Pitching and human nature.

And so last Monday we had a lot of external parties who came to pitch their project ideas to us. I read about Prof Ben’s comment on Joey’s blog that the pitches are actually more about the problems out there that people are trying to solve.

In fact, most of Joey’s comments on the startups in Singapore revolves around other different startups that have similar, if not the same, ideas; and whether they’re still running or have died down. If they’re still running, good for them in the successful way but bad for them that someone’s already trying to solve the same problem in a different region – things like Module-Review.com vs RateMyProfessors, they are localized to a specific country. It’s just like Darren’s comment too – “Baidu is kicking Google’s ass in China” – I guess it’s good that people see value in others’ innovations and are trying to bring it to their local market.

If the startups have died, I guess the current new ones are trying to execute it in a different manner, and we’ll see about that.

Okay enough of that.. back to a little about the presentations I’ve heard. (I left halfway due to some matters, so I didn’t really hear the pitches from the later presenters..)

Oops, the red error line XD


I thought the concept was not too bad, building on existing social games but integrating the values that HDB wants to pass on to the younger generation into the game itself. The only problem is, I seriously don’t think Singaporeans are going to play the game, and even if they do, they probably wouldn’t actually care about the values.. I have yet to see a really successful game-learning model, and I guess everyone’s trying to find the right execution.

Household.sg! I think it’s a really good idea, and they’re doing quite well (according to Prof). I wasn’t sure what kind of help that they were trying to ask from us though. One thing I can think about is a native/HTML5 app for mobile devices; I can think of myself needing a certain household essential on my bus back, and I can just take out my phone and purchase something. I’m not sure about the delivery charge though.

My team’s using it for our HTML5 assignment 🙂 I am a little intrigued by why the app is named Chalkboard though, it sorta doesn’t feel correct to me. Otherwise, it’s cool, and useful.

Gary Ong.. is weird. To be very honest, I felt like he thinks he’s a good speaker, but he really isn’t.. I can’t comment much about the technical stuff about stocks, but what I can say is, building an app that helps people to predict market fluctuations is kind of dangerous; I can already imagine customers complaining to your company about how it’s inaccurate, blah blah blah.

Dr Dana Elliot gave a good presentation, and I guess a ‘utility’ app (literally!) is a good one to have on your phone. The only problem is actually getting people to install it into their phones (and not uninstall it afterwards because of lack of storage space).

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Yesterday we had Milton Chen, CEO of VSee to give us a lecture on.. a PhD in Human Nature, haha.

He actually came last semester in CS3217, and I have to admit I probably didn’t absorb much the other time because I really can’t remember what he said (except the same slides) last semester.

I was actually wondering whether VSee can hit into the mass market – with the good technology and ease of use (one of their focuses?) it can be a competitor to Skype. Refine the interface a little (more eye candies..?) and we have a good competitor.. But I guess the end-users they are targeting is not there (especially since Skype has such a large market share now).

Micro Learning. This is actually very true – I guess we’ve all been learning nonstop from each other since we joined CS3216, be it coding, working with partners, or time management. And about breaking patterns, I think it’s really something that you have to consciously tell yourself to do; sometimes a small thing that you tell yourself to change might just disappear because you forgot about it. It happens to me all the time. Like how I wanted to brush my teeth with my left hand yesterday night but forgot (lol). Gotta start telling myself that.

Aim for boredom. This is, in fact, the exact opposite to what’s currently happening to me – I sorta decided to do everything I am able to do nowadays, because I know there won’t be chances to participate in cultural activities once I start work (or have a lot lesser chances to). I guess I really need to give myself a break once in a while, and some random things might just pop into my mind. I’ll definitely make use of my ‘bus creativity chamber’ every Friday when I travel to attend my dance class though. 🙂

But again, I believe everyone’s who’s involved in cultural activities will share the same sentinents as Milton – the inspiration for choreographing dance steps or melody composition really comes in at the most unexpected (and often bored) time.

Live life with urgency, but do the important stuff. Two words – priority management.

Sandwich. This is kind of ‘-.-‘; it’s like me telling another guy ‘I’m trying to be subtle, I hope you didn’t notice it, but you probably did, but you’re not as hurt as if I go straight to the point’, but hey, whatever works right? I know that I am especially bad at communication, in the sense that I always have no idea how to portray my idea across in an effective way, so I guess this is something I need to pick up.

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I’ve learned (the hard way) that taking up too many commitments is not good, especially when you realise that you start sacrificing one for the other and end up not doing well in everything. Yes, this semester.

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