November 26, 2009

Episode 10: We smell progress!

Till next time!

November 23, 2009

Blog: Talk by Nike, Adidas and Hill & Knowlton

Last week Friday, 20th Nov, we attended a combined talk held by representatives of the companies mentioned in the title. The reps from Nike and Adidas are Ngee Ann Poly alumni, so it was nice to hear from those who came from the same mould for a change.

To be honest, I couldn’t really get anything from the Nike talk! It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention (I was!), but I guess Adidas kind of outdid them too well!

Marketing as the main objective, Alex Lim from Adidas put across his company’s marketing strategies plain and simple in 4 categories – Visual Mechandising, Go-to-market, Brand Communication and Sports Marketing.

Visual marketing can easily be seen in their retail stores. Such examples include their 2-fingers-spacing between hangers (consistency at its best!). Their products are arranged seasonally where during the peak point of football, such merchandises are placed at the back of the store while other sporting apparels are placed closer to the entrance. This is due to the idea that at the height of a particular sport, the consumer does not need to be enticed visually.

Go-to-market in a nutshell involves the product and pricing. Depending on the hype and marketability of the product, the pricing is allocated accordingly.

Brand Communication examples include Adidas House Party, Liverpool tour, and also the acquirement of non-athletic personalities (Gurmit Singh, Felicia Chin). You get my drift.

Sports Marketing is just advertising for events. Their more notable advertising are in your Winning Eleven game, Standard Chartered Marathon’s main attire provider.

Wrapping up the talk, “What are the 5Cs in marketing?” This was probably the crudest way of describing the marketing world, but it’s clear cut. And to prove to you, I’ll them all in one sentence:

COVINCE the consumers, and faced with heavy competition CONFUSE them with specs and benefits, which at times may require you to CON and CHEAT, well at least their feelings because at the end of the day you’ll always have to stay ahead of your COMPETITION!

Okay, so it’s a really long sentence with tons of commas, I know!

The final talk was by Hill & Knowlton, a renowned and established public company.

PR = Reputation.

Besides that and the many case studies that the dude talked about, another main point put across is Good Activation. This is plentiful of subtle branding during an event so that when the media takes a photo to use for publication, viewers will receive the brand.

That’s about all for this long post, and if you’ve read this far (kudos!), remember to check out our side project link at the top!

Mr Vivian Lines, President of Hill & Knowlton, Asia Pacific.

November 20, 2009

blog: Qian Hu & GardenAsia Entrepreneurship Trip

Qian Hu

We attended a field trip to Qian Hu and GardenAsia on 18th November 2009 organised by SPRING Singapore. There were talks held at both places about entrepreneurship. Although one is dealing with fishes (Qian Hu) while the other in nature, both of them gave us a same answer to entrepreneurship:


Bam! Wet blankets came one after another, unlike what we expected to hear like “You can do it!” Instead, we heard “Behind those success, are many failures” However that’s the truth, and that’s why the saying goes, “It hurts to hear the truth”.

Both told us similar stories of their journeys, when it started so long back then when the government was making changes, causing Qian Hu that was originally a pig farm to change into a fish farm, and GardenAsia to shift to Lim Chu Kang. These are big changes to these companies.

Well you might say GardenAsia just moved to another location, what’s the big deal. Well… WHO THE HELL BUYS PLANTS IN LIM CHU KANG?!!

This shift caused GardenAsia to sell water features instead of plants and finally to their current agritainment. They have to cope with big shifts in the dynamic world, solving problems after problems.

Their biggest problem they faced (and still are, but not to a large extent) was the lack of LABOUR!

No Singaporean one wants to work in fish or plant farm, and the restrictions of the foreign workers are driving them up the wall. It’s true; my dad’s company is having the same problem – where no Singaporean wants to works and they aren’t giving us foreign workers.

When we want to learn about entrepreneurship, the response was that if you want to learn you have to get your hands dirty! It’s a practical skill not a theoretical. Do it, go through the tough times that they had gone through and you’ll learn.

So what does it take for them to go through all that shit? Mr Kenny Eng said it is PHD.




Passion; you need that love for it. So much so that you’ll sacrifices for it. Well, both entrepreneurs sacrificed their youth and family time for this.

Hunger; so let’s get some McDonald! No, it means hunger for let’s say success, to fulfill your dreams. You need to want it badly.

Drive; the Determination to achieve your goal! That never-say-die spirit! Going full force no matter what happens. Keep going until you get what you want.

Adding on to the list are 2 more factors, Network and Luck. Networking is essential, knowing more people will open more opportunities. If you remembered the VISA advertisement where the young brother is going on a journey and the sister wanted to buy a bird to release for his journey. The shopkeeper said, “More birds, more luck…” So, if you are going on a entrepreneur journey we’ll say to you “More contacts, more luck…”

Changes in the environment also affect a company greatly. Thanks to the Go Green campaign by the government, GardenAsia is able to bring about their agritainment much successfully. Luck really does play a part in entrepreneurship but hard work plays even more.

For us, the greatest take back is that we now know what we will be facing on our journey. For those reading this blog post, this is for you too if you intend to be an entrepreneur.

No Money

No Time

No People

These 3 things are affecting every company including us. We have no money. was started from being in debts; we are now trying means and methods to try to get money, cutting costs to continue our journey like getting iPhones & Macbooks. So “No Money, No Talk.” That’s reality.

No time; our time is limited too. We now have only 3 months left and we haven’t mastered the iPhone programming. Anytime now another developer could have developed the same idea we intend to build and create a barrier to entry for us.

No people; that doesn’t really apply to us much, as our team dynamic is fantastic. However, it is always good to have professionals helping us in developing so we can just concentrate on the business aspect of the company. Even if we have the people, we have to make sure that they have the same passion, same goals as ours otherwise they will be just another worker, rather than family.

In short, entrepreneurs will be facing with 3 obstacles almost everyday and that is No Money, No Time and No People. Without Passion, Hunger, Drive, Network and Luck, it is hard to sustain the business.

Mr Kenny Eng, CEO of GardenAsia

Mr Raymond Yip, HR senior Manager of Qian Hu

All the memories, left behind.

November 19, 2009

Ahh... the beauty of the washroom cubicle

I'm not gonna spoil it for you!

Give us your reviews, here or on Facebook!

November 17, 2009

Blog: Direct Marketing behold!

Last Friday, 13th November, Miss Lisa Watson, the president of Direct Marketing Association of Singapore enlightened us about direct marketing.

So what is Direct Marketing? Well it is basically an interactive marketing through media with measurable responses. Let’s take a McDonald’s coupon for example. It uses flyer as a media and it requires interaction when you use it. By passing it to the McStaffs and them counting how many coupons they received, they can measure the response. So there you go; a very simple example of direct marketing.

If I were to end here, you’ll probably never return to again right? Why not let me go deeper into the topic. Well let’s evolve it into Relationship Marketing.

What’s Relationship Marketing?

It’s basically an interactive marketing through media with measurable responses with your personal information in it. Hmmm, need more detailed explanation? Well if you have a magazine with you, flip to the subscription form. They are using the magazine as a media.

Let’s fill up the form. Guess whom you are now interacting with in the form? So up till this part, direct marketing is done, and your information will be added to the company’s database. With the information provided by you, the new customer, that now have the ability to send you updates of their latest products.

With the 2 points being clear, what about that measurable responses? Well, I’ll keep that for later, keeping you in suspense first. Why? It’s simple. I need to let you know about some important facts, before the last point becomes much more impactful.

In marketing world there is this quote by John Wanamaker “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”

Are you getting a picture already? When companies put in marketing efforts, not all their efforts will yield results, and often they aren’t aware which of these are the ones. Therefore tracking is important so that we know which to invest and not invest in.

Now for the last point: How do they track?

Let’s take a look at the magazine, is there a serial number attached to it? If there is that’s tracking! From the serial number it can derive a couple of very important information about their marketing efforts, such as in which magazine does the subscription come from. If they go deeper into details they might even track to which area it came from. The company might want to test the market to see at what prices will consumers subscribe, and the serial number encodes it.

Now that Direct Marketing and Relationship Marketing have been explained, let me take you one level higher, into Database Marketing. Don’t worry; I’ll keep it short and simple, since the fundamental have been written.

Database Marketing basically is when your Relationship Marketing lands you with a lot of information. That’s seems like a whole lot of work to do right? But there’s always Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to ease our load. CRM basically helps us optimize customer profitability.

After so much talk about this direct marketing stuff, don’t you wonder why do we need to do all these? The reasons are simple: We can use all these information to better manage marketing investments and customers. From generating sales leads to the sales team to sending the right message to the right customer.

Of course there’s one more reason, and that is that consumer power has increased significantly due to Information Technology. IT has evolved so quickly that information can be easily obtained by consumers and thus making them more POWERFUL! In this age, consumers are not king anymore… they are GOD!

And yes I’m referring to YOU!

November 14, 2009

Episode 9: Post Filming

Watch out for our next Side Project video!

By the way, we'll be going on a field trip to Qian Hu and GardenAsia next week!

Excited? Haha I don't really know much anything about them! I guess we've gotta do some homework to ask really intelligent questions.

Or at least to avoid asking inappropriate questions.

November 5, 2009

Episode 8: Eyebags & Rick Rollin'!

This week was filmed in The Loft, some temporary student apartment in our school, thus the little tour at the end of the video.

Anyway, have you Rick Rolled someone today? ;)

November 2, 2009

Blog: Microsoft Imagine Cup Boot Camp 2009

Last Saturday on 24th October, we went to Microsoft’s imagine cup Boot Camp! Not really a stay over camp, it’s more of a talk where they share with us Windows 7, Silverlight, Imagine cup and Augmented Reality. The trip was an eye opener for us, and we learned a few lessons about technopreneurship.

Firstly let’s talk about Windows 7, which many called it what Windows Vista should have been. Many have been frustrated over Windows Vista,and I am one of them. When I purchased my Macbook, I was on the verge of giving up hope on Microsoft, so I attended the boot camp to see whether I should just hop over to the MacWorld.

After the boot camp, I regained hope and now I’m stuck. I am a Mac yet a PC. I love Mac OS snow leopard and Windows 7. I love Mac’s spaces and exposé and Windows’s jump list and task bar. Hmmm, so now I’m a Mac + Microsoft which makes me a MACROSOFT!

Microsoft also showed us some technology that is coming to us soon. It is augmented reality which I find really cool and wanted to get my paws on the developer’s program. It’s basically using a camera which will detect a piece of card and it turns into a 3D hologram on the computer screen. Here a link on how it looks like. .
Silverlight is another technology that I fancy after looking at the demo and the capabilities of Silverlight like Out-of browser, deep zoom, etc. I’m totally amazed by how much more interactive and convenient it will make a website to become. Click here for more information: . Once you see it you will be amazed too!

Those are just some information that Microsoft fed us. The main purpose of the boot camp was to introduce and prepare the participant for Imagine Cup ’10. Imagine cup is a yearly international competition organized by Microsoft which started from 2003 till to date. This coming competition revolves around the United Nations 8 millennium goal.

Well you may ask what Microsoft Imagine Cup has got to do with our TIP project as we are doing iPhone application. Well it may not have a direct connection but indirectly Imagine Cup and TIP is similar in their nature. Here’s the website if you are interested in joining or knowing more about it:

TIP is about being a technopreneur working on an IT project; similarly imagine cup too is being a technopreneur working on an IT project. Through the talk, I became much more motivated and now have a clearer picture of what I am going to do.

The lesson we learn generally applies to our technopreneurship or any entrepreneurship. There are 3 things that we need to do, so in my own terms I named it as:

1. See
2. Know
3. Do

To see is to have a vision of what is the thing that you want. Is it that you want a solution that will help reduce 50% of the world’s pollution? The vision must be clear not a vague vision, so that you work towards it. Just like simple-ology’s Law of Clear Vision, you must be very clear of what you want.

Next is to know, which in the talk they called it preparation. To know is to get your hands dirty by researching, asking, surveying or anything that will help you get necessary information. Why do you need to do this? It is so that you know what you are doing and can make necessary moves. If you do not know anything about health care and you want to help in creating AIDS vaccine, well you’ll most likely killing the AIDS victims instead. So doing your homework is very important.
Illias and I have been doing our homework before we embark on our journey. We had been researching on the iPhone application market, created a business plan, and now we are drafting a marketing plan and proof of concept too. Well there’s so much work to do in becoming a technopreneur!

Lastly, is to do. This is what I know as the toughest part, but once you are able to pull it through you'll be successful. On Earth everyone will have their own ingenious and great ideas but no steps are taken bring that idea out to life. An idea is an idea,and if it is not brought to life, even the greatest idea is just a wasted idea. TIP is a platform for Illias and me to bring out our ideas to life, well it may not be the biggest or greatest idea but we have taken the very first step. In the future we know that if we have another idea, we can easily bring it to life for we have done it before.

After the talk we wander aimlessly and ended up in Chinatown where we have teh tarik and then Tanjong Pagar where we made our episode 7.

Well that’s all I’m going to talk about the trip and just some updates, we are going to another field trip to Gardenasia!