11.0 Plenary Session with Local Entrepreneurs

Opening comments and brief:

  • “Out of all the professions out there…entrepreneurs are the only one really doing it.“Relevant article: Will Dropouts Save America?

” Yet our current classrooms, geared toward tests on narrowly defined academic subjects, stifle creativity. …
If a young person happens to retain enough creative spirit to start a business upon graduation, she does so in spite of her schooling, not because of it…Relevant article: Get rejected on a daily basis.

1. If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough…4. Predicting the future of the Internet is easy: anything it hasn’t yet dramatically transformed, it will.”

  • “They are not here to tell you about the glories of entrepreneurship
Mr. Jayesh
  • “Try to imagine: Apple believe 140 million PCs were the peak maxima.
    Last year: 1 billion sold.”
  • Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. Vidal Sassoon
  • Risk taking gene, symbol of bravery: daring to do what people don’t <=> Risk reward Sisyphean solution <=> Pausch’s brick walls.
  • “Cashflow is King.” We spent an entire week on Cash is King in the TR/Entre module.
  • Enthusiasm is the most important thing.
    “I don’t think you should have to do something unless you’re enthusiastic about it.” See also the “Hell Yeah corrollary.”
  • This guy sounds like he could pitch a baseball team out of the stadium. Energetic.
  • “Know yourself”.
    “Cunning>Shrewd>Savvy>Smart.” IF you don’t have the cunning, its difficult.
  • Is it Ironic that I’m taking down the guidelines for ‘The Business Machine’
    Idea -> Structure -> Funding ->QA/Market Research -> Energy Management to drive the outcome -> Execute on all aspects ==>Repetitive scalable basis => Exit
  • Argh, the importance of a scalable business.
  • “The Paralysis of Knowledge” <=> the importance of decision making, despite ignorance. You will make mistakes. 
  • Leadership styles: individuals differ; know self; know how to work.
  • The importance of market research and competition over enthusiasm
  • “Continuous partial attention”
  • Early team qualites: hunger, complementation, risk takers, network.
Leslie of Redsports
  • Looks like his experiences with the branding/marketing industry really set this all up.
  • Nobody does it because people don’t believe there’s money in it. And frankly I still don’t think there is money in it. But clearly he’s doing it for the passion, “to tell the Singapore sports story”.
    Edit: Runs a shrewd business; don’t think he actually hires anybody, but gets volunteers, which is not a terrible way to work. User produced content,  indeed. 
  • Is he perhaps pandering to the young crowd? Might be able to sell his readership this way


  • I’ve listened to his entire oration, and I still don’t actually know what company he’s pitching about.
  • Then again, having checked out the Raffles Place Ghost gimmick all those years ago, I didn’t really get what he was on about then also.
  • He seems to have, once he’s gotten the company up and running, decided to pursue what he really wanted to do anyway; 
  • Not sure how this 10% of spare time devoted to personal projects is feasible – certainly not in banks or whatho – but I’m pretty sure he’s just quantifying the slacking I believe every employee ends up doing at work anyway, and giving them the “you know what – ‘s coo, you can do it, I know you really feel for it and want to.”
  • Frankly an incredibly nice chap; how come he’s a businessman?
There were quite a few other speakers as well, but they didn’t really strike me. That Real Estate guy appears to clearly be here only to poach future employees.

Argh, that would’ve been a nice job offer to have.
I maintain what I said: I would like to hear a failed entrepreneur, and this is extremely disappointing for me. Apparently @BrotherOfEvilProf is a decent-ish, half-failed or nonsuccessful businessman who refused to come down and pitch. Not sure what the circumstances are, but this is the kind of story I’d like to hear, rather than the success stories of successful people.
Success and nostalgia tints the perception with rose colour. “History is written by the winners”, so Napoleon says. Ferguson claims to produce so many kids for the England team only because 1. he’s successful, 2. he buys all the kids from the other clubs and 3. because of (1.), nobody calls him out on it. Contrast in learning is important – not the sort of Intelligent Creation vs Evolution artificial contrast, but if you tell success stories you must also hear failure stories.
People generally tell success stories to encourage and inspire other people; @BLeong promised tough hard work and stories of suffering, but I think the reaction was exactly the opposite. Aside from Mr Jayesh, (and SgBrides, which I thought for sure was some sleazy dating website) , I didn’t really get a feel of how tough it would be.
I met this fellow, Tachibana, who is CTO for Merrill Lynch Singapore, and angel investor (quote: “the modern euphemism for being ridiculously rich”) and owner of a dozen companies and serial entrepreneur. For him, he seems to have mellowed from the hungry, angry, driven kid he used to be, but also he speaks of his experiences and never sounds like he thought it was (unnecessarily) tough or difficult or more than it should be.
Perhaps that’s the defining trait of an entrepreneur: it isn’t hard or suffering or tough, it’s the price to be paid.
This ends the post because there’s some ridiculous formatting nonsense going on WordPress
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