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 mig.me.

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?

Everday XPath - Operators

This blog post is part of a series on XPath. The content comes from my ebook EverydayXPath. Part of the content from the book will be released to the public as blog posts. In this post, we explain what XPath does. We disect the components of an XPath expression. And why the context is the key to forming the expression.

Everday XPath - Node Test

This blog post is part of a series on XPath. The content comes from my ebook EverydayXPath. Part of the content from the book will be released to the public as blog posts. In this post, we learn about the only mandatory part of the XPath expression: Node Test.

Everday XPath - the Expression

This blog post is part of a series on XPath. The content comes from my ebook EverydayXPath. Part of the content from the book will be released to the public as blog posts. In this post, we explain what XPath does. We disect the components of an XPath expression. And why the context is the key to forming the expression.

Writing an Ebook

I spent the past 3 months writing an ebook: EverydayXPath. The idea came as I needed to write a Selenium script. Naturally I needed to use XPath for selecting nodes on the web page. As I was googling for solutions, documentation on XPath felt inadequate. I needed good examples and coherent explanations for the various operators. XPath and CSS are the two common query languages for querying XML/HTML documents. I felt there is a opportunity for a niche product. Let me share the setup I used for writing the ebook.

A Firing

I was hooked by the documentary series: Chef’s table. Each episode is about a famous chef. What hooked me was how human each of them was. They are not famous by default. Everyone of them had their struggles. Each of their journey to the zenith was hard. Perhaps it is cultural. We are taught to portray ourselves as successful, taught to hide our own imperfections. If Chef’s table is angled to show how good the chef was, how talented they are, I wonder, would the viewer relate personally to the chef? It is because they are imperfect and everyone is, that they connect.

Likewise, I am hardly perfect. I’d like to share a story of one of my failures. I’m seeing some of the people around me making the same mistakes. In my naive thinking, my stories might prevent the reader from falling in the same pothole. We should learn to celebrate failures. What failure is worse than being fired?