Monday, April 14, 2014

Do We Need Business Incubators?

I just got back from  InnovFest 2014 reception (dinner). One of the frequently questions I got was if I were from a business incubator. I said I am not. I am just a technopreneur and a mentor for several startups.

Then, I keep on thinking, do we really need a business incubator?

Business incubators are similar to incubators used for premature babies. They are used to give those babies fighting chance against the world. The same thing for business incubators. They help startups.

If you have a baby, would you dream to have your baby going through incubator? Probably not. You want your baby to be healthy and can face the world. But, I have a feeling that if somebody (you) starts a start-up, he (you) would like to get into an incubator. Strange.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Election Day, Today

Today, April 9, 2014 is election day in Indonesia. While many people will not vote, there are more people who are going to election booths. You'll see lots of tweets (twitter of course) and posts on Facebook, Path, and the like.

Myself? I have just got back from voting booth a few minutes ago.

God Bless Indonesia ...

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Linux, HFS+, Nemo, and Nautilus

I have Linux (Mint) as my main desktop and Macbook (Mac OS X) as my mobile computer. To backup these machines, I have an external disk which I formatted using HFS+ format. Following instructions, I disabled journaling for this disk.

This morning I tried to copy files from my Linux machine to the external disk. It won't allow me, saying that the disk is read-only. Hmmm... I checked and double checked that the format is correct and that journaling is tuned off. I tried to create a folder and it failed also. Obviously.

Then, I decided to open a terminal session and create a simple file on the external disk; "touch junk". It worked! So, the disk is already mounted read and write. I tried to copy files again and it still didn't work. Puzzled.

What if the problem is with my file manager? I am using Nemo. I installed Nautilus file manager just for the heck out of it. Copying files with Nautilus worked! Strange ... but at least I have a solution for my backup purposes. I still don't know why, though. I'll investigate later, I need to do some backups now.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We Invented Selfie

The world fall in love with selfie. Even selfie has become a word in English dictionary recently. What you don't know is that we, Indonesians, "invented" selfie.

For years young Indonesians - especially girls - take mug shot of themselves and post them in their facebook profiles. They even have certain style that I cannot explain. I just cannot describe it. (Later, when I know how I will update this.) But, trust me, we know our stuff. Selfie is our thing :)

I saw an interesting article this morning, a comparison between selfie styles in different cities. Oddly, Jakarta or Bandung is not even in the list. They got it wrong!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Looking For Flexible Email Clients With Multiple Accounts

Here's the deal, I have (too) many email accounts. Each mail for different purposes; teaching, business, (community) public services, personals, and testing. Aside from my gmail / yahoo accounts, these email accounts reside on many mail servers, some of which my own. On one machine I have multiple outgoing email addresses and one (or two) incoming emails. The different email addresses are mainly aliases.

I use all kinds of email clients. Currently, I use mutt and Thunderbird. In the old days, I used elm, mutt, Pegasus, and Eudora. In the old email clients I can set the outgoing email address to whatever I want. Currently, this is not working with Thunderbird. It is limited to ONE username per server. (Maybe it is a way to protect users from creating fake email addresses?) How do I force it to use multiple user one one server?
(Update: this is solved by "Manage Identities" configuration in the Account Settings.)

Anyway, should I roll my own Mail User Agent (MUA)? or stick with Thunderbird (with the above solution)?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

WhatsApp vs Telegram

I guess I congratulate WhatsApp too soon. Not long after WhatsApp is bought by Facebook, the system went down. (At least a couple times here in Indonesia.) As I mentioned in previous post, many Indonesians are using WhatsApp for many things (as a backup of SMS/text msg).

When you depend on a system and the system is down, you're angry. And in this particular case, looking for another solution. Fortunately, there's Telegram. I am pretty sure that MANY Indonesians are installing Telegram right now. I do. This is the moment for Telegram to seize the day. I am pretty sure that their traffic will increase significantly. (And perhaps for Twitter or Google to buy Telegram!)

One of the features Telegram puts forward is secret chat. With the new Snowden-era I am sure that many would like this feature. Although, Indonesians are not so into privacy. Cost - in this particular case, Free - is the main feature. Second is small footprint (so it can run on inexpensive devices). Way to go Telegram.

and now, let be go back to my cellphone and configure Telegram.

Update: It is confirmed that many users are rushing towards Telegram. And, it caused Telegram problems. Ha. (See their twitter status and this: they were getting 100 requests per second.)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Buying WhatsApp Is The Right Thing To Do

Facebook surprised many people by buying WhatsApp. Some people questioned the move, but I think it is a good move. Here's why.

In Indonesia, BlackBerry and its BBM used to be the number one messaging platform for mobil users. Since there are more than 100 million mobile users in Indonesia, the market for mobile messaging is significant. BB captured the first market. At that time, it is the only available solution.

Then came WhatsApp. We embraced it right away. The reason is that we do not have to use BB devices to run the application. Remember that BB devices used to be expensive (but, people bought them for social status and lifestyles) and you have to use BB services. Not nice. That makes non-BB users addopted WhatsApp quickly.

Personally, I don't like messaging on my phones since I tend to get quite a number of messages. I leave that to my emails. (I receive 500 emails/day.) But, people are organizing many things with WhatsApp. I have no choice but to use WhatsApp. It's free and works on my cellphones. I have no reasons to say no (like I used to do with BB).

Facebook is also (still) the number one social media in Indonesia. Although it is gradually being replaced by twitter. Facebook (#1) + WhatsApp (#1). There you go. It's all good. (Another good move is actually for Twitter to by WhatsApp - and that will kill Facebook in Indonesia.)

Congratulations to Facebook and WhatsApp for the right move. I hope you guys provide good services for us here in Indonesia.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Failed Startups

Tomorrow, Monday, I am giving a presentation about (my) failed startups in an entrepreneurship class (EE, ITB). I started many tech companies since early 90s. These days I do mentoring for startups (and thinking of starting up); on and off campus.

Thinking of what I am going to talk. Hmm... I just tell them stories how I started my first ones in Canada and why they failed; the (inventions) ideas are to early. Then, I will talk about my startups in Indonesia; what works and what doesn't work. Let's see if we can have a good discussion.

I hope I can inspire them to become entrepreneurs and at the same time they can avoid mistakes that I made. See you in class.

Eruptions ...

Here's a short news from Indonesia. Kelud (or Kelut) erupted. This is a volcano in East Java. The eruption is big. Here, in Bandung - West Java, the sky is cloudy and a tiny layer of ashes are covering the city

I hope the people in the are safe and can get through this. Our prayers are with you.

Before this, recently, Sinabung in North Sumatra also erupted. We're living dangerously in Indonesia.

Related post: Kelud and Sinabung (from the Atlantic)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Rainy Days

It's still rainy season in Indonesia. Well, in most parts of Indonesia. Everyday is cloudy. Gloomy. Rain pours everyday. And the result is flood. Arrrggghh.

The feeling is similar to having too many snow during long winter season. Depressing, isn't it? Now it is time to listen to Carpenter's "Rainy Days dan Mondays."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Selfie is not new, selfie stick is

The term "selfie" has becoming more popular these days after head of states took portraits of themselves (selfie) and was captured by news media. But, in Asia countries - like Indonesia - this is nothing new. Sic selfie photos have become part of Indonesian cyber culture since day one.

Few years ago I often take pictures of my self and post them on various social media. I wasn't thinking. Then, there were problems (of people abusing the photos, stalkers, etc.). Now, it is my policy of not to post selfie. In fact, I don't take pictures of myself anymore.

What's new? Selfie stick - also known as Zuckerberg selfie stick - is becoming popular. What is it? It's a stick where you can mount your digital camera at the end of the stick. You can take pictures of yourself (or with friends) without the help of other poeple. Go search the internet for it. You know what I mean. No, I won't buy one!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Indonesia, Social Media Heaven

Just found the following slides in slideshare, "Indonesia - the social media capital of the world" by On Device Research. Interesting ... The data are correct.

Although, at the end of the slide, the address is not in Indonesia. Yeah, I know. I keep on hammering this issue. You have to be in Indonesia to understand Indonesia (Indonesians). Where else would you be?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Path's Deal and Indonesia

In past post, I mentioned that Indonesians love Path. Sure enough, Path closes funding deal led by Indonesian's company; Bakrie Global Group. But, we have to realize that Indonesia's cyber space is a fast changing environment. That's why - as I said many many many times - you have to be here, physically in Indonesia to know this.

People are not flocking to Path anymore. In fact, I have uninstalled Path. And many have done so, leaving Path. It's just a short infatuation. Unless, Path is doing something, it is dying. Go down here. Talk to the people here. They are your main users!

Most people think that sharing things in a close user group is the main thing. Thus, Path. But, most Indonesians do not care about privacy. They want people to see their postings (text, photos, etc.). The more people see the postings, the better. And you cannot do that if you post to just your friends.

Update. After this news, there are plenty of funny "news", jokes, etc. about this. (Lots of joke pictures on twitter! Link in Bahasa Indonesia.) People outside Indonesia do not know that Bakrie groups have big problems in Indonesia. The biggest one is the Lapindo disaster that they have not been able to recover. (Google this.) Thus, many people will uninstall Path because of this.
Embedded image permalink

image from: twitter @treecore

The second one is that Aburizal Bakrie is intended to run for president candicy, from the Golkar party. (The joke is that the color and logo of Path will be changed to yellow and has some kind of Golkar's logo feature in it. For example this image taken from Twitter.) People who are from different political background my not like Path because of this. How many? I don't know. Perhaps people don't care? Maybe. Would you take a chance on it?

I hope people in Path know about these. Would you know about this if you're not in Indonesia? I doubt it. Path is getting $$$, but people are leaving the application. What to do?

People are still in love with Twitter though.

Update part 2. See also story about this. I bet, people from Path do not know about this.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Beautiful Bandung

Took photos this morning. Just around our house. The weather just perfect; bright, cool, breezy. I just love Bandung. Good morning folks.

The view from our house is now blocked by this structure :(  Oh well. Perhaps it is a structure to search for ETI? Or maybe this is part of NSA's interception post? ha ha ha.