End of 2011, the Lunar New Year version

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Personal | 2 Comments »

It’s the new year of 2012, lunar calendar that is. In case you are not aware, in my culture, Lunar New Year celebration is a huge thing, as many as 3 days off before and 7 days off after, like in China. So while having a few days off, I thought I should write something about the 2011 and prepare my todo list for 2012.

My 2011 started with a fantastic closing off of super happening 2010: Laying down IT foundation for TGM VN, producing the best Final Year Project of the year with my brother, while finishing off my degree at NUS.

I wasn’t sure what I did was entirely what I wanted. I felt that I needed to take a break from all that and more importantly embark on a self-exploring journey for myself. That’s when I took the opportunity to work at Anideo, a private startup funded by Eduardo Saverin. It’s almost a year now.

To summary it all, there weren’t many significant events that I could recall over the year but I’ve learnt a lot of extremely valuable lessons both in the profession that I’m in and personally.

Learning iOS development probably is the best thing

I’ve shifted my interests from web development to mobile app development. If you have not read my previous post about how I started this, you should now. It is so much more challenging both technically and economically. And ofcourse, the more challenging, the more rewarding it is at the end. I’ve produced, in my opinion, a few amazing apps in the process.

Not only I’m getting more confident in my technical skills, iOS development taught me so much more about UX design, UI design, delivery process, handling users’ feedback and complaints.

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Well, I know this quote is boring as it has been quoted and requoted so many times since Steve’s speech in 2005. However, ask yourself this question: do you really live it?

A few weeks ago, I caught up with a friend. During our conversation, he told me that one of the projects that I’ve put together in 2010 is still in use today and still no one could really out-do it after more than a year. The next moment after hearing this, my mind shifted into excited gear and the very next thought that came into my mind was: “I want to rebuild it, better”. It never occur to me that I need to stop and receive the credit I’ve earned. I have always wanted to do the next ridiculous thing just because people think it’s not possible. Once I finished something, the following few days are always depressing because I have nothing to do.

It’s one of the greatest phrases that describes very accurately how I work. I’m always hungry for more and I always do the things that people considered impossible. So 2011 taught me that as long I am still walking, I could never stop, and somehow I can always pull off the stunts.

Working in startup is damn f**king hard

Every user’s complaint makes you feel so damn bad about yourself. Everyday, receiving bad daily stats is depressing. Every missed deadline makes you think there’s no tomorrow. Sometimes you do a lot yet it doesn’t feel even close to enough. Sometimes you want stop to think but it makes you feel so bad because you just want to do something.

You hear stories about how people can wear anything to work, coming to work late, and work wherever they want. It’s true but it’s just the surface, there are more than that. The responsibility is so much more than an office job. You can’t just stop working when your idea is half-finished.

You also hear so many success stories every single day and keep wondering when is your turn. The reality is that those are only less than 1% of many companies out there. The other 99% *will* fail.

In short, you’ll get so many more downs than ups, and it never ends.

Stop giving excuses and just do it

It constantly amazed me every single time I put my thoughts into this. Over the last 2 years, I’ve learnt to stop giving excuses for my mistakes, I’ve learnt to stop making complaints about things people do. I just shut up and find another way around doing things. That alone gave me so much more energy and getting so much more things done.

Look around you, look at people who you think are somewhat achievers, how many times do you hear they complain about their daily life? Once you realized this, the pattern is pretty interesting. Yet people just don’t get it.

My moto has always been: don’t ask, don’t complain, just f**king do it already. As simply as that.

… and that concludes my 2011. My 2012 is going to be explosive!