Monthly Archives: November 2009

In Jakarta!

I am here for Yahoo Open Hack Day and meeting a bunch of folks.

Most of them I have talked about before but met a new one today – http://www.tokopedia.com/

Indonesian online shopping site – seems to be  few a of them. Trying to hunt down one of the other ones – I think it is called crazy mart but not sure.

Anyway – getting ready for an all night hackathon and then off to Vietnam and Philippines.

Stay tuned!

Crazy busy folks!

Not an excuse but working on one of my biggest events for the year! Indonesia Open Hack Day – Jakarta! Promises to be a record crowd and there is a lot left to do! Somewhat of a return to normality next week as I hit Vietnam and Manila to get things cranked up. Stay tuned for that.

Lots of stuff going on in Singapore this weekend – first off is BarCamp4.

Right after that is the Hackerspace party!

That’s it for now. Maybe I will see you all in Indonesia, Vietnam or the Philippines?

happy hacking!

Recap/Schedule #2

Having returned from Jakarta from a full week of meetings I am back in Singapore for a week prior to heading back to Jakarta again for this Yahoo! event – Open Hack Day. It looks to be a big event and will be fun for the those going. Hopefully I will see some of you there?

Lots of meetings this week and hope to meet up with a few startups I have not yet talked to. Will post about them if so. Also hope to nail down the details for Singapore barcamp and the hackerspace party. Stay tuned!

With that I will leave you with some photos from where we had a Yahoo! event. I was interacting with some bloggers and Rama helped me to setup a night to introduce myself and meet the local bloggers and startups in Indonesia. He picked this place called Wetiga and said that it was fun place to meetup.

The setting is simply an outdoor area with a guy making tea and coffee(try the strong hot coffee with ginger), a food cart(stuff was super tasty) and a projector with a big screen. It was hot out but what a fun way to meet people. I won’t forget the experience.

Photos below –

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Location Goldrush!

Having just returned back from Jakarta, great city BTW, I noticed a trend among some of the startups around Southeast Asia – chasing the location gold. Sites or mobile applications that will focus on where u are, what are u doing, what do u want to do and who or what is around u. This is a cool segment because it is very focused on the consumer but at the same time it has technical challenges but the opportunity for making money down the road is big.

I have not seen anyone really nail it yet but there are some interesting players to watch.

In Singapore there is hungrygowhere which is more of Yelp for SEA but I think they will get pushed into being more aware of location as key to their space. I like their stuff and they are expanding into other countries but I think they need to drastically simplify their interface and their review criteria. The only thing that keeps me from putting more reviews into it is that it takes far too much time. So right now I just use it to find things but they will want to address that issue or they will lose people to simpler systems.

Foyage is a player in Singapore and Indonesia. They are doing some interesting work but are mobile only. I think all the players needs mobile and web interfaces to win. This is a blurb from Foyage:

Foyage helps you to find places and people nearby.

Foyage also enables you to find out if there are other Foyagers nearby.

Make friends and get their latest comments showed automatically to your screen.

And by adding your favorites spots to the favorite list, you can always be the first to receive the latest updates about it.

I like how Foyage is trying to get regional fast. Smart move since for me I will eventually use the app that is mobile, on the web and in the most countries I travel in. Having to use a different app or service for each country will get old. Expect the smart guys to roll each other up or acquire each other to scale quickly – at least they should.

Koprol seems to be the same as Foyage but only in Indonesia and only a web app that can ne used on the phone. They are building real mobile clients. I like their biz model and they are aggressive but only seem to be focusing on Indonesia. Indonesia – unlike the other countries in SEA could be a standalone business but when it comes to monetization and heft – the regional players who also cover Indonesia will do better long term.

urbanesia is another Indonesian based group working on smart online yellow pages with location and commenting but I don’t see any rating system. They also don’t seem to have mobile clients but they are gathering location stuff – meaning the places to go.

The problem with all of SEA is there is little location data and this won’t change. So these companies are spending money to build up location databases which is not cheap to do. I think some of them might want to work together on this problem by using shared data but building their own value add on top. I think the player with the most usable endpoints (mobile, web  & TV) who has the best model for user generated content might get the biggest DB but this will not ensure success.

This is a fun space to watch. If readers or companies are aware of other similar players please comment – thanks!

Foyage also enables you to find out if there are other Foyagers nearby.
Make friends and get their latest comments showed automatically to your screen.
And by adding your favorites spots to the favorite list, you can always be the first to receive the latest updates about it.
Wherever you go, Foyage is your personal radar

Mobile Monday Recap

mm1Dropped in from the skies, got into my Silver Bird merc and headed through the sick traffic to the Amigos Restaurant at the Bellagio Mall. It was Mobile Monday time!

I have heard about this before but have never attended one in person. Must have been close to 150+ plus in attendance. The format is simple. Sponsors speak, for too long, and then people who have apps to show off get to speak for 5 mins or so. I think they should give everyone 10 and sponsors 5 mins but that is just my opinion.

All in all a great event run by Andy Zain and folks. Nice work.

I was there in my Yahoo capacity but I think there was some interesting startup activity to mention.

The team over at Seatech showed off capripromo:

Caripromo is an information portal for merchant discounts and promotions (refer to promotions).
As a user, not only you can find lots of promotions here, but also you can contribute by sharing (make a review), posting photos, giving your concern, and asking about the merchants experiences you/others had.

Caripromo is an information portal for merchant discounts and promotions (refer to promotions)

As a user, not only you can find lots of promotions here, but also you can contribute by sharing (make a review), posting photos, giving your concern, and asking about the merchants experiences you/others had.

The app is very focused on searching for deals and optimized for mobile interfaces. Pretty clean stuff and seems to have a niche here in Indonesia.

The other app I liked was foyage – nice name too. It is like Yelp but more based on where you are and who is around you. I think they should add some gaming element to it like foursquare to make it sticky. Hope to sync up with them again.

Then there was buzzcity – read the blog for more on them.

Then domikado – interesting stuff. Basically a mobile trading application but they added everything but the kitchen sink so that people could use their trading application for more things than just trading. Not sure if this works outside of Indonesia but apparently the biz model is paying for their growth and content deals seems to encourage more customers to trade. Nice.

That’s it for now.

ps. for those who don’t know – outside of the US and Canada Indonesia is the largest blackberry country. Indonesia was also the biggest consumer of the old Nokia communicator so not sure what that says about the BB. 🙂

One presenter actually presented from their BB – that was a trip.

Recap/Schedule #1

I am going to try and to do this every week so that people can see what has been going on and look for what is happening during the week ahead. My upcoming widget in the sidebar will show you event info and you can see where I am going on TripIt – Dopplr is dead to me now.

beer_pizzaIt was a busy past week. Had some meetings with local startups like hungrygowhere, gothere, and some others I can’t mention yet. I also attended beer/pizza night at GARAG3 over at the NUS. It was fun to meet everyone and get to know the local startup/incubation scene. It is good to see a group focused on helping startups get productive fast and work on growing their business throughout the region. I plan on doing more with them.

Also want to make people aware of HackerSpace Singapore – I think this is a great idea and really want to see it happen. Pledge now – pledge often. I for one plan on signing up and hope to hang out when I can at the space.

This week I will be in Jakarta. There are 2 events that I will be at:

Mobile Monday and an event I am hasting at Wetiga.

That’s it for now.