Sangat Pedas

What E-Commerce Indonesia Really Needs (And It’s Not Payments)

March 10, 2012 by Remco | 8 Comments

One of the most asked questions in the e-commerce Industry in Indonesia and interested investors is when E-Commerce in Indonesia will really boom and what will be the trigger. Suddenly one “expert” has a Eureka moment and yells “PAYMENT SYSTEM!!!”. Other “experts” nod their head in agreement and quickly update their slick Keynote presentation for the next event. News spreads faster than the Ariel/Cut Tari video and soon after all investors are happily adopting this sound byte while making a serious and wise face. “The key to e-commerce Indonesia is payments”. It’s like a cheap course “E-commerce Expert In 5 Minutes” and the one shouting it the loudest and most often will become the ultimate e-commerce expert in Indonesia. Many invitations for pretentious events will follow, the press wants to hear you say the soundbite first hand and investors from abroad will flock to peel his mind.

PERMISSI!!! Coming through, Sangat Pedas in the house to ruin the party. Throwing in some less sexy theories and soundbites telling you e-commerce in Indonesia actually needs something else even more.
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Puspa & Rama Married!

November 20, 2011 by Remco | 2 Comments

Ding dong! Newsflash from our reporter in Jakarta. November 20th (20-11-2011), exactly 26 years after the birth of Windows 1.0, now going into the history books as the big day for the most likable guy with the highest “cuddle” factor in the scene. Today the big guy from Dailysocial Rama and his lovely wife Puspa celebrated their love and eternal union and obviously Sangat Pedas was there.

Both the bride and the groom looked ravishing and an anonymous source within Dailysocial told me he was so happy to finally see “Mr. Hoody” as a real CEO. This despite his new haircut which has already become trending. Yep, everyone was present on this sunday morning red carpet event. Hell, it’s safe to say that every self respecting startup was witnessing the mariage of the “Michael Arrington” of Indonesia.

And of course the press and bloggers were present. The Jakarta Post Globe chatting with Aria who’s not amused with the paparazzi. Firman “Dailysocial wrecker” Nugraha from Teknojurnal managed to sneak in as well. The hardest working blogger at DS was busy declaring his love to not one but two Nokia N9′s.

We wanna wish Puspa and Rama a long and happy life together and keep having fun!

E-commerce Indonesia Unite!

November 15, 2011 by Remco | 2 Comments

Today, location the lovely 1000 m2 Multiply office building in Gandaria. The coffee was brown, the beer cold and boss Daniel himself had been busy in the kitchen cooking some mind-blowing delicious tapas.

In the meanwhile almost everyone that means anything in e-commerce Indonesia was present, from Tokopedia to Tokobagus, from Kemana to Kaskus. Having said that, some of the companies send in their b-team, saving the founders and CEO’s from the traffic hell.

In the meanwhile I hear someone asking the Plasa representative “Plasa? Does that still exist?” Which was somewhat illustrative for the meeting and the setting. A room filled with competitors not really eager to share too much but on the other hand don’t want to be left out of whatever is about to happen. The poor representative from Plasa than had to explain there is still live after Shinta, but it was clear she had a hard time believing that herself.

Continue Reading → Cut Tari Just Became A Pirate

November 14, 2011 by Remco | 0 comments

iPhone, iPod, iMac, iPad, iCloud, iOS, iJournal, iWork, iWorld, iVideo, iMail, iShrink, iChat, iContent, iWeb, iPorn, iSleep… *does take deep breath* … iVideo, iBored, iLive, iCheat, iSmell (for realz!), iDrink, iRun, iFuck, iCelebrity, iCe, iShit, iShares, iWork, iDoctor, iSeeyou, iLibrary, iHot… *sucking for air* …. iWeird, iTravel, iHouse, iJoke, iLol, iLovecuttary, iConfess, iPray, iBash, iMsorry, iCanttakeitanymore, iNternet and then there was *………inhales…..*:!

We’ve put all our hopes for the Indonesian startup scene in young talented geeks, fluent in php, Zend and Klingon. But hell, of all people it’s the celebs that are rockin’ the startup scene. As if they don’t have enough going for themselves. And not the just any kind of celebs. No siree! Indonesia now has her own Justin Timberlake in the persona of no one less than the talented and lovely Cut Tari. Famous in Indonesia for being a soap star, world famous for a case of “mistaken identity” in a pron video.

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Bribe Might Be An Option, It’s Not A Requirement

November 6, 2011 by Remco | 3 Comments

A lot has been said lately about doing business in Indonesia and why companies like Facebook, Google and RIM chose Malaysia over Indonesia. Some of the reasons named are the lack or shortage in human capital, the bureaucracy, tax issues and maybe even some liability issues. And then there’s corruption and bribes. For as long as I live here the newspapers are full of corruption scandals often involving huge bribes. Complete drama’s between the police, government officials, tax officials and in the centre of it all the KPK, which is the anti-graft body in Indonesia.

So how hard is it actually to start a business in Indonesia?

First a big fat disclaimer. I’m a foreigner living and working in Indonesia. By no means do I think I know the Indonesian society better than native Indonesians. But, when it comes to foreigners starting a business here I think have something to say simply because I pretty much went through the whole process. So this is a post by a foreigner doing business in Indonesia intended for other foreigners who are considering to register a business here.

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Indonesian Culture: Family, Money, Responsibility and Sacrifices

October 23, 2011 by Remco | 1 Comment

I didn’t post for a while simple because I got tired of writing about startups, for now I guess enough has been said and I hate repeating myself. So today I decided to share some of my experiences in Indonesia hoping it will benefit other foreigners understanding the culture better. For me it’s sharing my thoughts and maybe it will help others coming to Indonesia.

Indonesian people are family people. Now probably foreign readers will say “well, so are we”, but Indonesians take it much further. First of all, we Western people tend to see our parents at some point as a problem which we solve by putting them in retirement homes for all sorts of (mostly egoistic) reasons. Nicely put away not bothering their kids anymore. For me it’s sad to see how people that raised us, fed us, educated us and love us are now put in an environment where they collectively await the inevitable. Where they’re reminded of their fate soon to come  by the daily appearance of ambulances and hearses. Where they’re often waiting in vain for a visit of their kids or grand children. No longer part of society and even having lost their voice in society. Yes, I’m generalizing here but don’t tell me it’s not happening on a large scale in the “developed world”. One of the main reason for this happening is that many western cultures believe that the parents are responsible for their kids until the day they die, not the other way around.

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DailySocial’s Advice To Startups: SELL CHEAP!

October 9, 2011 by Remco | 10 Comments

DailySocial, Indonesias #1 #2 tech-startup (re-)blog site, trusted source by both investors and startup entrepreneurs. Great bunch of “crazy” guys, lots of laughs (despite that some got bombed by standup comedy lovers) but in the end the confrontation was inevitable. Yep, it’s about time we step in and set these guys straight for the sake of all startup entrepreneurs in the world. Sangat Pedas “tidak peduli” style, you can always count on us.

It started with a post by William Henly, corporate strategy expert, investment banker, multi sector entrepreneur & Fortune Indonesia’s Top 40 Executive Under 40. Basically William sees the Indonesian tech-startup market lately as overhyped, over-valued and he thinks the market is not transparent enough, even using the word “misleading”. Though I wouldn’t go as far as William, I too had some things to say about the Indonesian tech-startup market but from a different perspective. As for the transparency, William, here you can find some of the valuations and deal info of Tokopedia, Kaskus and Detik, even though it’s not all based on solid first hand statements it comes pretty close.

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Ask Selina Limman - [Crowdsourcing Twitterview]

September 15, 2011 by Remco | 10 Comments

Selina LimmanYes people, we’re in the preparation of some new “Twitterviews” here and like with our previous twitterview, we have a special preference for Indonesian “Power Women”. It’s been a long time but definitely worth waiting, we’ve got two incredible Power Women lined up for you. We take our twitterviews seriously here and consequently we have the toughest pre-selection on earth. For realz!

Anyway, after a long selection procedure, months of lobbying, begging and utter humiliation I finally managed to get no one else than the one and only Selina Limman aka Miss Urbanesia aka Miss Dimps to agree to do a Twitterview. No kiddin’, we’ve got the Queen of Indonesian startups! That’s what living up to our standards and high expectations from our readers. BOX! But….

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Nadine Alexandra for Miss Universe!

September 12, 2011 by Remco | 2 Comments

Nadine Alexandra for Miss UniverseYep, I’ve had complaints from the loyal followers of this blog and righteously so. The payoff of this blog clearly promises “geeks, GIRLS & gossip” and lately there hasn’t been a whole lot of girls on this blog. And at the same time there’s another somehow related problem, the national soccer team is pretty much letting Indonesia down and the kind people of Indonesia need someone they can cheer for. Someone representing their country and defending it’s honor.

Well, let me introduce ya’ll to Miss Universe Indonesia 2011 Nadine Alexandra Dewi Ames. WATCH AND AWE!

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My Life in Indonesia #1: Locals & Expats

September 11, 2011 by Remco | 6 Comments

Blue Point Beach - BaliI’ve been living in Indonesia now for nearly 3 years but never have I written a post about life in Indonesia. Even though I have an even longer relationship of a bit more than 6 years with Indonesia I guess I had the feeling I hadn’t quite figured out life in Indonesia yet. Frankly, I’m quite sure I still haven’t figured it out but that makes it all the more fun to write about it.

The reason I moved to Indonesia is obviously because 6 years ago Arno and me started a website called and at one point it became too successful to manage from abroad. Anyway, this story tells about the start of my life in Indonesia and why from the start I made some unusual decisions.

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