Nice 10 Item list from Hian Goh

There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Hian Goh of Openspace.

Short backdrop. I met Hian at some event in Singapore back when I was working for Spuul.

Hian was still at AFC, prior to selling it, and we would talk tech Singapore and life.

Then Hian went on to found NSI with Shane around about the time that I was looking to learn more about the VC industry.

At some point Hian offered a paid advisory role and of course I jumped at it. If it wasn’t for that chance I don’t think I would be a VC today.

Moving on…

Hian posted this on FB and I find it very useful and fairly relevant for all humans. 

Thanks for sharing Hian!


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Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Some great stuff in this issue.

This I think about a lot especially in the context of SEAsia:

4/ Finally, I was struck by how all the companies mentioned in the “bubble” pieces – often in reaction to the sticker shock of what seemed like a large valuation back then – went on to bigger and bigger valuations as time went on, often many times over. Which leads me to wonder:
a) why did so many commentators miss the growth that was going to happen to these companies?
b) is the same mistake being made now in the narrative around valuations?

Now I want this book :: Loonshots.

I am still struggling to like OA. 😉

Montage Sequence #2 – bubbles, loonshots and the OA

Abigail Disney Has More Money Than She’ll Ever Spend

Quite a telling read. You don’t normally have someone this wealthy being so candid.

I love this one:

But it’s the easiest thing in the world to make money if you start with money. And then people give themselves credit for being that smart when they’re not.

Abigail Disney, heiress to the Disney fortune, has more money than she’ll ever spend. Here, she talks about being raised in a wealthy family.
— Read on

Transactional Angst

I think nary a week goes by where someone doesn’t ask me how VC is going and when am I going back. I guess back means to return to building something, joining a company or working on a product.

It’s normally something that requires a longer answer but usually I say ask me in 10 years. That’s cause it will probably take me that long to see if I am any good at this VC thing. 

That being said I think people ask this due to the very nature of VC being somewhat transactional and maybe building something is more of a co-op approach since there are teams involved all working together to ship. It is a sentiment I think about a lot.

Saw this tweet the other day and was thinking about it even more:

However I always consider that there may be a better way but I am not saying I discovered it but highlighting that each and every craftsman in the world can approach their craft with a new frame of mind. With VC I think about what that means often. 

Let me run down a few areas I think as a VC I can be more like the product person still living inside me:

  • Be open and transparent. Of course not everyone reacts well to this but I find a certain amount of it works
  • Be humble 
  • Be helpful
  • Have empathy for the founder and the other people/organizations in the mix
  • Try to write often enough so people can see what’s on my mind and how I feel about something
  • Continue to focus on doing the right thing – it may not payoff immediately but I believe it will win in the end
  • Learn to listen more – speak less. I am terrible at this but I am very conscious of improving it. That’s a start right? 😉
  • Foster an ecosystem since everyone will benefit (
  • Be company friendly. This is a long one to explain but I think the right folks now what I mean

I don’t intend to go back as some people call it since I think I moved forward while still getting better at my craft. I see my craft as helping build great companies by being their investor and whatever else they need me to be while I am in that role. 

Pretty sure that is similar to what I did as a product person but I am not an employee or a founder.

However the North Star feels similar to me.

Your mileage may vary.