JP Office Online

SmartNews Online Meetup #53

From Tech Giant to Tokyo Startup

19:00 - 20:30 (JST)

Recently valued at two billion USD, SmartNews continues to attract talent from across the globe, including people from well-known tech giants. But what is it about SmartNews that continues to draw in people of this caliber? Why make the jump to an information and news discovery startup based in Tokyo, Japan?

During this fireside chat, we’ll hear from three employees from our product, engineering, and business analytics divisions about their respective journeys from Google, Facebook, and Indonesia-based online travel portal Traveloka. We’ll cover topics such as their first introduction to SmartNews, their reasons for joining, their work, and the successes and challenges they’ve experienced to date. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with our speakers during our Q&A session.

We particularly recommend this event to people who:

  • are interested in working in a global startup environment
  • want to know more about what it’s like to work in Japan
  • are curious to learn more about SmartNews and its mission from the perspective of engineering, product, and corporate planning


Felix Perdana

Engineering Manager, Engagement Backend

Felix Perdana was born in a small city in Sumatra Island, Indonesia. A few years later, his family moved to the capital city of Jakarta and have lived there ever since. Growing up in the capital played a huge role in exposing Felix to various technologies. Because of that, he decided to take Computer Science as his major at Binus University. While most of his friends chose to take jobs at established companies after graduation, Felix continued his journey by working in startups, including the Indonesia-based online travel portal, Traveloka. Having the courage to take a different route and learning the hardship of startups has proven useful for his career development. He joined SmartNews in November of 2020 and is currently the Engineering Manager of the Engagement Backend team.

Sean Butler

Head of Business Analytics

Séan Butler graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, having majored in Economics & Political Science. He continued his education at University College Cork and obtained a master’s of Business in Business Information Systems. A chance encounter there led Séan to join Google, where he spent the next twelve years of his career leading analytics teams across the Trust and Safety, Google Play & Youtube business units. He worked for several of their global offices, including his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, as well as San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo. He joined SmartNews in January of 2021 and now leads the business analytics for both the Japan and US regions.

Sho Fujiwara

Product Manager in JP Growth & Engagement

Sho Fujiwara was born in Texas and lived in several US states, including New Jersey, Chicago, and New York, until he moved to Japan in 2021. He started his career as a data analyst before switching to product management while at Columbia Business School. His previous PM experience includes working on algorithmic recommendations at eBay and news products at Facebook in those companies’ New York City offices. Sho joined SmartNews in 2021 and is currently a Product Manager on the JP Growth team.


・ 参加目的が不適切だと判断される場合には、運営側で参加をキャンセルさせていただく場合がございます。

・当セッションではなるべく突っ込んだ話をするため、セッションの内容を SNS に投稿することはご遠慮いただいております(感想の投稿はしていただいて大丈夫です!)



本イベントで収集した情報はスマートニュース株式会社が収集して管理しています。 ご入力頂いた個人情報は下記目的及び当社のプライバシーポリシーに則り管理し、本件のみに利用します。


私たちのコミュニティは、性別、性的自認、外形的な性別、年齢、性的指向、障害、身体的特徴、身体のサイズ、人種、民族、宗教(あるいは無宗教)、技術の選択、を理由としたハラスメントの無い状態を維持すべく行動します。私たちは、コミュニティメンバーに対する、いかなる種類のハラスメントも容認しません。性的な表現や画像は、トーク、ワークショップ、パーティ、Twitter その他のオンラインメディアを含め、いかなるコミュニティイベントでも、不適切なものとします。これらの規則を破った参加者は、オーガナイザーの決定のもと、制裁を受けるか、当該イベントおよび将来のあらゆるイベントあるいはコミュニティから、払い戻し(もしある場合でも)無しで参加を拒絶されることがあります。