Small Net Business Ideas

>> Yes, you can sell to the world through Internet! <<

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dawn of personal/specialised search engines

With video sharing sites, e.g., you can create your own TV channels. With feed readers, e.g., you can create your own news channels. Now you can create your own personal or custom search engines. Below is finance examples:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A lucky one

Below is my speech to introduce myself in one of the meetings of Bangsar Toastmasters club at Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Good evening, fellow Toastmasters. A lot of people know my name is Wan. Do you know I am a lucky one. Between 1998 and 2001, I was given opportunities to work and explore five cities in four years. I have been to Singapore, Sydney, San Diego(Southern California), San Francisco(Northern California), New York metro. In 2001, I was a programmer for an online brokerage firm. In the first few month, I worked in Manhattan office at 50 Broad Street(next to New York Stock Exchange). Each day I took PATH train(simlar to KTM Komuter) from one of the Jersey City stations(Journal Square) to World Trade Center. Before September 2001, my company asked me to work in the new waterfront office at Jersey City(70 Hudson St). The new office is much bigger than the old one. It has big glass walls. We can see buildings of west side of lower Manhattan including World Trade Center. On 11th September 2001, I was in office around 8:30am. Before 9am, I was asked by my colleage to witness the first plane crash. It was unreal. In the background was the chatter of CNBC business program. Over Hudson River, directly in front of our building, is the huge explosion caused by the plane crash. We couldn't hear the loud noise because the office is sound-proof. It was like watching one of Bruce Willis's action movie in the front-seat of a wide screen cinema. I think you know what happened the rest of that day. That is why I am a lucky one.

Map of Jersey city(70 Hudson St) and lower Manhattan(50 Broad St)

While, thiat is not my first lucky incident. I have attended a primary school in Ipoh, Perak. My school and my home in Ipoh is separated by a small road. In one rainy day, on the way back home from school on foot, I was waiting on side of the small road before crossing. My glasses were blur because of heavy rain . Having looked left and right, I decided to cross the road. Suddenly I felt something knocked me from the side. For a split second, I felt that I was off the ground and then my back landed on the road. I was still conscious. So I sat up. After wiped my glasses with my fingers, I found there was a car about two meters away. I realised that I was knocked by a car. Since I was not harmed, so I got up and tried to continue my journey.

Based on these two incidents, I am sure you agree that I am a lucky one. I am lucky to be alive to enjoy my expresso. I still remember my first taste of expresso. In one cold day during fall season, my friends and I visited Yosemite Park in Northern California. The park is big. The size of the park is around 1/3 of the size of Selangaor state, Malaysia. Aftering walking around valley of the park for more than five hours, we were exhausted. So we visted the cafe. Being a 'food critic', I was thinking hard what should I have while waiting patiently in the queue. The first few drinks are either soft drink or fruit juice. I told myself I am not going to have 'normal' drink. Then I saw the drink "double espresso". That is interesting. At that time, I had not tried double espresso. So double espresso is the drink for me. When the waitress handed me a small cup with height of less than two inches, I was shocked. For the price of more than USD 2, the double espresso is too expensive for me. A normal cup of soft drink at that time is around one USD. I thought it was a mistake. Anyway I was thirsty. So I took a sip. My first taste is it was thick, strong and a little bit bitter. Then the flavor of expresso 'exploited' in my mouth. Wow! It was good. It was smooth. The best part is after a few minutes, I felt 'energertic'. I could hike to the top of a mountain. Later I found out the coffee bean used is a full body type. Do you know how is the taste of full body? If you have not experienced the taste of full body, invite me for a cup of gourmet coffee :)

In short, I am lucky because I avoid 9-11 incident, survive a car accident and am alive to enjoy espresso. Above all, I am lucky to have your attention for the past few minutes. Thanks.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lessons learned/inspired from Expara's business plan workshop

I have completed a two-day workshop "From Idea to Investment For the IDM industry : Business skills master class" organized by Expara. In this workshop, I have learned about technopreneurship, business plan writing and presentation. Below is lessons learned/inspired from the business plan workshop

  • To increase the chance of your startup being funded, try one of these strategies

    • Build the first version of your product using money from founder(s), friend(s) and/or family member(s). The reason is very few persons are willing to risk their money on a startup especially if the idea is very new. By bootstrapping your startup, it demonstrates your commitment and possibly faith of closed ones. Another reason for building the first version of your product is it helps the investors to visualize your idea.

    • Try to get at least an award for your product. This demonstrates confidence of an independent party on your product.

    • Persuade an experienced entrepreneur to be your startup CEO if none of the founder(s) has experience in startup.

    • Present your idea to investors with some experience in the industry of your startup.

    • Let investors know more about you and your experience before asking for money.

    • Practice your presentation in front of your industry novices and insiders so that you can answer a wide range of questions.

  • In evaluating your ideas, make sure you answer the following questions:

  • To increase your chance of being successful in your startup, you need to have access to marketing and technical skills. If a necessary skill is missing from the founding team, get help from outsiders. Therefore being young and inexperience is not a problem as founder, you just have to make sure the startup have access to the necessary skills which mean that the founder may not be the CEO of the startup.

Participants of the workshop, if you have any comments, please add them in the comment section.

P.S. I did not fall asleep during the workshop. This is highly unusual based on my past records :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A few articles for engineer-turned-entrepreneurs

Incubic Venture Capital is a venture capital fund for technology related companies. They have written a few articles for engineer-turned-entrepreneurs

If you are interested in these articles, click here

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ways to find online business ideas

Besides monitoring online traffic to uncover profitable ideas, below is other ways to generate online business ideas:

  • Business Opportunities Weblog is a blog for business opportunities and ideas in US. Even though it is for US residents and is not specific for online businesses, you still can adopt and modify the ideas presented.
  • Visit forums and blogs for your targeted areas. For example, if you are interested to provide solutions in creating websites, you may visit website creation forum of StartupNation. You should pay attention to problems, requests, wishes expressed by the posters.
  • Visit government's small business website. An example is Small Business BC, a website funded by British Columbia government(Canada). It also publishes a guide on business opportunities, Exploring Business Opportunities Guide
  • Visit websites that give exposures to startups, e.g., TechCrunch/

By the way, if you want to send help-wanted post to any forum, to increase your chance of getting helpful replies, contribute first and let other members to get to know you.