Category Archives: Business

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The 16 Dreams of King Kawsala – Buddha Predictions

Copied from Dr Ko Ko Gyi ‘s blogs

The 16 Dreams of King Brahmadda  && Buddha Predicted the Brain Drain

Myanmar version here – 16 Dreams of King Kaw Tha La

Once upon a time there was a king called Kawsala who was ruling in Benares, in northern India. One night he had 16 frightening nightmare dreams. He awoke in the morning in a cold sweat, with his heart thumping loudly in his chest. The 16 dreams had scared him to death. He was sure they meant that something terrible was about to happen.

King Kawsala knelt down before the holy man and then sat next to him. He asked, “Your reverence, can you tell me the meanings of my 16 dreams?””Of course I can,” said the forest monk. “Tell them to me, beginning with the first eight.”

The king replied, ‘These were the first eight dreams:

roaring bulls with no fight, midget trees bearing fruit, cows sucking milk from calves, calves pulling carts with bulls trailing behind, a horse eating with two mouths, a jackal urinating in a golden bowl, a she-jackal eating a rope maker’s rope, one overflowing pot with all the rest empty.” 

‘Tell me more about your first dream,” said the monk.

“Your reverence, I saw four pure black bulls who came from the four directions to fight in the palace courtyard. People came from miles around to see the bulls fight. But they only pretended to fight, roared at each other, and went back where they came from.”

“Oh king,” said the holy man, “this dream tells of things that will not happen in your lifetime or in mine. In the far-off future, kings will be unwholesome and stingy. The people too will be unwholesome. Goodness will be decreasing while evil increases. The seasons will be out of whack, with sunstroke on winter days and snow storms on summer days. The skies will be dry, with poor clouds and little water. Harvests will be small and people will starve. Then dark clouds will come from the four directions, but even after much thunder and lightning, they will depart without letting rain fall – just like the roaring bulls who leave without fighting.

“But have no fear, there will be no harm to the people of today.

Now tell me your second dream.”

“Your reverence. I had a dream where tiny midget plants grew no more than one foot tall, and then flowered and gave fruit.”

“Oh king,” said the holy man, the soil will be poor for growing crops, and humans will live short lives. The young will have strong desires, and even young girls will have babies – just like midget trees bearing fruit.

“But this will not happen until the distant future when the world is declining. What was your third dream, oh king?”

“Your reverence. I saw cows sucking milk from their own calves. born the same day,” said the king, shuddering with fear.

“Be calm,” said the monk, “this too will not happen in our lifetimes. But someday people will no longer respect their mothers, fathers, mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law. People will give everything to their own children, taking over the savings of their elder parents and in-laws. Then, by whim alone, they may or may not feed and clothe their elders. So the elderly will be at the mercy of their own children – just like cows sucking milk from their day-old calves.

“But clearly it is not like that today, oh king, so you have nothing to fear. Now tell me your fourth dream.”

Somewhat relieved, the king continued, “Your reverence, I dreamed I saw big strong full-grown bulls following behind bullock carts. They were being pulled by frail awkward calves. The calves stopped and stood still, unable to pull the heavily loaded carts. Caravans could no longer travel and goods could not be taken to market.”

“There will be a time,” said the holy man, “when unwholesome stingy kings will no longer respect wise experienced judges. Instead they will appoint young foolish judges, granting them the highest privileges. But they will not be able to make difficult decisions. They will become judges in name only, doing no real work – just like the calves who can’t pull the carts. Meanwhile, the older wiser ones will offer no help, thinking it is no longer their concern – just like the bulls trailing behind.

“Again you have nothing to fear, oh king, from those far-off times when all the nations will be poorly run by the young and foolish.

What was your fifth dream?”

“Your reverence, my fifth dream was very strange indeed. I saw a horse eating with two mouths, one on each side of his head!” Again the king trembled as he spoke.

The forest monk said, “This will happen in another far-off future time, when unwholesome foolish kings appoint unwholesome greedy judges. Not caring in the least about right and wrong, they will take bribes from both sides in the same case – just like a horse eating greedily with two mouths.

“Now tell me your sixth dream.”

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw a golden plate worth a hundred thousand pieces of money. People were holding it and coaxing an old skinny jackal to urinate in it. And that’s just what he did!” said the king, making a face.

“Oh king, this too will come to pass in a far-off time when the kings will be outsiders, not born in the ruling families of the countries they rule. So they will not trust the experienced ministers from the native noble class. They will replace them with low class ministers they can control more easily. Meanwhile the old nobles will depend on the new ruling class. So they will offer their high class daughters in marriage to the low class ministers – just like golden bowls urinated in by jackals.

“But this will not happen in your time, oh king. What was your seventh dream?” 

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw a man making a rope and letting it pile up under his chair. There a hungry female jackal was eating the rope as it fell, without the man knowing it.”

“There will come a time,” said the monk, “when women’s cravings will increase. They will desire men, strong liquor, jewelry and all sorts of useless possessions. They will spend a lot of time window shopping. Paying more attention to their lovers than to their husbands. they will ignore even the most important household activities. And they will waste all the money earned by their husbands – just like the jackal devouring the rope that is produced by the rope maker.

“But as you can see, oh king, these times are not upon us. Tell me about your eighth dream.”

“Your reverence,” said the king, “I saw one big pot full of water, and many small empty pots, in front of the palace gate. All the warriors, priests, merchants and farmers were bringing water from all directions. But they were pouring it only into the big pot. That one was overflowing and wasting the water, while all the little pots remained empty!” Again the king shook in fear as he spoke.

“Have no fear, oh king,” said the holy man. “Way off in the future the world will be declining. The land will be less fertile, so crops will be harder to grow. The richest will have no more than 100,000 pieces of money – there will be no more millionaires! Even the kings will be poor and stingy.

“The kings and the wealthy will make all the rest work for them only. The poor will be forced to bring all their products, grains, vegetables and fruits to the warehouses of the rich and powerful. And the barns of the hard working poor will remain empty – it will be like the big pot filled to overflowing, with all the little ones empty.

“So now you know the meanings of your first eight dreams. They have foretold:

thunderclouds with no rain, young girls having babies, the elderly at the mercy of their children, young foolish judges with no help from the wise, greedy judges taking bribes from both sides, low class ministers with high class wives, wives wasting the earnings of their husbands, the rich taking from the poor leaving them nothing.

“So your mind may be at peace, oh king, regarding these first eight dreams. Clearly such times are not upon us, and these dangers are not to be feared in the present day.”

The Frightening Sound of ‘Munch, Munch, Munch’. (Chap. 3.)

“Indeed,” said King Kawsala to the humble forest monk, “you have set my mind to rest concerning my first eight dreams. But my last eight dreams are even more frightening. I must do something to prevent the doom they predict.” Again the king began shaking uncontrollably with fear and panic.

“Calm down,” said the holy man, “and tell me these dreams also, that I may relieve your distress.”

The king replied, ‘These were my last eight dreams, the ninth to the 16th: a pond that’s muddy in the middle and clear by the shore, rice cooking unevenly in a pot, fine sandalwood traded for spoiled buttermilk, empty pumpkins sinking in water, solid rocks floating on water. giant snakes gobbled up by tiny she-frogs, royal golden swans waiting on a bad village crow, the frightening sound of ‘munch, munch, munch’.” 

“Please tell me the details of your ninth dream,” said the monk.

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw a pond which was deep in the middle and shallow by the shore. It was filled with all five kinds of lotuses, and there were all kinds of animals – two-footed and four-footed – drinking near the shore. And yet the water remained clear by the shore, and got muddy only in the middle. How could this be? What does this mean?”

“Oh king,” said the forest monk, “in the distant future there will be only unwholesome kings. They will rule based on their will power, along with their anger and fear. They will not care at all about wholesomeness and justice. They will be much more interested in becoming rich from all kinds of bribes, than in the well-being of the citizens. No longer will rulers have patience, loving-kindness and compassion towards the people they rule. Instead they will be rough and cruel, crushing the people to squeeze the last penny from them in taxes – just as the sweet juice is squeezed from sugar cane.

“Therefore the citizens, unable to pay the taxes and bribes, will flee to the borderlands. Soon there will be less people living in the corrupt central capitals, and the borderlands will be heavily populated by the humble

just like the pond that is muddy in the middle and clear by the shore.

“But obviously there is nothing in this for you to fear, oh good and wholesome king. What was your tenth dream?”

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw rice cooking unevenly in a pot. Some was overcooked, some well-cooked. and some still raw.”

“Don’t worry about this either,” said the holy man. “This dream foretells a time when all will be unwholesome, not like today! Kings will be unwholesome, and so will officials and ministers, priests and homemakers, city and country folks. Amazing as it may seem, this dream indicates a time when holy men will be unwholesome too! In addition. even the gods, tree spirits and fairies will be unwholesome and wicked!

“The winds will change quickly, sometimes blowing too hard and sometimes not at all. These winds will shake the heavenly homes of the sky gods. Therefore, in some places rains will cause floods, it will rain just right in some areas, and there will be terrible droughts in other places. It will be like rice in the cooking pot – some overcooked, some well-cooked, and some raw.

“Now tell me your 11th dream, oh king.”

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw the finest sandalwood, worth 100,000 pieces of money, being traded for spoiled buttermilk. What is the meaning of this?”

“This too indicates a far-off future time, when knowledge of Truth is disappearing. There will be many greedy shameless preachers who distort the Four Necessities: food, clothing, shelter and medicine. They will make these into luxuries, far richer than they really need.

“They will teach the worthlessness of luxuries and the unwholesomeness of greed, by preaching the Truth of nonattachment. But in return for preaching, they will require money and luxuries. So they will cause an increase in craving, rather than showing the way towards Liberation from craving. They will preach Truth only so they can obtain worthless things – just like priceless sandalwood traded for spoiled buttermilk.

“Now let me hear your 12th dream.”

“Your reverence, I saw, in a dream, empty pumpkins sinking to the bottom of the water.”

“Oh king, this foretells a distant future when the world will be upside down. So once again, you have nothing to fear in this life. Unwholesome kings will grant high positions to the low class rather than the high class. The low class will quickly become rich and the high class poor. In all departments and functions, the ignorant words of the uneducated low class officials will be greatly respected – just like empty pumpkins sinking to the depths of the water.

“Even among the religious, humble wholesome monks will lose respect, while the unwholesome teachings of shameless monks will be followed and adored -just like empty pumpkins sinking to the bottom.

‘What was your 13th dream?”

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw solid rocks floating on top of the water. How strange this seems. What does it mean, wise one?”

‘This too indicates the future era when the world will be upside down. In all departments and functions, the wise words of the well-educated nobles will be ignored, due to their birth alone.

“Likewise among the religious, the words of Truth spoken by humble wholesome monks will be ignored

just like solid rocks floating away on the surface of the water.

“What was your 14th dream?”

“Your reverence, it was a frightening dream in which I saw tiny female frogs chasing big long black snakes. When they caught up to them they cut them and broke them in pieces like water lily stumps, and then gobbled them up!”

“There is nothing for you to fear in this dream either, oh king. This represents a future time when the world will be declining. The wholesomeness in people’s natures will decrease. Desires will increase in their minds until they are enslaved by their cravings. Because of this, men will be under the orders of their youngest prettiest wives. The servants, bulls, buffaloes and all other household wealth will be managed by the youngest wives – due to the uncontrolled desires of their husbands.

“These wives will treat their husbands like slaves. keeping them under their thumbs. If the men ask about family affairs, their wives will say, ‘There’s no need for you to ask. Everything in my home belongs to me, not you!’ It will be like big long snakes gobbled up by tiny she-frogs.

“Now tell me your 15th dream.”

“Your reverence, I saw a crow, the kind that lives near villages. I knew he was filled with the ‘Ten Bad Qualities’. He was being followed and served by golden swans. the kind seen as kings by other birds.”

“This too indicates a distant time when all kings will be weaklings. They will be no good at riding elephants or horses, or fighting battles. So you can easily see there is nothing for you to fear, mighty king.

“Those weakling kings will be so afraid of being overthrown that they will be afraid to give powerful positions to worthy well-educated nobles. Instead they will appoint foot servants, bath attendants, barbers and so forth. And the nobles will have to become the lowest servants of the untrained new officials – just like royal golden swans waiting on a bad village crow.

“At last we have reached your 16th dream, oh king. Describe it to me.?’

“Your reverence, I will tell you my last dream, the only one that still frightens me. Ordinarily, leopards chase and eat goats. But in my 16th dream, I saw goats chasing leopards! And when they caught them they ate them up, making the sound, ‘munch, munch, munch!’ All the other animals who heard this frightening sound and saw the meat-eating goats approaching, ran and hid in the forest. The memory of this dream still frightens me, holy one.”

“Alas, even this dream applies only to the far-off time when the world will be ruled by unwholesome kings.

The lowly, who are unaccustomed to power, will become closest to the kings. They will gain power while the nobles become poor and unknown.

“In the law courts, the newcomers will confiscate the inherited wealth from the nobles – all their lands, homes and possessions. And when the nobles go to the courts to protest, they will be told, ‘How dare you argue with us! You do not understand the situation you are in. We will tell the king and have your hands and feet cut off!’ The nobles will run away and hide in fear.

‘likewise, bad monks will injure good monks as much as they please. With no one to support and defend them, the good monks will leave the cities and villages. They will live in the jungle in fear of the bad monks. It will be like all those who hear the sound of ‘munch. munch, munch’, and live in fear of meat-eating goats.

“Oh king, now you know the meanings of all 16 dreams. The last eight have foretold:

overtaxed people fleeing to the borderlands, an unwholesome world with uneven rains, Truth being taught by preachers greedy for money, ignorant and unwholesome words gaining respect, wise words and Truth losing respect, husbands enslaved by desires for their youngest wives, educated nobles in the service of untrained newcomers, noble and good living in fear of powerful and bad.”


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It’s not that I am so smart , I stay with problem longer

Category : Business

One of the famous quote by Albert Einstein.
It is a simple statement but one with much power to think about.

There are many ways to address a problem: avoid, deny, accept, complain, blame someone else as the cause, or we can confront it head on and try to solve it. Even in solving the problem, one can just solve it and one can find creative ways to solve it. Anyway, the statement says it all, the longer you stay with the problem, the more chance you will get better solution or greater things out of it.

Everyone has challenges and problems, what we do with them is the test of what we are made of and who we are. Emotional are the first thing you need to handle as soon as problem occurs. But let’s just put emotional factors for a while in this topic.

Let’s talk about business perspective because solving problems is the ultimate goal of doing business.

The central problem in business is that we are too obsessed with problem solving (i.e finding the correct answer) to the exclusion of true creativity and original innovation. Innovation and creativity doesn’t always mean creating entirely new things. It can be solving insignificant problem with way much better solution than others can think of based on the true state of problem itself. Yes. Empathy comes into picture in this point.

Without empathy, you may not have enough patience to stay longer with the problem. Then where does this empathy coming from. It has to come from the real urge to solve the problem itself, not just solving the problem but simulating/feeling the problem, may be sometimes, victim of the problem itself. That’s how deep you need to stay with the problem.

In other words, to simply put, you have to not only know “what” is the problem, but also you must know “how” this problem occurs to “who” specific people in “which” situation by conditions. This will gives you picture on “why” is the problem occurs. Sometimes, most people stop “why” at imaginary/guessing (may be educated guess). Some people stop “why” at research data on analytics. Some stops “why” at experiences and so on.

For me, the best “why” should be coming from you, yourself.

Every time, you think you know the “why” but, we ended up with no absolute answers. That is why there is a thing call “depression”. We think we know why but when we applied it and ended up as failure. We change again with newly found answer to why, but then failed again. Failure is inevitable in testing your real answer to why.

So how. … How do we have the courage to stick to the problem and keep repeating and focusing to find the absolute answers to the problem with regards to the time. Of course, you need to think of time, situation , environment of the problem etc.

Then, another definition comes into my mind, what is your success solution looks like? I believe “Success is a Moving Target”. You need to keep staying focus, staying relevant and staying hunger for better and greater.

Therefore, the more you stay, the better you understand, the more focus you have , the more adaptable you become as the problem mature against time.

With that I want to end this post with Kalama suttta from Buddha, May all your businesses be timelessly successful !!!

• Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing (anussava),
• nor upon tradition (paramparā),
• nor upon rumor (itikirā),
• nor upon what is in a scripture (piṭaka-sampadāna)
• nor upon surmise (takka-hetu),
• nor upon an axiom (naya-hetu),
• nor upon specious reasoning (ākāra-parivitakka),
• nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over (diṭṭhi-nijjhān-akkh-antiyā),
• nor upon another’s seeming ability (bhabba-rūpatāya),
• nor upon the consideration, The monk is our teacher (samaṇo no garū)
• Kalamas, when you yourselves know: “These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,” enter on and abide in them.’


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Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Category : Business

This is a famous quote by Thomas Edison who is not only an innovator, but also very good business man. He not only invent electric bulb but also create entire ecosystem for electric bulb, including generator, electric line wire, etc.

People only see the first part, inspiration and forget about the last, but not the least,very important one, perspiration. People love to read a great story, great inspiration but fail to recognise the pain and sweat of what is behind the scene of success story.

If you browse any kind of business magazine, newspaper, you will normally see article in the first cover page about someone whose fortune has grow exponentially in recent days and his or her strategy , tactics are the must to follow , at the same time, you will see also at the last page or other section , mentioning others failed from billionaire status to bankruptcy with their strategy , tactics are considered foolish. However, if you are avid reader like me, reading business magazine regularly, that fortune fella a decade ago, is considered stupid and bankrupted in recent days with the same set of strategy, tactics, which were illustrated as a must go one, were again stamped as the utmost stupidity.

I believe you see my point here. If you conclude that there is no formula to be Genius or Success, then you are totally wrong. Here is formula, Perspiration.

Some strategy, tactics may work for your, some may not. Those strategy which does not work for you , may somehow work for others.You may be rich at one time and you may also be damn poor at sometimes by exactly following same strategy.

The point is keep trying with sweat and tear and keep moving forward; keep finding next workable strategy for you. Never put complacency in your vocabulary. Don’t stop at being good, always look out for the great.

Elon Musk invested $100M to SpaceX, $70M to Tesla, and $10M to Solar City, which totals all $180M he got from the PayPal and lived his days through borrowing money from relatives and friends. SpaceX nearly went bankrupted but survived the storm. He divorced two times, struggle a lot personally. Now he is 21st century innovator and entrepreneur and those companies worth billions But he did not stop, did he? Hyperloop, Open AI are the one he is currently investing. That is why there is only one Elon Musk and 7 billion non Elon Musk.

For me, I agree to Einstein, everyone is born genius. It’s just that perspiration is lost along the way.
With that, I want to close with below;

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.”


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Fear

Category : Business

Everyone has own inner voice. Whether it’s Joy, Sad, Anger or Fear.

Just like everyone else, I have fear. A lot to be exact, these days. And I am proud of it, because I knew that I have been trying new things a lot lately and fear coming from getting out of comfort zone. Well, I called it good fear and I am proud of it.

Due to HumbleLab nature of work, I need to go back to Yangon, at least once every month except April and December, January (new year holidays). And every time, I go back, I need to prepare, build objective and hitting them during my limited period of stay. Those includes arranging HumbleLab Business Talk, meeting potential clients, building partner teams at Yangon since I am based in Singapore,and the list goes on.

My point is not about boosting my business (busy iness), but about the fear I am facing every time I go back to Yangon. It’s not that I am afraid of my hometown, it’s just that I am doing and trying new things every time I go back. Started from Last September I begin my talk event, not one, but 3 in my first trip. And then on November, I did my first StartUp BootCamp (9 days), 200+ people show up. On February and March I started forming HumbleLab Consulting and Advisory team and meeting all Potential Partners, and those trips are my first ever Business Development trips. And many more trips to come.

Let’s put aside success or failure of those trips, the question is how do I manage my fear. My fear of rejection, my fear of failure, my fear of making mistakes, my fear of meeting new people, my fear of not meeting expectation, my fear of not accomplishing HumbleLab objectives, and my fear list goes on and on…
Since my childhood, I still remembered vividly, that my Father used to ask me to go and buy for him (Kwan yar) at the Main Street around night time 8 or 9 pm, which is quite far away from my house (10 mins walk , I feel like this walk never ends, of course, not in a good way). I was only 12 or 13 years old at that time. The little street connected to my house and the Main Street has 4 or 5 corners and it has big trees, bushes along the way, and there is no street lamp at all. I can see the street only by the dim lights that coming out from the houses along the street. Well, since my beloved country is famous of honouring Thomas Edison Now and Then, total black out is a norm. Of course, I always bring portable headlight. But what the heck…

Since that time, I have befriended with fear. I have no idea that she will come along in my life, but so far I think we have had very good relationship :).

Sorry for dragging too Long but how did I manage.

Simply put, I always look at my own fear very carefully, every time I met her, Just like meditating. Nature of the fear is that the more you neglect, the more influential to you. Every single time I look at her, she’s nothing but a mere thought, and there is no reason whatsoever of her existence. But there is something good about her, excitement, adventurous and she tease you in some ways. Last but not least, she always comes back when you least expect. Cute , huh ?

Another remedy is , to be natural, there is no need to be panic. We, human being are wired with fear, anger, sad and other emotional feelings. That doesn’t mean we have to surpass them. We need to let them go and be mindful while feeling those emotion.

Last but not least, we must make those feeling, irregardless of arising from negative or positive causes, to take something out of them, something good, something new to learn, something that motives us, something that move us forward and make our objectives accomplish no matter what.
After all, like I said, she is very cute in nature and all you have to know is how to nurture her.
Oh my precious Fear 🙂


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After all is Said & Done, more is Said than Done

Category : Business

 

Putting things in action is much harder and requires plan, organization and forethought.

Yes, when it comes to putting into action, someone has to be held accountable or take the blame if things go wrong, and no one wants to take accountability or be wrong. If things are only talked about, they are still just words, and no one is responsible for any outcomes or mistakes.

And here we are 6 persons in startup and trying to march to our common goal with collaboration tools in hand (in previous blog) but a huge gap in taking things into action and of course, with accountability .

As I mentioned in previous blog about collaboration tools with the mix of Design thinking process and Agile development project management, we are still not very satisfied with the solution or the outcome of the solution.

But this time, as for the quest of better and better processes and structure, I have managed to establish realistic productive process based on our HumbleLab breaths and needs.

The idea is based on below Vann diagram, Structure, Process, Talent and Passion. Do remember that, we are trying to achieve the best fit area of all four.

Blog1

So let’s scrutinize what went wrong with previous approach.

Agile Product Development

The problem with Agile development is that, it is so hard for someone new to this methodology to get onboard. And when we keep looping scrum and sprint, we usually tends to get lost of entire product mission and vision big picture.

Solution: After watching 2 videos of Agile Engineering Culture at Spotify Company, we come to realize that culture is important step in shaping Agile process into life.

Product Vision and Mission

It is good that we do have Product vision and mission. However, when it comes to executing bits and pieces of operations to paint our vision, mission, we lack of tactical ground which is the continuous integration and realization between operation and strategy.

Solution: Marrying between Strategy and Operation is a key and we try to cover tactical ground with Business Model Centric Approach, with lots of Business Model Canvas of several products, services and activities with the help of top-down and bottom up approach.

Design Thinking Process

We do empathize what customer, user feels, however in the face of adversity, we all are just executing the same old fire-fighting routines. And trust me, there is no beauty in it. And when we reach prototype and validate stage, we tend to lose track of what was done on empathy, diverge and converge stage as we have been dragging too much time on each phase of design thinking process

Solution: Trying to minimize the work load of each phase and start from small. The key is in the continuous loop of design thinking process and in order to loop more frequently, we need to put less time as possible in each step.

So below diagram is the most simplified version of what I mentioned above. I have been using this model for quite a few times and I felt satisfied so far, though we still needs to tweak here and there based on our resource availability. But so far I feel that we are heading into the right direction.

P.S Those are based on HumbleLab experiences, solutions may differ based on other scenarios.

Blog2


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The Founding Team Part III – HumbleLab.co

Category : Business

Finally, we’ve been branded, it’s called HumbleLab, HumbleLab.co

This will be our brain child for next 3 to 5 years, minimum at least. And you can see who are the members of the founding team in our website, and also, our vision, mission, strategy, product and services , etc, too.

So the million dollar question is, how do we come up with HumbleLab with the brand logo, brand vision, mission and brand promise.

Well ,We followed below 10 simple branding steps for what we got today HumbleLab.co, our brand-book as well as our brand strategy , a.k.a , G.K.G (Get Keep Grow mechanism).

 Here is the best short video, only a minute about G.K.G from Udacity.

And the 10 steps of branding exercise are…

1) Extract explicit short and long term business goals as drivers of Brand Vision

The important step here is developing long term strategy for a brand. You can create a name, a logo, taglines and a set of graphic elements for brand identification purposes to deal with short term marketing communications needs, but you need brand strategy for the long term.

2) Conduct key stakeholder analysis to capture implicit Brand Requirements

This is getting stakeholder (project team members) inputs for brand requirements and their opinions

3) Develop customer needs – Driven segmentation with perspectives on competition and Segment Economics

In this step, we tried to define the direction as to where the company can take its brand in the future based on the existing or potential profitability of targeted customer segments by not assumptions but scenario-based planning.

4) Develop a Brand Vision Linked to the corporate or business unit business strategy

We created, so called, brand vision statement, which should be complementary to the company’s vision statement; sometimes the two are combined. It is the interconnection between aspirations, values, and the brand that is important. It must be simple enough that your customers understand it, and your people get it – and remember it.

5) Develop a Brand Promise

A brand promise is totally different from brand strategy or performance. It is about people. A promise is conveyed by everything people see, hear, touch, taste, or smell about your business. Most importantly, a brand promise humanizes the mission statement and makes it easy for everyone in the organization to understand how company creates value and how they impact the customer experience directly and indirectly in a way that adds or detracts value from it.

6) Develop Brand Positioning

Three questions must be answered. What is the brand for? Who is the brand for? When is the brand for? and who are the brand’s competitors.

7) Develop Brand Personality

This is the emotional character and association in consumer minds about your brand with certain human personality traits, such as, expression, interaction and behaviors, etc.

8) Develop Brand Narrative

It is all about storytelling of your brand, what people say about you and how they connect emotionally with you product or service.

9) Develop a Brand Identity System

This is all about visual thinking and visual aspects of overall brand and its expressions.

10) Translate Brand Promise into Customer Experience Design

Customer experience design is not one-off exercise, this is ongoing needs and no company get it right all the time. This is indeed an execution step between vision and reality and we should not take any weakness in any particular dimension as an excuse to do nothing.

Enjoy building a brand !!!

With that I conclude my blog series about Founders’ life and move on to the next series, Buddha ways of doing business.

P.S All the credit goes to Idris Mootee, author of 60 mins brand strategist , and G.K.G mechanism from Lean start-up, Steve Blank.


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The Founding Team Part II – Collaboration

Category : Business

It’s all about the team, the team and the team.

Yes, With every team member has day job and family, start-up work needs to be as effective as possible whenever each person is working and collaborating to finish several timelines and milestones.

We have been struggling with collaboration tools, both mobile and desktop, at the same time, trying to map our product road map (vision, mission) with the detail product development timeline, in other words, MVP (Minimum Viable Product). You can read definition of MVP here.

So one side of the scale has the right choice of collaboration tools, the other side has Product road map with the right choice of Project Management (both methodology as well as handling tool).

Since we are bootstrapping, we are not looking for seeding or funding at the moment,  searching for free and quality tools have been pain in the ass. Hopefully, below illustrated mechanism would evolve and mature while we grow further.

Here is a glance of our collaboration mechanism. Picture says a thousand words…

Agile+MVP

CollaborationTools

P.S all credit goes to all our founding team members for tireless searching of the right and the fittest tool for our start-up.


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Founders’ life A.K.A the Founding Team Part I

Category : Business

Like any start-up company, we are going through what all other founding teams have been facing for building a successful and scalable business.

With the trust and support by our key partners in Myanmar, we were asked to start-up workshops which would engage value for Entrepreneurs and their followers. We were responsible for facilitating experienced SME Owners, MBA Students and Professional Executives to learn from each other and find solutions for their businesses collaboratively while coaching them at the same time to use the Business Model Canvas as a strategic tool in the workshop.

Yes, we facilitate Business Model Canvas (invented by Alex OsterWalder ) in our workshop, so far we ran 3 workshops in Yangon, Myanmar and 4 workshops in Singapore, with catering to the local flavor (Myanmar Economy).

Here is a brief 2 minutes video about BMC.

 

 

This is really challenging work and even adding more pressure on us as we have to be well versed with the tools, techniques we are talking about and the real world business cases as well.

That is the reason that one of our main strategy is Workshop for Workshop , Start-Up for Start-Up, in other words, what we coach in our workshop are the techniques, models that we adopt, use in our start-up.

And here is BMC model of our workshop and I will leave explanation to the readers as a thought provoke.


Business_Model_Canvas

P.S All credit goes to OsterWalder for the techniques, modelling and 9 building blocks of BMC.


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Entrepreneurship II – BMDW Group – Ripple effect

Category : Business

It was one fine evening, to be exact, 27 May 2014, at one of the food court of Star Vista Tower at Buona Vista in Singapore.

Group : Why do you want to join BMDW group? What is your purpose as individual in joining this group?

ME : I want to be rich in the right proper way of earning (buddhism)  in order to support family and contribute back to my community.

 

Group: What are the effects to your close circle, family, relatives if BMDW group succeed?

ME : Very much effective because of my delegation theory, which is, there must always be second in command when commander in chief is not available meaning, whatever business I am doing, my wife and my closed family memebers can always run the business without me. And I always puropsely find or choose or create business which can replicate and delegate to my family.

 

Group: What are the impact to the community in terms of joining the group?

ME : Especially start up community, the ones who wants to do business or to build a start up company in Myanmar.

 

Those are Q&A session of my day one with the founding team of BMDW. And my first impression was great. And I thank all members (5 persons) for giving me a chance in BMDW journey.

BMDW group is mainly running work shop for Strategic Management tool, called Business Model Canvas created by Alexander Osterwalder. The objective is to help Myanmar Businessmen and Startup Entrepreneurs to learn how to create effective business model. So far, we had successfully run 3 workshops in Yangon, Myanmar and 4 workshops in Singapore. There will be workshops series coming in next year 2015.

You can find our facebook and web site below for detail information. Currently we are rebooting our business and we will be launching new website and new communication channel for 2015 very soon.

All in all , I am very pleased with what I did and what I contributed to this group and, most importantly, learned with the group. With that I close my Entrepreneurship chapter II with this post and I will move on with next blog sereis, Founders’ life.

http://bmdwgroup.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmdwmm


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My Road to Entrepreneurship PART I

Category : Business

 

EBLUE

I have a habit of never stop believing in polishing myself, meaning I always look out for rooms to improve myself in terms of knowledge, professional skills, sports, fashion, I mean, all aspects of my life.

Education may stops but learning never stop, yeah, that’s me. Since I always explore things outside of my comfort zone, I have met a lot of new people, great people, throughout my life in Singapore Strangely enough, there were online friends too through twitter most of the time, but the strangest part was that, I never thought I was going to do business with someone I only knew online.

Yeah, I did. I made my first step of doing business (considerable amount of money in USD) with the one I met through LinkedIn. He was Regional Sales Director of E-Blue (http://e-3lue.com/int/index.html) products from Taiwan.

So, long story short, after we exchanged several emails, and after going through all the risks I have (I am not rich by the way, I am just average pay check IT professionals), I thought, yes, I will give it a shot and regardless of profit or lost I am sure I will learn something.

I was right, I did learn more than I can chew J, I meant it in a good way.

The grand plan was simple one, I thought, by getting samples order from China factory and shipped to Yangon , Myanmar, full stop, for the first round.

Nope, it wasn’t that easy, here are the list of things I have done during 6 months time frame.

 

  • For any kind of products import/export from oversea, you have 3 price list, FOB factory price, distributor price and retail price. With that said, I need to make sure I put reasonable profit margin for my distributor as well as for my retailer
  • Margin percentage. You need to calculate correctly and need to make sure, at that end of the day all 3 parties are happy (me, my distributor and my retailer)
  • Minimum requried order. I need to order at least the base line of minimum orders defined by supplier
  • I need to decide the shipping method, to make sure it does not cost me much since I am ordering only minimum for testing.
  • Transfering of payment to oversea account. I’ve never done anything about it. So it was a bit overcharged, because there were hidden charges from banks (receiving bank and sending bank.)
  • Clearance of Customs at Yangon, Myanmar. This is where my big headache is. If you don’t have any proper license for import/export goods to Myanmar, your goods will stay forever in Customs. Since this is the small amount of orders, I thought Customs will leave me alone. Well, never work on assumption, TRT, never.
  • Talking to distributors and selling to retailers. Never easy. Luckily my in laws have some good connections and I can manage to my products put on the displays of one the retail shop, technically, ONE.

 

Yeah, that’s it, here is what I gained.

 

  • Devil is in Details, please learn the market first, please learn the process first and make sure every specific details are not on assumption but on facts, purely facts.
  • I learned about banking process on overseas account and how they charged exchange rate, private banking service etc.
  • I learned how the logistics works , well, at least for computer accessories, and what are the alternate route for logistics, for example, cross border trades are much much cheaper than DHL and shipping.
  • I learned even if it is a small amount of products list and just 2 digits calculation, when it comes to profit and loss, you have to work you ass out for getting profit in a right way (win-win).
  • This would be one of my best learning experience of all time, as I won’t forget the feel and reel of the moments.