Our Education Minister Heng Swee Keat shared his view on chasing paper qualifications on a recent news article on Today.
A good academic qualification alone “does not guarantee a good career”, especially in the current volatile and fast-changing economy where mismatch of skills and expectations for job-seekers could occur, Mr Heng told some 300 graduates and their parents in a speech at Temasek Polytechnic’s graduation ceremony.
I personally thinks that the problem does not *entirely lies on the students but also on the hiring companies. I graduated from Temasek Poly with an engineering diploma, after National Service, I worked as a CNC field engineer before pursing a degree from NUS Business School. Continue reading
Businesses are able to enjoy 400% tax breaks or 60% cash payout for investments in innovation and productivity improvements under the PIC scheme.
Productivity and Innovation Credit Workshop | Plug-In@Blk71.
Startups are all about the Execution, but I also strongly believe in managing a good cashflow so I’m very careful with Intraix spending, always keeping burn rate in check and when there is a scheme to save money, I will always jump on it.
PIC is a scheme announced to help SME (including startups) to get back 60% of their spending. In other words, if you buy a MacBook Air for your employee, you will pay the full sum but you can submit a claim through PIC and you will get back 60% of the spending. “How awesome is that!“(certainly helps in my cashflow) but the application process is somewhat confusing and when I ask my some of fellow startup friends, they do not even know of these initiatives.
This Friday, Plug-In@Blk71 is holding a PIC workshop. This is an awesome opportunity for me to whack them with questions. For those who are frustrated in the application process like me, this is the time to get back your 60% cash spending.
p/s yes, MacBook is consider as a productivity tool
When you have a long stretch when you arent bothered, you can get in the zone. The zone is when you are most productive. Its when you dont have to mindshift between various tasks. Its when you arent interrupted to answer a question or look up something or send an email or answer an im. The alone zone is where real progress is made.
via Getting Real: Alone Time by 37signals.
I feel that I get more things done when I’m alone too.
When we first started Intraix, I keep thinking that as founders we have many things to do. Things like pitching, developing products..etc etc. But looking back, I realized I am wrong. In fact, I feel that I have more free time or rather ‘alone’ time where I could sit and down and Think.
The true ‘busyness” comes when you get your First customer, because we have to devote our 101% of our commitment to them. Now that our customer base have grown, it is ever harder to find that alone time. Heading to the office is just to reply emails, phone calls and addressing our customers issues.
I’m sure many founders find it hard to have time just to do their stuff. When I have a bit of time to sit down and start jotting down my notes, the email notification appears or the phone call rings. Sure, I can turn off notification, I tried it before but the reaction from my customer will be: “hey I called/emailed you a few times, where were you?…You know the…” And this broke my chain of thoughts. Plus I do not want to do this often because this would affect (IMHO) customer satisfaction.
What I’m doing now is to wake up early at 5:30am to start my alone time and I find it the most productive time spent for it. Product roadmap, cashflow management and milestones planning are done within this period of time. I still leave emails and phone calls to the “normal working hours”. I would love to stretch this alone time longer but getting up at 4:30 is really tough. So friends and founders, please share with me if you have altnatives or better ways of getting the productivity time.
From Left, Agus, Peckying, Liana, Cheng San
I wrote a few times about Plugin@blk71 and even mentioned that its like a family to me. But I am ashamed, I am ashamed that never did I share about the pillars behind it, because Plugin@blk71 is really just a space, a vacuum, without the amazing people in it, it has no life, no meaning.
I have forgotten who introduced or how did I find out about Plugin@Blk71, but the first day when we moved in, there was another startup that’s already there. We became good friends and often gossiped about the local startup scene. [Guess who they are here]
Tl:dr - I wrote one day the time would come and we would be leaving Blk71. Today, Intraix graduated. We will be moving to Chinatown – Pearl Hill Terence. I like to dedicate this post to the awesome people running plugin@blk71 and how this personally affects me.
When I was in Business School, instead of WallStreet Journal or Singapore Business Times, I was more interested in reading tech blogs (or some may call it tech publications). The regular ones that I followed closely and covers the Asia startup scenes are SGEntrepreneur, e27 and TechInAsia. (there are more now and you can get it from this Quora List)
Recently, e27 raised about US$615,000 to further expand their coverage in Southeast Asia. (Congrats Mohan! See e27.Team) Continue reading
As you read this post, Intraix will launching our mobile app at the ECo Day Out 2013 @ South West. This an annual event by South West CDC to highlight and educate the community on environmental issues like energy conservation and the 4Rs. For the past month, we have been preparing for the launch and I really learn a lot from launching the app. From time management, to bug testing and even communication among team members Continue reading
I had this discussion about “Should Startups Take On Consulting Work?” with several entrepreneurs and most of us agreed we should be spending time building the product rather than doing consulting work.
When I meet up with investors, we talk about this topic too and You Can Only Do One Thing At A Time are the the words Continue reading
3 years ago, I talk about learning to code out an iPhone App. But the attempt fail because the learning curve was apparently quite high (when I tried learning it from the Stanford online course) and there wasn’t much tutorials like this. Excuses aside, I was lazy it was all “NATO“.
Last year, things changed. Being in Plug-in@Blk71, I mix frequently with coders, developers, programmers or whatever you all like to call it. And events such as hackathons take place often at Plug-in and to see developers coming up with a software product or to actually build something out from idea is amazing. This is especially try when you see a 14 year old “hack and tell” his hackathon project.
So I was inspired and set on my 30 days challenge of learning iPhone programming Continue reading
If you are not tech savvy and you are looking to do up a website. You can go online and get a quote from any web studios. They will be charging like $800 for 5 pages and the more pages you create, the more you pay just like the one above.
But recently there seems to be a trend towards single page website and some of them are really well done. For example, theleanstartup.com is a straight forward, easy to digest single page website.
It’s sort of like scrolling down a pdf file in presentation format. With big words and a single call for action.
Well if you like it to be fancy, you can check out spokespedicabs.com too.
Each slide down in the page changes the color and graphics. But the amazing thing is that despite the fanciness, it is still easy to navigate.
unfold is another single page website that’s pretty amazing.
Big words, big images and graphical yet at the same time undisturbing.
And finally, Custora.com (I like this the most) they use a single web page to tell a story, just like pitching an idea. They shared with you the problem then the solution with a call for action at the end.
So what do you think? Would you opt for a single page website? I would.
“I would say going into the office every day is a productivity loss,” Mullenweg says. “Most offices are fairly soul-crushing environments. I think part of the reason is that they’re… via Matt Mullenweg: Distributed Workforces are All About Results.
I first learn about wordpress begin a distributed company from Philip at my first wordpress meetup. He shared his experience as a Theme Wrangler at Automattic Inc (the parent company for wordpress.com and many others) and the working culture. And I’m actually pretty amazed that for a company like Automattic Inc that runs wordpress.com has only have 131 employees.
The best thing about it is the employees are located around the world. They are distributed. The tradition thinking is to have all employees under the one roof so the “boss” can see what the employees and doing also to build up the culture in the firm. But Automattic has build it’s own culture by begin distributed. They have also proven themselves to produce results just like what Matt mentioned. (see left)
So I was pretty interested in the tools they used for communicating, things like emails I guess would be the most important tool. But I was wrong, Philip shared he had checked his email for work stuff less than 20 times (i may remember wrongly, figures could be lower) since he join Automattic. And he shared the few tools they use.
- The P2 wordpress theme - a twitter like interface blog theme and everything is transparent in the company. maybe for co-workers salary and super secretive stuff but mostly all informations are shared on their P2, so everyone knows what’s happening in the company
- IRC – sharing between team members, if I did not remember wrongly; the teams are no larger than 10)
- Jabber - the original IM service based on XMPP and one of the key nodes on the XMPP network.
Sometimes we hear fellow startups facing problems with their outsourcing partners, we have the same application tools for us and Automattic has done it so well. It’s true that Automattic is communicating to it’s employees while we are to our outsourcing partners but I believe the key lies in communication and executions.
Using internet technology to break communication barriers and everyone can be working at their comfort area is so awesome. This also means that Automattic can get talent not just in US but also around the world and they will not have issues with things like visa or even employment passes. Furethermore, because they are located in different time zone, there are always engineers looking after the site. Maybe this is why wordpress.com downtime is so low.
With the talent crunch in Singapore and employment restriction, I really loves this idea of running a distributed company and I would certainly love my startup to be manage in a similar manner. How about you? What is your take on distributed workforce?