We Have All Grown Up

as we head home after our office warming, I feel we have grown up and are stronger now
as we head home after our office warming, I feel we have grown up and are stronger now

Intraix had it’s office warming on Friday and like to say a big Thank You to all of you who came. Thank you so much for taking your time off. I feel so love when I see you guys visiting us, I apologised for the fast moving pizzas but I hope the drinks can make up for it. You guys are awesome! it’s mushy to write this but…

you guys are the reasons that make my startup journey meaningful and most importantly FUN.

It was also a great time for me to catch up with fellow friends and entrepreneurs since we moved to Chinatown. We chatted about the gossips in local tech scene and of course the funding landscape (a topic that never skips an entrepreneur’s mind). There was so much to talk about that I wished the night never end.

On the way home, I look back and start to realise that…We have all grown up.

We are young

just a year ago, when my group of entrepreneurs’ friends gather it would only be gossips and idolism (including me). Gossips such as “the so and so of which startup have secure this funding, how much was he funded, wonder why they are able to secure this kind of round, why is this not happening to us” and idolism would like “I follow Mark Zuckerberg’s motto, we move fast break things, Jack Dorsey has an outstanding eye for design, he is like the next Steve Jobs and finally Kevin Systrom has shown us that it is possible to build a startup without any revenue model and make big bucks out of it. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having an idol. In fact, it’s good to have a role model so that we can learn the best from them. But these conversations used go on for hours and in reality it does not help much to the startup because these are uncontrollable issues. Furthermore, we have a different startup eco-system locally and what may work really well in other countries may not work superbly here.

It’s about the bottom line

Yesterday, these conversations only went on for a while. We chat and shared more about the “serious stuff”, how do we assess employees, do we go for culture fit or skills, how do a founder move from “hands on” to a management role, how do you split up your team (by products, platforms or functions?) and in the coming month some of us have to start filing for taxes, how do startup filed for taxes, do we need to report even we do not have revenues, do we need to spent money on corporate secretary services, or can we DIY and finally the most interesting topic we shared among ourselves was how each of our businesses is going to make money. These topics involved issues that are controllable especially to a startup founder unlike those gossips and idolism. As a founder you have to make the decisions and in the long run these decisions cost you money if made badly. Yes, we make mistakes but by discussing there is a chance we lower the risk.

a wrong hire cost you, missed annual filing cost you, poor management cost you

In other words, we were talking about business. we understand we are in a different startup environment and we have to react differently. Again, I shared this before, this is Singapore (Asia) not Silicon Valley. We all know we have to make money one way or another for our business, otherwise why bother becoming an entrepreneur? I believe deep down in all entrepreneurs heart is to build a profitable business. And to quote a fellow friend who shared yesterday,

Just take a look at YC funded companies, the superstars Airbnb & Dropbox they are profitable and they are real businesses. Not instagram nor mailbox..

We have all grown up.

We have all grown up, I so happy for everyone (and for myself), we are like seeds but now we are starting to grow. I really learn a lot from this startup journey. It changed my thinking and how I make assessment. I love the sharing among founders, when we shared we learn, coming from a 3rd party perspective, we can find new solutions for each other. I’m very grateful to have this bunch of entrepreneurial friends. You guys are awesome.

For apsiring entrepreneurs that happens to read my blog, I really hope my sharing helps you to make better assessment and remember all of us make mistakes but each mistake teaches us new things and we grow from there.

p/s I really have grown up, I’m turning 31 tml.

4 thoughts on “We Have All Grown Up

  1. “When I was your age….” =P It was fun meeting your friends and heartening to see that much passion and drive(for different things) all in one room. What you do (on this blog and real life) is give a beacon for other entrepreneurs to follow and I think it’s what we need as much as the funding, the talent and the mentors, we need the direction and the sense that this is all for something attainable.

    Here’s to many more milestones and parties.

  2. What a great write-up! Sorry i couldn’t make it to the office warming, i’m sure it went well.

    Congratulation on reaching a milestone. It’s very heartening to see the community growing from strength to strength, and being an entrepreneur is a viable “career option” now. =)

    Oh and, happy birthday!

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