You Are Beer, Not a Colorful Beanbag

What are you?

What do you mean, what am I?

You are beer. And this bottle, is your company. You think, you’ll get into that glass. You’ll have fun. Isn’t it? But look at this [trying to pour the capped bottle in the glass]. Can you see? You actually don’t want to leave the bottle. For the beer to get into the glass, it needs to leave the bottle first. Once you’re out of the bottle, then you can get into any glass you want. In this glass, if you want. Or you can get into this glass. Even in

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Don’t Stop Talking About Your Ideas

A tweet this morning pointed to an article titled “Stop talking about your brilliant startup idea!“, in which a fellow Melbournian writes (in summary):

Nobody cares about your idea.

Stop talking to your friends about your ideas.

Stop talking to customers about your ideas.

Stop telling me your ideas.

As harsh as that may sound, there is a better reason to “stop talking.” There’s plenty of scientific evidence on the notion of secrecy, which shows that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen. Derek Sivers wrote about it a few years back: …continue reading…

Reverse Schlep Blindness

Ever insightful, Paul Graham, recently wrote about Schlep Blindness, a phenomenon related to overlooking hard and unpleasant problems:

Why work on problems few care much about and no one will pay for, when you could fix one of the most important components of the world’s infrastructure? Because schlep blindness prevented people from even considering the [difficult] idea of fixing payments [that Stripe is doing].

I completely agree with Paul. However, I also tend to think that there’s a reverse schlep blindness at play in a lot of cases. Some startup founders often subconsciously ignore or avoid problems that seem …continue reading…

RIP Steve

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Steve Jobs
1955-2011

3 Things I Learnt After High School About Selling

In between high school and university, I sold my first commercial software, a billing application I wrote back then in Pascal for a banquet organizer in the neighbourhood. Those were probably the most satisfying $10 I had earned. It taught the programmer in me some simple yet invaluable lessons in selling.

1. Know your customers – Before I approached the banquet organizer, I came to know from a nearby shop owner that they were having trouble with the taxman because of improper bookkeeping. I sold the software to them on the very premise that it will relatively improve their billing …continue reading…

The Anti-Social Network

“Do feelings of deprivation drive entrepreneurs and economies?,” asks Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School. After watching ‘The Social Network‘ one evening this week, I was left with feelings of inspiration and speculation, much to do with the same question.

Speaking at Startup School, Mark Zuckerberg got a laugh out of how accurately his wardrobe was represented in the movie. “It’s interesting what stuff they focused on getting right,” Zuckerberg reflected. More importantly, Zuckerberg took a stab at Hollywood, “They just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something …continue reading…