Bye 2012 Hello 2013

Sunnyvale. Mountain View. Palo Alto. San Francisco. Las Vegas. Singapore.

Back in Singapore. Today marks the end of my one month trip. If you ask me, it’s been too long. It’s probably a good time for me to pen down the reflections I had over the last few days on how my 2012 went.

Looking back, its funny how little i remembered about 2012.

Highs

- Travelled to Phuket, Bali, Taiwan and US. Went to Taipei to run the e27 AWS Beanbag session and extended the trip to connect with some of the local startups based in Taipei. Because of that, I made a lot of great friends in Taipei and the beautiful city now holds a very important place in my heart now. Love the people, love the food, love the city. Of course, over the last one month, I was overseeing the iLead overseas immersion programme to Silicon Valley. Spent a good one month over in the Bay area. Thoughts? Cliche but Silicon Valley is a state of mind. As Kah Hong puts it, its about serendipity. You have to make an effort to connect with people and get the most out of the Bay area. However, as I told everyone who asked me what I think about the Bay area (since its my first time there), I sense a lot of pessimism from the people I interact with. Probably because it was December where everyone was in a holiday mood and there’s the funding crunch happening.

- Graduated. Finally fulfilled all the graduation requirements of NUS. The past 5 years in NUS has been really rewarding. I have no regrets coming to NUS and because of that, Im exposed to more things that I could never have imagined, to experiences I could never have should I choose to stay in Malaysia or to go Australia. Over the last 1 year I have been constantly asking friends who have graduated on what their university regrets are. For me, I think I could have spent my first 2 years of university life better. Now that I have graduated, the world just got real and there are more responsibilities that I have to carry.

- e27. e27 is a great company that I believe in and I want to help grow. Met a lot of really amazing people. Had my first limo ride. Rocked it at Echelon 2012. Probably hasnt been too active in terms of stepping up and doing stuffs but that’s gonna change in the new year.

- Organized Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. The 140 event was a huge success and I had a really hands-on experience in seeing all the fine details, planning, logistics, part and parcel of an event. The event also allowed me to understand how different stakeholders have different perspectives and KPIs. Pitch the right angle, and you can have what you want.

- Startup Quote. Startup Quote was started literally in 2 days with Amelia. We were talking and decided that we should have our own Singapore startup quote and we did. What I took away from the small project is that, starting something is easy. Maintaining it is difficult and you need to have a strong discipline to do it. The Singapore tech startup community is also very small.

Lows

- Grandma passed away. Part of my resolutions for 2013 is to spend more time with family.

- Got fat. Part of my resolutions for 2013 is to wake up early and stay healthy.

Overall, 2012 has been awesome! I learnt, I made mistakes, I laughed, I lived. My resolutions in 2013? Probably I’ll have another post for that. :)

Super excited for 2013. While I am busy making plans and setting milestones that I want to achieve this year, a great great friend of mine Isabel sent a timely reminder to me again: The story of the starfish and seashells.

“There is a family with a son walking along the beach. The son collected a lot of seashells along the beach. Soon, both his hands were full of seashells. When the son’s dad saw a rare starfish, he asked the son to go and catch it. But the son couldnt, and the dad asked why. Reason was simple: he had a handful of seashells.”

Prioritise. Learn to say no to people. Quit being so accommodating to people.

He is everybody’s friend to such an extent that he is a very poor friend to himself. It was written a long time ago that no man can serve two masters. Bert, in his good-natured way, is trying to serve a thousand.’”

Ah it’s really good to be back in Singapore. The sun never felt so good.

And shit just got real.

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