Category Archives: Startups


Suddenly Indonesia is getting a lot of press.

First this KKR report which is a really good read ::

Now Tim Draper is touring the town ::

I like to think I had a small part to play in kicking it all off.

On being an apprentice

Love this post by Tom ::

I think our fast moving tech industry gets so caught up in the hustle and quick wins that we forget it takes time to acquire knowledge. I have always felt that one of the best ways to acquire knowledge is to absorb it from someone who is an expert and who is willing to teach you.

This is what I call being an apprentice. It’s not something to be ashamed of you and any one should jump at the opportunity to be an apprentice. 

Take pride in it.

I consider myself one. 

Updated :: Trickle-down workaholism in startups

Some twitter gold here – challenging the folks in this article to a debate:

This is always a controversial subject and one I have various opinions on.

DHH wrote this up, on medium which is strange, but anyways here is the post:

Personally, I think each person will experience a different pull at various stages of their startups and their lives. I don’t think there is a rule for all of this and I think DHH is making too big a deal out of it.

I have worked at big corporations when I was single and traveling for work – I tended to work a ton of hours. Worked hard and played hard.

I also did some startups and they all were different. Some I worked a ton of hours and loved it but I had the time for it. At a later point in life, once I had kids, I also did a startup and managed to work as needed and do the family thing as needed. I kept weird hours and worked around my family. It was not ideal so to speak but life is usually not ideal. However, the founders were family guys and they also felt that work/life could just be dealt with as needed and there were no hard and fast rules. I appreciated that role a lot due to the timing of when I had a new kid.

Fast forward to today and I am sitting on the other side looking for companies to invest in and helping the companies in my portfolio. At work, I am again blessed to be at a family friendly place where the hours are normal but again employees do what is needed for different periods of time. Basically, the demand is project based and most of us march to our own drums. However, it is difficult to ascertain how the startups we talk to value work/life demands. Of course, we want founders to build a great company and most of the time we don’t know a lot about their personal lives but we do try to learn about them as much as we can without prying. Mostly though I assume founders want to do the right thing and will deal with their time management appropriately but I assume there will be times that one might think a founder is working too much and risks burning out. In that case, I might say something since I generally feel the journey is more of a marathon than a sprint and one has to manage for being in the game a while.

Other times we might have to deal with someone who doesn’t seem to be pulling their weight or is not focusing on their startup which may or may not a function of time spent. All in all, I think each human and each startup is different which is something that needs to be factored.

It is a tough debate.

Singapore as a hub

Interesting post from Matt W at EF ::

Lots to parse in this but I generally agree in that the city is primed for potential and the big stuff is yet to come but we are on the cusp of it.

SeedPlus got a mention so I will just call that out but there is much more in the article than that. I personally like the section on Singapore as a hub:

3. There’s power in being a hub

I made the mistake of starting early conversations with: “What’s the Singapore venture scene like?” A simple question, but it immediately showed my ignorance. You can’t properly assess Singapore without taking all of Southeast Asia into account, because the two are cosmically intertwined. Investment strategy isn’t limited to the 277.6 mi² area of the island. It’s regional from day one. Singapore has achieved a remarkable amount in just 50 years, and it has done a lot of that by partnering with the rest of the world. International legal standards and advantageous tax treatment have made Singapore the de facto Southeast Asian hub for many businesses. So while there’s a lot of money in the small island nation, that cash is flowing to Vietnam, India, Malaysia and a host of fast-growing countries. The inverse is true for talent. Many of the region’s best minds flock to Singapore to build their startup HQ, and then attack their local market for dominance. This is, in no small part, one of the driving reasons EF set up shop there.

My relocation to Singapore after years of being around other parts of Asia was solely based on this premise – Singapore makes for a great hub and I think this is huge for startups and for VC’s. Of course no place is perfect and there are people that disagree but that doesn’t change the appeal of Singapore for me and most of the folks I work with.