Sathyvelu Kunashegaran

Special Projects Director of SEA Malaysia. Director of Infinite Ventures. Founder of Lifehack Malaysia. Malaysian Ambassador of I Talk To Strangers. Aspiring wordsmith and a coffee addict.

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The Opportunity Cost of Working For Someone Else

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Why do people choose to start businesses instead of working for someone else?

Economically, you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years. Instead of working at a low intensity for forty years, you work as hard as you possibly can for four. This pays especially well in technology, where you earn a premium for working fast. - Paul Graham of Y-Combinator.


Let me illustrate the point above with some simple calculations:

Assumptions

  1. Say you are working in a Fortune 500 company as an executive (you graduated two years ago from an Ivy League University or Oxbridge)
  2. You are getting paid RM 6,000 per month or RM 72,000 per year . (We will not include the social status and the other benefits that you get from working in the company. We also exclude taxes and other related stuff to simplify the maths).
  3. You are happy and contented with your work and...

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The Horsemen of Mediocrity

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The Four Horsemen of Mediocrity

Seth Godin recently identified the four reason why people remain mediocre:

Deniability—”They decided, created, commanded or blocked. Not my fault.” Helplessness—”My boss won’t let me.” Contempt—”They don’t pay me enough to put up with the likes of these customers.” Fear—”It’s good enough, it’s not worth the risk, people will talk, this might not work…”

which in turn inspired me to make this H.I.P.

Destroy Mediocrity with Creation

Are you happy with just fulfilling the minimum requirement because being remarkable takes too long?

Do you find yourself justifying what you are doing by saying, “that’s the way we do things around here,” instead of finding new ways of doing things?

Have you become content with the status quo, because continually seeking ways to improve is too hard?

Are you okay with crappy PowerPoint presentations because it is easier than...

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The Tweet is Mightier Than The Sword

A recent conversation with a friend made me realise that with the advent of social media, each of us have our own media company right in our pocket. Hence, a new High Impact Picture (H.I.P.) to illustrate the point that a tweet is mightier than a sword. HIP3.gif

A few examples of some recent amazing tweets that I remember:-

The story - Hours before President Obama announced Osama bin Laden had been killed, Sohaiib Athar unwittingly tweeted about the May raid by U.S. forces on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.


The story - When the power went out in the Superdome during the 2013 Superbowl (San Francisco 49ers vs The Baltimore Ravens), Oreo tweeted this super smart ad. The tweet’s timing – it went out within minutes of the power outage – and its...

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Underpromise. Overdeliver.

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How to keep your customers loyal to your brand?

I think there’s a simple answer to this and that is the following mantra:

“Underpromise and overdeliver.”

Services/companies that are sticky, they actually solve a problem of the customers. Not only do they do that, but they actually do it in a better way than expected.

Hence, loyal customers.


I was introduced to this concept by an awesome book called Rework ( Amazon ) by the co-founders of 37 Signals. rework-the-new-business-book-f.jpg

Jason Fried (@jasonfried) described this as surprise and delight. In other words, to keep your boss, customers, friends, who-ever happy, you must always try to surprise and delight them. How? by under promising and then, delighting them with your surprise over delivery.


Nowadays, it’s normal for people to over-promise and under-deliver. Or, at best, deliver exactly what was promised–nothing more, nothing...

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WHY, HOW and WHAT

It’s a habit of mine to read 2 or more books at the same time. I don’t read multiple books because I’m flighty or easily bored. It’s mainly because I find life is simply better when lived among multiple books.

Last week, I was reading these 2 books and got inspired to make a new H.I.P : HIP2.png

Book 1 - Start With Why by Simon Sinek

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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (View it on Amazon).

In this book, Simon Sinek discusses what he discovered by studying the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world — ‘The Golden Circle’ .

The Golden Circle is a model that codifies the three distinct and interdependent elements (Why, How, What) that makes any person or organization function at its highest ability.

He argues that any business/leader can explain what he/she do; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly...

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Prototype > (Pitch+Projection+Plan)

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Inspired by Guy Kawasaki (Guy on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ ) who shared his views on the past, present and future of the tech industry in this engaging Q&A during LeWeb'13 in Paris.

He said:

The most important thing that an entrepreneur can do is to build a prototype as opposed to making a powerpoint pitch, excel projection, or a word business plan. When asked what is his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

He added that the most powerful presentation that you can make to a potential investor is a working prototype that is already being consumed or being subscribed i.e. demo with sign ups.

You can watch the rest of the QnA here: IMAGE ALT TEXT HERE

Who is Guy Kawasaki?

Guy Kawasaki is a special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA...

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