The Hidden Good is the mastermind behind street stunts like The Singapore Wallet Drop, The Mp3 Experiment Singapore (which models itself off New York City-based prank collective Improv Everywhere) and Kopi with a Stranger. Founded by Rovik Jeremiah Robert and Leon Heng, the organisation sets out with one ambitious mission: to knock down walls in our country.
To say that the “special brand of citizen-journalism” is doing an epic job, is an outrageous understatement. Since its inception, The Hidden Good has scored almost half a million views on YouTube (and still counting).
Hired recently had the pleasure of speaking with Leon on the formation of the initiative. Even though the 21-year-old lad has long left the enterprise, the strength and feel-good factor of the worthy cause is still very much a big part of his life. “I try to be involved as much as I can. Naturally, that involves talking to people, strangers basically. [I’m] trying to get an understanding of the world around me.” He piped.
“I’m going to give it my best shot.”
Image Source: Rovik Jeremiah Robert
Leon has an upbeat approach to modern living. After describing the world as “complex”, the Economics and Philosophy student went on to share his two cents on living life to the fullest, “[It’s] a very vibrant, colourful place that I don’t think I’ll ever get to know really well within my lifetime. But I’m going to give it my best shot and see where it takes me.”
It was online negativity that propelled the pair to kickstart The Hidden Good. Speaking about the driving force, Leon said, “We wanted [Singapore] to be a more welcoming, warmer place.”
He continued, “I think a big part of us believed that there was a very positive side to Singapore that wasn’t being showcased. We thought that was a huge waste and we wanted to play a role in recognising that side of Singaporeans.”
“Online content as a whole was becoming very powerful.”
Both Rovik and Leon are keenly aware of the fact that they now live in a network society with a treasure trove of information. It was the reason why they decided to upload videos on YouTube to grow their audience.
“The main idea is that we shouldn’t shove our message down people’s throat. It needs to be packaged in a way that’s engaging and to see it first and foremost, before you try to add any sort of wider message or broader theme and value to the content.”
The self-confessed perfectionist carried on, “We did that and the videos were successful. We didn’t expect it to catch on as well as it did. It gave us the opportunity and the leverage to bring it further.”
“Having a strong motivated team is way more important than having a fantastic idea.”
Image Source: The Hidden Good
Leon, a fan of TV sitcom Friends and movies A Beautiful Mind and Into The Wild, didn’t forget to credit the team behind The Hidden Good during our interview. He said, “One of the biggest lessons I kept with me since leaving Hidden Good [is] having a strong motivated team. I think, if I can talk [in] broad strokes here, it’s way more important than having a fantastic idea.”
He also didn’t shy away from talking about the obstacles he had while running the social cause — namely, his critics. “The chief amongst them were friends and family,” he admitted. “They didn’t think it would be able to stand out. Facing these difficulties, our mindset was quite simple. If you don’t try, you won’t know. That’s a pretty standard saying. So we went with that attitude.”
“I’m pretty sure that if we didn’t get any results in the first few videos, we would have been a lot more disheartened, but we built the momentum from the start. Just the curiosity and passion, and it worked out well.”
“The education system does not promote a culture of self-learning”
Image Source: The Hidden Good
Leon’s views on the education system were an echo of others’ opinions. “My impression is that the education system does not promote a culture of self-learning and self-growth. [It] does not show us the diverse ends of life, the many possible ways to live.”
“I think the experience on being out there in the real world, doing outside of the education system, doing something that’s different, doing something that requires me to interact with people in all walks of life definitely played a part in the way I think,” Leon explained his reason.
“It’s an outlook of basically realising that there are a lot of ways to be happy.”
You too, can achieve your goals in life. Be sure to head down to Glints for more electrifying opportunities that are waiting for you. Want to get inspired? Here’s the rest of our Rising Star stories:
Cover Image Source: Rovik Jeremiah Robert
Rovik Jeremiah Robert
The Hidden Good