Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

Exploring the world

I have always wanted to go to Silicon Valley and explore and immense into the ecosystem over there. Why Silicon Valley? Simple. Because the web started there. It’s like if you want to learn or explore about cheap clothing, one would go Gwangzhou, simply because there are a lot of cheap cloths there, giving one an opportunity to know how things work and experience their production line first hand. Or like religion, where if you are a Christian, you would want to visit Jerusalem, where Jesus was said to be born there.

So since I am interested in the web space, Silicon Valley is the natural choice.

Then it comes to the question of, when is a good time to go for a 4-6 weeks trip. I think the best time to go is when you are about to graduate. When you do that, you can experience the energy and get motivated by the ecosystem there and then you can work harder when you are back to graduate. A lot of people tell me the place is simply amazing and everyone is constantly discussing about technology and everyone is bound to be working on something. The awesomeness is so much so that a University is announcing a Entrepreneurship free dorm for those who do not want to be part of the entrepreneurial hype.

Is it better to go after you get some working experience and have some savings in your bank? Personally, I think once we graduate, with matters such as repayment of loan, house hunting, job hunting, work, relationship etc, we would not be in the mood of exploring the world, and ‘absorbing’ the energy. Life would just be bogged down by all these distractions.

So yeaps, it’s definitely a good time to visit the place you always wanted to visit when you are going to graduate. Live. Dream. Explore.

Did a simple search, turns out you need about RM500 for a tourist visa to the states, and on top of that, you need to prove ties before you can enter the states, even for tourism purposes. “Ties” are the various aspects of an individual’s life that bind him or her to a particular place, such as a job, family or property.

A lot of friction.

Photo: Designyoutrust

This represents a personal opinion. If you have read this far, you should definitely follow me on Twitter.


Startup Weekend Singapore

Wrote a post on e27 and as some of you might know, me along with a few other friends are organizing the next startup weekend. So here’s my post on e27:

Perhaps you have heard some chatter over the various social media channels about something exciting coming to town in mid March. Entrepreneurs, this will definitely be good news for you, because Startup Weekend Singapore is happening! This time round, it will be organized by a group of students from the National University of Singapore Overseas Colleges Alumni (NOC Alumni), bringing in a different perspective and fun element into the fourth Startup Weekend in Singapore.

What is Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend Singapore is a 54 hour event which will begin with open-microphone pitches on Friday, where participants share their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams will focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing Lean Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening, teams will demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts. During the weekend, experienced entrepreneurs and mentors will explain the challenges involved in being an entrepreneur, provide tips on starting up a company and share their experiences. An expected 150 participants will attend Startup Weekend Singapore, with approximately half having technical backgrounds and the other half having business backgrounds.

Attractive Prizes to be won

In addition to this entrepreneurial experience, the participants of Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 have a chance to win attractive prizes. There are four prizes to be given away to the four best teams at the end of Startup Weekend. Prizes include a chance to participate in the next season of Angel’s Gate (A reality television show to be broadcasted on Channel 5), incubation spaces at Plug-In@Blk71 or Garag3 NUS, as well as a scholarship to the Founder Institute.

What is different this time round

According to the organizers, Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 aims to give as much exposure to students in Singapore, and there will be an even mix of students and industry professionals. This will allow students to be exposed to an environment of collaboration with professionals, before entering the working world. “One of the things that made my experiences in the Silicon Valley so much greater was the fact that I was forced to go out of my structured academic curriculum and be immersed in a real world work environment on a daily basis. This taught me to think critically about how to approach my studies in order to better prepare myself for my time after graduation, and we want to bring this element into this edition of Startup Weekend,” said Ritesh Angural, one of the organisers and an NOC Alumni.

The team behind Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 also prepared this collateral in conjunction to Valentine’s Day. So if you want to spend an awesome weekend with entrepreneurs like yourself, register now on the Startup Weekend page. Early bird ticket prices end on 17 February. The registration page can be found athttp://singapore.startupweekend.org/ or swsg2012.com

Event Details:

Date: 9 – 11 March, 2012

Venue: The School of Business, National University of Singapore

Inspired by juniors

Today I was at the NOC info sharing session and 2 of my juniors of the programme shared their experience and key takeaway from the one year programme. One of it is the sharing by Jensen who went to NOC Silicon Valley and another one by Dawn, my junior from Shanghai.

In his sharing, Jensen shared 2 key things which I thought was really inspiring:

1. Startup culture vs Corporate Culture. The thing about startup culture is that, everything is new and your opinions are valued. There are space for creativity. Jensen shared that his company’s founder would always ask: “What do you think Jensen?”. And I thought this was really really good as not only it gives the employee a sense of belonging, it also opens up spaces for creativity. Thats the thing about startup that I love. Another thing is that, Jensen would always ask questions and sometimes when the founder couldnt answer, he would say: “I dont know. Thats why we are here to find out.”. Amazing.

2. When sharing about the culture in Silicon Valley where everyone worked hard and played hard, Jensen said that he learnt one thing: “Dont learn how to manage your time, manage your energy and motivation”. Essentially it means (to me) that, with energy and motivation, you would be more productive and can get more things done with lesser time. This is better that learning how to manage time, because as good you are in managing time, if the motivation/energy is not there, it would be counter productive. Definitely a new way to see things.

Jensen published a book titled the Valley lessons, and is a very talented musician/cartoonist.

In Dawn’s sharing, she shared that:

1. Travelling is 21st century’s reading. This is so true. =) Again, new ways of looking at things.

2. +1 rule. Apparently Dawn came out with a +1 rule where in everything we do, we should always strive to +1 to our goal. She gave the example of running, where she would run 5 rounds and be contented with it. However, it would be better if you could aim for 6 rounds. Another examples given was during networking event where you aim to talk to 3 new friends, but you should aim to do more than just that. Of course, this requires high level of determination and discipline, and is often easier said than done, but always reward nicely.

Definitely very happy to see the maturity and learning of some of the juniors. =)

Join in the NOC Experience. Its the best programme in NUS, if not Singapore.