Skip to main content

Seeking

"Let me think that there is one among those stars that guides my life through the dark unknown."--Tagore



It is undoubtably the most fruitful summer of my student life, especially the two months' experience in Beijing.  I planned to go for the entrepreneurial path instead of the normal office life. Gratefully, I received more blesses than what I should get. I'm not a devout Christian, but there do seem to be sort of supernatural power which directs the steps.

My final year project received an initial funding of 50k SGD which draws me to explore the project further. However, I know that my future career (at least the market) would be in China, thus I went for the entrepreneurial trip in Beijing with my own savings and determinations. Thankfully, I got accepted by Google Summer of Code again and can use the funding to cover the expenses in Beijing. More importantly, I've got to meet a lot of young entrepreneurs in meetups, coffee shops, incubators, hackathons, etc. I also worked with a very dedicated team in a meaningful online education startup. That could be a lifelong career to pursue even it might not become a profitable commercial organization. During the two months period in Beijing, I support myself with previous savings which is just enough. After coming back to SG, I started to work with the social annotation project as committed to Prof. Anthony. However, I realize that the project is very unlikely to become successful without professional involvement. Thus I went to Beijing again with GSOC's midterm payment + professional designer's pay from Prof. Anthony + a one-way ticket to seek for professional partnerships in Beijing. Thankfully, I knew a very good designer who is very talented to take the role. After 4 weeks in Beijing, I finally ran out of money. Prof.Anthony sent 2k SGD to me, 0.5k of which is for the designer's half pay.

I'm thankful that I did make good use of the funding. Among the first month' formal work(Mid August-Mid September), I received 2,863 SGD funding, 1,000 of which is for the professional design payment, 363 of which for the one way ticket to Beijing, 600 of which for saving a friend's life. 900 of which for my personal living expenses. All other extra expenses( like the return ticket to Singapore + the Mid-Autumn Day trip to home) are from either my previous savings or my GSOC account.

The new month's funding(Mid September - Mid October) of 1200 SGD is for my personal expenses in Singapore + EP settlement, etc. 149+37.45= 186.45 SGD of which is used for signing mobile broadband plan. 65 SGD of which is used for EP medical checkup+6 SGD for photographing+23 SGD phone billing. The others are used for my daily expenses. Other non-survival expenses(treating people meals + a music speaker + nexus 7) come from my GSOC account.  This month's house rental fee(500 SGD)+mobile broadband rental fee(35+ SGD) will be counted in the next month's bill.

It is not meaningful to list the accounting here, just to show that entrepreneurial life is hard. However, money should not be the most important thing to worry, but how to build a strong team. Team building is somewhat more important. But it seems that I'm not taking the most important role as a leader, but more of a software engineer. Thankfully, I did make some right moves. For instance, out-souring the design, modulating the project, etc.

Before committing to Prof.Anthony's project, I actually have got a better job offer from a technical startup. The startup is one of the very few real technical companies in Singapore. All the employees(4-6) are PHDs except my friend whom I introduced to the founder after I committed to Prof. Anthony's project. Their customers includes Rakuten, Japan's largest e-commerce site. Honestly, I don't feel confident to make Prof's project a popular product. However, Prof.Anthony insists that the project has a strong potential. It is actually his determination and persistance that drives me to work the project further. Personally,I'm not sure how long I'll be sticking to this project. But my entrepreneurial life has just got started.

Keep seeking, don't settle.




Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

InnovFest 2015

I attended the innovFest 2015 event. It was quite eye opening. Besides the booth, some topics in the forums also interested me. The first topic I joined was the Kopi Chat with Yossi Vardi, a famous Israeli entrepreneur and investor. He is straightforward and humorous. When talking about the most important reason why people wake up with a great idea but ended up sleeping without executing anything, he collected answers from the audiences. One answer pretty much fitted his appetite-- "People fear about losing faces". He shared his opinion with the quotes from Theodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually st

Thoughts

I've been working as a project manager on an interesting project named " Dadafish " for quite some time. The intention is to create a sharing economy platform for lifestyle teaching/learning. Put in a more straightforward way, an Airbnb for classes. There is one assumption:  People are willing to pay to learn skills from amateur or semi-pros at a lower price. Quite some ongoing arts classes in meetups are taught in cafe shops at 15-50SGD/session. It's an indirect validation of our assumption. There are also many free language classes in meetups and facebook groups. We did an experiment to validate the assumption by introducing a Japanese friend who's organizing a free meetup to teach Japanese. She doesn't have a certificate and she's currently teaching Japanese in meetups for free. The experiment class was charged at 15 SGD/h per person for a 3-4 pax group class. We posted the class and teacher info in a NUS student/alumni SNS group and three peopl

Consistency Matters

I didn't post anything last week, which means consistency has been broken. There's a need to reflect the task management skills, otherwise I'm very likely to driving the wrong road Priority changes. A good exercise would be to list the priorities down everyday and assign reasonable time to the tasks. Then never second-doubt. 100% focusing on the task when doing it. Priority changes from time to time.  Human minds are single-threaded, thus, we'll need to keep focused when doing one particular task. Be Grateful. I received the confirmation from NOC Israel that I got admitted by the programme and I'm heading to Israel next Jan:-) Thanks a lot for Prof.Ben and Karl's help. Ultimately, it might be a plan from God. Thanks every one. The additional interview from Google went well, however, I didn't get the winter intern opportunity this time. Though it's a bit too greedy to ask for too much, I still feel a bit sad after informed that I didn't get th