Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reflection

It’s the last Sunday of 2012, it’s night, and it’s the perfect time to reflect, ponder and feel good about wasting time :) Looking back on what I wrote for the beginning of 2012, it feels like a wasted post with nothing to look forward or reflect on. I guess I had forgotten about my feelings back then.

The shitty part about setting goals is we shall feel miserable if we didn’t achieve them, and not necessary happy if we did. But without goals, it feels kinda lost and empty. The heart yearns for something, and goals are just translation of the wishes.

My “Shitty” Startup

I think the end of 2011 is around the time Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia hits town, and I was pumped up about applying for funding, join some incubators and competition, looking for co-founder and looking forward to develop a “real business model” for my startup. The funny thing is none of these happened or work out and perhaps I had made a fool of myself, but today I am fairly please that none of these wishes came true. Today I still own 100% of my “shitty” startup, with no co-founders or investors to disagree with, and it had a 150% income growth without a “real bossiness model” which is really good for me, financially stable to embark on the next adventure, and I feel really happy and tasted some freedom (something which I always look forward to).

I didn't actually accomplish much in 2012 in terms of productivity, but I guess the time is ripe to rip the fruits after years of ploughing. It is true a true reflection of opportunities awaits those who are prepared for it.

Sadly, Malaysia Most Wanted Prices and Events didn't work out, so I will probably shut it down soon.

End of Consultation & Freelancing

Year 2012 marks the end of consultation and freelancing for me, partly due to my startup business is picking up and I got tired of freelancing after 5 years, and made worse by a couple of collection issues and bad debts.

Freelancing is tough (dealing with customer expectations), but it does pay the bills. Sadly, the experience isn't very satisfactory, as it feels like selling your soul for money: the customer will never pay you enough to produce the best product, or understand the price and elements of a good product. What is the difference between mobile apps with a development budget of RM 5000 vs. RM 50,000? Most of the time customer pays for features, but it’s very difficult to price the user experience, look and feel, fragmentation support, scalability, etc.

In a very crude sense, a prostitute can’t be a wife. You can pay for sex, but you can’t buy love and care.

Life and Travel

Freedom of life is important to me, which include financial freedom, having time to do other things besides work, and don’t have to sell my soul for money. With the growth of Malaysia Most Wanted Food and retirement from freelancing, I felt that it’s a big step towards the right direction.

If my memory serves me right, I only manage to do one significant travel in Vietnam for close to a month. I do enjoy the last travel, not too rush, not too complicated. I was probably hooked with the idea of travelling about 8 years ago, and I am still looking forward to achieve my one year travel plan someday :)

Sometimes life comes up with a little extra challenge besides work and love. I ended having to revive my teaching affair at my cousin’s school due to a strange twist of fate, which I never quite truly enjoy because it doesn't feels right. Teaching PowerPoint to students so that they could pass some Microsoft Exam is not exactly my idea of education or fun, but it does reminds me that sometimes exam could bring the best out some someone. Two of my students try to take the exam twice but failed. I could sense that the idea of failure does bother the students, and one of them does stand up to the challenge, being more focus and determined, and I could really feel his improvement and confidence built-up, and I forecasted he would pass on the third try, which he did. As much as I dislike the idea of exam, but totally abolishing it might not be a good idea as well.

In the last month of 2012, I became the unglamourous chairman to save my apartment from turning into a cowboy town, with only RM 7,500 in the bank account, RM 40,000 of water debt, 30% cost overrun and residents reluctant to pay maintenance due to the worsen situations. It’s a tough challenge to handle, which I forsee could easily takes 3 months to turn the tide (with some luck on our side), and plenty of things happening in between. I believe things happen for a reason, and running away or ignoring it is probably not the right way to do it.

Good or Bad?

I think 2012 is probably one of the better years for me, with more “excitements” as well. As we get older, it’s sometimes tougher to hang on hope and trust, believing that human are naturally good. Some people decided that it’s okay to not pay someone after engaging their services, while some people decided its okay not to pay maintenance fee because they are not happy with how things are, and not to mentioned all the bad things people did to each other on the news everyday. I wish everyone would be more understanding and think of others beside themselves, where the employers mustn't forget how it feels like to be an employee, and the employee trying to understand the difficulties of the bosses. Why do I need to believe that everyone is naturally good? If not, I shall be living among the scumbags, and that is not a good thing.

The world we live in, need a little bit of care, understanding and forgiveness, so that we can start living as human in this humanly world again. When you stop caring about others, others shall stop caring about you; and what kind of world would all of us be living in? That shall be the end of life as we know it. Never do something to hurt others intentionally or unintentionally, neither shall we do something we shall regrets.

I hope everyone could still feel their good heart.


Vivien @fashfix said...

Hi Desmond (: Randomly came across your profile and was quite fascinated. I am looking to hire a good developer (potentially as co-founder) to work on Fashfix which was just admitted to JFDI. Seems like you have a startup vein to you so was wondering whether you'd be interested? anyway if you are, you can drop me an email at and if not then keep up the work on your blog! (:

cHrIStine said...

Good reflection. I haven't visited your blog for quite a long period of time. Cheer up! Let's share and talk more when I vist you in this summer, my good friend!


Desmond Lua said...

Plenty to eat, Plenty of dun, and Plenty to talk, my friend :)