my graduation six months ago. I finished my studies, presenting a thesis to a large panel of professors including my entrepreneurial teacher, who is my business coach as well. I was not nervous about it because I decided to present a topic which I am passionate about and knew very well. I did a research paper on the start–up that I co-founded, MoodMovie.
Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I hope to expand my web agency and grow the startups in which I am involved. I hope to see myself in the bay area, in San Francisco. Or at least somewhere with better weather than Brussels.
Concerning my desk, I hope to have a nice San Francisco view and finally a 5K thunderbolt display on my setup. My desk will most probably stay minimal.