How to Make Your Family Rich

Rice paddy fields at Dawn

“No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.”

That’s a very interesting quote I keep referring to from Gladwell’s Outliers. It’s a saying originated by Chinese paddy farmers, which literally means, wealth comes to those who works hard with consistency and perseverance. In the book, this is contrasted with the Western culture’s wheat cultivation, where there’s a gap of about a 3-4 months where no significant labor is performed on the field because of the unsuitability of the soil during those period.

Note that, the quote refers to paddy farmers. Hence, their work cycle has to start in the morning, before the sun’s first light.

Today, many of us no longer toil the fields, and we’ve come a long way since the industrial era. Many enterprises I know no longer practice such orthodox way of running their business. Case in point, the very platform I am using to write this short essay is built by Automattic, the company that did away with cubicles and every employee works from home.

Some even say that by not reporting to work by a certain time of a day, one is considered an individual lack of discipline. Of course, if one first agree with the working hours, and has the same idea on productivity and efficiency. If by working from 9 to 5 implies great efficiency, we would have a very effective government service- just look at the hours they put in and the number of people employed by the government. We could easily be the most productive and efficient government on Planet Earth.

What do you say about working hours and it’s effect on productivity and efficiency, especially in the context of a technology-based enterprises (where creativity, innovation, effective problem-solving and decision-making is of utmost importance)?

2013-11-18T04:29:44+08:00November 18th, 2013|Daily Observations, Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Technology|0 Comments

The Google Killer-App


“Google, while it is a great service that has done wonderful things for the Web, is showing some troubling signs,” Cook told me. “Their shutdown of Google Reader earlier this year means that none of the services [we] rely upon are sacrosanct if they are not profitable enough for them.”

Jacob Cook - ArkOS

Read full article at

Ditto that!

P.S. I am guilty of running most of my business apps on Big G.

2013-11-16T19:31:25+08:00November 16th, 2013|Entrepreneurship, Technology|0 Comments

Offer a Ride, and Make Some Money!

A World War II car sharing propaganda poster.

A World War II car sharing propaganda poster.

I’ve always wanted to develop a car pooling platform. There are a few reasons why car pooling would work very well in Malaysia:

1) Most city people are getting quite environmental conscious.

2) Car pooling is way better than taking an express bus or train.

3) Depending on who you are hitching the ride with and the conditions attached with the ride, car pooling usually delivers you to your doorstep using the least amount of time. Express buses, ironically, usually stops for long ‘tea-breaks’ along their journeys which makes the traveling much more unbearable that it already is.

4) You can collect a little fee from each passengers to share the cost of traveling.

5) You can have someone to talk to during the entire trip. Hence car pooling could be a very effective socializing tool.


Yet, there are a few reasons why car pooling might not work:

1) Hitching a ride with a stranger, especially in a crime-infested nation like Malaysia is an absolute no-no. So, if you can only car pool with someone you know, the destinations and trips available would be severely limited.

2) Most car pooling trips are usually one-way trips. So, it’s very likely that you would still need to take an express bus on your way back to your original destination. Unless, of course, car pooling becomes a major part of the motoring culture in Malaysia.

3) If you are stuck with an ‘unpleasant’ passenger for the entire trip, say from Johor Bahru all the way to Penang (about a thousand kilometres), you would wish you’d taken the bus instead.

So, while I was pondering the feasibility of an online car pooling platform for Malaysians, I decided to do some quick research on existing online car pooling systems. Ah…the wonders of the Internet, and it wasn’t long before I stumble upon a car pooling system that is very close to what I have in mind. It is linked to Google Map’s API, which is a great feature and it automatically allows me to publish my rides to people I personally know on Facebook (via the Facebook Connect API). The car sharing tool that can do this right away is Zimride.


Now, you can start offering your ride too, and make some pocket money! Oh, in case you are wondering, Zimride did not pay me for this article ;-)

2009-10-01T01:23:15+08:00October 1st, 2009|Daily Observations, Productivity, Technology|4 Comments

Credit Card Termination Form Updated!

Reader Twinbearer made the following changes to one of the most downloaded forms on

1. address (both can just be typed in)
2. selection of dates from calendar
3. particulars of card holders (name, card no, card type, expiry)
4. add the print button (visible on the form, but do not appear when printed)

Here’s the PDF web preview:

To harness the ‘full power’ of this form, download this form onto your computer and open it with Acrobat Reader, since most of the new features added by Twinbearer doesn’t work on the web preview.

2009-04-27T21:04:59+08:00April 27th, 2009|Productivity, Technology|0 Comments