Holiday time!

Out for a break.

Will be exploring Turkey.

I probably won’t be blogging much.

But you never know.


(LINK) After Uber flop, Go-Jek says it doesn’t need ride-hailing to profit – Nikkei Asian Review

Interesting. So when will they turn on other stuff in the expansion markets?

TOKYO — Go-Jek aims to build pockets of profit in its food delivery and finance, CEO Nadiem Makarim said, arguing that the Indonesian startup does not…
— Read on

(Fixed) Is openness key to building an ecosystem?

Great podcast with Eric Schmidt. I am not in love with him as a person or even some of the heroes he worships. With that, I am not endorsing the people or the characters but merely grabbing what I think is some important concepts in building an ecosystem.

Have a listen.

I am trying something new to help me generate more content – which is to make voice memos and transcript them to edit for blog posts.

This is what I was thinking while listening.

When Eric Schmidt talks about another Silicon Valley, I think it is very relevant where he discusses that the key pillars are capital and time and the culture. The culture is super important and often overlooked. When I consider Singapore, I think it actually has a lot of these things – capital keeps coming and the time is getting about right.

In my opinion, Singapore is on its way to becoming a great ecosystem, but it will take more time. The age of the ecosystem is less than 10 years – maybe even younger but some accounts.

Culture is a tough though. Singapore is not like California, even Eric talks about it, how the California culture is quite an important framework for the success of Silicon Valley. If you think about Singapore then the culture or other soft attributes that surround the ecosystem are going to be lacking. For me, a big thing missing is openness and inherently, if you think of startups and VC – it is not very open by its very nature. It’s actually kind of secretive.

One of the reasons  I enjoy blogging and talking is just to try to enhance my own spirit of openness. It’s not from a perspective of being right or from having an opinion. It’s from just the expectation that if I open up and share, then potentially, we can all learn from it.

I find it interesting when Eric talks about the early days and how the companies used to help each other a lot. Google and Yahoo used to share deals because they figured if Google sold something, then Yahoo would have a chance to sell something to the same company. Yahoo would do the same thing and share the information with Google. That’s a pretty interesting dynamic between companies that you probably never thought was actually happening. Imagine if little bits like this, sharing or a paying it forward culture begin to permeate in the Singapore or South East Asian region.

The local ecosystem or startup scene would rise to a level that you don’t see today. Everybody would benefit and if everyone benefits then the ecosystem is going to improve.

Just Write

Great tweet:

I’ll start off by saying I don’t claim to be a good writer but I aspire to be one. This is why I write.

I also decided long ago to write for myself but publish it. For years I have always run my own blog on WordPress since I wanted to stay on top of tech and own my existence online.

Yesterday my blog was mentioned on ATR ::

That was a great achievement for me.

There has been chatter about content marketing strategies and VC’s but I wanted to challenge the motive some. If you write to get attention or because you need to market yourself, your authentic self may not appear.

I think it is important to write because you have something to say and you want to express yourself via words.

If you are not sure then just starting writing more since only through doing will it improve.

Stuff to be thankful for!

Let’s start with this:

My wife did an amazing job on this beauty. Thanks babe – can’t wait to get home and chill.

Yesterday I was in a grab coming back from NUH, daughter had a follow up appointment, and I was chatting with the driver about grab and GO-JEK. For the record he was staying with grab since he has premium status and he likes the service. Most drivers I chat with have told me they signed up for GO-JEK already.

The other topic we covered is Singapore and my desire for a Singapore passport. He said most Singaporean’s probably think the USA passport is better but we agreed that most people take Singapore and it’s many benefits for granted.

Health and taxes being foremost for me.

The appointment we had at NUH was 53 SGD all in. I don’t have insurance for the basic stuff so I am using the Permanent Resident subsidized rates. I am sure even in Bangkok the visit would have cost more and in the USA would have been 2-5x.

No healthcare system is perfect but I am continually amazed at how it works in Singapore for PR’s and residents. We did all of our stuff for the new kid under the PR subsidized plan and all of our checkups and vaccinations we will do at the polyclinics.

There are of course issues even in Singapore around rising health costs but when I compare the system to Thailand or USA – there is no comparison. The stay at KK has been amazing and the staff are exemplary.

I am thankful for the new kid and the privilege of getting to use the Singapore health system.

Stepping on others as the way to get ahead

Added a page for the Code of Conduct ::


I have written before around the whole Karma thing, being nice – understanding your actions will have results. I took a stab at it once here with some links:

Increasingly in the local ecosystem I find these occurrences where people essentially talk down about others or basically step on someone to get ahead. I guess for some folks they feel taller of sorts by standing on someone else in order to get a better view.

Its easy to do this. If I find myself doing it – I try to catch my words or an action before it is too late it but I would have to be honest enough to admit I slip up more than I would like.

It’s not pretty.

I believe the world works better by being nice, even helpful. We are so accustomed to the dopamine hit of a quick payoff that many times we forgot that the benefits of being nice or helpful may take a long time to have a result but honestly you should feel good during the whole being nice action.

The beauty is in the doing – not the payoff but the payoffs will come.

I like this tweet:

Even outside of startup / venture land it works but it is even more crucial in startup / venture land than most people realize.

I was listening to Scooter Braun the other day on a podcast and he has an interesting practice for his close friends. If they are not doing as well as he is then he buys the yearly vacation. I don’t have that kind of dosh but I get the principle. It forces him to try and help his friends also be successful so that he isn’t always footing the bill. I am sure the money is nothing given his wealth but I like the mantra.

Hopefully we can figure this out in our local startup / land. Paying it forward is a good thing and you don’t have to be an ass to get ahead of the next person. All boats can rise.

Just be nice.

PS. We have a telegram group for our startup / venture land where we try to chat and be helpful.