Boy Band

Westlife's August 2019 concert in KL was sold out within a day suggesting boy bands and melodies from the 90s continue to attract a following with new and younger audiences. Some music commentators say boy bands are too sugary but newer fans may find in them a portrayal of fellowship that seems to have been lost in a more fractious modern world.

Plastic Apocalypse

A summary of an article titled Microplastics are raining down from the sky published by National Geographic on April 15th 2019:
  • Microplastics are not only present in the oceans, they are now found in the atmosphere.
  • Scientists have detected microplastics falling from the sky at a pristine, remote part of the Pyrenees Mountains.
  • Two previous studies have found microplastics present in city air.
  • The scientists do not know where these airborne microplastics come from.
  • Scientists also do not know the health effects of airborne microplastics which can be inhaled or ingested.
  • More ominous, microplastics could be breaking down into nanoplastics.
  • Currently, there is no easy way to detect nanoplastics.
  • Nanoplastics could be more nasty than microplastics by being more reactive, and being nano-sized, can pass through biological barriers.

In a previous post we cited Elon Musk saying AI could be more dangerous then nuclear bombs because AI's increasing reach could go unnoticed, and if it turns rogue, it might be too late or too hard to flip the switch. Could the same be said of plastics? And could it be even before microplastics could be defeated, they are morphing into nanoplastics?

Sunway University is hosting a joint-lecture [this evening, 5:30pm, 23-Apr-2019 @ Sunway tix] on eliminating plastic waste, the circular economy and the use of accounting tools to drive these practices by Gail Whiteman and Jeffrey Unerman. [Stodgy as accounting may seem, it could be a powerful tool in the battle against plastics by, for example, assigning plastics a much higher cost.]

Pick of Events (W1-May-2019)

Link Energy Trilemma @ KL tix
Link MDEC x MaGIC @ KL
Link Facial Recognition @ KL info
Link Digital Smorgasbord @ KL
Link MBApreneurs @ KL tix
Link Cyber Forensics @ KL
Link Managing Cashflow @ KL
Link Tracking Prevention @ KL info
Link International Pricing @ JB
Link Coffee Meetup @ KK tix
Link Green & IR4 Fund @ PG tix
Link Digital Economy @ PG tix
Link Survey Sampling @ PG

Ecommerce & Hackathons
Link ID & SG Ecommerce @ KL
Link Cross-Border Ecom @ KL
Link Visual Ecommerce @ KL
Link HLB FinHack @ KL
Link HSBC FinHack @ KL
Link Big Data AI Hack @ KL

Link Commons Festival @ IP tix
Link 15 Shades of Green @ HK
Link Digital Performance @ KL
Link Quarter Life Crisis @ KL
Link Music Forum @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Going Global @ SG
Link Smart Mobility @ SG
Link Energy Supply Chain @ SG
Link B2B Sales & Marketing @ SG
Link CTO Meetup @ JKT
Link Female Tech Stars @ JKT
Link SocMed Marketing @ JKT
Link ID Genetic Ancestry @ JKT
Link From Data to Product @ JKT
Link Due Diligence Checklist @ JKT
Link Ecommerce Gamification @ JKT

Security vs Utility

Old School Security Token: The Stock Certificate

[Security tokens vs utility tokens] There seems to a flurry of interest in STOs (security token offerings) lately. In this essay, we shall try to distinguish between security and utility tokens and fathom how STOs might be used.

Game Arcade Analogy
  • Game arcades offer a plethora of games including merry-go-round, basketball hoop shoot, pinball and electronic games.
  • Payment for games is usually via tokens which can be purchased from a token counter.
  • Why use tokens instead of coins? Centralised cash handling, security (not having 50 cash locations in an arcade of 50 games), ease of converting notes including foreign notes, ease in changing prices (eg from 50 cents per token to 60 cents per token) etc.
  • These arcade tokens are an example of utility tokens - one utilizes them to play games at the arcade.
  • On the other hand and completely different, if the arcade operator were to offer shares in the company, the share certificates would be the equivalent of security tokens.
  • [In the old days, shares were issued as paper certificates. These certificates secure (hence the term 'security') the share ownership of the holders of the certificates.]

  • STO came about after the SEC looked into ICOs and determined that some or many were offering shares without being regulated by the SEC (and are thus illegal).
  • Consequently, if a business were to offer shares (stock) via a token offering, and it is approved by SEC (have audited accounts etc) then it becomes a STO, an ICO which has been vetted by authorities.
  • Though the one major claimed STO in 2018, tZERO, which raised USD 134 million (MYR 553 million), seems to have run into some headwinds. 1 2
  • It might be more useful for STOs (as a concept) to leave the ICO legacy 3 behind, and be approached from a fintech, proptech or wealthech perspective.
  • A STO should be for a running business with traction and proper accounts, whereas ICOs have largely been based on 'whitepapers'.

STO Use Case
  • Allow the issue of stock to 3 different groups: institutional investors (T20/upper class), retail investors (M40/middle class) and security tokens (B40/working class/newbies/dabblers).
  • Thus, a newbie/bit investor can simply sign up online or on-app and buy a small lot of say Apple stock. Being on a token platform, the platform can define lot sizes, spread of investors (eg. no more than one lot per person) to limit risk, speculation and manipulation.
  • Holders of tokens are entitled to dividends similar to other stock holders, and to (fractional) voting. Can the crowd vote competently on CEO remuneration and other complex issues? Left as an exercise for readers.

Free vs Paid

Jack Ma turns up at many events all around the world. He is usually more reserved and careful when speaking at big conferences and in front of high powered audiences, but lights up with smaller, more casual crowds and with young people (video). This leads us to the topic of this post: free vs paid events.

Free Events
  • Free events are not free. It is a paid for by the organizer in time, effort and resources. There are many details to take care of: theme, speakers, topics, venue, marketing, sponsors, logistics, f&b, audio, video, hosting (making speakers and guests feel welcomed and comfortable), registration, staffing, accessories, swags, ambience etc.
  • Why make it free (or at a nominal fee)? Possible reasons: paying it forward, community building, knowledge sharing, commonwealth (vs private hoarding), freedom (barrierless admission, all welcomed), CSR, corporate or government initiatives that are meant for the general public, special occasions, celebrations, semi-structured meetup or get together.

Paid Events
  • Paid events are usually broadly industry focused (many speakers, topics, tracks, side-events) and might suit audiences with broader objectives.
  • For example, if a person is into the content of, say, cutting edge mobility, a top notch conference on this theme might help him or her glean what is at the edge (which might otherwise require reading through dozens of technical and industry journals).
  • Or, if a person is into networking and would like to meet suave and articulate people, a lawyer's conference (say) might be a suitable event to head to.
  • Here's a (speculative) example of getting the best out of a paid event. Gojek (GO-JEK) will be in town for a conference on 29 Apr 2019 @ KL [ MYR 1200 USD 288]. For some reason, Gojek is not operating in MY yet. If you are an analyst and would like to find out why, this might be a conference to go to. Or if you are a ride-sharing startup, and would like to JV with or be acquired by Gojek, this might also be a conference to go to.

Security Token | DLT Accelerator

Bumper slate of events to mark the end of April 2019. The post title refers to two topics in a DLT/STO event happening in Taipei.

DLT101 Distributed Ledger tix 24 Apr 2019 @ Taipei
  • Real World Examples of DLT - HTC
  • Amazon Managed Blockchain - AWS
  • Security Tokens 101 - STN post image
  • DLT Accelerator - BoostX
  • Separating Hype from Reality - R3

CoCoon Pitch Finals Spring 2019 tix 25 Apr 2019 @ HongKong
  • LambdaSense - Gait analysis (identification, fall/incident prediction etc)
  • Recruiter - Job portal for recruiters (instead of candidates)
  • Boxs - Shopfiy/WooCommerce challenger (WeChat commerce capable)
  • TaleLabs - Computer coaching for public speaking (vocab, pace, fillers etc)
  • Borecast - Tunnel boring maintenance forecast system
  • OurBigDay - Wedding portal (traditions, vendors, website, digital redpacket)

Ambank BizRACE Season 2 info acceleration in progress, picks:
  • ISSES - Industrial engineering (robotic spray painting, infrared catalyst etc)
  • EmergingEPC - Industrial engineering (compressors, dehydrators, filters etc)
  • Chemseal - Industrial engineering (waterproofing, flooring, coating etc)
  • NEXPlatform - Digital property showcase
  • LetMeStore - Outsourced storage for expanding ecommerce businesses
  • Vesbo - Instant bird's nest porridge

Pick of Events (W4-Apr-2019)
1. Events may fall before, during or after the indicated week. 2. Locations are generic and approximate eg. KL=Greater KL. 3. Posts are crafted on the go and are often polished after posting. 4. Event names are interpreted and abbreviated. 5. Some words or terms are abbreviated, for example, from 'e.g.' to 'eg'.

Link Industry 4.0 Fund @ KL tix
Link Big Data for Biz @ KL tix
Link Open Data @ KL tix
Link Object Storage @ KL
Link Data Analytics @ KL
Link Halal Business @ KL
Link Google Genomics @ KL
Link Speed Mentoring @ KL
Link Fintech DevHub @ KL
Link Local v Foreign VCs @ KL
Link Experience Economy @ KL
Link 5G for Work & Play @ PT tix new
Link Mum's Bakery @ JB tix
Link Side Business @ KK
Link Road to Growth @ KK
Link Accelerator Show @ KC tix
Link Machine Learning @ PG tix

Link Among Great Apes @ KC
Link A Smithsonian @ KC
Link Inclusiveness @ KL tix
Link Empathic Design @ KL
Link Portrait Videography @ KL tix
Link Writing for Netflix @ KL
Link Explain Science @ KL 1 2
Link Social Whispers @ KL
Link Design Meetup @KL new
Link Celebrity Chefs @ KL new
Link Zine x DIY Fest @ KL new
Link Design Curation @ HK
Link Scientific Lenoardo @ HK

Lectures | Economy | Politics
Link Direct Democracy @ KL
Link Eliminating Plastics @ KL
Link Fortune500 Culture @ KL
Link Economy Meetup @ KL
Link Digital Dialogue @ KL
Link Nuclear Disarmament @ KL
Link EU-Asean Regionalism @ KL new

Around The Region
Link European E-Residency @ SG
Link Floating Solutions @ SG pdf
Link Maritime Innovation @ SG
Link Expanding to SEA @ SG
Link Women Investors @ SG
Link Boutique Fitness @ SG
Link Explainable AI @ SG
Link Analytics & AI @ SG
Link CEO Meetup @ HK tix
Link Logistics ML @ HK
Link Expat Women @ HK
Link Security Token @ TP tix
Link Fake Hackathon @ JKT
Link Tourism Big Data @ JKT
Link Bespoke Big Data @ JKT

Subway Blockchain

Metro Shenzhen Subway [ droid | iOS ] Left: Suggested route from the Civic Center to the airport (distance: 33.7 km, travel time: 55 minutes, fare: CNY 8 (approx MYR 5 | USD 1.2), requires 2 changes of trains). Middle: station information showing where the two lines that connect to the Grand Theater station lead to, includes dining suggestions around the station. Right: built-in map shows places around the Grand Theater station. [These screenshots are for miscellaneous illustration and are not directly related to the discussion below.]

The Curious Case of a Subway Blockchain
  • Shenzhen Metro is reportedly issuing blockchain backed invoices for rides.
  • An invoice in a more formal sense is a bill ie a request for payment. However, not infrequently, the term invoice is used for a receipt, a record of what was paid. For this discussion, we will assume the latter and use the word 'receipt' instead of 'invoice'.
  • Why use a blockchain to record receipts (and not a normal database)? Is a trustless system required? Not obviously so, the metro operator could presumably be able to competently record journeys and issue receipts. Do intermediaries need to be removed? Doesn't seem applicable, the metro transacts directly with commuters.
  • Must the receipts be absolutely tamper proof? Receipts have no intrinsic value except as records. A receipt for a ride is not high value, not an asset or exchangeable (except for corporate expense claims), and is not performing a hyper critical function (the metro could lose a ticket or two and still run vs if a bank loses some transactions).
  • Receipts as a whole are important to the metro to record revenue and rides. To ensure their accuracy, internal controls can be effected through subsidiary ledgers (eg. a secondary counting system at the entry/exit barriers) and other techniques. These would probably still be required even if a blockchain is used.
  • Then, why use a blockchain? Some possible reasons (as we speculate):
    • For publicity. • It is indeed an invoice and not a receipt ie a post-paid system. The record of journeys must be robust because the customer will be billed for them later. However, telcos have been doing post-paid billing for a long time without blockchain. • The owners (or tax department) does not trust the metro to record transactions diligently and is requesting it to use a blockchain (though if the metro can't be trusted, there might be issues elsewhere). • The metro (and/or its blockchain supplier) is trialing the blockchain in a non-critical, high throughput environment in preparation for something more substantial.

Michelle's Story

Former YouTube sensation Michelle Phan draws and tells her story. [Best viewed from a laptop or desktop with good speakers or headphones. The video is soft cropped for better focus.]


Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, is in town to give an update on the state of Ethereum this evening 6:30pm at PayPal's offices (in SG). After which, another co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, will cover Polkadot, which has a breathtaking vision to unify the different blockchains so as to get the best of each. Perhaps conceptually like (as far as we our brief reading tells us) how the internet allows different databases (Firebase, MySQL, SQLite, Azure, S3, MongoDB etc) to work together to serve the web. We haven't been looking much at blockchains lately but we'll make an exception for Vitalik. [ tix | fullhouse but check with the organizer who may have a reserved seating for ticket holders for x minutes only policy | caveat emptor ]

Pick of Events (W3-Apr-2019)

Link Game Industry @ KL
Link Green Factories @ KL
Link Socialpreneur @ CJ
Link Functional Ruby @ PG
Link Pre-Accelerator @ KC
Link Food Delivery @ ME

Art & a bit of science
Link Primordial Soup @ KL
Link Comedy Workshop @ KL
Link Design Handoffs @ KL
Link Music Royalties @ KL
Link Quality City @ KL
Link DNA Testing @ JB

Around The Region
Link Echelon Korea @ SO tix
Link Internet Economy @ HK
Link Silicon Dragons @ HK
Link Supply Chain @ HK
Link New Gen Retail @ SG
Link Women Startups @ TP
Link Women Capital @ JKT


At the edge: Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Lab (ATAP)

As occasional coworkers, here are some suggestions how coworking spaces could widen their appeal [note: not business advice]:
  • Business registration is a relatively simple process DIY but for beginners and having to travel to the business registrar (eg SSM), it could be a challenge.
  • Company registration is more complex. There is no shortage of stories in social media of vexatious dealings with secretarial services. Offering a competent service is a good differentiator.
  • Accounting After company registration, a business will want accounting services as well, as proper accounting is needed for operations, tax etc.
  • Legal Drafting of user agreements, contracts (partnership, employment, business etc), vetting of contracts are common requests from businesses, new and old.
  • Web From a website to social media presence (fb, ig, tw), to arcane topics like SEO and online ads. Online ads are particularly treacherous as it can drain a newbie of money without getting much in return.
  • Mailing An address to receive mail and parcels. This is useful for startups that are just starting off and do not have an office or fixed address yet. Parcel handling itself is a possible side business [ 1 2 3 4 ].
  • Others Large format printing (A3, A2, A1), poster printing, scanning, name card printing, image editing, video services, logo and graphic design, explainer videos, 3D printing, translation etc.
  • [CoLiving What users want is convenience (check into work and board at the same time). This could fulfilled by partnering with a nearby hotel or serviced apartment vs communal living as how coliving is defined in the west.]
Some of these services likely require roping in outside specialists (could be on a referral basis), thus the job is to find good partners. Orthogonal to the above, a space may also focus on a vertical: apps, ecommerce, electronics, halal, prototyping etc.

Related Events
Link 3D Printing @ KL
Link Free WeWork @ KL
Link Secretarial Services @ PG

Teh Tarik @ Hameediya

Neobank Challenger
Maybank's digital only bank challenger, Maybank Anywhere Everyone (MAE), invites the general public to sign up for an ewallet & Visa virtual debit card by simply using an app [ droid | iOS ] (max balance: MYR 5K | USD 1.2K). It isn't quite a neobank yet pending features like higher max balances, ATM withdrawals, option for physical card but these can be availed to by upgrading from MAE to Maybank (perhaps 'Maebank' will be self standing in the future).

Jom Teh Tarik ('let's go have a cuppa')
MAE is holding a 31% off promo at selected eateries for the month of April 2019. A check of participating outlets shows Hameediya Bistro Ampang [map, outside, inside] as one of two mamak offerings. The other is Southbay Nasi Kandar in Penang (versus WeChatPay's online ordering at Syed Bistro). The essential T&C: valid for 2 meals, max discount of MYR 20 per meal, one table one redemption, use of discount codes BOJIO for Hammediya and MAKAN for Southbay. Happy teh tarik ('partaking in frothy milk tea')!

New Apple

Apple Card
Just wondering: how could Apple sign up a customer for its credit card in minutes? It could profile the applicant by rummaging through his or her iPhone but since this is against its stated privacy policy, instant sign-ups might just only be available for applicants with Apple Store and Apple Pay histories, and in certain locales.

At the same event where it unveiled the Apple Card, Apple also debuted Apple Arcade (pay one subscription, play many games across all gadgets), Apple News+ (news with an eye on high culture magazines) and Apple TV+ (Netflix challenger) [video above].

Other Wallets
Kudos to WeChatPay for pushing the envelope in the ewallet space (vending machines, mamak stalls, petrol stations). The vehicle plate recognition technology proposed for petrol stations could be applied to parking, automatic car wash & tolls (may work better with security plates). The vending machine model can be applied to self-service, physical micro-transactions (eg. tickets to a zoo). Anchors: WeChatPay (conversations), Alipay (products), Meituan (food | services).

Pick of Events (W2-Apr-2019)

Link 5G Cloud @ KL
Link Women in Tech @ KL
Link Green Couture @ KL
Link Halal Markets @ KL tix
Link Women in Retail @ KL
Link Exploring China @ KL
Link Python Movies @ KL

Link Readers World @ KL also
Link Untold Stories @ KL tix
Link Food Festival @ PG 1 2 3

Around The Region
Link New York Times @ HK
Link Electronics Fair @ HK 1
Link Airport Shortage @ SG
Link Nordic Startups @ SG
Link Scale Efficiently @ JKT

Apple Meituan

Subsequent to our previous post on ewallets, there have been a number of developments at the ewallet front. These will be covered in a two parter; part one follows, part two in the next post.

Apple Card
  • App-based credit card with option for a physical card
  • Sign-up in minutes via app and use immediately 1
  • Big tech's first foray into neo banking, on Apple's upmarket chops
  • Users may develop into an upper class, spending bloc
  • Thus enticing merchants and others to sign-up

Meituan mei=beautiful | tuan=mission
  • Vending machines, mamak & petrol stations not compelling use cases 2
  • But food could be (with some marketing incentives)
  • In China, Meituan (food delivery) has grown to take on WeChat and Alipay
  • How? Roast duck costs 80% less delivered compared to buying it yourself 3
  • Hawkers making quantum leap into ecommerce and on-demand supply

Canteens bonus topic: cashless school canteens
  • Teach the concepts of ledger, income & expense (vs habitual spending)
  • Wallet could be incorporated into a school badge etc, restricted to school
  • Welfare (eg. one square meal a day) can be channeled directly to a child
  • Monitor food trends (eg. are kids eating enough fruit & veg vs fried chicken)
  • Cash handling can still be taught during, say, year 5-6 , the rest go cashless

Cabaret Spotlight

A feature of old school cabarets is the spotlight. As the venue lights are switched off and conversations peter out, there is a moment of darkness and silence before the spotlight comes on casting a disc of bright, white light on the performer as she (or he or they) makes her entrance. With all eyes and ears on the performer, she is 'naked' under the glare of the spotlight as every detail - the act, singing, dance, hair, makeup, dress, shoes, movement, expression - is brought to bear.

After two consecutive videos from Indonesia YouTubers, we shall make it a hat trick with a cover of Karna Su Sayang ('because of love') by Gen Halilintar. Credit for the creative use of cabaret lighting as the special effect and the multiple singers. [In the song, you may catch the word 'mati', the full verse is rasa ini tumbuh dan tak mati ('this feeling grows and never perishes').]

Ewallet Evolution

Cashless payments (ewallets) seem to have gone off the boil a bit. The forums are filled with support questions as compared to feature discussions and product suggestions earlier. Common gripes:
  • Multi-step UX compared to cash or cards
  • Reluctant cashiers, no internet connection
  • Server downtime, top-up issues
Add to these is usage which has been driven by discounts (cashbacks), gaming (shaking the phone etc) and elite incentives (optimal FX rates).

At this rate, ewallets risk going the way of ebikes (mobike, ofobike) in the sense the solution is ahead of its time. One way forward is to get a regulatory helping hand, eg. at designated places, like food courts, implement a cash surcharge of 50 sen/cents (payable to a fund to promote or facilitate cashless payment) or total cashless operation, on reason of hygiene.

For the authorities to reasonably mandate cashless transactions, the system(s) must be robust especially in terms of internet or server downtime. One way this could be achieved is to have a serverless system. How? By using a stored-value method like the TnG card - the value is stored in the phone and synced with the server later. Doing this won't be easy though, as it requires good security and to be at the cutting edge.

F&B is one business that cashless payments have the greatest potential for uptake and usage. This is because many urbanites buy breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and/or snacks everyday, from upmarket eateries to fast food and street food, to school canteens. Since the majority of these transactions are lower in value (20 bucks or less), they can be accorded a different risk profile and placed at the cutting edge. More on cashless F&B by Fave, OwnersCircle, Quartet and Drinkentrepreneurs next Wed, 3rd April 2019, 8pm @ Publika tix.

Pick of Events (W1-Apr-2019)

Link Knowledge Mgmt @ KL
Link Product Mgmt @ KL tix
Link Tribal Education @ KL
Link Intro to AR @ KL tix
Link Halal Showcase @ KL
Link Robots & AI @ KL tix
Link Lean-In Kickoff @ PG

Around The Region
Link LawRegTech Hack @ HK also
Link Fintech Whitepaper @ HK
Link Triple Bank Hack @ HK
Link Funding Meetup @ HK
Link Change Makers @ HK tix
Link Inhuman HR @ HK
Link Food Traceability @ SG
Link Future of Food @ SG tix
Link Women in Tech @ SG
Link Women in Finance @ SG
Link Creative Leaders @ JKT tix
Link Online Wholesaler @ JKT info

Link French Festival @ KL
Link Classical French @ KL
Link Chamber Concert @ KL
Link Coffee Fix @ KL also
Link Game Changers @ HK

The Vessel

Stair climbing is an excellent exercise. Below are three designs that incorporate stairs as a central or essential theme. The post title refers to the middle photo, details follow.

The Stairs Rotterdam

The Vessel NYC

The Warehouse Dublin

The Stairs Rotterdam
Reminiscent of step pyramids, The Stairs [to Kriterion] was a temporary event structure put together in 2016 to celebrate the rebuilding of Rotterdam from the Second World War. It led from a public square to the roof of a building with a temporary observation deck, and a former cinema [named Kriterion] which was reopened to host films, talks and performances. [ MVRDV ]

The Vessel NYC
Vessel is the centrepiece of Hudson Yards, a large real estate project in New York City. It is Chand Baori, the geometric stepped water well of India, raised above ground to form a 16-story climbable structure. According to the designer, Vessel is intended to be an interactive space for people to meet that requires no electronics and no internet, but is instead based on physicality, that you have to be there and that you would have to ascend and descend the stairs. [ Heatherwick | exterior | video ]

The Warehouse Dublin
The Warehouse is Airbnb's international HQ located in Dublin. Constructed from a disused warehouse, a wide flight of stairs features prominently in connecting the workspaces at the upper floors to shared spaces (atrium, meeting rooms, kitchen) at the basement. Not just a conduit, the stairs also act as a conference, event and casual working space. [ Dezeen ]

It would seem the West has declined to join the ME vs CN skyscraper race. Instead attention is given to civic, green and innovative designs. Perhaps also a case of architects taking back some initiative from developers (and engineers) to rebalance the holistic impact of the buildings, structures and spaces.

Sparkling Songster

A song or piece of music may consist of the art, singer, melody, arrangement, content, beat, lyrics, backing, production, setting and audience. Plus dashes of oomph and verve. When all these come together just right, the song gains a special spark (vs standard commercial music which tends to focus on production as a tool of marketing).

After featuring two Indonesian YouTubers in our previous music post, next up is another compatriot of theirs, Fatin Majidi, in a cover of Mirai E. The spark: likely recorded using the selfie camera of a phone (hence the low-res and non-standard aspect ratio), the diction is clear, as is the audio recording and rendition.

Props to the enterprising youngsters from an unheralded part of the world (and the techies at YouTube) for bringing a bit of cheer to the world.

Validation & Acceleration

Have a business idea you wish to follow up on? 'Idea' here refers to concept plus method of execution. Like in selling lemonade (concept) and stand design, location, signage, lemonade/water/sweetener mix, how to attract attention, pricing, sourcing of lemons etc (method), You can jump straight in or you could go through a mentored process. These coming weeks, you can validate your ideas in person at KL, CJ or PG. After which or alternatively, proceed to acceleration: fintech | emergingtech | fintech.

Pick of Events (W4-Mar-2019)

Link Hustlerpreneurs @ KL tix
Link Blockchainpreneurs @ KL
Link Womenpreneurs @ KL
Link LinkedIn Meetup @ KL
Link SocMed Meetup @ KL
Link UX/UI/CX Design @ KL
Link Experian Journey @ KL
Link Stay Relevant @ PG tix

Link Poetry Supper Club @ KL
Link Art of Filmmaking @ KL tix
Link Tukar Tangan @ KL post image
Link Women's Day Party @ KL
Link Art & Cuisine @ KL
Link #MeToo Meetup @ KL
Link Hushed Reading @ KL
Link Furry Friendsters @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Art Basel @ HK
Link Proptech Hack @ HK tix
Link Speed Dating @ TW tix
Link Future of Transport @ SG
Link Talend Databricks @ SG
Link Hungry Pomelo @ BKK
Link Vitamin or Painkiller @ JKT
Link Late Nite Fintech @ JKT tix

YC | Zeroth

YC and Zeroth are holding their demo day(s) starting tomorrow [Mon, 18 Mar 2019] in SF & Tokyo respectively. A sample of startups:

YC Winter 2019 via YC has to-date listed 50 out of 200+ startups in this batch
  • InsideSherpa - Simulate working in top firms like KPMG
  • Cherry - Give e-perks to staff: Uber, Lyft, Netflix subscriptions etc
  • Bensen - Just say 'burger' to order burger, no swiping needed
  • Taali - Lotus seeds: the new health food
  • AuraVision - Retrofit footfall analytics into existing store cameras

Zeroth AI 2019 via batches 1-4
  • SpoonShot - Food taste AI: eg finding a link between Nutella & soy sauce
  • RumbleMonkey - Allow players to stake money in one-on-one e-sports
  • MikeLegal - Use AI to trawl through trade mark documents
  • Etymo - AI search engine [try typing 'machine learning']
  • Sharpsense - Use AI to analyse IoT data for critical events

Bonus 1: AI Startups 1 2 rise of the bots
  • JudeDeck - Create your own royalty-free music using AI
  • Phrasee - Generate marketing copy using AI
  • Distributed - Scale developer teams like you would scale cloud computing
  • Trax - Check supermarket shelves (stock outs etc) using computer vision vid
  • MindTrace - Use webcam to gauge emotion, eye movement, for mktg/ud

Bonus 2: AI Like
  • We tried searching for online demos of AI, but found none
  • Instead, we stumbled upon these AI-like programs
  • They (likely) use programmed logic, tables, tree search and/or look-ahead
  • But no self-learning as required for AI. Still, a bit of SNSFW fun:
  • Mitsuku - Chat bot chat via the box at the bottom right of the screen
  • GamesForTheBrain - Checkers click from and to positions, no dragging
  • - Chess clean, modern UI

  • Our startup lists are largely pitched at technical people/industry insiders, the general public may not find them too interesting, given the terse descriptions.
  • To illustrate how there could be more to a short description, in YC's list above, InsideSherpa proposes freshies could gain the experience of working for, say, Elon Musk, without actually being hired by Elon Musk. It might also go towards realising Jack Ma's advice [2015] of 'when starting out, find a good boss to work for, as he/she will give you a good foundation for your career' on a scalable, virtual basis. This is a new perspective in graduate training.
  • Another example is Cherry which proposes Uber/Lyft subscriptions (among others) as perks. Thus, instead of giving staff a company car, an intermediate perk could be to give a ride subscription. This in turn hints at the possibility of a market-driven, non-coercive, tax-deductible, private sector lever (out of many possibilities) for e-mobility.

Ed Perfect

Indonesian YouTubers Hanin Dhiya and Chelsea Angelica covers. Ed Sheeran's Perfect. Ed in KL in April.

Cat Concerto

The Cat Concerto
Sixteen years old Yannie Tan rolls with Tom and Jerry's The Cat Concerto, winner of the 1947 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The piece being played, Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, opens this weekend's Sibelius concert. [Note: the music is slower paced than our usual highlights but the tempo picks up a third of the way in when Jerry, the mouse, makes his appearance.]

The Unanswered Question
On a more meditative note, in The Quest for a New World concert at month's end, the opening act is The Unanswered Question where the violins are said to represent serenity; the trumpet, questions; and flutes, answers. Have a watch at this short piece, for in it, perhaps the suggestion, at certain times and in certain matters, questions beget more questions, and ultimately the answer could be serenity.

Other Music Events
Link Colours of Music @ Sunway
Link The World in Songs @ UCSI
Link The Nutcracker @ Bentley
Link Chamber Concert @ KLCC
Link Master & Prodigies @ SA
Link Sunny Side Up @ KLPAC
Link Viva La Music @ INTI