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Archive of ‘business 2.0’ category

Meeting Lee Chong Min from CMIA Capital Partners

I was in Singapore’s CBD (Central Business District) today meeting up with a friend and bumped into Lee Chong Min, managing partner at CMIA Capital Partners, a private equity firm based here.

It was somewhat of a blast from the past, as I’d initially met Chong Min in 2000, when I was still a reporter covering the tech and Internet sectors.

At that time, he had been investing in tech startups, and two of the companies I covered: Pinnz (a Voice-over-IP play) and Aretae Interactive (a web design/development studio) were among his investments.

Following the bust in dotcoms in 2001, I left the field of journalism to help run the operations for a business owner I knew, and along the way, fell into consulting and later, Internet marketing.

It’s probably a matter of spotting trends that let Chong Min to invest in China plays. According to media reports, his private equity firm invested about US$600 million in more than 20 China growth companies. The firm’s investment yielded a gross internal rate of return of more than 54 percent on its investment capital.

The company seems set to continue investing in SMBs (small and medium businesses), better known as SMEs (small and medium enteprises) in the Singapore context.

It’s plans to co-invest in property and food-related businesses shows a shift from having invested in high-risk high-reward tech plays, to more conservative investments with more regular cashflow and stability of earnings.

With capital markets tightening up, it seems to make sense to build a portfolio around secure investments before adding higher risk tech/telco/media plays into its portfolio.

Pro Game Gear Manufacturer Razer scores coup, lands deal with Microsoft Corp

Razer HabuCounterstrike, Painkiller, Battlefield 2, Half-Life, Quake, Guild Wars fans rejoice!

High-end gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer USA Ltd just announced today at Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, a joint effort with Microsoft Hardware to design and develop next-generation computer gaming peripherals.

This is a major coup for Razer, long a cult hit for professional gamers who choose Razer’s high-end gaming peripherals. Razer has taken the leading in sponsoring several professional gaming tournaments in the Republic.
They’ve jointly introduced a new gaming mouse, the Microsoft Habu.

“We are thrilled to partner with Microsoft to combine form and function in order to deliver the best gaming products possible,” said Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, president of Razer. “The Hardware Group stands out when it comes to comfort and design — and when we combine that with our years of experience in gaming power and precision, we will truly elevate the quality and overall gaming experience for our customers.”

“By partnering with Razer, we are building on our own legacy of developing innovative hardware solutions while taking advantage of Razer’s expertise in providing smart technology that elevates the PC gaming experience,” said Bill Jukes, product marketing manager for Microsoft Hardware at Microsoft. “We believe that Microsoft Habu specifically addresses the demands of today’s PC gamers, and its versatility, comfort and performance will benefit gamers of every genre.”

For more information, check out Razerguy’s blog: Razerguy on Form Meets Function

To look at the viral marketing elements of their campaign, check out http://www.notfornoobs.com

Internet Marketing Honeymoon Effect: Work with it

Before I go into today’s topic, I was to give a shoutout to my buddy, Ridzuan Ashim at XSmatter.com. Although we haven’t met IRL (in real life) yet, he was so kind to help point out that my hyperlinks were messed up in my ‘Blogging for Dummies: Singapore’s finest‘ post and also mentioning that I could change my comment procedure. It’s now easier to leave comments (you don’t have to login anymore). It’s only with the help of friends like Ridzuan and others who’re more experienced in blogging and Internet Marketing, that’s helped me build this new blog to an Alexa 662,094 ranking (as of 1st Aug 06). Thanks for the help guys.

On to today’s topic.

Have you ever done anything new that you’re real excited about? (ok, silly question).

Were you really hyped about it?

It may have been starting a new relationship, going to a new school or starting a new job.

Remember how your first day was?

Simiarly, you may have had your Internet Marketing success hopes go up after attending an Internet Marketing seminar preview. The presenter might have said something along the lines of:

  • Do you have a neuron, three fingers, one working eye and a computer with Microsoft Word? Yes! you can create a website!
  • Did you know that Bert Ingley plays Madden NFL 06 for a living and makes great money!
  • (fill in name) Internet Marketer just bought a TV station, succeeded in auctioning for a town in California, has 257 high-performance sports cars and hasn’t even driven half of them! or (insert your great achievement/expense here)

It’s easy to get mentally trapped. Get a euphoric high from hearing about this.
Darn it, if they can do it, so can I.

You might’ve signed up for the course, expecting to receive five figure paychecks like clockwork.

You go for the course, you go home, thinking to yourself, I can do this, I can do this!
You clock up 18 hour work days.
You are meeting people every day, exchanging ideas, you’re going to take over the business world.
Watch out Google, Yahoo! Ebay, Yahoo
You do this for 20 consecutive days.
You are exhausted, but never mind, everything’s just waiting for you.

You were super psyched, everything seems new, the world might’ve even seemed brighter.

Then bleep. (or hiss if you prefer)
What happened?

The Honeymoon Effect is what happened.

That’s when all the hyper, and gloss, and glamour, and thoughts of instant riches suddenly get ripped away. Cold, hard reality is revealed. You might have a ‘oh darn’ moment, or if you’re a little more honest a ‘oh shit, what have I got myself into’ moment.

What seemed possible, seems less possible. Maybe even impossible.

The honeymoon effect typically manifests itself as soon as an hour after you come up with the idea, or about a month into the project.

Is the honeymoon effect bad?
Not necessarily. It keeps out a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs.
It poses as a barrier of entry to the poseurs.

It is a double-edged sword though.
You will find yourself facing your moment of truth.
Glamour aside, is this a business you want to go in.
If not, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort, but quitting right now.

The honeymoon effect can be an effective tool to keep the team motivated.
Successful entrepreneurs are able to constantly renew this honeymoon effect for the team and for themselves.

If what you’re doing is:

  • personally meaningful
  • congruent with your attitudes, values and orientation
  • adds value to the world

each morning you come to engage your project, it’ll be with a sense of purpose and commitment.You can boost your team’s morale by doing the same for them too.

Here’re 3 specific ways to employ the honeymoon effect:

  • Focus on the macro, less on the micro: What is your mission? What is your purpose? How will you change the world? Frequently there is a focus on micro level, nitty-gritty tasks. Granted these are tiring, repetitive and need to be done, however viewed in the context of accomplishing the greater good, they are much more palatable.
  • Action=Reaction: In a positive, learning environment, hand out kudos, high fives to your team members, encourage them to give them to other team members and to yourself too. As you adopt a ‘pay it forward‘ approach, there will be a goodwill multiplier effect. Whatever you give out, will come back to you multiplied.
  • ‘What can we learn from this’ thinking: It’s inevitable to encounter negative experiences in the course of business. Some people feel down after a failure. But what’s more important is how we deal with it. Asking the question “how can we learn from this? What’s our takeaway?’ will help create a solution should the situation repeat itself (it usually does). Brainstorming and creating a solution will help yourself and the organization become bigger, better and stronger!

The Honeymoon effect is essential to all relationship dynamics, whether personal or in a business setting.

Work with it to make it work for you.

Time Mastery for Internet Marketers

Internet Marketing is a dangerous time trap.

You could be surfing the net, visiting forums, reading experts sites and before you know it, it’s 5am and you have to be up in 3 hours time for a meeting.

Is there an easy way out of this situation?

It’s not easy to regain control of your time, but the following could be helpful.

  1. Plan your time at the start of the day. Easy to do for the first 3 days. Plan how you’d like to use the day. Especially since you’re likely to be awake for about 16 of them. Factor time for eating, relaxing and doing other non-work related matters. You can have about 12 hours of productive time, so it could be challenging to plan 14 or 16 hours of work.
  2. Produce during your peak period. Are you a morning or night person? Are you at your best before lunch? After an afternoon nap? In the evenings after dinner, or maybe in the early morning when everyone’s gone to bed. Understanding your peak period and acting on it, may give you a 50% increase in your productivity. Work with your biorhythmns and your body’s patterns, not against it.
  3. Critical 20, Ignore the 80: Pareto’s principle helped him determine that 20% of the citizens of Italy controlled 80% of its wealth. Similarly 20% of the tasks you need to achieve will get you 80% of your results. Focus on the critical 20% and ignore the trivial 80%
  4. Fight the battles, win the war: You’ll miss targets during the course of the day. Is that a reason to give up? Nope, not if you MUST succeed. Keep moving on, it’s your result at the end of the day that brings you one step closer to success. Overly fixiating on micro level targets, may mean you miss the macro goals.
  5. Discipline, discipline, discipline: Time mastery isn’t easy. Nothing worth working for is going to be. (otherwise everyone walking the streets will be a millionaire) If it’s worth workng for, it’s worth suffering (if you choose to look at it that way) for.

Are these foolproof tips?

Only a fool would think so, but they’re a way to get started, so saddle up and prepare to ride into battle!

Internet Marketing and Business Success: A Mental Game

There is a major problem in the Internet Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Business Training arena.

In fact, I feel the problem is so endemic and pervasive that it singlehandedly is responsible for causing the failure of many new ventures.

It also separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.

I’m not sure why trainers don’t go through this.

Is it oversight? Or a presumption that successful people will have this quantity?

There is a lot of emphasis on the hands-on skills, and the strategy and the planning.

But there is an abject failure in addressing the mental game.

Sports psychologists have been chiefly responsible for the teams like ACS (Independent)’s rugby team prevailing against larger, more powerful Australian opponents (I’m an ACS alumni). Andre Agassi’s successful comeback is in part due to Anthony Robbins’ coaching.

They say too that athletes have an edge in business endeavors.

Although I’m not an athlete (at least not one for an extended period of time!), I have a fix on what they mean.

Any idiot can be optimistic in a positive business environment (especially at the start).

However the true test of your business acumen and mettle is what happens when the chips are down.
What happens when your funds start to tick down.

Do you have a Fight response?
Or Freeze?

It’s interesting how little we’ve progressed from our Neanderthal roots.
Almost all successful entrepreneurs are “Alpha Males”, type-A personality, fighters.
Especially when the odds are against you is the best time to fight.
You can encounter massive resistance, your chance of success might be one in a thousand, one in a million, but you still go on.

If you have the ‘need to succeed‘, success will eventually come.
Just hang in there.

Here’s where atheletes come in.
Have you ever been in intensive sports training?
After running fifty laps around the track, you come panting to the finish line.
The coach comes to you and says, ‘Man, that was below your best. Give me another 50!’

At that moment, you already feel a magnetic attraction to the locker room. You are probably staring at the coach, goggle-eyed (at least on the first occasion), but you realize the showers aren’t coming until you finish the task at hand.

So with thighs throbbing and swollen with lactic acid, you pound the track and your mind is pushing itself to the wall. Your lungs might feel like bursting, your arms feel numb, you’ve got sweat flowing down your forehead, mucus streaming out of your nose.

What do you do?

You run the first 5 laps.
Your mind counts each step. Each step made. Each step completed. Anticipating the next step. And the next. And the next.
You finish one lap.
You start on the second.
Your legs are wobbly, but you finish it.
You start on the third.
Your vision gets blurry for a moment, but you shake it off as you finish the third.
The fourth and fifth seem a little easier.
You never thought you’d made it, but you did.
It’s probably the first 5 laps you’ll ever do.

You run the next 5 laps, thinking to yourself, gee that wasn’t so bad.

And the next 10 laps feel like cake.
Soon you finish the 50 laps and think to yourself, gee, I CAN do it.

Pow! a mental barrier broken.

When they come into the business world, the barriers you encounter are cake, compared to the 50 laps.
You know that the first 5 are always the toughest.
Breaking through those means the rest although not quite ‘cake’ will be substantially easier.

And meanwhile your peers are wondering how come you’re a superman or superwoman.
Let them wonder.

Success is a mind game.

Speedlinking #2


I’m continuing the tradition my buddy, Jag Senghera, started a couple of days ago.

You can see his post here: Jag Senghera Internet Marketing Malaysia.

Here’s my speedlinks:

Jag SengheraJag Senghera : Jag is a cool guy with lots of blogging ideas and is quite an adsense expert too. Sometimes you read someone’s online postings and have this bigger than life impression of someone.I was looking forward to meeting him.He lives across the causeway and supposed to pop into town last week. didn’t get to see him. what a pity. he has a book on blogging coming out soon. any day now.
Stuart TanStuart Tan: Stuart is a guy I’ve known for the past… gee… is it 4 years or 5 years already? He’s really smart, somewhat funny and can be very sarcastic. I can’t figure out how he manages to do NLP, public speaking, internet marketing, and come out with CDs. does the guy ever sleep? I’m not sure, but you can check the time stamp on his blogs and websites (too many to count, so i randomly picked one). he’s always got lots of strange interesting ideas.
Ryan Chua ambatch seocontestRyan Chua (ambatch seocontest): Ryan is a really nice guy. and he writes really slowly. i am wondering if i should take a wager with him whether he or i will finish a book first. i’m not so worried what i should wage a prize on, i’m more concerned that i’ll win… get your book out soon, Ryan… oh yeah, he’s planning to win the ambatch seocontest, so head on to his blog, read his post and support him. ’nuff said.

Jamie and Violet Violet Lim LunchActually.com: Violet or Miss Match is going to be a mummy soon. Gee, i wonder where she finds the time. besides being the co-founder of lunchactually.com (surprise! a lunch dating service for professionals), she’s active in toastmasters, women’s entrepreneurship organization, rotary club… and finds time to work on a baby.

Rachit DayalRachit Dayal Google Adwords expert: Rachit is founder of RachitDayal.com.

He does copywriting, PPC, direct marketing. Is there anything he doesn’t do? frankly, i’m not sure. but he sure has lots of ideas. oh yeah, he’s recently taken on the vice-president education role at Raintree Toastmasters Club and also volunteer to be program director for a Patterns of Excellence NLP course. good luck to him. he might not be sleeping much.