Posts Tagged ‘business development’

Attitude matters

I recently read a plea by a fledgling entrepreneur trying to build a global company, who’s been through a bunch of startup competitions, “But struggling on getting grants or investments from local VCs/Angel.”

I recently saw a customer get annoyed with a service provider she had been using at length, only to rally a “hate page”. However it never garnered too much as there was an odd flair to the way she wrote.

In business or in any inter-personal relationship, attitude matters.

You may have the best private security system out there, but if you have a shoddy attitude, you will get no users. You may have the best cause out there, but if you have a shoddy attitude, you will not get followers. You may have the best piece of software out there since sliced bread, but if you take on an aggressive attitude, you may not get as many users as you had hoped for.

Think about how you portray yourself to others, and if need be, improve your attitude. People are a forgiving and forgetful lot.

Malaysians its time to support your local business

RechargeGabey Goh (editor at Digital News Asia) couldn’t have said it better in her column in The Star: A nation of beta-testers. It just got re-published on DNA.

I have consciously decided that when I’m in KL, I’ll only spend my money with businesses that support other local businesses. So with a place like Jaya One, its pretty easy for me to pick only a ChopChop merchant. Its also allowing me to find indie coffee merchants – so the app is aiding my discovery of other local businesses. Why this decision?

Malaysians: when was the last time you looked at something and said, I’m buying/doing/getting/trying this because its Made in Malaysia? We lack a sense of nationalism for many reasons, no thanks to our politicians. People prefer to buy Tupperware over Swordman. In Australia, buying Australian Made is highly encouraged. In the USA, people love it when production comes home. The Swiss are proud of their items. 

Now, Malaysian businesses/startups as a consequence suffer from this sort of mentality. By not trying Malaysian made software, it hurts Malaysian made software producers. I’m not saying you should aid (via crutches) these folk if they cannot compete with an international product. I’m all for trade over aid. Gabey agrees on this too.

But for me, I look at it this way. We all know & love Foursquare. You as a business can offer mayor bonuses or bonuses on every first checkin or every 5th checkin. Great. But as a business owner why not try loyalty products like ChopChop at the same time? Its proudly made in malaysia, and you’re helping a malaysian business succeed (just like they’re helping you, a fellow malaysian business succeed).

Gabey continues to state that if you try something and if it doesn’t work out, don’t hesitate to provide constructive criticism. I totally agree. I’m sure the local business will even give you a free service or something valuable in return.

To all the haters that claim that all malaysians do is copy stuff, I will humbly ask you this: you may copy and call it lazada/zalora, and every inch of the design might look alike. Can you copy their back-end logistics? Can you copy the requirements of going into the local market (ads, events, etc.)?

Let’s consciously support local businesses & efforts. Its hard enough for the entrepreneurs to deal with the myriad difficulties that come with having to conduct business in Malaysia. Let’s make it a little easier.

(I don’t get any gains from talking about ChopChop. I’m truly a fan of this product. I’m truly a fan of the team.)

Maxis on the anti-SMS-spam bandwagon

It was reported recently that Maxis (my current mobile provider of choice), will offer an anti-spam service for cellphones.

Once you get MessagePlus, which costs RM1 per month, you can start blocking spam. Where do I get most of my spam from? Maxis information services!

So, while this magical service is the first in the world, is this just because Malaysia lacks an extension to the Do Not Call Register?

MessagePlus also includes an auto-reply feature for SMS messages. Think of this like vacation mail, in traditional e-mail. Vacation mail that costs money – you’re charged on a per SMS basis, ranging from between 5-15 sen per message.

It seems Maxis has a new business development manager, Nikolai Dobberstein. And the idea of sending spam, and charging folk to stop receiving the spam, seems like its just gold! Excellent idea for business development, I’m sure.

Me? I’ll live with the spam. And when mobile number portability shows up (find link), I might move to another sensible provider.

A useful statistic? Malaysia’s SMS use is ranked at sixth in the world, for total SMS volume.