We’re happy to launch a new show with Nir Eyal, Wall Street Journal bestselling Author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable”! We’ll be covering the intersection of human psychology and technology every first Thursday of the month. Check us out on our brand-new Threads account! If you’re a founder or aspiring founder who’s looking for a cofounder, RSVP for our inaugural in-person Cofounder Matching Night on August 24, Thursday, 7pm in central Singapore. Please share this event with folks you think may be interested!
- In our weekly Monday tech news discussions with Shiyan Koh, Managing Partner of Hustle Fund, we discuss:
- Why Superapps work (and don’t work) and Vietnam’s incredible education system
- 60% of all APAC family offices are now based in Singapore, their investment mandates and how to engage with them
- Only 17.4% of all SE Asia VC decision-makers are female and investor career advice
- Sherry Jiang: Web3 Market Turbulence, Product-Market Iteration & Team Trust: Sherry, a fellow UC Berkeley alumni, shares her formative career years at Google and Amazon before her transition to founding Bluejay Finance, an Asia-focused fixed income marketplace that offers private credit investment opportunities. She shares the challenges in the Web3 space due to the bull market that started in 2021. She also discusses her learnings around risk management, execution, and having a cohesive team in driving a startup towards success.
- Vireak Chea: Return to Cambodia, Transforming Neighborhood Pharmacies & Prioritizing Family: Vireak made the uncommon decision to leave a thriving US career and return to Cambodia to be closer to family. He then founded PillTech, a B2B pharmaceutical marketplace, to transform Cambodia’s local neighborhoods.
- Nir Eyal: Habit Design Masterclass (Trigger, Action, Variable Reward & Investment), The Carrot Is The Stick & User Behavior Hooks: Nir explains how founders and operators can design new habit formation using triggers, actions, variable rewards, and investments. We explain how edtech, healthtech and e-commerce all now leverage these insights to drive customer engagement. Nir also shares about why "the carrot is the stick" - continued exposure to a reward creates a human’s fear around the withdrawal of that reward, which is better than the stick.
- Phillip An: Vietnam Property Financing, First Vietnamese Y Combinator Startup, Cofounder Firing & Probabilistic Thinking: Phillip shares an in-depth perspective on Vietnam property sector’s growth dynamics and challenges. He founded Homebase, the first-ever Vietnamese startup to enter Y Combinator, to help improve home ownership financial access. He also shares the incredible and hard-to-believe story behind his cofounder’s departure. Check the episode out!
- Michael Smith Jr.: Embracing Generalism, Parenting in the Age of AI and Technology Duality (Good vs. Bad Faith Actors): I enjoyed hearing Michael’s philosophy of embracing generalism and giving importance to independence, which his mom taught him. As Microsoft’s GM for Startups in APAC, he’s figuring out how to parent his own children in this digital AI age and shares his own personal trade-offs. He also reflects on how much Southeast Asia has grown over the past 20 years and his optimism for the future.
Sabrina Ooi was featured by The Straits Times to share about her mission to improve mental health in Singapore. Check out her episode on living with bipolar disorder and being arrested for a suicide attempt.
I had a wonderful time sharing how to fundraise venture capital as the keynote speaker of Vietnam Future Schools Festival. Great time being on the panel with Valerie Vu (Ansible) and Thao Ha (Integra) answering questions by edtech founders. Thanks Reactor School for organizing such a wonderful conference in Ho Chi Minh City!
The 3-Person Unicorn Startup by James Currier is a fun exploration of how startups achieve 'allometric scaling,' where fewer people are needed, leading to quicker decision making, fewer office politics, and lower costs. When generative AI eventually outperforms humans on most tasks, power shifts towards the need towards individuals who manage AI tools. This all comes together under the thought experiment of a '3-person unicorn,' startups with only three multifaceted individuals harnessing AI's power. If this is true, it pushes startups towards increased capital efficiency - further pushing venture capital into earlier stages. I also wonder if the inverse is true - that AI drives industrialization of content and thus favors medium sized teams that don’t have managerial diseconomies of scale but are large enough to allow for more specialists to be part of the team.
“When life changes, you will probably miss the way it was. You may miss those long morning drives or walks to the office, or those hectic family gatherings. You may miss them because those moments are finite — you will only travel those streets and see those people a certain amount of times. Every time you do something that is one less time you do it. One day you will do something the final time and you will rarely know when that day comes.
For all you know, today might be the last time you walk in a particular neighborhood. Or it might be the last time you smile at a particular someone. To think otherwise, would be foolish. Nothing is guaranteed, except this moment. Your only real choice is to cherish every exchange like it is your last — because it very well might be.
Therefore, the best way to cherish life is to remind yourself of life's impermanence. It is to remember that every time you see someone that is one less time you see them. It is to remember that every time you go somewhere that is one less time you visit. By doing this, you naturally slow down. Almost like a reflex, you start to truly live.” Andrew Anabi
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