Undeniably, the enterprises are coming. A rich startup ecosystem is growing around node.js, and big companies like Yahoo, PayPal, and LinkedIn have invested a lot of resources into adopting it internally. Besides the web giants, node.js seems to be catching on in some companies you might not expect, like Walmart…
The best part of creating a company is defining a culture. If you can find a company that has a culture you like and will pay you Enough to solve problems, go work for that company. Don’t start your own.
I write on my startup experience and entrepreneurship. But entrepreneurship is not for everyone and if you thinking that there are lots of grants and funding available for you to start a company now, Don’t.
Simply because these days, you are expected to have a product coded up and ready before you raise your first substantial angel round. No longer can you just raise your first round with just an idea. And unless you have the PASSION and COURAGE to go through all the shit that an entrepreneur will faced.
So to my dear friends who see me from another side of the field, the grass is not greener over here
No one here would really mind another 1999, of course. As a legendary Silicon Valley bumper sticker has it, “Please God, just one more bubble.” But booms are inevitably followed by busts.
If you think the current valuation for tech companies without revenue are crazy, than start thinking about Bitcoins, it will make you feel better.
Because the current tech scene makes you feel like 1999 all over again. And I’m sure many who have missed the bubble before would love to hop on this train ride (but careful not to get too greedy and get off before the train stops)
But we have to acknowledge that our communication addictions aren’t making us happy or productive. Create an atmosphere of minimal distractions. Stay offline unless you truly need to do some research. Do your important work first, and answer emails later.
Startup works in a fast pace environment, things change rapidly. But that does not mean that you have to be connected all the time. Sometimes being connected makes you less productive. Some entrepreneurs turned off notification to find their zone. What I do is simply go airplane mode on my devices.
Give it a try, go airplane mode and you will focus much better.
I learned that when we compare ourselves, we don’t do it fairly. More importantly, the process of comparison leads to desperation, not happiness, and loosens, not tightens, our grip on reality.
As you start to compare, you start to lose your direction. And direction is what sets you on a different path.
I follow startup founders on twitter so I can learn the experiences they shared. I look up to all startup founders with respect as they take the crazy plunge into the startup scene.
It also have been said that if you want to be successful, you would need to follow a successful role model. You learn from him/her and to certain cases, you mimic the role model. Sometimes the line gets blurry between learning and imitating. You start to lose your “direction”, your path as you follow the role model.
But the worst that can happen is you start comparing with the role model. You start to lose your self-esteem and confidence. I start to realized this months ago. As the role model starts to share of his/her successes, the more intimated I feel about why ”I’m not doing as good”?.
This was unhealthy so I took sometime off and mediate. I start to ask myself questions.
You lead your own life and you can choose. Why make yourself feel bad? The difference between you and your role model now, used it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn more and live.
Sometimes, things just happen. When the stars align, you get your big break. But does not mean you sit around waiting for the big break. Your role model big break came because he worked hard not to let it slip past. You too should work hard to make sure that the opportunity does not slip past you. And you will be in “Rome”, maybe a few days/months/years late.
Once your competitive ego starting running, you lose your heart to love. You start to embrace less. Learn to understand yourself and that you should be learning from the role model and not competing.
Embrace and celebrate your small win, it builds you up.
Focus on what your unique cocktail of nurture and nature enabled you to accomplish.
Now ask yourself, are you learning or comparing with your role model? And remember to use your differences as an opportunity.
From my favorite startup founder:
if this thing that I’m going to work on becomes popular, will I be able to actually pay for it and switch to it full time if that’s something that makes sense. GitHub is something that had that kind of aspect.
Side project to profitability and to actual business is totally possible. But think business model.
My advice is that if you are on your own and you have no other commitments, and you feel that whatever it is that you are striving for is important to you, you must keep trying. Keep trying until it becomes ridiculous, and then try some more. If not, you will regret it, and regret is worse than failure.
I read many articles on life (or self-help, if you like to call it), sometimes I get lost in an environment full of noise and I have regrets. If I could time travel, there are many things I would do differently (I’m sure many would do the same). I’m 31 this year and I’m worry. Worry about my family, worry about my startup, worry about the choices I’m going to make (what if it goes wrong)?. Reading these three articles deepens my thoughts about finding my inner-self. And finding that inner-self is what we need to do in this short life ours. There are no correct, wrong, right decisions1. Only decisions we made our own2.
The ‘discovery’ of your life’s purpose may come to you in an epiphany, a sudden burst of insight, or it may come to you slowly, with you realizing that “it feels right” with each of the steps that you take in life. Again, there is no ‘correct’ path. It is different for everyone. - Moh Hon Meng
Something is easy when it’s achieved without great effort. Simplicity on the other hand involves plenty of deliberate effort, intention, rigor, attention to detail. A disastrous forest fire is easy; elegant fireworks are simple.
Via Take It Simple
A gentle reminder to myself and fellow friends who take taking it easy as an excuse to underperform.
Instead of easy, we can consider - taking it simple.
Most important mistake people make: ALWAYS ask Mary if she’s willing to get the intro. Honestly you’d be surprised by the answers. More often than not: she doesn’t think that would make so much sense / she’s very busy / she doesn’t need another email thread to manage.
Sending email intros takes time. Especially for the person that’s making the introduction, you need to write out clearly and the objective of the mail.
But sometimes, people might forget that the person that you like to introduce might not be interested. A good practice is to send a separate mail and asked first, it works for me. I hope it works for you too.
Sometimes you’re not looking for your first customer, you’re looking for your first booster: a passionate believer who will promote you to everyone they meet and cheer you on when you’re feeling down. If you encounter someone like this, and they’re actually convincing people to buy, count yourself lucky! Thank them: let them know you appreciate their help.
via Believe in me
Agreed. But do note that this is very much different compared to an entrepreneur who tries to spam his and his friends social media wall about his new product and ask them to share. (this is spamming)
If the product is good, your friends will turn into your boosters. There’s no need to spam. And on this topic, how are you getting your first customers?
Love to hear your thoughts, I’m @leetucksing on twitter
A periodical about best practices and advanced techniques in Objective-C.
Looking to go deep into Objective-C, this site have contributions from some of the best iOS developers out there.
The team over at Everpix had build a great product, unfortunately they ran out of luck(cash) and will be shutting down. The founders shared the following in their lessons learned and I think we can learn something from it too.
The founders acknowledge they made mistakes along the way. They spent too much time on the product and not enough time on growth and distribution. The first pitch deck they put together for investors was mediocre. They began marketing too late. They failed to effectively position themselves against giants like Apple and Google, who offer fairly robust — and mostly free — Everpix alternatives.
If there is one thing I learn about starting up is the only advantage we have over big companies is SPEED. We can iterate faster as we gather feedback from the users. We make changes and we adapt. But we also cannot loosely use the word “iterate”, at the very least the very first product that you put forward to your users must be “decent” and “usable”.
The team at Everpix put in their very best for the product but they forgot about selling. And this is a very important lesson to all of us, because you can be building the best product, but if no one knows, what’s the use? At Intraix, we have been focusing on our product and Darrell has been leading the business development. Although we have several partnerships but we still lack speed in customer acquisitions, which explains why in our upcoming hiring we are looking for sales staff.
Even if you have lots of money to start with, you might not succeed.
Everpix raised a total of US$2.3M and the bulk of it goes to Salaries, Payroll and Personnel Costs (I still trying to understand what is the differences between Salaries and Payroll, but I’m sure it is all manpower cost). They ran the company for 2 years. That’s about US$1.15M per year of burn rate (they have a team of 7). Now, I understand that the standard of living is higher, so are the salaries for engineers over at Silicon Valley but still US$2.3M is a lot of money to start with in my opinion.
Imagine if we have this kind of seed funding available for Asia startups or rather Singapore startups, and you happen to run a similar service do you think the success rate might be higher? (given that you have proper cash-flow management.
Love to hear your thoughts, I’m @leetucksing on twitter
The article Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups written by Aileen Lee has been shared by many. I read it and it certainly worth your time. Here are some of the findings that I have thoughts on.
But enterprise-oriented unicorns have become worth more on average, and raised much less private capital, delivering a higher return on private investment.
This is why I love building a business around B2B, simply because the business model is much more clear cut than those consumer-focus startups. I’m not saying that consumer-focus startups are no good, because there are several in the list too. I just like to keep business model simple.
It took seven years on average for 24 companies on our list to go public or be acquired, excluding extreme outliers YouTube and Instagram, both of which were acquired for over $1 billion in about two years since founding.
Together with my co-founder, we have now a little success with Intraix but sometimes when reality sets in, people starts to compare. Since I’m from business school, there are many networking sessions to strength our alumni relationship. These are the kind events where you meet fellow schoolmates and most people share how successful they are in the their industry (mostly banking). Sometimes, I start to think would I be much more successful if I had stay in the trading line.
But when I return to office and sees my team. My thoughts changed. Your team-mates trust you to bring Intraix to a whole new level plus starting up is never easy. It’s not just a marathon race, it’s a ultra-marathon race. Sometimes you might DNF but you always try again until you reach your goal. Thank you, team. You are awesome
Ninety percent of co-founding teams comprise people who have years of history together, either from school or work; 60 percent have co-founders who worked together; and 46 percent who went to school together.
Darrell and I worked together and went to school together :D Here’s an amazing letter that you should send to your co-founder now.
The vast majority of all co-founders went to selective universities (e.g. Cornell, Northwestern, University of Illinois). And more than two-thirds of our list has at least one co-founder who graduated from a “top 10 school.”
I experienced this when I attended a founders meetup in SF. Most of the founders I met came from prestige schools. A founder I talked to also shared with me that the benefit of coming from prestige schools is the alumni network you can tapped on and this makes funding raising so much easier (how true is this?, I do not know but reading this article it also seems to increase the success of starting up)
We are not yet in the unicorn club but we aim to be and we have a long way to reach there.
Both beer and wine have some added benefits to drinkers that many distilled alcoholic beverages do not. For instance, Red-wine that is high in tannin contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease. Beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, which improves bone-density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
To all alcohol lovers, here’s another reason to drink without feeling all guilty during the weekend.
One question here. If I had not called up Leong on October 18, would Kumar’s refund even get processed? When would it have been processed? Next year?
If there was no cover on this “no refund yet” incident, I’m guessing that the customer would never get back his refund. They might just forget about it.
Some say Zalora is the asian clone for Zappos - a company well known for their customer service and amazing culture. And with the above article, I learn an important lesson on starting a business. You can copy the business model, the technology and even the site design. But you can never copy the company’s culture, the company’s mission. Zappos is out to delight their customers while Zalora on the other hand may not shared the same misson.