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Month: June 2012

Failure: The F-Word Silicon Valley Loves And Hates

This is my response to this article posted on NPR. Here is my favorite quote from Janice Fraser, founder and CEO of LUXr, a product design firm for startups.

The worst moment is when you have to tell your staff. You have these people who, beyond reason, have put their trust in you. And you have to look them in the eye and say, ‘I’m sorry, this isn’t going to work.’ It’s always when the money’s running out … because you keep going until the money runs out. At the end, it’s just you and one or two other people, filing papers with the state and packing up the boxes. And that is not fun.

I’ve also been there once. It was the worst moment not just in my entrepreneurial career but in my entire life. However, human being is a creature that keeps learning whether you like it or not. I personally learned a lot from my own failure too. I mean, I had to.

Superior ecosystem of startup can be built with experienced entrepreneurs: those who succeeded and failed. If any region outside Silicon Valley were to replicate its success, it must have those who failed because they are the ones most likely succeed next and give down-to-earth advices to first time entrepreneurs.

Bringing a conference like FailCon to the region is necessary ingredient to build the ecosystem and I really encourage people to support idea of sharing their experiences. For those who have seen FailCon watch one of these YouTube clips.

How to Launch Your Product While Working at Company

So we’ve just shipped our first Android app followed by iPhone app.

I’m using a word “we” here because it’s work done by a team. However, truth is I wrote every piece of code by myself alone including UI and graphics. How did I do that while having full-time job? How did I manage to launch MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in short period of time? Well, here are few tips.

1) Spend two hours on coding before you go to work.
2) Test your app before you go to sleep.
3) Show what you have done during weekdays to your friend on Friday.
(Hence, you will receive some feedback by Monday morning if you are lucky.)

That’s all. Too simple and easy? Then try it for yourself. You will soon discover that two hours everyday add up to ten hours by Friday, which is almost equivalent to one full working day. Then you have another two full working days on weekend.

If you keep this behavior repeatedly and regularly, you are almost guaranteed at least three days a week to work on your product without scarifying your day job. Oh, there is one important message to those entrepreneurs out there looking for technical co-founder. Perhaps, this is considered as step zero.

0) Learn how to code.

I often see people building their product after they go home and working until midnight. That kind of behavior only works for night owls, and I usually don’t recommend it. Your brain is most awake in the morning so use it when it’s at the peak. Moreover, working until midnight isn’t good work-life balance at all.

Plus, I recommend you work out at least once or twice a week just to keep yourself refreshed.