Pragmatic Idealism

Starry_Night_by_Vincent_van_Gogh_at_Dreams_&_Reality:_Masterpieces_of_Musee_d'Orsay If I have a choice in life to choose between a builder and a critic, I choose the life of a builder hands down anytime. To me, a builder is a person who create, inspire and make a difference in enhancing and delivering better value to others’ lives. I dislike the life of a critic because it is cheap to rant against ideas and work which everyone spend their lives building up. Perhaps, through the passage of life which I have continuously living it to my best everyday, I despise cynicism and choose to be forever idealistic in what I want to pursue. However, everyone pays for the idealism that withstands the fabrics of realism. Continue reading Pragmatic Idealism

Reflection: The Hardest Part about Bouncing Back from Failure

During conferences e.g. FailCon Singapore or fireside chats e.g. Startup Grind Singapore, I have been often asked by entrepreneurs and investors about coping with failure in the aftermath of Chalkboard’s demise.

Essentially, there are a few sides to that question, “How do you recover from failure?”. The first level is personal, in how you view the whole exercise. The next level is how you manage that failure towards people around you, for example, partners, former employees, investors or any random people within the ecosystem. Till today, I am apologetic towards my investors and employees for the failure of Chalkboard, but the important thing is not to carry it as a baggage with me for the rest of my life. The real message is to accept failure and move on, because in the larger scale of things, that failure meant nothing.

I have a personal story as to how I have learned to manage failure better. Contrary to public perception, my whole life has been littered with failures. From all those incidents, I have learned in the most difficult way that the tough part about bouncing back from failure is not depression. The hardest part is to be patient, i.e. taking a step back from everything, learning the skills required for the next venture and wait for the right opportunity, time and place to get back to the arena. Continue reading Reflection: The Hardest Part about Bouncing Back from Failure

The KPIs of Life and Time

Everyone including my wife often asks me why I eat so quickly during my meals. It is a habit that came about when I was studying in university. The truth of the matter is that I felt that there is so little time left for so much things out there which I want to do. As time goes by, I feel more reluctant to lose an ounce of time to anything mundane. To me, a meal is a mundane task that is time wasting. Unless i really want to enjoy a meal in a fine dining restaurant, I will hope that the time for mundane tasks wasted can be compensated elsewhere. Intrinsically, this little habit has implications to how I am driven to move forward and not back. Continue reading The KPIs of Life and Time

How will you educate your children?

My wife and I have discussed and debated on the question when we do our family planning on many occasions. Both of us have different views, given our backgrounds. While thinking deep and hard about the question over the month before I started work coupled with great conversations I have with various friends, I have distilled down to three principles that have given me the kind of culture I like to instill in my children in the future, regardless of where they will be schooled. Continue reading How will you educate your children?

Reflections: Information Inundation

I have recently started to jot down some thoughts and reflections on my personal and career or collect bits and pieces of interesting information with a digital scrapbook. It helps me to archive some insights not just from myself but from others during discussions on topics of interest. One interesting conversation was one that I have with a Singaporean friend doing businesses in China during my recent trip to Beijing. The topic of interest is about information inundation and I will briefly share how the ability to navigate across information inundation is helpful to anyone from an entrepreneur to a research scientist. Continue reading Reflections: Information Inundation