Welcome home

From a recent dinner conversation with friends from Japan. One topic came to mind which we (at least for me) take it for granted.

In the countless number of Japanese dramas I plough through since I was 21 in Los Angeles, California, I have always been fascinated by the Japanese greetings below and wonder why we don't have the same in Singapore:

A:  Tadaima.  (I'm home.)
B:  Okaerinasai. (Welcome back or welcome home.)
Every time someone comes home, these brief greetings are exchanged. 

After a hard day's of work or a tiring business trip, coming home to family and/or friends and greeted with "Welcome home" is indeed a nice warm feeling. 

May all of you take a moment to greet your loved ones some, if not all of the time.

Thank you for all your birthday wishes today and to my friends who share the same birthday, "Happy birthday!" 

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome home wherever you are.


~ My own version of "Okaerinasai"


I can't wait

I can’t wait for you to breathe the air that you will inhabit for years to come

I can’t wait for you to feel and express yourself with all your might

I can’t wait for you to feel the warmth of all who loves you

I can’t wait for you to interact with the technologies and toys built by the generation before you

I can’t wait for you to experience the reinvention of education and learn what you yearn to at your own pace

I can’t wait for you to understand the power of human relations that brings both joy and heartache in your life time to come

I can’t wait for you to know your heritage and appreciate their individual cultures and language

I can’t wait for you to understand who you truly are and what you are particularly strong in and maximize that potential

I can’t wait for you to experience how the world works, be curious and bold to ask questions

I can’t wait for you to see how beautiful nature is and why I talk about Hawaii all the time ;)

I can’t wait for you to look at “failure” in its face and with a deep breath, say “Bring it!”

I can’t wait for you to find that someone in your life whom you love even through flaws which all human beings inherit

and finally, I can’t wait for you to rewrite this list in 30 years to your own little one

Yours lovingly, Dad (who enjoys waiting - ask your mom, she’ll know)

October 5, 2013 - 11:22pm

p.s. work out/exercise, brush your teeth, sleep more if you can, and have friends who are doctors, lawyers, and accountants

p.p.s. I simply can’t wait another second more to see you

Crazy Ideas

Why are there little to no crazy game changing ideas from Southeast Asia?

Recently I gave a short talk at JFDI.ASIA’s Batch 4 teams. My talk was centered around having a simple product hook in your product that makes it easy for founders to articulate their vision to people (users, investors, potential employees, partners) that they engage with.

As we invest and learn from the teams we work with in the Southeast Asia region, watching founders execute on ideas, the one thing that always nag at me is their product hook. How special is that hook? Does it engage emotionally or change behaviorally? Who ultimately will care?

We are in the beginning of the entrepreneurial revolution. Although the Lean Startup movement painted a great picture of what can be taught, it is not a framework for everyone. Execution is important but a lot of that has been commoditized. It all comes back down to the idea and how you think the world should be. You just need time to let the world know that.

So why aren’t there more crazy big changing ideas here in Southeast Asia?

  1. Fear of failure is probably the main cause. It makes people and people around them (i.e. ecosystem) think too short termed.
  2. There is low density of founders who have tried crazy things, failed, and still keep on trying.
  3. Lack of confidence.

Having said all that, it is extremely difficult to design a product hook with global appeal. I know that, we all know that. That is what ultimately differentiates companies.

Try not to paint yourself into a corner and stop there. Keep inventing and rounding up troops that believe in your “crazy”. And break out.