The Startup Fluff

I’ve decided to write on a couple of startup related topics that are close to my heart. I’ve been posting these on Facebook for awhile, so I thought – why not (once again) revive my blog by doing some sharing here?


Please know this. I was a blogger known for being a troll before NS unplugged me from the internet. I like to joke, I like to be sarcastic, and that’s the voice I was used to writing. I was a fan of Douglas Adam’s style too, and always tried to imitate his voice when writing compositions.

A little bit on myself now – I’m a full time Entpreneur running a No Bullshit App Development House called Originally US. I’ve been running this for 6 months now and I’m surviving – I define that being able to have enough sleep everyday and have some spare cash to eat hotdog buns on weekends.

So here I am. Straight to the point, straight from my heart (or brain). No sugar coating. Just what I honestly feel. Read this to provoke some thoughts in your mind or read this for entertainment, I don’t care.

Oh, and I don’t do grammar very well. I consider it a waste of time. I want to get the ideas out of my head as fast as possible (limited by my typing speed, which isn’t typically faster than the mating ritual of snails) – so I went cheap on grammar. Someone in white once said, cheaper, better, faster. When I write, its, faster, faster, and no grammar. I don’t care. You shouldn’t too, you Nazi.

The Startup Fluff

I’m 26, but I’m bloody ancient. I picked up programming when I was 12 and have been launching products after products ever since. If there’s one thing that differentiates Entrepreneurs now and then (then was in 2001, right after someone decided to poke a bubble), it is the highly imaginative terms people use to refer some of the most fundamental concepts known to men.

In the past, I wrote Windows Applications, publish it on Software Directories, and I called myself a Programmer. 

Nowadays, all you need to have the INTENTION to launch something, and everyone call themselves an Entrepreneur. You don’t have to earn a single cents. You don’t need to have any users. You don’t even have to launch! 

To hit the first 20k unique daily visitors for my online game (and about 600,000 players worldwide), The Wicked Quiz, I achieved that by posting it on various forums, submiting it on various news site, SEO-ing the heck out of it and even wrote a wikipedia article on it. I went after every single corner of the internet where those interested in playing online puzzles lurk and splash my game in their faces. This is common sense.

Now, this is called GROWTH HACKING! Someone even wrote a book on this “Growth Hacking” thing and wrote about how he “Growth Hack” the sales of his Growth Hacking book! Growthaception!

I developed, fully funded and grew BookINBookOUT, an online used textbook marketplace (the mechanism is similar to today’s Carousell). I spent a grand total of $22 on marketing to grow it  to 10,000 users and then sold it. 

People now call this Bootstrapping Your Way to Acquisition. I don’t wear boots.

It used to be that media features come after success – The Straits Times approached me for a full page feature after TheWickedQuiz hit cult-like status; BookINBookOUT was featured on MyPaper after it becomes one of the top destination for local tertiary students to save some bucks on their textbooks.

Strangely, there’s this phenomenon now where people try to go to press about things that haven’t even happened. Do you go to the press to write a feature on your striking lottery before you even bought the ticket? Well, if you are an *Entrepreneur, this is the common practice now. Don’t wait – grab your friendly neighborhood journalist today!

In all seriousness, I think if there’s one thing so toxic to the startup “scene” now (oh, they call it a scene now!), it is hype.

Misplaced hype by making something seem more impressive than they really are (read: Growth Hacking).

Misplaced hype by calling yourself a Entrepreneur before you have even scratched the surface of being one.

Misplaced hype of shouting about a dream you had – you know, it used to be that only those with Somniloquy who shout about their dreams – it is a mental disorder. Get treated.

All these misplaced hype led to unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations lead to realistic depressions.

I think Entrepreneurs deserve to dream – no doubt about it. But Entrepreneurs are also most realistic and pragmatic person around.

A little more directness, honesty, and less bullshit would be helpful in this scene. There’s always politics and white collar jobs for that, if you are so inclined. Don’t mess it up.













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