How Baptism Changed My Life

Disclaimer: I think this post might be too religious for some, so if you think you can’t read something around that topic, I guess you can stop reading.

Today at the church our pastor, Handoyo Santoso, preached about how we should stay strong or persevere until the end. From Alpha to Omega, and he quoted this from Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

The pastor said that God nor Jesus doesn’t have a beginning or an end. He’s been there all along, and He will still be there forever. But what God meant in this verse is for us, we begin our true Christian life through Him in baptism and reaching the finish line when He came again to this world. Today’s preach or specifically this verse, inspired me to write this post.

I have been Christian ever since I was born into this world with a reason that my mom is Christian. I went to Sunday school sometimes and since my school from pre-school up to senior high school is built by Christian institution, having a class where we read bible and sing a song for God is becoming just an activity for me, just like having a sport class. Although I believe in Him, I never really give my all or put a serious thought about my Christianity.

It has to wait until senior high school, when I fell into the deepest misery ever in my life. If there was hell on earth, I was in one. I ashamed myself in front of my friends, I lost most if not all of my best friends, and the worst thing is I kept disappointing my parents. (No, it’s not about school grades, it was much much worse) I felt like there is no way up, sometimes even the thought of killing myself had became an option back then. I can’t tell you what I did, but if I do, you would look at me differently.

A couple of months after the incident, I started going to a church, the same one as the current one I regularly go on Sundays. I started to seriously pray and I just felt like there is no one else to talk to but to God. After becoming an official member of the church, I applied to be baptized. Usually you have to go for 6 straight months without any absent, but somehow me and my sisters (I have two younger sisters) were getting a call that the appointment was advanced and we were getting baptized in two weeks.

We did it. My youngest sister get Phoebe, the older one get Priscillia, and I got Joshua. I wasn’t that excited back then but when I read the whole book of Joshua, I realized that he is in fact is more successful than Moses, he got to the land of promise and most importantly, the name means: God saves. If this is an article on Upworthy, it would be titled: “You Won’t Believe What Happened After He Got Baptized”

For the past few years after I got baptized and actually wore the name Joshua on all of my internet profile also when I met new people. I used to introduce myself as Kevin but now I’d say my name is Joshua. Not just my name is changed, my entire life changed. I have managed to:

  • Work at East Ventures, one of the most active Venture Capital in Indonesia based in Singapore, headed by Willson Cuaca and Batara Eto (co-founder and ex-CTO of Mixi $5b internet company in Japan)
  • Work at Tech in Asia, the TechCrunch of Asia. Held Startup Asia conferences in Singapore and Indonesia. They have now expanded to more than 50 people and holding a Tokyo conference in a month.
  • Work at KakaoTalk, where I was the Indonesian on the small team back then as a Community Manager. Helped them to reach more than 10 million downloads, now it’s a public company (after merger with Daum) and in Jakarta it has more than 30 employees.
  • Travel to Singapore super often, back then it was a luxury to even fly to Singapore but ever since I start working, it feels like a home away from home
  • Traveled to Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the hottest destination nowadays, visited KakaoTalk office, and did almost all the touristy stuff. Went there alone, came back with more than 10 Korean friends that I met at BeLaunch 2013 – the biggest startup conference in Seoul.
  • Went to the United States for a month. Mostly in San Fransisco. Did a West Coast trip, from Hollywood, LA to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.
  • Went to Alaska with a grand cruise (to be exact it’s a Norwegian Pearl – NCL Cruise). Probably the first 21 years old from Indonesia who did this trip without bankrolled by rich parents.
  • In fact, managed to did all above with my own money that I saved from all the work I have done.
  • Went to Hillsong Conference 2014 in Sydney this summer. Sponsored by Ronald Ishak and Grace.
  • And this year also managed to raise small investment to start my own company that is trying to disrupt the HR industry through technology.

All of these were done in less than 5 years, and in fact these are just the highlight reel, I received so much more important things like friends. All of these happened after I received baptism. So, if you are a Christian, why wait so long to get committed to your faith? Get baptized and feel the difference of living with God and on the road to the Omega, which is heaven. God bless you all :)

This post might seem to surreal and feels like a bragging post (I really hope it doesn’t sound like that) but what I hope is to inspire more people. I’m still the same human who isn’t perfect and make or do sins in my daily life, but what is different is that now I make less of them, I “think” before I do it, I try to limit the sins I make. Thank you for reading this!

The 2013 Resolution

Boom, 2013 is here. I don’t know why but my 2011 was awesome, and my 2012 was legendary, so I sure do hope my 2013 would be even more superb. Now that we can move on from the end of the world as we know it, we will look 2013 as a year of new hope and to unearth potentials. I will be graduating this year, and I finally can say goodbye to school though I will keep learning through an ever-advanced technology called the internet. So here goes my 2013 resolutions:

1. Write one paragraph a day on my blog

Yes, this blog. I know that I promised to write 3 times a week back then and ended up only making probably up to 30 posts on 2012. But maybe that was the one that limits or prohibits me from blogging. I put on too much pressure. Now that I lower that bar by only targeting one paragraph a day, it might actually help me write more regularly and at the same time start the “Positive – be thankful – project”

2. Read at least 6 books this year

Again, I promised to read 10 books. I did buy 10 books probably more but I didn’t get to read all of it. So this time around again I lower my expectation to read 6 books a year which means 1 book every two months, or to put a micro perspective on it, 10 pages a day for a 600 pages book.

3. Decrease my weight by 10 pounds (5kgs)

By that I mean get fitter or get healthy-er, I gained around 5 to 6 Kgs across the year of 2012. I bet it’s because of all the bubble tea and Starbucks meetings. Not to mention my supper of Nasi Goreng around 12 to 1am at night and sleeping not too long after. I believe that 60 Kgs is my optimal weight, hopefully by the end of next year I’ll reach that goal. How? Most likely by swimming and futsal more regularly.

4. Graduate without any trouble

This is a bit (or maybe totally) different than what I proposed last year, I was all about GPA but 2012 certainly puts that perspective on hold or even disappeared. I don’t need any cum laude title, all I want to do is to graduate quickly and without any trouble in the process. I will have my last “defense” on the March then I will have my graduation on July. Can’t wait!

5. Travel more! (a.k.a experience more things)

I did go to 5 citites and 3 countries as I hope for my 2012 resolution. I went to Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), Singapore (Singapore), and Indonesia (Surabaya and Malang). Since I never went to Surabaya and Malang before, I counted them on the list. Next year I have Malaysia and South Korea on the itinerary. I kinda hope for one more country on the list, hopefully I will get that chance. At the same time I made a promise to myself to watch Girls Generation concert at least 4 times (2x in Jakarta, 2x in Singapore).

6. Personal projects

Since I will be graduated by this year. This is the year that I won’t have “school” as a distraction. I can focus on what I’m gonna do. I will start a couple of things that I think I will like to do, and at the same time contribute to the community. Hopefully, I can continue to do what I love and do more in this year.

To close this post, a verse that I got from my church to guide me this year: Phillipians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Day Number 366

Apparently, all the hype about the world ending in 2012 is wrong which I predicted on my 2012 resolutions. Although I didn’t really achieve all of my resolutions, but I made a lot of improvement both in personal and my professional life. Well,  at least that’s what people told me. I gained 7 Kilograms, and held 3 conferences in a year. Wrote decent number of articles and covered some great startups especially Rovio. So below are the overview of what happened on my 2012 (some might think this is a tl;dr) – thank you for the new Twitter feature, this helps a lot for me to recall my memories!

 

January: (or another version of this month’s evaluation here)
- Spent the NYE at the cousin’s house together with the big family. Played PES 2012 until I hurt my thumbs, dad drunk-drive us back home.
- Starting the year with all expectations on #StartupLokal, East Ventures Alpha graduation, Penn Olson’s first conference.
- Finished my Minor Project (which was supposedly to prepare us for the thesis but in fact it was harder than thesis), got a sucky lecturer which gave the whole team a “C” mark.
- Held Jakarta Ventures Night 2012, met with tons of Japanese investors and counterparts. Overseen the East Ventures Alpha startups pitched to the crowd.
- Did a moderator job with Kevin Osmond, Aria Rajasa, William Tanuwijaya as the speaker.
- For the first time in my life, I rode a train to Purwokerto (also the first time) for the Telkomsel Smart Camp.
- Attended Boost Asia Conference 2012 (has great panel which include founding team of YouTube)
- Accepted to Stanford’s ASES conference.
- Celebrated CNY plus ended up watching the Super Sunday on the same day!
- Attended Blaast launching party.
- Had an invite-only interview with Peter Vesterbacka (CMO of Rovio), turned it into article, which got covered by @TechMeme – few people in Indonesia that able to do so.
- Attended Gamelan Jogjakarta for the first time
- First tech conference by Tech in Asia, StartupAsia Singapore. First time meeting the editors and minghao, and Amelia Chen!
- Met with the famous Serkan Toto for the first time! Still keeping in touch with him until now as my mentor

February:
- Attended and covered Jakarta Founders Institute’s first batch graduation
- Helped the TIA guys settle in Jakarta, the prep for SUA Jakarta started!
- Looked for sponsors for the Stanford trip, found them!
- Had to post a disclosure after posting about Apps Foundry bought MakeMac.
- Celebrated my sister’s birthday and Valentine’s Day!
- ATM is definitely one of the best Thailand’s romantic comedy!
- Jeremy Lin sensation
- For the first time, I was stuck inside an elevator.

March:
- Covered GushCloud funding
- Attended CyberAgent Ventures’ Net Impact Conference
- Penn Olson rebranded to Tech in Asia
- Rejected for the US Visa
- SNSD released the “Time Machine” MV
- Announced Startup Asia Jakarta!
- Watched B2ST concert!
- The Raid was epic!
- Covered and attended Google Indonesia launch

April:
- Covered Tokopedia’s Series B investment
- Koprol said last words, but the employees were quickly being approached by tons of companies.
- Attended my second Echelon’s Jakarta Satellite
- My official Rovio’s employee Angry Birds jacket arrived!
- Had a blast for my 20th birthday!
- Attended my first 4SQ Party with Minghao and Willis: http://pics.lockerz.com/s/201788663
- Listened to Andrew’s and Ken’s story at Kaskus office: http://pics.lockerz.com/s/202234763
- Went to Depok for the first time, saw Universitas Indonesia huge campus. Met with the local community too: http://t.co/LjEZDzcy
- Chelsea got into the FINALE of Champions League after beating Barcelona!
- Bought TTS album!

May:
- Started the month with leaving my Blackberry inside a Bluebird taxi
- Attended grand launching of Tiket.com
- Met @fajaranugerah and Mark Wang of GEPI
- Attended the launching of Indonesia E-Commerce Association (idEA)
- Attended Qeon Interactive launching
- Attended Technopreneur Talk (featuring Lichi Wu from Millenial Media, Karaniya from VIVAnews)
- Met Evan Spytma of Popcap for the first time
- Fasting for 10 days for the Pentecost
- watched I AM (which was superb)
- Chelsea won the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (FINALLY!)
- Went to GamedevGathering at UMN
- Activated the “ticker” feature on @TechinAsia
- Covered Wego’s investment in Valadoo
- Prepping for SUA Jakarta

June:
- Interviewed by @twitalkID!
- Featured on MNC News and Kompas TV talking about Startup Asia Jakarta http://t.co/guSQr3OL
- Met more than a few Singapore startup founders for the iStart Jakarta program
- Met @csugiono, @enda, @valentmustamin, and tons more in Startup Asia Jakarta
- Explained Startup Asia conference to Marissa Mayer (ex VP in Google, now Yahoo! CEO) in person
- EURO 2012!
- Got a picture taken while riding an Ojek by Elisha http://instagram.com/p/LvSr-Xkr7w/
- Met TouchTen team for the first time, ended up going nobar together, which was the reason we got this close today.
- Took a picture with the famous Vanessa Tan http://instagram.com/p/Lvd48xklGY/
- Visited TokoBagus office for the first time, got the office tour by @Remco_L
- Gossiping with @DeaSurjadi for the first time
- Bought Diablo 3

July:
- Spain won Euro 2012 with Torres and Mata on the scoresheet.
- Olympics
- Carly Rae Japsen
- Interviewed by the Jakarta Globe: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/myjakarta/my-jakarta-joshua-kevin-networking-enthusiast/528342
- For the first time I left my Macbook charget at Starbucks PVJ, rode an ojek to get it in the middle of the night.
- Love them: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/AxXpyjRCEAEukh8.jpg
- Voted for my first Jakarta Governor election
- Covered PriceArea’s Series B funding by GREE and So-net
- Attended Steve Wozniak’s event in Jakarta!
- Announced Startup Asia BAndung:
- Watched The Dark Knight Rises!
- Went to my first wedding celebration outside Indonesia
- Partied hard at Zouk Singapore

August:
- Start of the footballing season, my weekend is back!
- Changed my twitter handle from @oleeoebi to @jshkvn
- Love that First Media now has FML
- United lost, Arsenal drew, Tottenham drew, Liverpool lost. Only City and the Blues has gotten 3 pts. GREAT GREAT 1st week indeed!
- Covered WEEKEND Inc’s launch
- Hazard started superbly on this first few matches. 1 goal, 6 assists in 3 games!
- Announced our first TiA Six Cities Roadtrip!

September:
- Helped out TouchTen team in the AFA (Anime Festival Award) – fun fun fun!
- Did TiaRoadTrip from Jakarta, Bandung, Depok, Jogjakarta, Surabaya, Malang!
- My sister left for Taiwan for her undergraduate study
- Covered GREE’s second investment in Indonesia: Bukalapak
- Met Jokowi in a padang food restaurant.
- Officially bought SMTOWN SG ticket!
- Getting visa for the Australia trip!
- Went to the Monas for the first time in my whole 20 years living in Jakarta with Anton and Karin. Played and danced around for the Jak-Japan Matsuri event

Oktober:
- #StartupAsiaBdg (although I wasn’t able to attend it)
- Got Girls Generation to say Hi to Tech in Asia readers!
- Australian visa approved
- Grandpa left us forever. Rest in Peace, grandpa :)
- Officially ending my journey at TechinAsia
- United “won” against Chelsea 3-2. MOTM: Clattenburg
- @antonsoeharyo’s birthday celebration
- Ended the month helping TouchTen in the Jakarta Game Show 2012. Having fun with the rest of game developers like Altermyth, Mintsphire, Toge Productions, NightSpade, and Agate.

November:
- Chelsea got the revenge against United just a few days after the 3-2 match
- Had a tons of fun at TarQ 2, playing Counter Strike and presenting some TouchTen games there!
- 007 Skyfall was entertaining
- #AUSTRIP to Sydney and Melbourne, best 10 days ever :D visited Opera House, Madame Tussaud, Sydney Tower, Bondi Beach and tons more. Pictures on my Facebook!
- Played together, hugging, biting, and pinching my half brother and sister :p
- Visited my first Apple Store
- Obama won the election 2012
- Rode almost all methods of transportation in Australia from planes, tram, train, to taxi.
- Pikarin Listiyanichu’s birthday
- First bowling match with dad
- Had my first wine-tasting trip
- Bought my first iOS phone: iPhone 5
- Joko Widodo won the Jakarta Governor election
- Attended a gala dinner with the Minister of Creative Industry: Ibu Mari Elka Pangestu, thanks to @yansenkamto
- #SMTOWNSG – totally worth it, helped me a bit to lower my craving for Taeyeon, drenched in rain for the last 30 minutes but it was all worth it.
- Mom opened her first physical store
- Went to KASKUS’ birthday celebration

December:
- Finally had a LOTR marathon and watched The Hobbit
- Life of Pi was one of the best movie for 2012
- Got addicted to Clash of Clans and did my first in-app purchase
- Bought FM 2013 for PC and FMH 2013 for iPhone and iPad
- Spent the last 2 or 3 weeks of December listening/talking in Hangeul.
- Dancing Queen of SNSD was released, bought it on iTunes, and can’t stop watching the MV
- FIFA 2013 was hard but totally worth it
- Chelsea beat Aston Villa 8-0
- Lampard finished the curse of Everton by beating them 2-1 at Goodison Park

Pretty great 2012 huh? And this happened exactly after an equally great 2011 – I’m soooo excited for 2013, how about you?

Houses or Places

This has been a long time coming, I have always been wanting to post about this but time doesn’t let me. Or at least, I don’t have enough time to sit and write for my very own blog.

In life, we are given options, some have more, some have less or even no options at all. In this post, I’d like to talk about Houses (buying something solid – a house, a car, a Louis Vuitton purse) or Places (buying experience – concerts, skydiving, traveling). This post is totally inspired by Derek Sivers – someone that I look up to as a role model. In this post, he said:

Wouldn’t it be more fun to never have to OWN anything, but to just have it when you need it?

I mean, of course, if you have billions of Rupiah, never mind US Dollar – it might be an exception where you can just buy anything you want and at the same time do all the experience. But for a lot of people – the middle class – including me, we have to choose.

For me, it has always been the latter instead of the former. Ever since I have been earning money on my own, I know how hard it is to do that hence I have to spend it on something that is truly meaningful to my life. I don’t know whether it’s because of my age or not but I’ve been traveling, I’ve been going to concerts (mostly kpop – yes),  and I definitely will go skydiving in the next couple of years.

Why you said? Why don’t you spend the money for fancy branded clothes and put a down payment on a car or something? I’d say things won’t affect your life, the time you feel happy owning an expensive thing is only when you’re planning to buy it, the time you actually buy it, and probably a little while after you buy it. As time passed, you will “adapt” with that expensive stuff and you know what? You will actually want something more, something new. It is a never-ending loop.

At the other hand, experiences actually shape your life. You see something that probably 99% other people in the whole world isn’t experiencing at that time. You are the few hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands that will remember this experience. Remember that Guns n Roses or L’arc~en~Ciel or So Nyuh Shi Dae concert? You’re gonna be able to tell that to your kids, your grandkids. Remember that time when you’re going to Sydney and playing on the Bondi Beach? Or when you’re eating on a roadside stall at Seoul, sipping soju and eating Ddukbokki? – all is something that you can people over and over again. Or if you’re lucky, it’s saved on a printed photo somewhere or on your Facebook so you can rem·i·nis·cence about those trips.

There has been a saying that if you want to change the world, while you’re young you should travel, you should see the world and realize that it’s not just as small as your city. There are tons of problems that this world are facing, and it is up to us, the people living on it, to do something about it.

So, do you prefer Houses? or Places?

 

Why Tech in Asia?

Each and every day, you wakes up and go to work, there should be a question of: Why do I work for my current employer? Why am I working on the current job? What is my purpose? Have I got something worthwhile out of this company? Those questions should be in your mind and if most of the answers lead you to a negative feeling, I’d say you should quit your company and start a fresh/a new.

This brings me to the question: Why Tech in Asia?

  1. To write and have my opinions/articles be seen by 1, 10, 100, 1.000.000 of people. I love English, and I love to read so that leads me to learn writing and there is no better place than an online media to do that. Although we’re a blog, we do keep the journalism ethics intact. And to simply have your writings published and seen by thousands after the publish button is clicked is just a satisfying feeling.
  2. Putting Indonesia startups on Tech in Asia map, if not the whole tech world map. If you realize, most of our news are coming from China, Japan, and Indonesia would probably come third most of the time. This is a concern for me and really pushes me to write more and cover more stories so that when people browse Tech in Asia, you will see stories about Indonesia and especially about startups from the country.
  3. I meet extraordinary and inspiring entrepreneurs & leaders almost every day. This is probably a chance that not every 19-years-old in Indonesia can get. I have met countless entrepreneurs whether it’s from my very own country or even abroad. I talked and chatted – either casually or seriously – with people who I never imagined to even meet with in the first place.
  4. To learn the successes, and the failures, of building a start-up on a first hand basis. Writing about startups has really involved me in a way where I get updated with what is happening with the startups here, although I’d want to write only the successful stories, failures always be there and as they say the majority of startups fail anyway. It really helps me to learn from them directly or indirectly.
  5. To simply build my network from ground up. Before I get involved in the startup scene, I basically just a normal university student with a dream of getting some decent job with the decent pay. I know almost no-one in the industry, but now I’d say after around 18 months blogging and networking on events, networking nights, and conferences, things have changed dramatically and network will help me when I build my very own startup later. Since the world has more and more working towards a globalization and more connected, without a right connection, even if you have great ideas or skills, you won’t get that far.
  6. To mature, on a more accelerated basis. Most of people in my age with rich parents (I’m not stereotyping, but if I do, I apologize) would probably just party hard and live the life like you will be in university/college all your life. But fortunately, I don’t have that privilege. Working in a startup really made me mature in an accelerated way because it forces you to do that. It shapes your mindset and push you to make hard decisions in a timely manner. Which leads me to number 7.
  7. To work in a startup environment. If you ask me several years ago, “would I work on a small company with less than 10 people and making less than millions of dollars?” I’d say “I’ll think about it” or maybe “Naaaah” – but nowadays I’d suggest to my friends to do that. Why? Working in a corporate structure is really old-fashioned and not really nurtures your entrepreneurial instinct, at the same time there’s always bureaucrazy and your boss will have to report to another boss. In startup, you really feel that your contribution matters, a lot, that if you keep winning, your company wins too. You will be more exposed, you will see that people appreciate your work directly instead of congratulating your boss. (P.S. I have never worked in a corporate world so I might be biased, I’m open to any million dollar paycheck vacancy so I can feel it though!) – yet at the same time I know that working in a startup is not for everyone, the challenge, the stress, and the pay might not be the same. But if you really want to build your own company, where’s better to learn than at a startup?
  8. To work for and with amazing people. When I met Willis for the first time, and first couple of months, we fought a lot. Seriously. But now I’m just simply amazed (have always been) at his work rate, his ambition, his contribution to the ecosystem, his maturity, and his none-bullshit way of thinking and speaking. I learned a ton of things from him, both good things, and bad thing such as playing Diablo 3. He’d look like a zombie most of the time yet even if I did mistakes, he would patiently tell me and told me what I should’ve done. The editors are just really the 3 people that I really look up to, although so far we only have met for work stuff, I really really do wish that the whole team can spend 1 week on a beach playing and drinking beers.
  9. It all leads into two things: Passion and Purpose. I know that passion is probably one of the most-used words lately, but it really does affect the way you work. If you are passionate about it, you will see that the work you produce is just better and people will see it too. Working with a purpose and a goal always important, and I always have a purpose of getting inspired and inspiring people. I want to see more and more upcoming young entrepreneurs from this country, whether it’s in tech industry or not. The country needs these people badly. And I hope what I’m doing would help that, bit by bit.

There isn’t a number 10 because 10 is a symbol of perfectness and startup is simply a right example of imperfectness. Hence the reason we build it day by day, scale it, fund it, so that it can work for thousands of people out there and affect their life one way or another.

I’m not gonna lie or at the same time boast, but I have been offered jobs from several companies, both foreign and local, where he/she is also working on something exciting and some of them offered a higher payroll and bonuses. I’m flattered and it really shows me that money will follow great works, but for now, I’m not thinking about money yet (I do need it, yes) but more towards what I can contribute to the ecosystem and really leave a mark before I continue to my next adventure.

Birthday Wishes

I know, I know, it sounds stupid to make a birthday wishes like almost two weeks before it actually happens. But since it’s my blog anyway, I will post some wishlist so that if God reads my blog (He doesn’t need to, though) He can fulfill all of my wishes.

  • Startup Asia Jakarta 2012 planning, sponsorship, speakers, everything is closed in a timely manner and works out perfectly!
  • Break more stories, read more books, and meet more interesting people
  • Talking about books, I’d love to get my hands on – Thinking Fast and Slow, The Power of Habit, The Undercover Economist, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Jim Collins’ books, Seth Godin’s books, Jason Fried’s Rework, Guy Kawasaki’s book except Enchantment, Douglas Edward’s I’m feeling Lucky, Richard Branson’s books.
  • I know it sounds like a lot of book, oh well, might as well requesting a Kindle!
  • Xbox 360+ Kinect
  • The all new Macbook Air 15″ and iPhone 5, perhaps also the new iPad (going all out on Apple this year….)
  • Chelsea to win Champions League and FA Cup (I know people will diss me for this)
  • Travel more, I mean really, I want to save up to travel more. Hopefully will be able to go to Seoul, Tokyo and Europe before my next birthday. (well, this is a wishlist)
  • Hundreds of more posts for TechinAsia
  • More contributions for East Ventures
  • Make a real positive change/contribution for the whole tech scene in Indonesia
  • Be more matured, professional and do 200%
  • Make my family, especially my parents, proud of me

I’ll get back to this once I have something real good to update!

March Madness

A mix between a new low of my life (or not) and some happiness spread here and there, hopefully will lead into a better month in April.

  • Covered how GushCloud raised funding and they have an office in San Fransisco now!
  • Penn Olson have officially rebranded – a lot have asked why we (or Willis) took that risk, it’s simply for the long term sake, although I love the old name but I couldn’t agree more since a lot of people phrase Penn Olson as either Penn Olsen or Penn Olsson. (sounds like a Swedish name or something)
  • Attended CyberAgent Ventures Net Impact 2012 and covered it (had fun too)
  • Announced Startup Asia Jakarta 2012 (finally!) and closed some speakers, translated the pages to Bahasa Indonesia too!
  • Rejected, twice, for my US Visa Application. Wish I could blame all of it to the bureaucrazy of the United States Embassy, but no, maybe I was underestimating the whole process.
  • Chelsea became the only team left in the Champions League after winning 4-2 against Napoli and had a great away win against Benfica, plus TORRES is BACK!
  • Watched B2ST Beautiful Show concert in Jakarta, surprisingly had a great time with several friends and ended up with 1GB (10+minutes of 720p video) fancam.
  • Celebrated my 1st year at TechinAsia. Crazy how time flew, and really happy and thankful that I’m able to get this opportunity.
  • To top the madness up, Google launched its Indonesia office (although we don’t know where yet)!

 

Is This Failure?

Yes, I have been rejected, yet again, as I have wrote in this blog I was going to Stanford pending the visa approval. I have gotten the sponsor which is no other than a place I worked at, East Ventures, but unfortunately United States Embassy in Jakarta didn’t approve my application for a B1/B2 Visa.

It was such a depressing experience, especially the first application which took place at March 9, 2012. I was so confident of getting a visa that I only bring the letter from Stanford other than the other necessary document. Apparently I got the most cynical and hardest interviewer. The grim reaper, so to speak, put a long pause after I told him that I’m travelling alone. The fact that I am 19 and graduating next year puts another dent to my chances.

The second time, I bring all the necessary documents, whether from East Ventures, TechinAsia, or even from my married cousin who already had a U.S. Passport there. Yet, i was being rejected for the second time. This time, the interviewer looks really convincing that he’s going to accept me, but I think the fact that I was rejected not too long ago made me unavailable for the visa.

Yes, rejection is always painful, especially when it’s something you have been waiting for, and got through a lot of things from the application to the Stanford itself, then rejected from the scholarship by the Embassy, I got two sponsor offers, which I accepted one of it, yet the only step that I thought was the easier turns against me and brings me back to earth.

No, this is not the ending. I believe it was just another lesson learned, it was just a chance that I missed, there will be many more that will come, maybe this year, or next year, or even the year after. One thing I know is that when I set an eye to a dream, I will never let that dream go. I’m very thankful for a very supportive friends, colleagues and everyone that has given me support. Hopefully in the coming months I can link back to this post and happily said that I just repeated the rejected experience.

I Love February

This month is suppose to be the month of love. Well, although I’m single, I do feel the warmth of love by seeing my family and of course, God as He opens up more and more opportunities for me in this month.

  • The Startup Asia Singapore 2012 was a success.  Yes, there was a glitch of course, there is no perfect event but we did quite great for our first event!
  • Celebrated Valentine by surprising my sister for her birthday (yes, her birthday is on Valentine which is why her name is Michele Valencia)
  • Covered Angry Birds Facebook launch in Jakarta
  • Met with Nadiem Makarim, the co-founder of Gojek Indonesia, a Harvard Business School graduate, honored that he is able to meet me and spend his precious time answering my questions. (We arranged quite a few meetings but the schedule was never matched)
  • B2ST Beautiful Show in Jakarta was announced and I bought my Ticket at Tiket.com and had a review over at Penn Olson. Looking forward to March 17! (I’m accompanying my friends who are girls!)
  • Had quite a brawl regarding my post of Makemac acquisition by Apps Foundry which resulted in a post here.
  • Got rejected by U.S. Embassy regarding the Stanford scholarship then I posted this on my blog. Resulted in two meetings and yes, I will be going to Stanford pending the Visa approval!
  • Spent the second half of the month doing ground work for a huge upcoming event, exciting! Will talk more about it when I can.

 

Although the list is maybe shorter than January, I believe that February is a fun lovely month and March is going to be important leading to a probably best month of the year which is April. (yeah, it’s my birthday month!)

Hey January

A great, hectic, busy but still great first month of the great year ahead. Summing up what happened over the past month:

  • Celebrated the New Year together with my family at my uncle’s house around Ancol area so the fireworks are really close and pretty because we did climb up to the rooftop. (Don’t do this at home, except if you actually have one that you can comfortably came up to)
  • Minor project defended. Lecturer fucked us up. Got C as a result of weeks of all-nighter. FML, right? That is one of the reason I don’t really care much about grades anymore.
  • Held the third Jakarta Ventures Night which is JVN 2012. Had some fun as we hosted 30-40 Japanese investors, entrepreneurs and delegates from a total of 100+ invite-only guests. Hired Police Riders to open the road for the bus to go through which was a great experience for them. Over 10+ start-ups pitched and held the East Ventures Alpha graduation day as well here.
  • Went to Purwokerto for the first time as part of the Telkomsel Smart Camp for TSC – spoke in front of 300 high school students and most of them were questioning how can I worked for two companies in Singapore while still studying. Answered with “Do 200% of great work, and people will pay attention to you. Money follows great work, always.”
  • Attended Boost Conference (Jan 17th-18th) which have founding team of YouTube and Kiva on stage. As well some big names such as Aki Sano (Founder of CookPad – IPOed in Japan), Ariawan (Co-Founder of FlutterScape), Jameson Hsu(Co-Founder Mochi Media) and more. Props to Ryu Kawano and the organizing team for this first event by them.
  • Came to Jogjakarta for the first time for Gamelan4th meetup. It was an eye-opening experience as I met some great game developers that is still very raw and saw so much potential. Presented East Ventures Alpha second batch program as well there.  Ate Gudeg, but unfortunately didn’t get to Candi Borobudur/Candi Prambanan. Oh yeah, it was also my first time going outside the city through the 3rd Terminal of Soekarno-Hatta.
  • Had such a great Finnish to the month(pun intended) as I attended launch of Blaast, Nokia Asha and had a private lunch with the Rovio CMO – Peter Vesterbacka himself which resulted the best scoop/post on my whole career as a tech blogger.
  • Flown to Singapore for Startup Asia Singapore 2012!

Although I missed a service in January, and the blog isn’t updated as much as I wanted to, but I think I have shown some improvement. Hopefully I will have an even more lovely February!