This start of 2013 has really been amazing for Intraix. We have our Home Energy Monitoring app launch with South West CDC on 27 Feb 2013. And this week, we signed a partnership deal with Smart Integration from Japan. This is definitely an exciting time for us. But I stop and start to look at the famous Paul Graham’s startup curve, where exactly is Intraix on the startup curve? Continue reading
Initially I wanted to write a blog post titled my unexpected journey 2012 before doomsday. So I took some hours off yesterday thinking how should I start and this morning I started to craft the post, hopping I have it out in the evening .
But something happen today, my Mac went dead. It went dead because I tried to mess with the hostname in terminal. *protip; do not mess change your hostname unnecessary in your terminal. (I did this during a Python Training Class )
Usually, I would have gone crazy, blank and lost (you know that feeling when you are working on MS words and the things just crash on you and you had not saved the file.) #fml kinda of feeling
But today, I was a little bit more calm. I was calm because all my important stuff are in the cloud. So today, I really want to say Phil Libin and Drew Houston, you guys made a difference to my life today. And to whoever came out the great idea of cloud storage, give the man a tiger!
I’m restarting this post just a minute past doomsday. Because I just got the rest back from time machine. (Yes, Steve you made a difference too) So here’s my sharing of an unexpected journey in 2012.
tl:dr: For the past year, I been having fun, making new friends, learning new skills, making hard decisions that I sometimes regret but had to move forward and gaining lots of experiences in my startup journey.
My unexpected journey in Startup life
Intraix has started with an idea in 2011 and turn into a running business in 2012. Are we doing what we first conceived. No. Low cost home energy monitoring system (HEMS) just doesn’t make sense locally yet. So we pivoted (the word that Startups love to use) to Building Energy Monitoring. In another words, we are an Enterprise startup (lots of buzz around the word Enterprise among startups too) You can see our live demo here.
We also accidentally a pretty strong community for Bikeroger.com. Yes. It’s a startup too. People have ask us why are you not focused? Well, this calls for another post but the community we build is even strong than Tribesports. (Not I say, fanpagekarma say) We did not even know we are building a community, we just wanted to use Facebook to publicse our services. But as the crowd grew, we do less of selling and more of engaging. And I learn so much about community building from Bikeroger.com.
Also making a significant contribution to my startup life is Blk71…(Yes, Yes, I know. I talk a lot about Blk71) I posted that Blk71 is like a big family to me, but I like to give a BIg BIg thank you credit to the guys and ladies running the show. They are the ones that makes Plugin@Blk71 special.
My unexpected journey in Running.
I blog about my startup life, sometimes about tech and even my love for running. But I never expected that my love for running would bring me the following.
1. a chance to write for a magazine – I had the opportunity to write a 3 page Okaley Review for Run Singapore. The magazine is now on sale
2. becoming an Evernote Fitness Ambassador – I love Evernote, it is my most commonly use productivity tool. I even used it as my training log. I blog about it and with my love for sports, I wrote in to apply for the Evernote International Ambassador program. I went through the interviews and proud to say. I made it.
Also I ike to introduced Bikeroger Ekiden Team. I wrote about having pre-race jitter but it was all worth it. Out of 300 teams for the Ekiden race. We sent 2 teams and we got 11th and 24th placing. You guys are amazing. And I clocked my personal best at 8.8km – 38:35mins
My unexpected journey in Learning.
Now where you are spending most of your time in a workplace full of geeks, you will soon become a geek (in my opinion). There are many talents in Blk71 and there can be so much to learn from them. I’m a business student but I have not picked up HTML/CSS skills (Thanks to @zackyap, sorry if I keep bothering you why this? why that?) that I practiced it on my Tumblr, hopefully I can create beautiful Tumblr themes that thousands use.
Also, iOS programming. Some says it’s tough to learn it without programming experience. One guy wants to show that everyone can code, so on Sat/Sun he will spent sometime to teach me iOS. Our common goal to turn me from a iOS noob to ‘coder’ (even if that means creating a simple RSS reader app) I’m using a 30 days challenge app to monitor my progress. You can see it here.
Sorry for the super long post, but i’m sure you can feel that I love writing .
Finally, I love startup life and I really hope to see the startup community grow in Singapore. So I took the initiative to create 2 little side projects. (to do or not to do side projects, you can read it here)
1. Startups in Singapore - It is a rotation curation projection (@Khyathi92 from WeBlog is also helping out in this project). 52 weeks, each week an entrepreneur will be tweeting from a common twitter account and they can share their startup life experiences. Why I do this? I really want people to know more about our Singapore startup culture and I hope this would be a good way to share different experiences.
2. PSDPY.COM - A simple side project with Weileen. It’s a job portal side for startups. One problem that we faced while hiring for our own startups, it hard to find good talent. Job sites like Job.db or Jobstreet does not cater to the crowd of Startups and many times these job sites does not bring in suitable applicants. PSDPY.COM is a free to post jobs site, everyday 3~5 tweets will be out to share in the startup twitter verse.
I would love to hear feedbacks from you about these side projects, if you like to join in. I’m most welcome.
p/s It’s 02:21, i’m still alive and have finished my 2012 wrap-up :D #backtowork
This quote is from an ebook “Getting Real” by 37signals. It’s free and have lots of interesting perspective on why you should not follow the market leaders. Many entrepreneurs are solving problems and making the world a better place, but for those who do not know where to start, solving your own problems is a great way.
For example, Tumblr CEO David Karp wanted a tool/platform for easy sharing. He felt that the standard blogging tools he had that time was too complicated so he started one that allows easy sharing and for a user to have expressive identity. He solves his own problem.
Another great example is wordpress, the blogging platform I’m using now. The founder Matt, started blogging after a trip to a summer camp. He used a blogging tool called b2 but b2 stop development. Now he had a problem and he solved it by building his own.
Are you building something that’s solving your problem?
I mean how crazy can we get right? Right after graduation instead of following the usual route of finding a job, we went straight into starting a business. Thinking that we can change the world. And during the journey, while your fellow classmates are earning just enough to cover their student loans, you barely have enough to cover your meals.
Everyday, when you reach home, you parents will be asking when are you going to start bring money back to support the family.
When your friends get their first paycheck, they celebrate with big purchases or even big dinning treats. They ask you along but you say no “thank you” I’m busy. But in fact, you just do not have that disposable income for it.
And when you get a seed fund, you friends ask you out for celebration and you still say no “thank you” I’m busy. Why, because you are responsible, you are workaholic and you want to ship out your product fast.
All above and many more are what real #startuplife is about. This is Singapore not Silicon Valley. If Passion is not the thing that drives us, I do not know what else is.
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/peckying
Well Done:) peckying for the poster!!!
Creativity is like a low hanging fruit that’s been in the backyard of your imagination. If you believe you are not a creative person by nature, you’re lying. Think back about any of these situations below:
- You are with your friends and you’re all chatting happily. Eager to impress, you thought about making a joke. Everyone chuckles. Then somebody adds on to that joke and makes it even funnier. Now everyone starts bursting into laughter.
- It’s your first date; you’re thinking about what to wear and the places that you’ll go. You really want to make this an enjoyable evening and leave a lasting impression. There’s a lot on your mind but you’re pairing your clothes like a fashion stylist and thinking about what to talk about, trying your best not to appear boring later.
- You’re late for an important meeting. Everything that’s standing in your way is annoying you. You finally managed to enter the lift and feel tense for what’s about to happen next. You end up being 15 minutes late. Feeling awkward as you make your way into the meeting room and slipped an excuse, “my previous meeting ended later than expected.”
Do you feel like all the above situation has happened to you more than once?
We’ve been conditioned to believe that we’re not creative but given the right conditions, we’re more creative than we think. When we joke, plan or lie, we’re in fact throwing ideas out from the back of our heads with some creative effort.
Instead of asking how creative you are, why not ask how creative your ideas can be?
Fredrik Härén, author of The Idea Book, mentioned in the last Creative Mornings Singapore session that all ideas are a combination of existing things. Hence, creativity is accessible and not a skill reserved for artists or entrepreneurs. “There is no such thing as a New Idea”
Think back about the time where you tried to tell a joke in a casual setting. That joke was probably a combination of stimulus you’ve received. And when somebody builds upon it, they’re in fact contributing their ideas to make it better. At the end of it, it doesn’t matter whose idea it was because you’ve become part of an amazing shared experience.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs are afraid to share their business ideas because they believe someone will steal it. But if an idea was that easy to steal, that business idea is probably not worth your investment anyway. Besides, you don’t have to always share a complete picture, just enough for a stranger to have an overview of your business and enough to get them excited about contributing to your cause and helping you out. You’ll definitely gain more than you lose by throwing your ideas out there.
Creative thinking just gets better with practice in situations where you may have to take some risk and move beyond your comfort zone. The most creative entrepreneurs I know are also the most adaptable entrepreneurs, and most adaptable entrepreneurs thrive.
– Daylon is the design founder of a soon-to-launch online store, CuriousCatch.com, which sells unique designer products at a discount. All blog readers here can receive a $5 shopping voucher if they sign-up with an email address before the end of May 2012.
I love reading articles online and I use Readability (now) to help me saved the contents that I can read later. I chose readability over instapaper and Read It Later (now pocket) because it’s totally FREE.
Here is an article from lifehacker that compares the 3 services. A very interesting and useful article if you are trying to find out which service suits you.
Instapaper and RIL (used to) charge for their mobile application. Although they are much more integrated with 3rd party apps as compared to readability but this problem is easily solved by using IFTTT.
Readability have a clean, good for reading interface definitely the app for reading text articles. Now RIL is now renamed Pocket and it’s free. I tried Pocket and I think there might be a chance that Pocket replace Readability…
Pocket offers a slightly (in my opinion) poorer UI by it allows us to store/search for videos and images. This feature certainly attracts me.
Both applications are free now on mobile. I wonder if Instapaper would be free soon for it’s mobile app.
A few interesting questions came up as I blog about this post.
- If you are using Readability would you change to Pocket that offers more multimedia features?
- How is the switching cost like for you towards mobile reading applications?
- How do you think applications like Readability, Pocket or Instapaper can increase their users switching cost?
Would love to hear from you people
- Read It Later is now free for all and called Pocket (geek.com)
- The Power & Peril of Saving the Web for Later (readwriteweb.com)
- Instapaper, Readability and monetizing other people’s content (gigaom.com)
Yesterday, SGEntrepreneur puts up an article about Singapore’s very own Pintertest clone and that sparked much debate on the web.
The debate was surrounding the fact that Singterest had everything copied from the UI to the colors and even the same tag line. (See below)
Hey, you might be wondering this is a clone what do you expect? Or there are even more pinterest clone in China.
But even clones in China make an effort to change their fonts and colors to differentiate themselves.
But what really sparks me to write this post is really asking is there really a need for a localize Pinboard? And to look from a business angle, is there an opportunity that Singterest be brought up by Pinterest?
I believe the situation is very much different for Beeconomic because Groupon needed a local sales team to interact with the merchants and to do that they can set up its own sales force or just buy up a clone (provided it has a large base of users)
On the other end, to me Pinterest is just a platform that reaches the end users directly. They can be located in US and still get users in Singapore. It’s sharing of beautiful images and discovery of new interesting products is definitely addictive. Even if I was to discover something I really like and wanted to purchase I can easily ship it over. Unless, (this is just my random thoughts) Pinterest is looking to do something with our local merchants or even blogshops than that will be a different story altogether.
Also for clones, I think for clones to be successful maybe we can look at the demographic as well. Chinese clones are successful maybe because their national is chinese and having the site in chinese makes it easier. Singapore, we are able to accept English language so we can easily pick up sites like facebook, twitter or even Pinterest itself. Having a clone for Pinterest in Singapore might not standout but maybe having a Pinterest clone in Malaysia or Thailand may work? A myterest.my in malay and a thaiterest.th in Thai?
So what do you think? I like to hear from fellow entrepreneurs Let’s put the carbon copy issue aside first and let’s talk
is there really a need for a localize Pinboard?
is there an opportunity that Singterest be brought up by Pinterest?
Update 28 March 2012
That was how I feel when I attended the Startup Weekend 2012 in Singapore just yesterday.
Startup Weekend 2012 was held over 54hrs at NUS Business School. Yesterday at 6pm, about 20 startups had a 5min opportunity to present their wonderful ideas to some of our top local investors and entrepreneurs. The startup scene here is certainly growing and I like to congratulate the organizers Jacky and his team for the seamless event executions.
So when I first step into the atrium, the first thing I did was to draw out my iphone and began taking pictures with instagr.am. I uploaded the pictures to tumblr and started to tweet. I was like a reporter, reporting what presentation was coming up next, how is the idea different from its competitor and even what the judges were saying. And this is not just me alone! (some of the judges tweet out their thoughts too)
I think I was doing this for an hour or so when my friend tweeted a complained that I was spamming
It’s not just reporting, with twitter I even had the opportunity to ask the judges questions. And they replied!!! It just makes the world closer.
I have 2 questions and would love to hear from you guys!
Q: What would you have done to avoid spamming on your friends’ twitter timeline?
Q: Have you ever use twitter as a reporting tool? And how would you make twitter a better reporting tool?
Let’s take the Q&A into comments!
- Startup Weekend Singapore a success but ideas need to be bolder (e27.sg)
- Lessons learnt from Organizing Startup Weekend (jackyyapp.com)
- Startup Weekend Singapore – 9-11 Mar (sgentrepreneurs.com)
I’m terrible at writing, often my buddy have to correct my grammar or spelling mistakes on our company’s blog post. I am concern because the future is more about writing than ever.
With increasing engagement of the internet, people use IM, emails, blogs and even now ability to have self puslishing ebooks to communicate thier ideas. If I am not able to communicate my ideas with my writing, I will be in deep trouble going ahead (check out the reading below). So I took up the challenge to start blogging in 2010 as a way to improve my english.
writing is making a comeback all over our society – 37signal “Rework” pg 222
So I like to thank startup founders who gave me a chance to write about them btw I think all aspiring entrepreneurs should read “Rework“, I regret reading it too late. Here is a page on writing from “Rework”
So how would you suggest to improve my command for english?
Just in case both the #SOPA and #PIPA bills are pass and internet freedom is lost. Here’s another video to explain why it’s a bad idea.
Clay Shirky (via Clay Shirky’s TED Talk on Why SOPA & PIPA Are a Bad Idea)