Things I Would Do at a New Startup

With the benefit of spending years at the trenches, watching decisions and their eventual impact, subconsciously I’ve formed my opinion on what I would do if I were to start building a new product.

What Is the Probability of My Child Entering Nanyang Primary or Ai Tong

Like most parents in Singapore, we leave no chance to getting to the best schools for our children. My wife wants to move closer to Nanyang Primary to increase our chance of getting a place. I did not want to do that. Our chances are high enough that it doesn’t warrant such extremes. I realised I needed to prove my point.

Why Am I Doing a Math Degree

I am applying to do a Math degree in my mid-thirties, knowing how much work that is, mindful of my work and family commitments, and not forgetting the cost. I’ve got an Electrical Engineering degree. It’s common to do a graduate degree, though a more conventional route would be to do a MBA or a Masters in Computer Science/Data science. Yet I chosen a Bachelor’s in Math.

Using More Than a Hundred Stored Procedures in Production

At my present company Courex, we make heavy use of stored procedures, triggers and functions to run our production applications for over 2 years. At present, we have 258 stored procedures, 107 functions and triggers. Few companies use this many stored procedures. Would we recommend it? Yes.

Communication Skills > Technical Skills

Speaking or writing, is something I thought was basic, something anyone with a basic education can do. I felt that I was done with honing my language skills after I’ve left school. If the school thinks it was good enough to graduate, it was good enough.

Being an Early Employee at Startup That Exited

I am one of the early employees at Dropsuite, previously known as Dropmysite. Today, I was informed that Dropsuite has IPOed in the Australian Stock Exchange. Technically, it is a reverse IPO. The whole process took one year. The Australian Stock Exchange, or Australian investors, is known to welcome technology companies, which is why local technology companies choose to list there. Another local example is

It’s rare to have worked in a startup that exited. Rarer still, in Singapore. I’ve worked with 6 startups where only 2 of them exited. One(Dropsuite) IPOed, the other(Courex) got acquired. The rest closed down when the money ran out. If you are considering making a move to a startup, you can use my experience as a data point.

Running an Ecommerce Logistics Business Is Hard

I came into the logistics industry knowing nothing about it. Along the way I’ve witnessed competitors going bust(Zyllem), new entrants, competitors switching from logistics to technology(Anchanto), and more. It is a hyper competitive industry. I hope to offer an insider view of the industry, to show why it is so challenging, which hopefully will discourage new entrants, in turn making my job easier.

Should You Learn More Programming Languages?

In the book Pragmatic Programmers, the authors made a sensible recommendation: learn a new programming language every year. Each new programming language is a new perspective of solving problems. Adding more under your toolbox helps you gain different perspectives. It sharpens your technical judgment. But is it the best use of your time?

Deliberate Constraints

Two weeks ago, we removed the television in the house. The television, one of the staple appliance in every family where planners assumed that it was present in every house. It was the center of the living room. My children was spending too much time on the television for their parent’s liking. It has been 2 weeks. In the past during meal times, I see two zombies with eyes transfixed on the television; now they play with each other. Does having more things, means we lead a better quality of life?