Fomo goes to Vietnam

Fomo has always been a distributed team of hackers.

great talent lives where it wants, and our members enjoy cities all over the world, from San Francisco to New York and Tokyo.

Fomo team locations

but while collaborative tools are great for productivity, they don't help build relationships.

fortunately for us, Fomo is more than a business, it's a rebellion against dishonest marketing. and rebellions need comrades.

so last month our full-time crew met in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam for a mixed hackathon and bonding adventure.

day 1

Airbnb apt

we arrived on a Tuesday night, wiped from nearly 20 hours each in the air, connecting through Istanbul and Korea.

within minutes, a Japanese whiskey toast. then, sleep.

day 2

ho chi minh red light district

note to self, do not visit the Red Light District.

day 3

our first outing was the War Remnants Museum.

Vietnam and America have very different opinions about what happened in the late 1960's, and the copywriting for their exhibits was fascinating.

is this propaganda

day 4

there is no Day 4. here are some photos we took at our penthouse apartment and around town.

Penthouse view of the river


Vietname incense

Penthouse view of downtown

day 5

part of traveling means getting out of your comfort zone.

on Friday we had "dinner in the dark" at a restaurant staffed by the blind.

this experience is hard to articulate but it was humbling, required deep trust (in strangers), and brought us closer as we slurped mysterious foods from nearly a dozen different dishes.

i don't have a great photo because it was pretty, well, dark.

day 6

a bus picked us up at 8am sharp and we drove to the Củ Chi tunnels, 2 hours northwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

Cu Chi Tunnels Route

here we learned about various bamboo trap designs and other ingenious tools invented to deceive the "enemy," since heavy duty resources like tanks were sparse.

we also shot multiple weapons because, awesome.

Fomo shooting guns

there's a lesson in here for lean startups to be scrappy and resourceful... coming soon.

day 7

most of the team took another long bus ride (+ boat rides and a horse) through the Mekong Delta.

Mekong Delta

after lunch we watched fish being fed to crocodiles for $0.50 USD /each.

crocodiles eating fish on sticks

we also played with snakes, bees, and walked into a random family's home.... it was definitely different than brunch in Manhattan.

Fomo not brunching

other days

from scooter rentals to massages, killing lizards in the penthouse to drinking Pepto-Bismol, i think Fomo had a good time. thanks customers.

productivity wise, we launched an ad network. this wouldn't have been possible without a shared penthouse. thanks Vietnam.


Q: "What if we invest in employees and they leave?"
A: "What if we don't, and they stay?"