9 thoughts on “Wishing I was a writer…

  1. Andre Siregar

    Michael, I read your original post earlier this month. The part about pouring some tea before darkening the room and starting the presentation… that was all too familiar. Was there any fried banana fritter as well? ;-)You've been around SEA region. What do you think of the startup community in Indonesia compared to its neighbors? Is it attractive to investors? Which country is right behind Singapore in tech/internet startup?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Michael F. Smith Jr.

      andre – thanks for the comment.no fritters. I will bug Johar for them next time.I think the community is gathering steam but the lack of funding avenues, no real incubator network, not many angels and too many big companies/families controlling the wealth is what is holding Indonesia back. I would say the same for Philippines as well.Singapore has all the funding one could ever need but a small local market – I have written up my thoughts on Singapore before here: http://www.nokpis.com/2010/01/22/musings-on-sin… .When it comes to investor scene I think Vietnam is doing better than ID or PH but Vietnam has other issues.Good discussion!

      Like

      Reply
  2. jayfajardo

    Good point Michael. Two things I always like to point out though for the PH…1. Funding for tech startups will rarely come from old money. They don't get it and they usually want 60% upwards in the seed round (lol).2. It takes less money to develop and launch nowadays. $50,000 to $100,000 is more than enough for a lean 2 to 3 man startup team.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Michael F. Smith Jr.

      jay – so my point was that since a lot of it is old money you don't see enough funding. so i think we are agreeing?on number 2 – yes. that is what is amazing now.I remember doing pre-boom startup stuff having to buy real servers, real databases and tools. spent most of the money on that.opensource, hosting and things like YDN totally change the game!

      Like

      Reply
    1. Michael F. Smith Jr.

      It is interesting stuff – importing and augmenting. Platform play – we shall see how it goes. Latitude and FireEagle wanted to do this but it never took. Obviously FB is bigger and wants it all but the busier it is the less I find myself using it.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Andre Siregar

    Michael, you're right on lack of money for startups in Indonesia. The founder of Tokopedia.com (a popular ecommerce site) mentioned this in an interview and how the “old money” doesn't understand the internet economy. It's unfortunate that this is happening in PH as well. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg thing between investors and startups/talents. I'm wondering if government action is a must to make the cycle virtuous. It's hard to depend on the Indonesian government to be proactive.I'm behind on my podcast again, but I just found out that last week's This Week in Asia also discussed this topic, esp. the scene in Thailand. Benjamin Scherrey suggests for Thai startups to get incorporated in Singapore. Funny how that sort of agrees with what you wrote about Singapore startups getting funding too easily (and making them lazy).

    Like

    Reply
    1. Michael F. Smith Jr.

      andre – would love to be on your podcast since TWIA seems to be over me already. :)I think governments can help but solutions from the free market are always better. I like what Singapore is doing with their incubators and joint funding schemes.I think hackerspaces, incubators, and a healthy angel scene help the most and in that regard Singapore is kicking ass. Indonesia could learn a lot in that regard and yes governments could help be encouraging the list at the beginning of this paragraph.Doing a startup in Thailand is painful – the business setup, taxes and annual audits are the same for a startup as they are for an established company. Even under BOI schemes only big companies really qualify. I won't get into the pain of visas and work permits. Thailand is so missing the boat and could be a very attractive place for startups but the red tape, the censorship and the continuing hassles related to political uncertainty are taking their toll on the place. For instance in Malaysia I think you start a company for like 100USD. In Thailand it is about 2000 USD.:)

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s