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?


Moving On to New Journey

I know that this is a total contrast of what I posted around two months ago – but i guess this is life, full of twists and turns, and this is a part of the journey. Since I’m probably not allowed to post my last post in the Tech in Asia blog, I guess this personal blogpost would do.

Before I start my thank you post, I’d like to say that this is a mutual decision between us, we are moving towards different directions and I think it’s just a right timing to start over. Moreover, I’d say right now the Indonesia team is more solid than what we had at the beginning of this year (well, it’s only me) and I’m happy to have helped them scale the team (I hope they think the same too) and to reach where we are right now.

It is a hard post to type especially after losing out my grandfather just eight days ago, it feels like I just lost someone and something that is meaningful in my life in just a short time.

I’m really thankful to Willis Wee, for teaching me how to be an adult and I’d say I’m a different man compared to who I am before I worked for and with him. Minghao Teoh, he might not be the best single guy out there, but he’s definitely a great friend and one of the best biz dev I ever knew. Vanessa Tan, she might be the one we “bully” around because she’s a girl but never underestimate her potential, strongest and smartest girl around in the tech scene here in Asia. The editors – Rick Martin, Charlie Custer,  and Steven Millward – they are just totally three superb editors, and from my point of view, we won’t be where we are right now without them. Thank you Rick for drowning me in the Markdown realm, thank you Steven for the sexy british accent and your kindness, thank you Charlie, I learned a lot just doing work together with you and reading your blog posts, videos, and your work.

Ultimately, it has been a great joy for me to have planned, produced and ran Startup Asia conferences, especially Startup Asia Jakarta 2012. It was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, tech conference ever held in Indonesia and I’m proud to be part of it. Events and blogging will still be part of my future, but right now I think I’ll just lay low and help startups that want my help, talk to more entrepreneurs, and working on my thesis while figuring out what to do next.

If you would like to catch up or discuss anything interesting – please drop me an e-mail: hello[at]

Thank you for reading!

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)!


The Luckiest Donkey

In a preparation of Easter, and Jesus’ death, we will seek what is needed to prepare to get the Easter’s blessing.

Luke 19:28-30

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

In this verse, we are being pictured as the donkey. Jesus would have easily walked to Jerusalem as it was already near, but He chose to call his two disciples and told them to bring the donkey, a wild one, for Him to ride on.

Genesis 16:12

12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him,and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

We are wild, we chose to listen to our lust, to our hunger to get lots of money only to spend it in a worldly pleasures. We will have a lot of hatred for our enemies and a lot of enemies will hate us. As long as we are still acting like a wild donkey.

Exodus 13:12-13

12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD. 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

Jeremiah 22:19
19 He will have the burial of a donkey— dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.”

If and when we are dead, we will have a burial of a donkey if we stay as it is, we will be thrown away out of Jerusalem, the land of peace, and without God it means that we will be beaten by death, we will go through hell. There’s always a but..

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

But, IF you are ready to put Jesus on to your life, admits that HE is our savior and our only hope, HE will give us direction. He will give us vision and a life full of wealth, health and victory. Before God is on the donkey He rode, the wild donkey would probably worth nothing, but as we see on the verse, people spread their cloaks for the donkey to step on, imagine that!

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We will see glory in our sufferings, what does it means? It means that if we suffered with and for God, we will have perseverance, character and hope in our Christian life. If we are buried and dead with Him, it means that we will be raised again from death to win with Him.

John 8:30-36

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

God has set us free from our sins through His death, we are free from sins who we are used to be slave to. We should be thankful, we should show God that we are truly free from sins by leading a life of a Christian.

This is a summary from Handoyo Santoso service from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel – 1st April 2012

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.

Faith, Action, Love and Character

This is the four things that shaped our life as a Christian. We simply aren’t someone who is worthy of God unless we are keeping this four in our mind, our attitude and what we do everyday. Today, we learned a lot from a centurion, whom has an admirable faith in God.

The Faith of the Centurion

 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

What is inspiring about the Centurion is that he is someone who came from a nation which ruled the Jews back then and yet he came through, forgetting all the status, to his enemy to ask for help. Not for him, or anyone from his family if that matters, but for his servant. How many of us would go to church and lie under His cross and pray for our servant or maid? A very few people. Imagine the difference in status back then.

Jesus offered to come to his house, which is an honor, yet the Centurion felt unworthy of Him. He believed in God so much that he only hoped to hear His words, and only after that his servant will be healed. Even Jesus felt amazed by his faith and even said that no one in Israel has faith as huge as him, and he will have a feast, in one table, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, imagine that!

We must have faith in God, put love out there into our action which will instills that in our character. God bless us!

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 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!)

About Fasting

There has been a lot of question about fasting and a lot of ways that has been said about fasting for Christians. There is only one way which is not eating and not drinking, there is no Daniel way of fasting which is for example a week without eating steak only. In passages below we will learn more about fasting.

Zechariah 7:5-6

5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months [a]these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 6 When you eat and drink, [a]do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves?

God asks whether are we doing the right way of fasting, whether we are directing the fasting in the right direction, are we using fasting for the right reasons?

Joel 2:12-13

12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart,  with fasting and weeping and mourning.”13 Rend your heart
and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God,  for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love  and he relents from sending calamity.

Fasting is indicated being similar to regret, to wish that God can take away all the sins that we have done, to purify ourselves from the lust and all the deadly sins that we have done over and over again. God is gracious, He forgave our sins, He will always be there waiting with His warm love.

Judges 20:26

26 Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.

So when is the right time to fast? When is the proper time? The key word is that day until evening means that after we ate our dinner, we don’t eat anything or drink anything until tomorrow evening. That is the proper way and time to fast.

Ezra 8:23

23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He [a]listened to our entreaty.

Matthew 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]

This two verse complete the answer of why we should fast. When we weakened ourselves and we left all of our lust and wants and needs behind for God, He listens, He answers. We should not live off of our needs and wants like money and all of the bling of the world. We live by His words.

This is a summary from Handoyo Santoso service from Gereja Kemah Tabernakel – 26th February 2012