Month: October 2006

The door is closed at McKinsey

They gave me a call this morning to ask where I was (I was scheduled to take an exam at their HQ). I told them I had emailed them last night.

I would not be considering a job there.

The lady asked… “REALLY?”

I told her I might in the future, just not now.

They closed my application and told me I had to apply the long and hard way “in the future”.

This was a tough call for me to make, but I’m happy now that the door is more or less closed, I can focus on what I set out to do in the first place, whatever that is.

In fact, I have much more pressure to succeed with my chosen route, and I’ll treat that as a positive thing =)

What do I want to be when I grow up?

It’s a bad question to ask, especially to a 6 year old. Click here to read why…

Still, I’d like to share some silly answers I came up with when I was young, and how this led me to decide on what I do today…

6 years old

What do I want to be? Hmm… What can I be?

An engineer? My dad is an engineer. But I don’t know what he does.

A fireman? A policeman? My mom says those jobs don’t make money, and if you don’t have money you don’t have food and clothes. I like having food and clothes.

A ninja turtle? I like Ninja turtles. But I think I want to be master splinter

(Master Splinter is that large, wise rat who taught the Ninja Turtles everything they knew. Pictured above)

8 years old

I spent my waking hours with Lego and other toys. I felt I knew how to make toys kids like me would like to buy (mostly because I didn’t know too many kids). So I figured Continue reading

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Have you ever been asked this question before?

Does it help you set goals, plan, and begin with some idea of an end in mind?

While this question is popularly used to help visualize ambition, I find this question horrible and unhelpful, for 2 reasons.

1. What do you want to be… most of the time, leads people into boxes of convention, to pick some static state, and attach ideas of permanence.

2. …when you grow up Suggests that growth sort of stops at some point. This is even worse when age is assumed to have something to do with being “grown up”.

Of course, I’m saying this because I believe anything that impedes personal growth and distracts you from acknowledging life’s transient nature, is bad bad bad. Bad.

Yet, many of us have been attacked by this question at some point. Even pre-school children!

There are a lot of other more helpful questions, like, “How would I like to live my life today, and how would I like to live my life x years from now, is what I’m doing today helping me get there?”

Not that it makes answering any easier, but at least it doesn’t put shit in your head.

My Accidental YouTube Experiment

Here are some videos I posted on YouTube up to 8 months ago.

Which YouTube video will get the most views? Hah… rank them in order of 1 to 4, and check out the surprising results, by clicking here.

Bird Attack #1 (00:13)
A bird attacks Samir

Bird Attack #2 (00:13)
Samir gets mauled by a bird

Russian bear Wrestling (00:42)
A Malaysian Midget takes on a Russian Bear in a life and death battle on the Baker Beach, San Francisco.

Backyard lizard (00:29)
Ate 2 of my fish!

What’s Next on theCicak v3

Last year, I co-founded this Malaysian youth magazine, thecicak.com. So far we’ve published 120+ articles, been on newspapers a few times, and today, we’re giving away RM800 for a short article you can write.. thecicak

But I’m not satisfied with it at all. It’s good, but it’s far from optimal. I’m bent on getting the system right, on 3 levels

– The website design
– The team
– The business model

For the website design,I’ve been working with Firdaus, of Josh Lim & Associates. it looks like I’m going to have to do it myself. The website’s most wanted response is for people to read articles. Next most wanted response is for them to comment. Then, write an article, or get to know theCicak.

To achieve this, our v3 will have a seperate, accesible, consistent navigation area for articles on the right, and non-article related sidebar on the other side. We’ll expand the width of container, shrink the artwork, to enable more vital info above the fold. Click on the thumbnail to view our planned wireframe layout.

click here

For the team, we’ve recruited a marketing-savvy bunch. They are heading the writing competition now, and I’m observing who’s got the right stuff…

We also have 2 new editors! Krystle is now the managing editor, and doing a darn good job. More editors needed! Put your brains and good English to use yo Click here.

But in the longer term, I’m grooming someone to manage volunteers and get things done… to build a tight, commited team. Personally, I’ve dedicated more time to mentoring compared to doing things myself. Anyone want hands on experience running a fast-growing online non-profit, working alongside some very capable young Malaysians? Click here.

For the business model, we hope to bring in money, to give out to our readers and commenters. This is our strategy towards sustainable, long-term growth…

TheCicak's Success Cycle

Giving out $$$ is an incentive to contribute. Where to get the money?

While the v3 suggestion integrates Adsense wayyyy better, considering we’re pulling in a targeted segment of Malaysian youth, we have in mind a couple of corporate sponsors, as well as larger non-profits who are looking to fund project like ours.

The Big Picture

My personal stake in this? I just think it’s important to be critical about the issues which affect us, and I like being surrounded by people who are smarter than I am.

Also, through theCicak, I’d like to think a more pressing issue is addressed.

In 2010, Malaysian polulation aged 20 to 34 = 6,295,411
Malaysian population aged 20 to 80 = 15,294,591
Which means % of voting population aged 20 to 34 = 41%
(Source)

You see, I don’t know how to vote. I don’t know much about Malaysian politics. Many of the so-called educated English urban Malaysian youth are as jakun as me… guess it doesn’t look like we’ll be having many informed voters to represent our section of society in the near future…

Let’s change that by spreading the word and promoting awareness of the issues! Click here to see theCicak

Humble Party v0.1

With 15 close friends over, I tested out a new kind of Saturday night.

Yu-Ri, Chit Soon, and I played 2 or 3 songs each… James played one song… everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Thanks Fiza for the photos!

I played a new song I wrote, and got some good feedback. Okay, now I have 2 songs I can play at open mics.

Tonight was just a test night – I am organizing a humble house party again very soon and everyone is invited! In the meantime, come to ProjectBazooka’s next gig…