Taking a Break


With COVID and WFH situation, I realize people are working more as there is no forced breaks like an hour long lunch that you usually have in the office. People tend to eat quickly and go back to work (at least in the company I’m working at)

We are 5 months in (from early March) and I’m already seeing signs of fatigue and burning out from people. This is why I’m proposing a proper break (definitely should use this long weekend) and even taking annual leave despite COVID.

We definitely can’t go anywhere during this pandemic, but you can use a few days not thinking about work and not working (checking your Slack or e-mail). I’m (finally) taking my annual leave in August and hope to recharge then.

This also marked the end of my daily blogging challenge, I will be posting less starting August (probably weekly) and I’m trying out to create newsletters and also putting my writing on KaryaKarsa and Trakteer to A/B test those platforms.



Freedom is the most underrated thing in the world. Sometimes because of privilege this is something that taken as a given not something you fight/earn.

Freedom is also expensive. Meaning that sometimes in order for you to become free:

Free to eat whatever you want, whenever you want

Free to take a break and go wherever you want

Free to say whatever you want to whoever you want

You need to become rich or came from money to do that. There’s a term in the TV Series ‘Billions’ where they call it a “Fuck you money” meaning that you’re rich enough that you can curse anyone you’d like to.


Financial Planning


Didn’t really want to put more oil to the bonfire but seems like intriguing for me to write here as a reminder for myself. By the time you read this you must’ve already heard about the case with J Financial Planner that is super famous on Instagram.

My take:

  • Classic Indonesian pitfall where we trust branding over substance, even with something we work hard for: Money.
  • Fraud seems like a recurring theme in Indonesia, it’s not even that long since Jiwasraya
  • Education and lack of intent to read are big part of this problem
  • Financial planning is not rocket science if you read enough and ask enough people, it’s not something you need to go to the doctor to be able to receive “treatment”



I had a great conversation with my ex-boss and acquirer Suwandi, CEO of Mekari, on this podcast.

Some of the highlights:

  • Subscription isn’t a new business model, we’ve been subscribing to newspapers, magazines, cable tv, or even utilities like electricity and water
  • Payment is key to unlocking this business model, the easier/less friction it is to create recurring payment, the likelier this business model will succeed in a particular country
  • Subscription is a way to lock-in your customers, for example if I only have $15 for content subscription budget, I will only be able to pick one between Netflix, HBO Go, Disney Plus, and more
  • Subscription also works as a way to create behavior loop as proven with Amazon Prime. Customers with Prime are buying more things compared to customers without prime.
  • As generations change, ownership became something of a luxury or perhaps, an option. Subscription helped with this transition.


Put Your Hands Up


Putting your hands up can mean one of these two things: either you’re surrendering or you’re celebrating.

In today’s sermon, Pastor Brian from Hillsong said that despite the current circumstances and all the limitations we should see opportunity. We should put our hands up and surrender in Jesus.

But not forever, as we seize our opportunities. As with the way Moses supported Joshua by putting his hands up holding the staff, Joshua was winning!

In the end, we will putting our hands up, celebrating our win in God.

Premier League Draft


A little bit different from my typical posts but since it’s Saturday and we are having the final fixture of Premier League on Sunday, I’d like to write my thoughts on Premier League Draft.

Fantasy Premier League has been around for a while and just like any fantasy teams in other sports, it can be fun but after a while people lose steam and churn/became disinterested.

Then came draft 2 seasons ago, I finally could understand why NBA or NFL drafting is interesting. I’ve been doing and participating in Paid FPL Draft for 2 seasons and really — drafting is one of the most anticipated day of the year for me.

Do you play FPL draft?

Human Resource


Recently I had this discussion in one of the calls I had with people who are researching the HR/tech space in Indonesia: “What is HR problem? What are the problems that they face?”

My answers:

  • When people see HR, they don’t see people champion, they see the king or queen of admins doing administrative stuffs
  • And so, they are treated as such, they are part of cost center and it’s just a support function, with little to no budget to improve
  • Management/board rarely support the expansion of this team with the reason of ROI
  • Even to purchase a software/product that can help serve HR better, it’s hard to convince management
  • As HR evolve into People Experience in US/EU – HR in Indonesia are mostly still stuck in the 90s or 2000s. They care more about certifications rather than actually connecting and helping people inside the company
  • HR are mostly firefighter = waiting when there is FIRE instead of detecting them early and solving those problems.

We need to improve and evolve HR, because organizations in the tech enabled industries rely on people, and what is people without proper HR?

Checkins or 1-1


One of my favorite sessions while leading Talenta is my 1:1s especially with the new hires. I think it’s that precious time where you just have time to share your vision, but also to really understand the people behind the job.

1:1s are also important because people always assume and they don’t communicate. This helps people to put everything on the same page.

Checkins are in a way similar, but mostly it’s between manager and people they manage. With startup pace, Checkins is crucial to make sure that managers can remove blockers in place between the team and success.



Realizing that as generations change, the urge or the capability or both to own is getting lesser and lesser. Typically because the parents or the older generation have fulfilled their basic needs such as having a home or a car.

Nowadays ownership is really an option with all the on-demand and subscription services:

  • You don’t need a car/motorcycle because there’s Uber – or in SEA: Grab/Gojek
  • You don’t need to buy a house because there’s Airbnb/Travelio/name your co-living in Indonesia
  • You don’t need to rent expensive office – you can co-work
  • You don’t need to buy videos or movies, you can Netflix
  • You don’t need to buy shirts, there is Styletheory

I won’t be surprised if there’s a lifestyle subscription service that let you pay an amount monthly, and you’ll get to pick latest macbook, iPhone, with Netflix, spotify, included. Same goes with housing or fashion or food.

This is good, because we are producing more than what we can consume now and we need to consume less and instead try to share more?

Pension Funds


I live in a region and in a country where we skew towards young demographic. With that reason, conversations around dinner table or lunch break are rarely about how or when are you going to retire.

If we see the West, whether US or EU, they have a huge pool of retirement funds which are also being invested in innovations through VCs.A little bit out of topic but despite SEA is still in an early phase of tech startups, it would be even better if we have more pension funds invest in startups indirectly rather than only family offices or conglomerates.

In Singapore, (please CMIIW) CPF is 30% of salary this helps you to not only save for your retirement but also to buy your government subsidized apartment. Pooled fund is also invested in a very transparent way if you see Temasek and VC funds created by them.

While in Indonesia, BPJS Ketenagakerjaan only requires 1% from the employee and 2% from employer to cover this. This is definitely far from enough. Which is going to prolong sandwich generation where people only rely on their kids to live after they retire.