Batch 18 & 19‎ > ‎

Extra Lesson!

En105A does not provide me to have enough engagement time with me students. There are experience that I enjoy sharing but might not be able to do so during lesson time.  Students send me questions and some are indeed interesting and my response to them might also be a valuable lesson to others.  With permission, I shall put them up here for those who is interested to read.

Comment on Groups Blog

posted 3 Jan 2010, 02:11 by Roderick Chia

Check out the comments posted on each group.  Commence on other group might also be a good reference for your group and helps in understanding the expectation.  Note that certain comment on other group might also refer to your group though it was not commented directly under your group as I don't want to repeat the same thing too many times.  I was rather disappointed while reading these blog as it seems that many still think that they have a holiday to enjoy and do not seems to be working hard to achieve result during this period.  Holiday is the best time to work on project as you have the flexibility of timing to meet up with vendors or outside parties.  Looking at the blog, either they are not updated properly or that there wasn't anything to update since there wasn't much activities to begin with. Either case is bad.  Some team is so bad, that I think they are planning to fail this module. If that is the plan, I'll not disappoint you.
  • Touch A Heart
    • The individual blog is well updated.  The group seems to be working hard during the holiday. 
    • However, note that fund raising project is hard and net proceed to charity should be a large percentage of the revenue.  A good idea should achieve the expected 70% of revenue to charity, to ensure a sustainable endeavour. 
  • Yuniik
    • It is interesting to read Royce's response to the commence provided by classmate during the presentation.
    • This group seems to be the very few groups that are still active during the holiday.  Keep it up.
    • Chin Yeow, you need to show your work in the blog.  Currently there is nothing that I can read to know what have you been contributing!
  • FareValue
    • Why is the milestone not published?  Please follow instruction found under extra lesson on sharing document with me.
    • Project seems to be at a standstill.  Only thing worth reading is related to the emergency meeting, where lessons are learned.
    • All the individual blogs are lack of info. If you cannot get the business properly executed, at least keep the site properly updated.
  • RVCR
    • Meeting Minutes lack of detail and poorly updated.
    • There is almost no progress as a group or individual! Going on this way, be prepared for at best a "E"!
  • School of Discount
    • Project seems to start up well.  However, personal blog are not updated well.  Not much information that I can see to understand who has done what.
    • Minutes are well updated and easy to follow.
  • T-Loft
    • Project seems running well and site well updated (Shuang An, yours not updated).  Keep it up!
    • I need access to protected document under sponsorship.
    • I hope to see at least one more success selling in another University with their unique design produced by T-Loft.
  • The Currency
    • Seems like 2 months of activities  Do you really think that you can be in holiday mood?
    • If the online currency sites not up in time, the project is as good as fail.
    • Jun Jie & Xin Shuo need to really start the blogging on progress.
  • AdPetizer
    • No minutes updated at all!
    • The blog setup was somewhat disappointing.  I cannot tell the date whereby the blog was updated.  I need to see the what, how or why together with the where and when. Only then would information really be meaningful. 
    • Though I'm aware of a small milestone from CCO, I did not see it update here :-(
    • As far as the blog site is concern, this team has not achieve nor done much.
  • The Food Shepherd
    • Please refer to blogging rule no.9! The next time I have to help make your blog site public, I'll deduct points from all your final grade.
    • I need to see projected milestones not just the milestones. Meeting seems to stop after 10 October as I did not see any minutes thereafter! In fact, activities seems to stop thereafter! Is this group still alive?
    • Jonathan and Meng Hsien has been blogging.  While Rebecca has good start but bad follow through.  Ritchie seems to be the only in the group that is activity in updating. 
  • Bloc
    • Very informative blog and minutes well updated. Well done as a team. However, the milestone is not checked off and I'm not sure if work was done!
    • Wei Qi and Hans' blog start good and then stop for about 2 months! Should try to blog at least once in 2 weeks.
    •  J & J did not provide any useful info in their personal blog. If the project is a success, based on your blog, you have no contribution to it.
  • Glamz 
    • This group is going to get into serious trouble if I still do not see an progress.  There seems to be a lack of activities for about 2 months! The milestone is there to follow and track progress.  If there is a change in direction and hence milestone, it has to be reflected.
    • If I still do not see Prashant's blog, I'll reasonably assume that he is not interested in this project.
  • StepUp!
    • There is a significant gap between the milestone and progress.  Every team members are responsible to make sure that as team, progress is track closely and project delivered. 
    • I seems to have no access to the financial statement.  It is the responsibility of everyone in the group to ensure that I have access to the shared document.  If I cannot see it, I'll assume it is not there at all even if I see a link.
    • Richelle's blog is well up to date. Keep it up.
    • Kejen, it is not clear from your blog on your role and what have to done or achieved.  Need to show your hard work and involvement more.
    • Jaspal, either you are too busy working on the project and TOTALLY no time to blog or that you did nothing and nothing to blog.  Your progress, or rather lack of progress, will bring down the team. I cannot believe that, with the amount of things to be done, I see an empty blog!

Comment of Groups Blog

posted 30 Dec 2009, 23:58 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 4 Jan 2010, 02:12 ]

Expectation of individual blog updating..... MINIMUM ONCE a FORTNIGHT!

So many group don't know how to share the confidential document with me correctly. Please refer to note below on how to share a folder with me and please do it as instructed.
  • Close & Class
    • Poor update of blog.  Yee Yong didn't even start the blog!
    • Cannot see much activities for this team.  Project seems to start well but very poor follow through.
    • More effort needed.
  • SCube
    • The project seems to progress ok but individual blog lack updating.  
    • I need to know who do what and when was it done.  Please update accordingly.
    • Expected milestone is not enough. I need to see if it was delivered according to plan or if there is changes in the expected milestone.
  • Kiap!
    • This is a team that started very much earlier but doesn't seems to follow through very well.  No progress and activities for about 2 months.
    • If there are really progress then the updating on the blog clearly didn't reflect that.
  • MechWerkz Solutions
    • The team seems not able to follow through with the plan very well.  Not only that, there was no sign that the team is trying very hard to solve the problem.  
    • Don't seems to have significant activities by team members.
  • The Laprary
    • The seems to progress well but sales don't seems to be up to expectation.  
    • Need more effort in marketing to really push the product.
    • Yishu needs to put more effort on his blog.
  • CandyCreme
    • This team seems to non-sustainable energy!  The blog updated very well at the beginning and suddenly stop for about 2 months. No activities, no progress!
    • Cannot access to the financial info and not sure how your charge your client.
    • Activities progressed well over the holiday.
    • Jay needs to put in more effort on his blog.
  • My'stic
    • Allow me access to you document.  If I cannot see it, I'll assume it is not there.
    • I need to see date whereby the blog is written.  Most of the personal blog don't have date. In fact, all the individual blogs were not well updated or not event written at all (Eugene, you are really in the dark?)!
    • Don't seems to have progress for about 2 months.
  • Adlive!
    • Looking at the blog, I believe that you have good progress.
    • Milestone well updated.
    • Other than Kai Feng, the rest are doing well on their blog updating.
  • metaGenese
    • I suggest that you read the blogging rule carefully.
    • Not only did the website not provide any useful information to help me assess your performance for EN105A, it goes against the rules that I set. The rules are there for a reason.  It is to be followed strictly without compromised.
    • Please note that your project cannot be a solely R&D project and produce a working "proof-of-concept" prototype. Even if the prototype is working, you may still fail the project as it does not conform to the requirement of EN105A. I must be able to establish without doubt that you have gone through substantial entrepreneurial endeavour in your pursuit.   Currently, I'm totally not convinced.
    • Anyway, you have been warned about it and you decided to go ahead and I respect your choice but you must also respect the possible consequence. 
  • Triohapp
    • Milestone well updated and commented when that are changes. Good work on this.
    • Why is Joelyn not updating the blog after the exam.  Does it means that only Mel and Hailing working on TRIOhapp?
    • Looking at the quality of the Triohapp website, I'm worried that the online store will do badly.  It seems that flea market can do better than online, which is not the what this project initially planned for.

Sharing confidential Document

posted 9 Nov 2009, 20:12 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 1 Feb 2010, 20:25 ]

The will be lots of document that you are not prepared to share publicly but I have to have access to them so that I can conduct my evaluation of the progress.  This is what you should do.  The figure (click to see enlarged version) below helps you to understand the process of doing so. You need to create a shared folder. The name of the shared folder shall be standardise so that I know where it comes from.  The naming convention shall be "Group number - Group Name". Then share your folder with me and NTC.  Make us viewable but no right to edit.  Give your team members the rights to edit. Then click Add without sending invitation (I don't want to receive mountain of email) and OK. Then you can throw all document of En105A into this folder and you can be certain that I can view them.  Please note that I will only refer to files that is directed from the project blog site.

Entrepreneurs' Guide

posted 9 Nov 2009, 19:54 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 9 Nov 2009, 20:09 ]

Entrepreneurs' Guide to Planning, Starting and Running a Business in Singapore

I notice that that some the participants has problem deciding if you need to register a business and how about doing so. Some may even be very concern on legal implications and want to do things right from the start. The best resource I can share will be a 76-page document prepared by SPRING in 2005 to guide Singapore Entrepreneurs.  I believe that this will be extremely useful to some of you. The right column gives the table of content of the document.

For general knowledge on doing business in Singapore, you may refer to

Hope that you find the resource useful.
Table of Content

1. Planning a Business
    1.1 The Business Environment
    1.2 The Business Plan
    1.3 Contacts and Information Resources4
    1.4 Useful Business Resources
2. Starting a Business
    2.1 The Business Entity
    2.2 Business Registration / Company Incorporation
    2.3 Licences and Permits
    2.4 Business Premises
    2.5 Intellectual Property
    2.6 Useful Business Resources
3. Running a Business
    3.1 Employment
    3.2 Taxation Matters
    3.3 Finance Management
    3.4 Dispute Management
    3.5 Business Expansion
    3.6 Useful Business Resources

Email from Hans Christian Sulistio (26 Sept 2009)

posted 3 Nov 2009, 00:01 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 3 Nov 2009, 00:07 ]

Hi Roderick,
I am Hans from minor E batch 19, just now asked you about the web thing
If possible, I just wanted to ask some personal questions, unrelated with EN105 :)

Sure. However, I may not response fast on such issue as it is not related to EN105 so I would only do so when I'm free.

I read your story on
It is said that
I don't try to hide things and feelings- I openly say out and discuss. A lot of them don't dare to discuss, for example money issue. At the beginning, I already discuss with them.
For me I find it a bit unconventional, but I agree with you - I think it is the correct way to do things.

1) How do you openly engage people about money? Because sometimes it seems a bit awkward for others to discuss about money at start. And sometimes I have less clear standing ground when I want to discuss with people with the sharing of wealth - because I am not sure what is the market price. Is there any way to check market price? Is it through your networks?

If anyone not comfortable to discuss about money issue, than you'll have problem being an entrepreneur.  I'm personally not very concern about money and I was not driven by it.  Other than in business, I seldom take about money issue.  I know clearly that in business money is 1 of the very important component and without it business cannot move.  All the partners must share the same believe and must be willing to discuss such issue for the welfare of the company.  It is important to start to understand what is it other's money value system.  Different people see money differently and have different system in determining what is consider worth it and what is not.  Some people put high value in entertainment and feel that it is worth to spend money in it and consider that as investment but other may think that it is a waste of money and feel that it is simply fulfilling the other parties' need for enjoyment!  If such issue is not discussed up front or you have absolutely no idea of each others' money value system, there will be conflict in future and friendship will be affected.  However, once such issues is addressed and all agree to a common standard then such conflict will be reduced.  It is important for partners to have very clear idea of each others' motivation to start a business.  If the motivation is not aligned, it will also definitely end up with breaking up.  Some are good at sharing hardship but not sharing wealth.  Is is important for you to know yourself very well and be very honest to yourself.  Many people don't know themselves or have not been very honest in confronting themselves to find out the inner truth of themselves.  You need to start with yourself and see the man in the mirror before you are able to open up such topic for discussion.  Are you one that feel happy if your friends end up making more money than you or will you end up being jealous.  Even if all put in the same hardship, certain position will end up being more recognized and more financially rewarding.   This many result is difference in wealth allocation.  How will everyone feel about this?  I bring friends into my team because I like to see them do well in life and I'll be very happy for them.  Not everyone think the same so if there are difference and yet all can come out with a consensus then you can still work together.  Some team id design for 1 off project and not long term partnership.  One just need to be very clear on this.  As for market price, I assume that you are referring to market salary.  Check out Kelly research for an indication.  There are also some benchmark that you can find but all this is just indicative only.  If you hold a position that demand a high pay but if you did not match up to the demand of the task for such position, should you still deserve to get such pay?  This is just 1 of the question that you may need to bring out for discussion.

2) If you are planning a venture, how long do you usually plan an idea, before you engage your potential partners?

I'm always in content thinking.  I share my idea with friends and get their excitement and buy in.  If I cannot excite them or convince them, then I cannot be a good leader. Sometime by talking and sharing then you can formula your idea.  If you think that you idea is very great and don't dare to share, then as far as I see, the idea is mostly nothing special.  A real good idea is those that depend on good execution and cannot be copy easily so sharing will only have more to gain than lost. 

3) Do you have to be the "master of the subject" before you engage in a venture?

Master of subject comes with time. Well you might not be a master for a start, you must have enough detail research into the subject matter. Else you don't even know of the lingo and industrial norm to being with.

4) I read about how you managed to stand 2 years with no salary. But no salary means no capital to invest in business right? How do you get your first capital? Do you think it is socially acceptable to "loan" from parents?

I comes from poor family and we only start our venture with $500 capital.  With I work full time on the venture for 2 years without salary, I can still give tuition part-time over the weekend.  I've been teaching since my JC time and I earn my pocket money for my education. I can easily make $1800 per month just by teaching over the weekend. So basically, I worked almost everyday for few years.

5) Do you have a mentor before, when you start your venture?

I only hope that I have mentor to guide me just like I spend time guiding students.   I have to learn everything myself.  I have to get involved at association to gain contact so that I can see how they work and learn indirectly from them.  Many of my learning is indirect, ie. I learn by observation and inference. 

Thanks a lot! :)

1-5 of 5