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.



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.


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?



Are you more of an Inward or Outward person? I know for sure that I’m an Inward person.

How do you know this? I realized that I talked to myself a lot, I ponder about a lot of things, I can go very deep in thought, I’m usually harder on myself vs waiting on my peers to give pressure to me.

Most of the time, I don’t care about what people think, I care about what I think about myself.

There’s a question that sounds like this: “Do you prefer: to look handsome/pretty when people see you but when you see yourself in the mirror you look like an ugly person OR people see you as an ugly person but when you look in the mirror you’re handsome”

I think I’m the latter. I don’t confirm to people’s expectation or standard, I usually try to build my own. Two sides of coin for this type/personality is you are very sure on what you’re doing but it’s very hard for you to take people’s advices at times.

Parent as a Service


It might sound crazy, in fact, it is crazy to think about this. But, hear me out, 10 years from now, it might even be the norm. Parent as a Service.

Look around us, if you see (pre-COVID) in the restaurants, in the malls, most of the little childrens are in front of screens from their early age. They are used to smartphones and tablets, you’re even not laughing anymore if you saw kids trying to ‘swipe’ a TV.

This shows us that technology, and in it AI, is already affecting children growing up. Why not making it even ‘formal’ or ‘integrated’? As life cost grew, we’ll see more and more parents having to juggle multiple jobs just to survive and we’ve seen a lot of child having to deal with loneliness.

I’d predict that we will have Parent as a Service product as we saw more technology introduced to our life. We are already seeing Amazon with its Alexa being all around your home. Why not have an AI making sure our kids do their homework by disconnecting the WiFi to our childrens phone?

Living in a Bubble


Lately, I have been thinking that I’ve been living in a bubble. At first, perhaps it’s organic, but as it goes on, maybe it’s deliberate.

When I look around, most of my friends and close friends are working in tech and or owns a business in some form. Creating an echo chamber of first world problems and sometimes, superficial thoughts.

When I watch (yes I know it’s a scripted reality TV) series like Terrace House, I found myself being envious of the situation or opportunity of actually making friends with people in various jobs and backgrounds.

Lately, I’m becoming more afraid that I live in a bubble that I created on my own. And feeling a little bit trapped.



When building a product, we all hear this all the time. A great developer is someone who will do a great documentation whether it’s their code, building an API, and so on.

I’d like to expand this thought into a larger perspective. Why don’t we document our professional life more? Whether you are a founder who just started a company, an employee inside a fast growing or even a unicorn company, or a business owner who have been doing a business for a decade or more.

I think why people don’t do this more often is they feel: I have to write publicly, and if I did, what if no one reads it or someone doesn’t like it?

My thought: documenting our professional life (progresses, challenges, problem and what I did to solve that) will help you compare how much you have grown over the past 1,2,5,10 years.

Creating a documentation also helps when you became a mentor and realizing that one of the problems that is being faced by people you coach is something you’ve faced before. Documenting more things also help to create clarity as we are absorbing unlimited information than ever before. We can’t rely 100% on our brain.



One word that is a tad taboo in this hustleporn world: Sabbatical. Googled the formal meaning of Sabbatical: a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.

I think that as a human being, not a machine, we need to pause and have a long stretched rest. There are several companies that actually gave a month of time-off after you worked for 4-5 years.

I was very privileged (thank God) to actually took this sabbatical when I officially left Mekari mid last year. I planned for 2-3 months off, but circumstances and no irresistible offer made me extend my sabbatical to end of the year. In total, I took 6 months of rest. Worth it? Totally

Most people I met pre and post sabbatical told me that I looked “fresh” and that’s an obvious as I was burnt out after running a startup for 5 years. I’m not gonna lie though, I do get FOMO when my founder friends kept raising big rounds while I sit around doing nothing. Yet, my theme of 2020 onwards: compare to no one, but yourself.