Before I start I need to make some disclaimers first. First, there is no formula for success, if there was everybody who has the formula would be successful which is clearly not the case, Second, I’m no expert, there are thousands of people out there who read way much more about marketing and know all the terms and theories. Reason why I don’t share a lot of knowledge, expertise and experience is because it simply makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable, it seems somewhat pretentious. However, I can consider myself as a serial startup entrepreneur and with every startup I was directly involved on the marketing side. The numerous tests, failures and occasional successes have finally led to my so far most promising startup in which our marketing strategy seems to pay off. Last disclaimer is that this has been definitely a team effort and I’m lucky to work with some smart and creative people.
The question I’ve asked myself for years, and I assume many entrepreneurs ask themselves that question, is “am I doing it right?”. And when asking myself that question it’s not only about my business or career but also my personal life, my joy, how I interact with family and friends and how they see me. The question applies to how I do business, how I work and how I balance it with my social life, which should be more than Facebook and Twitter. Well, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 16 years now and it took me most of that time to come to the conclusion that I’ve been doing it WRONG and fell into many pitfalls!
Got your slick powerpoint presentation ready? Did you give your business plan an extra boost? Already have a few visitors on your start-up in stealth mode? Got your blue shirt and kaki pants back from the laundry service? Memorized your elevator pitch? Made yourself familiar with Valley slang? Came up with a cool logo and an even more cool name for your company? (fruggle is already taken)
Our time has finally come, the moment every start-up entrepreneur has been waiting for, better than having Christmas and Thanksgiving in one day: Bubble 2.0 is coming! So exit stealth mode and make sure your on Techcrunch, e27 or Dailysocial, certified altars for any tech investor. VC’s armed with big fat check books are already fighting to get a piece of just about any pie, even when it’s plain old fashioned apple pie. Don’t worry if your business is still 1.0, just ad some Web 2.0 visual effects, connect with Facebook and Twitter, say it’s all in the cloud and you’re all set.
Yep, when some guys from the country of molded cheese decide it’s ok, cool and just normal to steal 10.000′s of pages of content from classified sites that actually worked hard(!) an invested money to get this far, I get upset, really upset. But I stay polite and just tell them in my best french: “Faut péter dans l’eau pour faire des bulles” which to my understanding means “have a nice day”.
For the rest I would say enjoy the totally unrelated, off-topic, nothing-to-do-with-this video which doesn’t necessarily express my own opinion or feelings…… Btw, the video is courtesy of Youtube, South Park Studios and Comedy Central. Now, you see? That isn’t so difficult to just follow netiquette and mention the source, comprendre??!!!!
One of my favorite business quotes is one from Donald Trump “As long as your going to be thinking anyway, think BIG!” Evidently the guys of a bold and brave Indonesian startup going by the name of “Sitti” agree. With their localized contextual advertising system they’re aiming to throw Google Adwords of its thrown, at least in Indonesia.
A (translated) quote from their blog:
We challenge Google inc to compete. We are sorry.
Again, really sorry. I am afraid of Google.
Google has 1 million servers. Sitti has got 6.
Google has 20,621 employees. Sitti has got 20.
Google has 1000 PhD’s who work for them. Sitti has got 1, and even then not really after 6 years of trying.
Google brings Rp 230 trillion in one year. Sitti bring Rp 630.000 from sales of bottled tea in the cooperative Udin, the OB in the office Sitti.
Google has the world. Sitti has Indonesia. And just Indonesia.
Don’t apologize and don’t be afraid guys, you’re heroes in my book. All the great companies started small once facing seemingly undefeatable competition but at least tried and made it. No guts no glory!
Whatever anyone might say, despite having all odds against you we give you guys the big thumbs up! It’s challengers like you guys that make the Internet better. Word! Semangat!
Somewhere in “the cloud” some servers are smoking, bold blogging about famous people works like crazy. So what’s next? Right, monetization, already after only two weeks. This will be a historical moment for Sangat Pedas, it’s first shameless promotion. Paid in full in advance, 1 liter Bacardi Oro of course!. Seems a bit weird title for a promo blog though, right? Well it will get worse at first but I bet ya this will be the best bleeping promo Koprol will ever have, so Yahoo guys stay cool and have faith.
So, there I was this afternoon at the office after accepting my first payment for a post about Koprol and I assume Smitty would prefer a positive over a negative one. First of all, I don’t have any experience with paid blogs. Second, I’m like many others a foursquare guy, love the badges an mayorships. Third, up until today I only looked at Koprol’s PC version homepage, which is btw way one of my favorites all time and I’m 100% serious and objective about that. And last but not least I got dispraising looks and comments from my business partner and co-workers at Tokobagus about me selling my soul for a few bucks. Damn, what have I gotten myself into this time. Continue Reading →
I hate to disappoint everyone, I know I have a reputation but if you’re thinking for even one minute that I’m gonna take on or bash Sarah Lacy you must be out of your friggin mind! Listen, I don’t mind taking on VC (who likes VC anyway?). Nor do I mind banter at Smitty from Koprol, he has a good sense of humor. Taking on Google, cape deh, too easy. I mean things like that are good for the visits and KPI’s of this struggling blog startup but taking on Sarah Lacy is like risking instant suicide. She can crush me within a heartbeat, instant banishment from the digital world. Facebook profile deactivated, kicked out of Twitter and eternal mailbombs. My VC will instantly pull the plug and I will probably be the most hated person in the global digital community. Rule #1: don’t touch Sarah! Get it? Capice?
No, this post is about self mockery. This is about another awkward moment during an introduction which I seem to have many lately, so bare with me for a minute. Continue Reading →
Ok peepz, time for some serious compliments to everyone involved in the Sparxup 2010 event. For a first time event like this I can really only take my hat of for the people that made this possible, especially everyone behind the screens who worked hard but seem to enjoy the rewards. The investment event was impressive if already only looking at the keynote speakers who were attending. I was surprised and impressed by Indonesias Minister of Trade Ms. Mari Eika Pangestu who delivered a clear message to the Indonesian startups, realizing the possibilities of the booming digital market, showing vision and delivered it in flawless english. Sarah Lacy showed that you just need a name card with a few keynotes to keep the crowd fascinated and Michael “Smitty” Smith was for me the absolute highlight of the day.
I just arrived home in the place I truly love Bali after 5 days in Jakarta. The Sparxup event was held so the Jakarta was swarmed with young entrepreneurs, VC and the cream of the crop of influential bloggers like Sara Lacy from TechCrunch and the guys from e27 (special thanks to Joon Ian for the great time!). Anyway, an event like this is for me especially interesting because it’s the opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with the ones I haven’t seen for a long time. Continue Reading →
“I don’t care if you’re a billionaire. If you haven’t started a company, really gambled your resume and your money and maybe even your marriage to just go crazy and try something on your own, you’re no pirate and you aren’t in the club.”
Michael Arrington - Techcrunch