LB60 – Live Wisely

This week we read an article on New York Times that strongly provoked our thoughts. We thought it would be great to share this with everyone.

This is a quote from the article.

 Is it more important to you to have little, accomplish little, yet be relaxed and happy and spend time with family? Or is it more important to you to work hard, use your talents, perhaps start a business, maybe even make the world a better place along the way? via How to Live Wisely

So what do you think? Is it necessary to lead a life that create a dent in the universe?

LB59 A Year

It’s been a year since we did up our podcast and we are finally back. This is the start of Launchbyte 3rd series. The format is once again change 😛 like our lives always do. This time round we are doing like a talk show. We dived into a topic and we go deep. This time, we love you to join us too. (Check out the venue below)

This week we talk about why you might not need an app for your business. There are so many apps out there, by introducing another app, does it make any more sense to your business?

Also we look at #pap4sg, a new app by the People’s Action Party to engage the public during the election period. Is it worth it? Maybe they could have just use Facebook? We love to hear your comments.

Podcast Location

Blk 79 Ayer Rajah Crescent 

#02-23 S(139955)

Friday 9am. 

We talk tech in asia.

LB58 Reading is important

Reading is important we all know that, however many of us failed to read at least a book in a year.

Why is this so?

Simply because the Internet has taken over most of our times. Remember the times when Internet wasn’t so prominent, the leisure activities involves much more engagement and interactions. Playing over at the playground, just plain running around with friends, watching some TV and also visiting the library.

Furthermore, we are chasing after time now. We like to see results in the shortest possible time. We enjoy online articles because they are shorter and easier to consume. Article like “14 Things Every Successful Person Has In Common” in list form is better than reading any successful person’s biography that is 2000 pages long.

I’m not sharing that online articles are not good. I’m writing one now myself and hopefully you find it meaningful too.  However reading a book is different, it connects your brain. When you are reading, you are in full silence, giving the book your full attention rather than clicking articles. This silence makes your brain want more, it is clear and focus. You start to see the point of view from the author.

Sometimes, reading gives you new found creativity. When reading, you are exploring a different angle to see aching you known. For example, I’m reading Zero to One by Peter Thiel, who would have expected that monopoly should be something a startup aim for. I personally also thought that the bigger the market, the better is it.

I like to end this with a quote.

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. —Vera Nazarian

And we would love to hear what books that you might be reading now and suggests to us what books should we be reading next.

 

 

Here are 3 books that Chris and I are reading right now.

Zero to One – Peter Thiel (Founder of Paypal)

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship – Robert C. Martin

 

Resources:

Image Credit

Quote in podcast was taken in the youtube video above

 

LB57 What Is Keeping You Awake At Night?

There are a thousand and one things for us to worry about but when you are an entrepreneur, you have to double that list because the business is you and you are the business.

In “How to startup a startup” Lecture 3, Paul Graham shared the following:

startups are all-consuming. If you start a startup, it will take over your life to a degree you cannot imagine. And if your startup succeeds, it will take over your life for a long time: for several years at the very least, maybe for a decade, maybe for the rest of your working life. So there is a real opportunity cost here. via Link

I can testified on it. Starting a company, be it a venture funded startup or a bootstrapped business. I believe that it would consume your life. The reason is simple, its like having a kid, you see the business grow and you are attached to it.

Ever work started a project that you put so much effort in it that when the project end, you feel sad about it?, that’s the kind of feeling when startup, however it is a much longer journey

Entrepreneurs are always under stress!

Before you launch a startup, you are thinking of ideas? Will this idea work or that idea work? If this idea solves a problem, does it a decent market to start a business in? If you are planning to go for VC money, how can I make it attractive for VCs?

“It never gets any easier.” The nature of the problems change, so you’re maybe worrying about more glamorous problems like construction delays in your new London offices rather than the broken air conditioner in your studio apartment, but the total volume of worry never decreases. If anything, it increases. via PG also shared in the lecture

You have an idea, you have a team and you start your company. The problems pile up even more. What is our cash-flow like? Will I be able to meet the payroll? etc etc.. Like PG mentioned there can only be more problems.

So if you are thinking of starting up, be ready for some stressful years of your life but I can assure you that it would be a wholesome one

Ask Chris why he wants to start company? You will be in a surprise with his answers.

How to cope with stress or sleepless nights?

This is how I do it.

  1. Exercise: Research shows that exercise reduces stress hormones and stimulates production of endorphins. These endorphins what runners often call the “runner’s high”, you feel extreme good and happy while cruising down the tar path.
  2. Do not read emails in the morning and before sleep: Reading emails right after you are awake is bad. Give your brain sometime to “wake up”, try this 10 minute yoga workout routine 🙂 . Reading emails just before you sleep is bad too, if you happen to receive a “bad news” email (maybe about certainly partnership not doing well) you mind gets active again and you disrupt your resting cycle.
  3. Read more books and not online articles: Maybe it is just me but I’m feeling that online articles, especially those with “click-bait” headlines does not have much substance in the writing. Good books on the other hand still gives more substance, they tackle into the specific topics in a deeper manner and they make you think.

As for Chris: he just stop working 3 hours before his sleeping time and watch youtube. (Find out what he watches, before he sleeps in the podcast)

Sleep is important, if your sleep is affected, you will mood and decision will be affected and in turn it will affect your business decisions.

Lastly, it is hard to start a startup. There are many things to an entrepreneur to worry about and it will not end. However, as entrepreneur we have to manage it.

We each shared a very personal problem in the podcast and we love to hear yours. Do not take on the problems on your own, there is always your team and you

Show links

  1. A group of youth making a difference in Singapore’s Tech Scene: If you are looking to learn coding, this event is open to everyone and it is free.
  2. How to start a startup

Resources

  1. Quote credit

LB56 Be Original, Find Your Voice In Blogging

In this show we continue talking about originality and some tips to differentiate yourself. If you have any feedback or questions leave us a note at launchbyte.com/ask. If you want to find today’s show notes, go to launchbyte.com/56

We start this show with a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou. She is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman.1 In the video, she shares on finding her voice.

Why having your own voice?

I have been writing for 8 years now. From writing about my daily life to sharing my thoughts starting up a business. There are many articles out on the web that highlights the importance of content. I’m sure having great content helps. But many times, it is the personality that draws in the audience.

You have to know that your site/content/podcast/blog is an online version of you. It is a unique way of communicating your message, so that people knows it is from you. For example, my writing tends to have some typo and grammar mistakes. That’s my “style” and my readers are alright with it because they are able to understand the main message I’m sending in that very article.

So how do you find your voice?

  • Try and list out 3 of content creators or writers that you take inspiration from.
  • Ask yourselves these three questions
    • Does it sounds like you?
    • Would you read such article?
    • Do you enjoy creating such article?

Many writers start off  by referencing other writers as long as you maintain your own style.

Here are my three role models:

  1. Daring Fireball: The link writing kinda of style and main talks about tech. He does have very opinionated pieces at time. I like it because it message that is sending is short and sweet.

  2. Marco Arment: Kinda of like Daring Fireball, with many linked posts and occasional long pieces. He is the creator of instapaper and now runs a successful podcast. (You can see who I’m mimicking the most)

  3. Matt Gemmell: Beautiful clean writing, all long form. My favourite piece is this on Small screen productivity.

At the start, when I took reference from these writer, I failed badly because I was trying too hard and I end up copying. I was not sounding like me on my blog, I was different. So I took one approach that kinda of change the “style”. I be myself. I write what I want and do what I love.

You site is the “online” you. There can only be one you and Don’t force yourself to write in a certain tone if it feels unnatural. We talk lots of these in the podcast.

Now start writing your piece of you today, share the line with us on the comments we love to read it 😛

Bryan

my startup journey

 


  1.  Dr. Maya Angelou Bio 

LB55 How Not To Copy

In this show we chat about originality, copy cats and some tips to differentiate yourself. If you have any feedback please tweet at us @launchbyte, email us at [email protected] or ask us anything here. We would love to hear your opinions about what we talk about and if you have an interesting topic you want us to discuss.

We started talking about originality because of this particular incident. Derek Low is traveler & Engineer. He was the guy who created the Ridiculously Automated Dorm during his freshman years in Berkeley.

Recently he wrote an article sharing his experience flying in the first class suite on SIA which cost him S$23000 if he had not exchanged it with his miles. There were lots of amazing photos and it was a pretty detail write up. It also makes me wonder when will I collect enough miles to make this flight.

Anyway, this article was spreading like wild fire until the redactors found out that Derek apparently plagiarised parts of his review from various sources and the original writers have sniffed him out for it.. So what do you think?

Steve Job onces quoted ‘Good artists copy; great artists steal’

Was Derek wrong? Personally, I think so. He should have credited the source of the photos. But lets think about? Is it really hard to be original now?

Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson says nothing is original and that our most celebrated creators steal ideas — and transform them into something new. via link

Kirby Ferguson even gave a TED talk on it.

Chris came up with 3 kind of situation of copying and we discuss deeply in the podcast.

  • Copying: Taking an idea and applying it as part of your solution.
  • Cloning: Taking an idea and not changing it significantly
  • Stealing: Taking an idea and claiming it as your own without crediting the source

We end this show notes with another food for thought

> “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” via [Link](http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/131591-nothing-is-original-steal-from-anywhere-that-resonates-with-inspiration)

Interesting Read:

LB54 Who We Do Not Want!

If your startup is looking to hire, how would you be writing your job description?

What would you think of this?

This is only some parts of the image crop because we are not able to capture the full screen. So today, Chris and I talked about this issue in this podcast.

As developers this is the part that I think have gone over-board = Who we do not want

You are a shallow social climber whose dream is to work for Goldman Sachs because it “looks good on your CV”. You went to an Ivy League university because it would “look good on your CV”. But you couldn’t get into Goldman Sachs (or Citibank, or HSBC) because you actually have no passion for finance, just like how you want to buy that Louis Vuitton bag (because it will “look good on your social CV”) despite having no passion for design and craftsmanship. Guess what? If you were rejected by Goldman Sachs, you will be rejected by us too. For exactly the same reasons. Advice: try applying for a government job.

  1. I think there is nothing wrong in having a dream to work for Goldman Sachs. I have some really smart friends in there and they are loving it.
  2. Again the same is true for the government jobs, some really smart people are working in there too.

Our good friend Guochen wrote a blog post on it.

He wrote:  Those are two full pages of prejudices, discriminatory remarks and statements that shows how ugly this employer can get. I am a software engineer and i would NEVER work for this company ever. I would strongly advise every software engineer to stay clear of your company as well.

And personally I agreed with him. If you are thinking of writing a solid job description. Here is one inspiring piece by 37Signals. It is well written, answers every developers questions that they will have in mind and most importantly being humble.

You’ll teach me a few things and I’ll teach you a few things. We’ll both gain great experience. via Link

Or maybe Sugar was trying too hard

LB53 Say what you wanna say

We are Rebooting! We are Rebooting! We are Rebooting!

Why Rebooting  and How are we doing things differently?

First of all, both of us love podcasting and we been getting feedback. However we like to do more, we like to reach out to more entrepreneurs because we know entrepreneurship is a hard journey. Many things that you like to share, you would not want to share it in public. And all the entrepreneur porn that you read online are mainly written by journalist who aren’t entrepreneurs themselves.

Every once in a while, friends ask us. Why do this?

We want to be the real conversation for entrepreneurs. You know to talk read problems we faced and share business tips on how we can be better. Plus starting up and building a business is a tough process and we need to talk. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into startup depression.

If you are a business owner or looking to start one, we love to hear from you too. Here is a dedicate page for you to ask us anything.

 

What is the format going to be like?

We like to keep our show short and sweet but we might do our shows longer if there is a need for it. We aim for 2 shows in a week. 1 of the show will be talking about a topic for the week, for example currently right now a trending topic is how a startup wrote a bad description and how they got burned online. Another show will be on business tips, say if I setting up a site for info product or even opening a cafe, how can we set goals or achieve certain milestones.

During the show, we will also share the questions you have for us on ask us anything or feedback that you left it on the iTunes store.

Also, we are expanding 😀 we are looking for another host to join us. They say 3 brain is better than one. So if you think  you are up for it, you like to talk shit and sometimes business tips. This is the show for you.

There are no restrictions. *Say what you wanna say**

About us

In this reboot episode, Chris and I will share 5 things ourselves. We hope this will help you know us better 😀

Finally, if I could have 3 mins of you time. We would to get some feedback from you. If you could help us comment on iTunes it will fellow business builders to know us.

LB52 The Good And Bad Of Remote Working

This week we talk about working remotely. What are some the benefits of working remotely? What are some ways to help your team work remotely and remain accountable? Would we recommend working remotely?

Also I like to add if you are wondering what is Singlish all about. Here is the link.

‘Singlish,’ Singapore’s unique brand of colloquial English, is the linguistic product of a society whose official common language is English, but which comprises ethnic Chinese, Malays, and Indians in a ratio of roughly 7:2:1. Borrowing freely from various dialects for its vocabulary, grammatical structures and spoken accent, Singlish has evolved into a creole that often leaves uninitiated outsiders laughing, or reeling from incomprehension. Link

And finally, before you click the listen button. This is our episode, which also means that Chris and I have been podcasting for a year. Thank you so much for your support! We will me making some changes to the show and the site so stay tune.

Listen Here

Resources

Hosts

Chris Cai – @anttyc Bryan Lee – @leetucksing

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