"There's only one known way of increasing your luck- increase your effort."

The Only Handheld Device That You Should Let Your Kids Play

December 7th, 2014

A Kindle or any e-Book Readers that can only be used for reading, without any of those media playback capability and games.

Any other devices should be restricted, because no matter how beneficial those handheld devices promise, I am still not convinced that the kids who interact with these devices would have any idea how it would damage them cognitively.

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November 23rd, 2014

E-mail attachments can sometimes be  a very damaging thing- not referring to the virus and scams that you get everyday. It’s the fact that once your attachment is sent out, there’s no way you can ‘undo’ it. You can definitely remember the time when your attachment is sent to the wrong intended recipient… All the embarrassing damage control you mustered up to ensure things doesn’t get any worse. Only it’s already out of your control.

If only there’s an email app that attaches a file by linking it to a specific location on a server, instead of literally attaching it together with the email. This way, the sender can choose to edit or remove the attached file referred to in the e-mail.

That should save everyone a lot of unnecessary awkwardness.

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Magical Thinking

November 23rd, 2014

There’s a term that I keep coming across: ‘magical thinking’.

Original articles here:
(i) How to Avoid Delusional Thinking in Start-up Growth Strategy
(ii) Why It’s Better to Have a System Than a Goal

It reaffirms my believe about projections and forecasts- the overly optimistic types. It goes something like, “If we just get 1% share of this RM100 million market”. And all the rosy charts of imaginary profits and growth.

Moral of the story: Get Real!

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Is the Dengue Infection Out of Control?

June 30th, 2014

A close friend’s mother recently passed away due to dengue fever. There are friends who I know personally admitted to hospital due to dengue.

Too many reports of dengue cases, and all these incidents are directly from the people I know. The regularity of these dengue reports are frightening. At this rate, I really think that the virus is starting to get out of control.

Maybe it’s the change of the weather. Or the urban environment which is favorable to the breeding of these deadly Aedes mosquitoes.

Whatever it is, please take extra caution.

Some stats from flutracker.com:
2014 (Jan to May) – 36,825 cases reported, with 72 deaths.
2013 – 41,226 cases reported, 88 deaths.
2012 – 21,444 cases reported, 35 deaths.
2011 – 19,884 cases reported, 36 deaths.
2010 – 46,171 cases reported, 134 deaths.

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Shana Fisher at Startup School

June 29th, 2014

Great insights into funding, startup cultures and finding your competitive advantages.

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May 24th, 2014

At Twelve Volts Technologies, we bootstrapped from Day One. And if you’ve any experience with bootstrapping, you would understand the crazy hours and insane amount of coffee. All efforts were focused on survival.

And then the storms and blizzard began to calm. The burn-out is real. And for a long time, there’s finally some room to breathe. And we felt like we are ready to go on to the next phase- growth.

Every business needs to grow. But growth can be a risky thing at the same time. I have seen first hand how a business ‘grew’ without proper operation plan and a line of mediocre product offerings. When you grow a business that is not ready for ‘prime’ time, you are also multiplying all its weaknesses. Think of it like a tumor. It could be potentially malignant and you could be spending more time doing damage control than actually running the business.

And then, there’s all the glamour and fame of the big boys in the major league of your industry. Their sheer volume and revenue could easily spark hopes and get you excited about the possibility of just having 0.0001% of their market share.

In reality, not all big businesses are good businesses. You should know better. Remember the last time you had to call up your bank. What about your mobile networks, or your internet service providers? I am quite sure they are big in terms of customer base and revenues. But quality of service?

As we head into our fourth year into the e-commerce arena, the decision on which path to take is obvious. To grow bigger or to grow better?

P.S. Growing bigger could be a side-effect of growing better. However, it’s often not true the other way round if there’s no recognition of quality (or as Jason Fried puts it: usefulness) as the fuel for long term growth.

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