2010: A Year Worth Remembering

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Other than 1994, the year 2010 is the year that is worth remembering. After two lost years, 2010 has reignited my drive in life with many interesting times. The year was fraught with struggles, obstacles and challenges that took the most of me and yet brought out the courage to make a difference. Here are the top ten things which I know why this is a year worth remembering (in no order of preference except the last one which is the most important event):

    1. Founded Chalkboard on 15 Jan 2010: From the beginning (with a former name Chlkboard) to now the next stage with my co-founder, Saumil Nanavati. The company is a location based ad network which seeks to help small and medium local businesses to drive walk-in traffic. I also thanked the team (Nazrul, Chaiwat, Jon and Serge) which we have assembled that are in the midst of our operations from now to next year. So, we have new iterations coming up soon, and do check us out there. For career, this is the most important thing and we have managed to hit almost 9M impressions now within 3 months after scaling up to the next stage. It has almost taken all of my life, and I suppose it will continue to do so next year.
    2. The Journey with the team in This Week in Asia: Well, the podcast has expanded to a bigger team, brought in a lot of big guests from Dave McClure, Brian Wong, Sarah Lacy and Mitchell Baker. Of course, some internet pundits in Asia, for example, Serkan Toto, Gang Lu, Akky Akimoto, Rama Mamuaya and many others who have popped by in our virtual studio. Hey, we even got endorsements from Leo Laporte from This Week in Tech and got ourselves in the best of 2010 for TWIT last week.
    3. SG Entrepreneurs under new leadership: Gwen has taken over SGE this year and have partnered with Startup Digest and also doing cool stuff with Isaac. Have lunch with her team (Larissa, Yuting, Shannon) and Isaac yesterday. Should be interesting for the year ahead.
    4. Small successes with Thymos Capital LLP: Happy with the iHipo acquisition by Potentialpark, and also the successful fundraising of Lunch Actually (who consolidated Eteract under their portfolio). Two out of ten for me as an investor is a pretty lucky one. Well, kudos to the entrepreneurs Patrick and Arnout (from iHipo), Zam, Violet and Jamie (from Eteract & Lunch Actually) for their great work.
    5. From award to exco in the Singapore Computer Society (SCS): Well, I got the Young Professional of the Year from SCS IT leader awards this year and subsequently joined the executive council to be the editor of IT Society. Sitting in the same meeting room with major players of the industry helped me learn more about the workings of the industry and built up my network. If not more, the experience working with them and the professional secretariat has been great.
    6. The friendship forged and built with friends in Hackerspace SG: I have spent at least 9 months a lot in Hackerspace SG. If not more, the friendship and parties are there great. The place is always thriving with geeks learning a skill or two. Well, as the resident scientist there, I will like to spend some time on innovative projects next year and also get back onto the chill out nights.
    7. The interesting travels of my life: Where have I been this year? A lot of places: Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, China and …. No matter what it has been, it has been a year of travel and I think more will be coming soon in the coming year.
    8. Delegate to Asia 21 Summit: Thanks to Gen Kanai’s nomination. Being a delegate for this event has been an eye-opener for me. It helped to put me in perspective and transition from a start-up guy towards getting into management in a company. Meeting other innovators, social entrepreneurs, public policy makers and business leaders from all over Asia makes the experience very worthwhile.
    9. The original research work I have done, shared and continued with: Okay, I only manage to get one paper out this year. That’s pretty quiet in original research. Well, I shared the work I have done in my previous life from BlinkBl-nk 7 to Barcamps. So, I hope to put up interesting ideas to come. Yes, there is that unwritten book which is 80% done, and I have to bug my collaborators, Michael Netzley and Nicholas Khoo on it.
    10. The most important thing of all – meeting my soulmate: She found me in the most unlikely of places: Hackerspace SG. She’s the most important thing that happened to me this year and probably for many years to come. I will leave that much here, and hopefully, a major change in my life is gonna come for the year ahead.

It has been the best year of my life and I hope that the year ahead will be a better one too.

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Bernard Leong

A Pragmatic Idealist

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