Oh Singapore!

Lots of talk of Singapore these days. Been here over a year and the buzz keeps growing but the bark is still louder than the bite.

I first wrote about Sing here – Musings on Singapore… Most of what I said there still applies I think.

Sure – the economy is cooking and sing dollar is almost as nutty as the Baht but I would have way more confidence in the Sing dollar long term.

When it comes to the startup scene though I think there is a chance things change but so far it is tough to tell. I think Sarah Lacy is also picking up on some this with her article here:

There’s also another problem: One employer has optimized the system to find and make lucrative offers to the smartest kids in the system– that’s right, the Government. People who could have made the country’s top entrepreneurs instead make comfortable salaries trying to craft policy to encourage people to be entrepreneurs.

That comment is so telling and I also feel like you see a lot of zombie like easy startups but it is early days and Sarah also says she thinks people should to pay attention to Singapore. I agree but I tend to think the real action will be regional but possibly based out of Singapore.

Of course throw in some web celeb spotting at the Butter Factory to help the hype machine continue unabated.

Will be speaking here next and then over to Indo to speak at SparxUp.


Much to do!

Just wrapped up another TWIA – check this video!

We should have another one this week with some special guests from Indonesia!

This week in Indo and then off to Bkk for Barcamp. This is one of the biggest in the region!

After Barcamp back to Singers and then maybe KL, Indo and possibly China.

So much going on but still having fun.

cya at barcamp!

ps. just back from India – more on that later. Some photos here.

This is how the Asian Companies are Expanding…

After the Tech Venture conference I did an interview with a sing based newspaper – should hit soon – the interview was talking about the rise of Asia. More and more people talk about this since the US is in trouble, Europe is in the doldrums and Asia is kicking along. The question is asked when will something from Asia be as popular or move markets like products/sites/inventions from the US.

I can’t speak for all genres but when it comes to consumer internet products/sites I can speak pretty assuredly since this is my space. Not many things from Asia are used by folks outside their own region. Take Agoda, started in Asia and becoming a world-wide product but is part of Priceline. Alibaba and its auction/buyers site is starting to make it WW since it is for global buyers/sellers but it is not really a consumer thing.

There are examples of Asian companies, Indonesia’s Koprol, getting bought by Yahoo! with ambitions to grow their product past the shores of Indonesia. Recent article about that here.

Still though you don’t many stand alone consumer web plays being born from Asia and getting global love. So one of my theories has been that the Asian money will just start buying their way to global domination. In Japan that is exactly what is happening with the DeNa deal. There Plus+ platform play also looks pretty interesting as well.

So stay tuned – Asia is starting to come your way – whether you happen to be in Asia or not.

How to be on the grid less?

Just got back from the US for work, Sunnyvale, and catching up with friends and my family. Had a fantastic trip – some photos. I need to post the rest of my photos – just been too busy. I ate too much, slept a little, road close to 1000 miles on a rented BMW and spent countless hours with the 2 most important people in the world – my folks.

When I spend that much time on a bike I am reminded of what I think life is actually for and it is not computers or the internet. It is spending time with people and doing things you enjoy. For me that would be riding a motorcycle in odd places – like say Thailand or Laos. I am getting the bike in fine order with each trip back to the states. This last trip I brought back a new helmet, some PIAA lights, frame set and more boxes. So at this point I am mostly setup but might make some tweaks to suspension, exhaust and so on as I go. Stuff I don’t have to have but might make it more fun. Point is I am almost there for some cross border riding. Slight issues of licensing and registration notwithstanding.

My next trip might be from Bkk to somewhere in Isaan. 🙂

Apart from hanging with friends and family I can think of no other thing more interesting in life. Of course I have to work, to finance these desires, and I am stoked to be working on fun things with amazing peoplekoprol.com.

Lately I have been watching the Long Way Down and going nuts.

Anyway all this brings me to the personal conflict I deal with all the time – which is working in a hyper competitive online world, not how I was raised, but yet yearning for a non hyper offline world for my personal enjoyment. One thing I love about riding my motorbike is the no phone, no music, no computer mantra but yet being on a machine. Thrills me to no end.

I was listening to one of my fav podcasts, fresh air, and heard another interview about Gary Shteyngart regarding his new book. His very near term view of the world is probably not far off. Scary as fuck really. Almost depresses me but yet I continue to thrive in using online tools for my gain but yet trying to counter them with other items like motorcycle riding, reading books and bucking the establishment. All good fun but somehow I wonder if we are actually making the world a better place or not. I have my doubts.

I can remember growing up in the boonies with no electricity, always reading, taking hikes for enjoyment and just hanging with my family wondering if there was more to life than that. Of course I was on my motorcycle about every day as well but that was just assumed. I continually ask myself if that was the best time in my life ever but yet I know I wouldn’t want to be a kid again.

I guess what I am yearning for is to some way get off the grid more. Not an easy task.

I will be in and out of this conference this week – should be interesting.