Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia #SVC2M

Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia” conference was a huge success, big thanks to the organizers Dash and Rebeca for bringing in Silicon Valley icons to Kuala Lumpur, namely; Jawed Khan of YouTube, Konstantin Guericke of LinkedIn, Jeff Hofman of Priceline.com, Jonas Kjelberg of Skype, to name a few (full list).

Failure is given, and it should be celebrated

Throughout the event, speakers and panellists have time and again reminded entrepreneurs that they have to take risks and prepared to fail, because they were told, for the first (few) startup(s) they were definitely going to fail.




As we know, failure is celebrated in Silicon Valley, but not so much in other parts of the world, especially in Asia. In most Asian countries failure is stigmatized, it’s especially true in Japan.

“From olden times, if you were defeated in battle you committed seppuku [ritual suicide by slicing the belly, also known as hara-kiri],” Mr Honda says. “That’s in our genes, so people don’t try if they think they might fail.”
Stigma of failure holds back Japan start-upsFT.com

For this reason, it’s not an easy feat for us Asians to take risks and celebrate our failures…

Failures == (Hopefully) Learn How to Launch Successful Startup?

For me the whole message of failures and embracing failures sounded a bit like, to put it very bluntly – “i don’t care what you do, just go and try and learn it by yourself. I don’t have time for this. Surely after few startups you will know how to launch successful startup/product“. Continue reading

Wikipedia’s Initial Idea and How it Evolved

Wikipedia as we know it today, with more than 3.7 million articles for english version alone, had a different idea and business model altogether in the beginning that many people may not know it now.

As the story goes.. In 1999, Jimmy Wales had an idea, he wanted to create a free encyclopedia to be written by experts and PhD holders, it was called Nupedia. He reasoned, only scholars, academics and experts in a particular field would be able to write such articles. It made sense, as scholarly articles needed a lot of referential data and research, not everyone would be able to write such articles. However, in its first year, his team of “experts” were able to write only a dozen articles. They were simply too slow. This was due to many reasons, most of the academics were too busy, it was difficult to convince them to write for Nupedia, research normally took few years..etc.

So, Jimmy Wales saw that it was not working, something had to be done. He came out with a new idea. He suggested to his team, why not make it in a way that anybody can create an article, others can edit it, etc… basically early years of crowdsourcing. But the editors of Nupedia and Advisory Board were not very supportive of the idea. For them it was the opposite of what they were doing at the moment. Non-academics, and uncontrolled editing and creation of articles, they thought, would jeopardize the credibility of the articles and company as a whole. They reasoned, there would be too much error in the articles, which would render the articles useless for any scholarly reference or research.

This new idea ended up separated into different project and was called “Wikipedia” (wiki – hawaiian for quick). Within a year, there were more than 20,000 articles in it. Clearly it was a success and it was working. As for the margin of error, it was 3.86% per article, compared to 2.92% for Encyclopedia Britannica according to 2005 research by journal Nature, which is acceptable. And usually these errors get corrected over time.

Eventually, Nupedia was shutdown in 2003, and it had only 23 articles at the time of closing. And as they say, the rest is a history…

Lesson to Startups and Entrepreneurs..

Sometimes the initial idea for your startup may not work out, and you might end up doing something totally different for your startup and its direction. And this phenomenon is actually very common in startups. As Jawed Karim of YouTube said in SVC2M event in Kuala Lumpur, their initial idea for youtube was “a dating site with videos“.

So, if your first version of your product (MVP) didn’t take off, don’t despair. Find out why it didn’t take off, get feedback from your potential customers/users on what they want, after that iterate and try again!

Note: If you want to read more about wikipedia story, check this Business Week article here

Please feel free to comment about your own experiences or of any companies that you know which changed their business model, direction, idea drastically from the original one.

Next Big Idea: Internet TV

If you are an entrepreneur or company that missed making big money from the dot com era, overall internet business after that, and missing the boat from mobile applications at the moment… then perhaps you should start getting prepared for the next big wave – Internet+TV.

Google is already into it as we all know it, they are trying to figure it out at the moment. But there are so many great products and services can be built for bringing internet to the TV. Just a food for thought!

google-tv.png

Creative Marketing/Advertising with PayPal

People are getting more creative in their marketing and advertising efforts. Look at this below, they don’t send you emails anymore, they send you money (cents to be exact).

Was it affective? In my case no, because I didn’t signup. However I did have a look at their page. So, it was effective in getting the traffic to the website, but ineffective in converting the leads.

Three methods to make your blog successful

Everybody wants to make their blog successful, be it for financial reasons or personal reasons. Whatever the intention may be, there are certain ways – if you follow them, you can make your blog successful. That’s an almost guarantee! Of course each has it’s own challenges. Let’s discuss:

Before we proceed.. we will assume that you are posting regularly, at least one post a day. Otherwise, inconsistent posting will just chase away the readers. You will even end up loosing your existing readers. (Posting too much posts will have the same effect.) You don’t have to be full-time blogger to post consistently, you just have to be little determined to succeed. That’s all.

1. Be Original

Being original and writing interesting posts in your field of expertise, will definitely get you regular readers. Being original here means, writing your own opinions, predictions, ideas and articles in your field of expertise. Just because everybody has created “Make Money Online” blog, you don’t have to create one on that topic too. You can blog about something that you like and still make money. Believe me there are millions of people (out of 6+ billion world population) who would like to read what you write, whatever the field that you are expert in (or at least have vast experience).

Field of expertise is the keyword here, and if you actually like what you do, then it’s even better. Because when you like something, you will less likely to stop it in difficult times. If you blog just because you “have to” then, it’s likely that you will stop blogging at the first crisis in your life. Whatever the crisis may be, it will be enough reason for you to stop blogging.

If you love what you do, it will give you that extra edge. Because when you love something, you won’t have that pressure about finding topics to blog about. It will come naturally. And since you are expert in your field, you can always rely on your expertise.

  • Traffic: Main sources of traffic for these kind of blogs are from Search Engines and referrals from other blogs
  • Growth Level: Slow but steady growth
  • Strategy: Good for long-term blogs who wants to establish a name (brand) or authority  Continue reading