The Walk To Success

The story about a Programmer, a Dreamer and an Entrepreneurial wannabe.

Poll: Will Groovy overtake Java’s position within next few years?

Posted by chankinmeng on July 6, 2009

Hi guys, here’s the question. Will Groovy overtake Java’s leading position within next few years? Please feel free to vote and drop your comment. I really appreciate it! Thanks!

Posted in Programming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Product Pricing Strategy

Posted by chankinmeng on July 1, 2009

Here’s a very simple question. What will be the No. 1 source of income in a business? The answer is “Sales”. Well, it is easy, Sales = Income. Then to determine how much income the sales can bring you, it depends on how much you price your product. Higher the margin, more money you will get. Pricing is indeed a very tough process in business. It is not simply calculate how much the product costs then you add any number you want on top of that. It involves a lot of considerations in marketing. In marketing, there are three price points for a product. The lowest priced, the highest priced and middle priced. Let me explain what are the differences between them.

Let’s talk about the middle priced product. It is the most common one. Most of the products fall in this range. In my opinion, it is the range that have most competitions. Various products from different vendors are trying hard to differentiate themselves to the competitors. It is extremely hard for the product to stand out among all of the other competitors.

Next, the lowest priced product. It is quite common as well. A lot of products out there are racing to be the cheapest in the market. They keep reducing their selling price, the margin is getting lower and lower, to run the business, it seems to be getting tougher and tougher. When you priced your product at this price range, it has very high possibility that you will attract more bad customers. Bad customers are those who make late payment, try get advantages on you. All your resources are sucked into them because they are important customers too. All customers are important. You have no choice but to deal with them. Those are the customers we should always try to avoid because it is very tough to earn their money, then you may lose the opportunity to serve better to the good customers who are very good pay masters, or who will spread the good words about your product to the others. Another issue with this price range is, the customers who are looking at products within this price range are those who tend to compare your price to the other products’ price. They don’t really care about what value you can provide them, how much better your system is compared to your competitors. To win the deal, it is all about the price.

Lastly, the highest priced product. Not a lot of products are in this range. It is because the number of customers is lesser. However, it has all sorts of advantages to price your product in this range. When you price your product in this range, your targeted customers are the person who are willing to pay the price for the values your product can provide. It is very important. We heard a lot about value selling, but if you price your product at the lowest price range, the only thing they care about is your price and how much cheaper you can sell, not the value you can provide them. So, in my opinion, value selling is only applicable to highly priced products. You may say the number of sales will suffer if your products are so expensive.  Rolls Royce is still there right? As long as you have a great product that provides great value to the potential customers, you can sell it.

There are five important elements in marketing:

  1. Product
  2. Person
  3. Price
  4. Place
  5. Position

First, you need to know what is your product, what your product can provide, what value your product can give to the customers. Then you need to know who will buy your product, who’s the target audiences. You have to fix a price that is suitable for the target audiences, and place it at a place where your target audiences can find it easily. Lastly, you gotta find a position for your product. For example the best, simplest, first, cheapest and so on.

Well, I’m not a marketer. This is just my two cents on pricing strategy and marketing. I think marketing is extremely important for any entrepreneur, because when you first start up your business, you maybe the one who need to come out with the pricing strategy and marketing plan. Good luck!

Posted in Entrepreneurial | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Stronger Mission Wins

Posted by chankinmeng on June 25, 2009

In a business, mission is often a very important element, and we can say that it is a must, for a business to be successful. So, mission is the foundation and the reason for the existence of the company.

Why it is so important for a business, or successful business? Is that simple one sentence mission statement so important for a company? My answer will be a big YES!. A mission statement serves a few functionalities in a business.

  1. Basically, it is the core of the business. Why you want to form the company? Is there any reason? Well, the reason is your mission. So, without a mission, what’s the point of starting up?
  2. It is something must be highlighted and shared among all the employees. It gives an idea of what the company is heading to, what are the things we should focus on, and it often plays a big role in helping the process of decision making.
  3. It is a motivator to the work force. Imagine that everyone in the company are sharing the same goal, the same dream. All of them are gathered together to archive it. How big the impact can be? I would say everything is possible. If you want to know how a mission and the alignment of the work forces toward the mission can make a different, go to find out why U.S. lost in the Vietnam War.

According to Robert T.Kiyosaki, there are two types of mission. Spiritual mission and business mission. The spiritual mission is usually something great, or we can call it BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal. For example, you want to create a vacinne to HIV, or you want to make the world better, something like that. Normally it can contribute great improvements to the public. However, the business mission is basically a mission about how you want the business be. For example, you want your company to generate 1 million of revenue each year, or you want to be Number 1 in the world. Those are the business mission.

B-I TriangleLook at the famous B-I Triangle, as you can see, there are a few important elements to form a successful business. The mission is the biggest element lying at the bottom. We can conclude that, according to Robert T. Kiyosaki, the mission is the foundation for every successful business.

Before you start up your company, think about what’s the main reason you want to start it. Is it mainly for a business mission? Or spiritual business? Or both?

Posted in Entrepreneurial | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Web 2.0 – I want to be one of them!

Posted by chankinmeng on June 6, 2009

web_20
Wow, look at this! They are all Web 2.0 software services in the market and there are a lot more! I’m so excited when I saw this. I can’t stop myself thinking to be one of them later.

What Web 2.0 means to me?

Technical point of view, it means smaller request to the server, interactive user interface, zero learning curve, services interoperability.

Business point of view, it means faster pace, quicker response, strategy can be changed in short timeframe, flexibility, borderless market, less clients interaction, more competitions.

In terms of opportunity, it is infinity or unlimited. Anybody from any part of the world can be the leading service provider. That sounds crazy isn’t it?! Borderless business world is approaching. Let’s catch this golden opportunity!

Posted in Dream, Entrepreneurial | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Hug A Developer Today

Posted by chankinmeng on May 24, 2009

Few days ago my colleague had shown me an interesting video.  It is about developers or programmers are having issues in their work. For example, they couldn’t find a good work-life balance, they are having problem in reacting for the changes of requirements, or inability in management for their project manager and etc. It is supposed to be a comedy, but sadly it is true. I’m not saying that all developers are having the same all issues, but they should have at least one or two.

I don’t think a person can be a developer for the rest of his life. As for me, my goal is to go for managerial role in a company before i turn 30. Either being a manager of the team, or start up my own company and have a trustable engineering team lead.

So, I wish every developers can live better, then no complains anymore. Enjoy the video! Cheers!

Posted in Programming | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Karoshi:Beware of it!

Posted by chankinmeng on May 1, 2009

Programmers, entrepreneurs out there, you gotta beware of this —  Karoshi (or Death From Overwork). It is translated directly from a Japanese word. It refers to occupational sudden death. The common causes are heart attack and stroke due to stress.

So now, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Is your average work hour per week more than 60 hours? Or you spend more than half of your time during holidays and weekends for your work?
  • Do you work during night time? For example, you are taking a night shift very often.
  • Are you a perfectionist? Do you put too much expectation on yourself? Do you feel tense easily?

If one of your answers is “Yes”, then you gotta becareful. You may fall in the high risk group for Karoshi!

Once you discovered that overtime has became a routine in your daily life, taking rest is just something that you can’t afford to have due to workload. Please slow down your pace and care about your body. Belows are the symtoms of Karoshi:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of concentration
  • Bad tempered, get emotional easily
  • Insomnia(Sleeping disorder)
  • Felt tired even after deep rest
  • Dizziness and tinnitus(Ear ringing)

Well, what you can do if you got some of the symtoms? Below are some examples:

  1. Adjusting your bad life style — Have a better time management and allocation of your tasks in work. Avoid unnecessary overnight work, overtime
  2. Exercise regularly and have enough rest — Researchers say those who has the habit of exercise can handle pressure and challenges better.
  3. Have a balance diet — You should have your meal at fixed time and fixed amount of food everyday. Increase the portion of vegetables in your diet, less intake of salt, cholesterol and caffeine.
  4. Find a way to relieve your tension — Tensions are everywhere. It depends very much on how you handle it. If you can’t manage it well, try to talk to your closest friends or partners, if it’s not enough, try to talk to a  psychiatrist.

Before pursuing your dream, you gotta love your body first. Because it is the most basic and most valuable asset that drives you to your success. Take good care of your body, so that you are always in perfect condition to face all the challenges in your work life. Work hard, and live well!

Posted in Health | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Singleton Design Pattern

Posted by chankinmeng on April 18, 2009

When I first came for interview in QuickSchools.com, the CEO told me about this. There’re a lot of programmers in Malaysia don’t know about design pattern. Maybe after few years of programming, and you ask them how many design pattern they’ve learned. They probably can’t name any. Inline with my life’s goal, I’m actively learning, applying design pattern on my everyday work. In this post, I’m going to talk about a very simple and useful design pattern – Singleton.

Before writing the code, we should ask ourselves, ” Why do we need to use singleton?”, “Is it needed to use singleton here?”. So what’s the reason of using the singleton? Basically when you’re trying to restrict the instantiation of a class, to only once and this object will be shared among classes. Singleton is very useful when this object’s behaviour and variables are needed by several classes or different systems in a process.

Here’s an simple example of the code in Java.

public class QueueListener {
            protected static QueueListener queueListener = null;
            //Constructor
            protected QueueListener() {
                        queueListener = new QueueListener();
           } 

           public static QueueListener getQueueListener() {
                        if(queueListener == null) {
                                       queueListener = new QueueListener();
                        }
                        return queueListener;
              }
}

Above code is bad because it is not thread safety. There are possibilities that two singleton objects is created by different thread. To solve the problem, there’re two methods. The first one is to synchronize the instantiation method. After you done this, when a thread is calling this method, nobody can interrupt it. As below:

public class QueueListener {
                 protected static QueueListener queueListener = null;
                //Constructor
                protected QueueListener() {
                         queueListener = new QueueListener();
                }

                public synchronize static QueueListener getQueueListener() {
                           if(queueListener == null) {
                                     queueListener = new QueueListener();
                             }
                             return queueListener;
               }
}

Another method is to make the singleton object a constant. The code may look as follow:

public class QueueListener {
             protected static final QueueListener queueListener = new QueueListener();

             public static QueueListener getQueueListener() {
                       return queueListener;
             }
}

Phew, finally it is thread safety.

Singleton is very useful if it is used with care. I’ve heard some drawbacks about this design pattern but I don’t have the chance to see the drawbacks yet. Hope I’ll encounter a case where the singleton caused some problems. This will be really helpful in my learning process.

Posted in Programming | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Prioritization Matrix

Posted by chankinmeng on April 15, 2009

Today, Darean Wong who is my colleague has shown us an interesting tool called Prioritization Matrix. It is a tool that helps us in prioritization.
It is very useful in defining the priority for almost everything in your life, business, project and etc. For example, you are developing your product, you got a whole list of features to be added in. They are all important features, and they are all value added in certain ways. How to decide which one to be developed first? How to prioritize them? Prioritization Matrix could help you. Besides product development, you can apply that matrix in your marketing strategy, sales, personal goal and etc. I just find it very interesting and useful.
I’ve done that, of course. It is for the goal of my life.

myprioritizationmatrix

Well, my goal is to be on the cover of TIME Magazine and give a talk at TED. From the prioritization matrix, seems like I’ve to start from reading a lot of useful books, and always be confident and self-motivated. Actually, I’m doing that all the time since last year(Excluding the first item). Perhaps I just have to work harder and be more dedicated so that I can reach the goal of my life one day.

Posted in Dream | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Which type of entrepreneur are you?

Posted by chankinmeng on April 11, 2009

Currently I’m reading this interesting book – Entrepreneur America by Rob Ryan. Rob Ryan was the CEO who founded Ascend Communications in 1989. You may have used their 56k dial-up modem before huh? In 1995, he retired and founded Entrepreneur America. It is an incubator for high technology start-ups. They help promising entrepreneurs. Yes, promising one. They assist them in polishing their business idea, presentation, business plans so that they can raise their money from VC(venture capital).
There’s a part in the book where I find it very interesting. He defined the 7 types of entrepreneurial wannabes. Let’s see what are them.

Quickie Wannabe

  • They have a get-rich-quick business model.
  • Has no clear-cut application.
  • Has no value proposition.

Quickie wannabe normally has a losing money company. It is very difficult for them to grow a sustainable company.

Wonderful Wacky MBA Wannabe

  • They whips out tons of charts and quotes.
  • But none of them reflects who are the customers, what’s the value proposition.

Normally nobody understands what they are talking about.

Send Money Wannabe

  • They want the money, without doing the correct work. 

Usually they can’t get it.

Dreamer Wannabe

  • They are “visionaries”. They are not blessed with detailed information or management knowhow.
  • They are grand thinkers.
  • They could be next Michael Dell or Bill Gates. But normally you can’t make it. Unless you are one in a billion.

The problem of them is, they are not doers. They are merely dreamers.

One-Stripe Zebra Wannabe

  • They build around a single features with a very narrow market.
  • It may be interesting, but the market just can’t sustain your company.

One-stripe zebra usually have tough competitions ahead them. Their competitors maybe giant in the industry who offers a complete series of products.

Technoid Wannabe

  • They are smart about their technology, but not expert in running a business.

Guts And Brains Wannabe

  • They are people who can make it.
  • They are smart. They know what homeworks must be done before going into a business.
  • They got faith in themselves and they can keep going.

Ultimately, if we want to be successful, we must learn to be a guts and brains entrepeneurial wannabe. Although there’s no guarantee that you will be succuessful. You’ve got higher possibility.

Thanks to Rob Ryan for the knowledge. If I didn’t get the chance to read your book, I wouldn’t know what are the ingredients of becoming a successful entrepreneur. I may end up in the category of Technoid, or Quickie. I’m not saying that I’m in the category of Guts and Brains. Since now I’ve got the direction, I know where should I head to. So that I can be a successful entrepreneur in the future. Thanks to Aris Samad(CEO and CTO of Quickschools.com) as well, for lending me this interesting and inspiring book.

Posted in Entrepreneurial | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

The Unreleased Song I Sold To Jolin Tsai(蔡依林)

Posted by chankinmeng on April 5, 2009

This is the song I sold to Jolin Tsai(Technically sold). I composed this song for the concert held by my society called Fresh Bottle Acoustic Workshop. I was the president at that time. Now think about it, it was 3 years ago.

The process of selling just like sitting on a roller-coaster. It is sold, then right before the release date of the album (which i waited by counting the days for one whole year), I got the news that it will not be in that album. Reason? It was because they couldn’t arrange this song to be the main hit song, and they feel pity if they simply put it in that album. So, they will keep it for the next album. This is what they said. Sounds silly right?

Again, I’ve been counting the days for her next album to be released. 1 year later, I heard that she will be joining another music company. So, what happen to my song? I don’t know. Few weeks ago, I was told that this song will be in her compilation which released by her old music company. The purpose of this compilation is to take the revenge on her because she is going to release her latest album soon. What a dirty business trick. The drama is not ended here, just on the release date, I found that the song is again, not in the compilation. The reason they gave this time is because of some problem in the management. Okay, i got it. Just get my song back and you’ll lose it forever!

What a drama, isn’t it? Music is about business now. There are a lot of dirty tricks. They fool the consumers from buying the same thing again and again by releasing several versions of the album. First version maybe with CD only. Then, they add a DVD to the CD and release the second version which they call it CD+DVD version. Maybe just 2 weeks later, they will put in some free gifts and release the third version. They are fooling consumers man! They are totally money suckers! Who cares about the music itself now? Thanks to them.

Anyway, I’ll just share that demo here. Sit back and enjoy!

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »