It’s Friday, and my iTunes alarm plays George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” at 6am in the morning. I crawled out of bed, turned it off, pondered for a minute, then fell back into slumber. A second later, I re-opened my eyes to see that the hour hand had went past eight. I knew I was being overly ambitious, but I wanted to seize the rest of the day as much as I could. A quick shower later, I cabbed it to Tiong Bahru for the first order of the day…
Meeting at 7.30am every Friday, Mark Png of ShoutLabs had invited me to the Rendevous networking chapter of BNI, where they essentially help one another’s business thrive through systematic word-of-mouth referrals. I’m usually skeptical about networking groups, because the first thing that comes to my mind is multi-level marketing (MLM). Fortunately this is something completely different altogether. Upon reaching Caffe Pralet, the meeting had gone full swing and I was like fish out of water. Being late, I was terribly embarrassed, but Mark gave me a seat and explained what was going on. It was rather impressive… the format of the meeting being quick, decisive and energetic.
After their highly-charged roundtable meeting ended, I took the chance to interview the different professionals attending the session. I was particularly interested in understanding their motivations for joining this cult-like working group, especially since there was a clear sense of ritual as well as a high level of member commitment (e.g. pricey membership, plenty of delegated tasks). One of the most unique aspects about this group was how they only let in one person from each type of industry, which then allows each one of them to monopolize the entire group’s business.
The tables turned when they asked me why I conduct these interviews. I explained that I seemed to enjoy being a social advocate, fleshing out interesting social trends which may have been missed out by the mainstream media (i.e. trendspotting). When asked who pays for this, I said no one, “I don’t get paid for doing this”. As Walter highlighted in a comment earlier, I am literally trying to push the notion of a one-man video show, from labor to finance. I’ll share more about this fun yet productively structured group in an upcoming theorycast video show.
Photo courtesy of Julian Lim
I bought a warm mocha coffee from Caffe Pralet before hopping into another cab for my 10am appointment with Yinghan of Hitchoo.com in Ang Mo Kio. There’s been lots of interest on this new startup which launched just two weeks ago. Perhaps it’s popularity could be due to how the service augments a fundamental human tradition: Romance. A friend I just made the night before, Julian Lim from AsiaOne (SPH), tagged along to take photos for his publication, as well as for me. The video interview covered Yinghan’s biography, his inspirations and more on how his interesting online / offline dating service works. I’ll try to prioritize this video ahead of my queue since I understand it’ll be something you want to watch ASAP.
After the interview, Yinghan and I hitched Julian’s ride for lunch. Along the way back, it started to rain heavily and Julian was kind to send each of us back. Since Julian was heading downtown, I decided to check out the PC Show which was on at Suntec City. I noticed how his car had been detailed with “Forza Motorsports 2” decals so I asked him about it. Turned out it was part of a unique marketing campaign by Microsoft Xbox in Singapore.
At the extremely crowded “don’t bring your kids or they would get crushed to death” PC Show 2007 @ Suntec Convention Hall, there was a menagerie of noise from man and machine. There was wifi access, so I hooked up my live video feed and broadcasted my walkthrough of the PC Show. If you saw it, lucky you.
One of the gadgets that caught my eye was the Kohjinsha UMPC, designed in Japan and made in China. While it felt a little cheap to me, the features were pretty nice. It does have a low powered processor (AMD Geode LX 800 @ 500Mhz), but I think it’d be perfect for students. Scroll to the bottom of this review to see some video performance samples. Heck, I reckon that this should be be our Asian version of the OLPC! With a starting price of $1049, this makes mobile computing accessible to almost anyone.
If you’re still wonder who that lady in red is… here she is. Julian had spare tickets for this “My Paper” (Chinese teenager newspaper) 1st anniversary party at Sentosa, so Yinghan and I called on our friends Veron, Brennan, Kelvin and Lynn to join us. We met up at Vivocity where we had dinner at Bakerzin (and where water wasn’t free!), before taking the monorail over to Cafe del Mar along Siloso Beach.
Had a good time, but the best part came when it was just Brennan, Kelvin, Lyn and me at the monorail station on the way home. I got Brennan to do a lipdub with me while waiting in line for the train. Yes, it was embarrassing, but I was bored restless. Besides, I’ve always wanted to do something like this for the longest time.
Watch for this lipdub video in the next post! In the meantime, here are the rest of the photos from my entire Friday…