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by: Bernard Teo






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Bernard Teo
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Thu 03 Nov 2005

The Spare Room Tycoon

Category : Commentary/spareRoomTycoon.txt

I am told that there is a Yiddish saying - not so much a proverb as a cry of faithful exasperation - that translates as "God will provide. If only He would provide until He provides." - James Chan

I'm reading this book, Spare Room Tycoon by James Chan. Most books about "being your own man" and running your own business are quite smug, as if the authors believe they're more believeable if they're enviably rich and successful. But the reality of life as an entrepreneur is rather different :

Recently, at the supermarket, I encountered someone I met when I was first starting out. After he marveled that I had survived all these years, he remarked, "You must be really rich." When I told him I wasn't, at least not by his Wharton School standards, he became almost contemptuous. "The only reason to be in business for yourself is to make lots of money," he said, pushing his cart rapidly toward the fancy crackers. I was left standing where I was, scrutinizing both the broccoli and the way I have lived my life.

I came across this book years ago, but forgot about it, and I'm glad I re-discovered this, serendipitously, among some obscure shelves at our Library. It's come at the right time.

Posted at 1:48PM UTC | permalink

The Corporate Orifice

Category : Commentary/corporateOrifice.txt

I recall this quote by Steve Jobs, about "As you know from our limited success at getting our computers into the Fortune 500, Apple's never been very good at going through corporate orifices in order to get at the end users".

Neither have I.

We were invited to do a demo of our General Insurance System. As usual the users liked it, but the IT guys hate it. "We'll only let it pass if it's VB, Java or .Net". We wrote it using 4th Dimension. Never mind that it's cross-platform. Of course, it's never going to pass.

We've spent ten out of the last twelve years of our lives building software for the General Insurance industry. I'm reminded now of why we've decided to leave that aside for a while. There's a sickness in the MIS/IT manager mentality.

Fortunately we've stashed some of those hard-earned cash into some passive income generating instruments, so we can dig in. It's going to be a long war.

Posted at 1:48PM UTC | permalink


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