Asianometry in 2022
Reflections on another year
Hello. It’s Jon from Asianometry. It has been another year since my last review of the channel. 2022 has gone by so quickly. Life is really moving fast.
In this article, I want to look back and reflect on 2022.
At the end of 2021, I had about 150,000 subscribers which I thought at the time was super impressive. Since then the numbers have grown even nuttier. Over 230,000 people have subscribed to the channel in 2022 and now I am on the cusp of 400,000. This is insane. This is madness! I’m just a deer!
In 2022 people have spent over 3.4 million hours watching Asianometry videos. I am really happy about this, of course. I am thankful to everyone for watching and enjoying the content that I do.
2022’s Most Popular Videos
2022 saw the most popular video that I have ever done - Why the Soviet Computer Failed.
This one got over 2 million views and most people watched deep into the video even many many months after its release.
To be honest with you, I have no idea why it is so popular. Maybe it was the recent Russian invasion? It did take an unusual amount of time, but mostly because I was working on other things ahead of it. I was proud of the work, but really it was just another video.
I have another Soviet technology video coming up. Hope you will like it.
This one was originally titled South Korea’s Business Corruption Problem. I had been working on it for a while. After posting it, I was sort of disappointed in the performance and changed it to a suggestion made by a friend of mine on the Discord. It took off after that.
I think Wendover did great work on a similar subject. Props to them.
I remember working on this and going to bed. But I could not sleep. At about 3AM I got up and went to my office and wrote this entire video out in a single fevered day. With the Russian invasion fresh in my mind, I was constantly thinking about China, Taiwan and TSMC. I wanted to work to put these thoughts aside.
I don’t often read YouTube comments, but the idea for this video came from one. Mr. Commenter, wherever you are. Thanks for suggesting it.
I have long wanted to do a video about Daewoo. I remember writing this and as it got longer and longer, I was constantly murmuring to myself, “This is too long … nobody is going to watch this crap”. Amazing to think that it did so well.
Note the lack of semiconductor content. Throughout 2022, I noticed a shift in interest in my viewers away from semiconductors to new topics. Russia, energy, or inflation seem to be what is foremost in people’s minds. Real interesting.
How I Work
A lot of people send me email asking how I do what I do, or how they admire the quality of the work. I am thankful for all of their comments.
I remember reading an interview with Tony Gilroy, the creator and showrunner of the fantastic Disney show Andor. In it, he talks about season 2:
It's another two years from now before I'll be done. It’s just such a supreme drag to hear people who are in the movie business and being well paid and doing what everybody wants to do… But it's a fucking lot of work, man. It just never ends. Every day, it just doesn't stop. Literally, working on two dairy farms, everybody has to be milked every day. It doesn't stop. It's just simply too much to consider anything else. I can't imagine what I'll do other than curl up in a fetal position when this is over, man.
I want to live through it. We want to maintain the standard. We want to stay as obsessed.
This is exactly how I feel about Asianometry, except that there is no two years. This is indefinite. I am constantly thinking about Asianometry. New videos. Ideas, wording, new sources, finding image/video content. It never stops and I find it hard even trying to convey the amount of work it all is.
I post two videos a week. As soon as I upload one video, I used to allow myself to take a break for the rest of the day. But nowadays, I am either uploading at midnight and the next day is already here or I must immediately move on to the next one. For me, Asianometry is also something I am trying to live through.
I am really happy to be able to meet people. In my earlier videos, I used to tell people that if they were in Taipei that they can email me and meet me.
Through the channel, I have been able to meet some really great people. Whether it is the New Zealand-Taiwanese who researches Antarctica or the young Taiwanese-American deliberately going against the grain to study electrical engineering, your experiences have been enriching and I appreciate it.
I still - tentatively - invite you to reach out via email for a coffee chat if you are in town. Though with work being how it is, I can't always make it happen due to busy schedules.
Oh, and I had the chance to give my first in-person talk at a Taipei HackerNews meetup late in 2022. It was fantastic and I loved speaking with so many of you at scale. I don't have any more meetups planned in the future, but you never know.
Another year for the channel. So what is next?
Like as with the year before, I want the channel to continue exploring new topics, new concepts, and strange new histories of various things in Asia and the world at large.
Just a hint of some of the videos coming in 2023: An early history of AMD. An overview of image sensors. And a profile of the ASML of gene sequencing. And yes I still intend to work on that bubble tea video.
Thank you for allowing me to entertain you. It is one of the great privileges of my life, and I hope you can stay with me for this coming year.