Ch, ch, ch – changes

End of the year but I have kicked off my life changes in earnest as a close to 2019.

Obviously some of you know that I am no longer a VC and have made the shift to a tech management role at AWS ASEAN.

This also means I won’t be doing so much social media or yup – blogging. For the most part I don’t have the time for it and I also don’t have a need to cast a wide net of content in hopes of getting attention. The VC needed that more than the manager at AWS.

However, it doesn’t mean I don’t have something to say but what I want to say has morphed. As a former VC, there is stuff I want to say about it but mostly from the lens of helping those who think they want to be a VC and helping those who think they want to take VC money.

I have stuff about life I want to say and well, I love to write but I need to figure out a better process.

My own consumption habits have changed a ton with most of my consumption either being podcasts or email newsletters. I don’t have time for a podcast so that leaves me one option.

A newsletter.

I don’t know if anyone cares or if I will be any good at it but I’m game if you are.

If at least 25 peeps sign up at :: michaelsmithjr.substack.com then I will give it a go. No promises on how often and how much but I will give it my best effort.

It’s free of course since this exercise has never been about making a living.

Merry Christmas.

(LINK) Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think – The Atlantic

Your Work Peak Is Earlier Than You Think – The Atlantic

 

I know age is a number, but getting old is real and how people treat and react to you is the behavior I notice most. I feel like I have a lot left in me and that my career can just keep going, but I know that is not always the way it will play out.

Part of doing different roles from gig to gig is to challenge me and keep learning new things since that exercises my brain.

For my body, I am working out harder but less often, which seems to work for my older body. 

I have no answers to the overall theme of declining with age other than to focus on my family, my health, and then work but to always be trying to understand myself better. I think with age, we tend to not only get smarter about the world, but I am trying to get smarter about myself.

I will add that I started having kids pretty late and nothing like young ones around to keep you on some sort of edge.

 

I will close with this part:

A few years ago, I saw a cartoon of a man on his deathbed saying, “I wish I’d bought more crap.” It has always amazed me that many wealthy people keep working to increase their wealth, amassing far more money than they could possibly spend or even usefully bequeath. One day I asked a wealthy friend why this is so. Many people who have gotten rich know how to measure their self-worth only in pecuniary terms, he explained, so they stay on the hamster wheel, year after year. They believe that at some point, they will finally accumulate enough to feel truly successful, happy, and therefore ready to die.

This is a mistake, and not a benign one. Most Eastern philosophy warns that focusing on acquisition leads to attachment and vanity, which derail the search for happiness by obscuring one’s essential nature. As we grow older, we shouldn’t acquire more, but rather strip things away to find our true selves—and thus, peace.
At some point, writing one more book will not add to my life satisfaction; it will merely stave off the end of my book-writing career. The canvas of my life will have another brushstroke that, if I am being forthright, others will barely notice, and will certainly not appreciate very much. The same will be true for most other markers of my success.

What I need to do, in effect, is stop seeing my life as a canvas to fill, and start seeing it more as a block of marble to chip away at and shape something out of. I need a reverse bucket list. My goal for each year of the rest of my life should be to throw out things, obligations, and relationships until I can clearly see my refined self in its best form.

And that self is … who, exactly?

 

The reverse bucket list is quite a novel idea. I keep trying to strip down to the core and figure myself out so that I perform better at all that I do but continue to find contentment.

It’s not easy.

🙂

 

(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 asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Interview/After-Uber-flop-Go-Jek-says-it-doesn-t-need-ride-hailing-to-profit

(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.

overcast.fm/+KebucOqZ8

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.