超级隐形卖货机器 – Shopify夹缝中拼出1400亿市值

■YYC超越集团主席叶志超

每个故事都有大智慧,“企动人心”单元希望与更多企业家及管理者,分享触动人心、启发灵感及商机的故事。

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超级隐形卖货机器

Shopify夹缝中拼出1400亿市值

如果说,马克朱伯克格当初为了泡妞创立了面子书,那市值1400亿美元的Shopify,起源也是因为一段异地恋。

讲起美国的电商,您一定会以为不是亚马逊的天下,就是eBay的地盘;但在亚马逊和eBay夹缝中生存下来的Shopify,其实是一部超级庞大的“隐形卖货机器”!

今天的“企动人心”要分享的是这间作风低调的加拿大独角兽企业,以及其联合创始人托比斯卢特克(Tobias Lutke)的创业故事。

简单来说,Shopify是一家帮用户建立电商网站的公司,它的操作简单并且有许多模板供选择,商户不需懂得任何代码,只需选择自己属意的模板网站就可网上做生意。

德国出生 有阅读障碍

1980年于德国出世的托比斯,自小有阅读障碍症,到了10年级就辍学,加入一个学习编程的学徒项目,这也造就了他喜欢用编程解决所有问题的个性。

关于Shopify的故事,要从一段爱情故事讲起。因为喜欢滑雪,托比斯从德国去到加拿大,也因而结识现任妻子菲奥娜麦基恩(Fiona Mckean)。

2002年,为了让这段异地恋开花结果,托比斯决定到加拿大发展。但是他却拿不到工作准证,得悉唯有自雇才可继续合法工作,他因而阴错阳差创业,成立了一个卖滑雪板的网站,叫Snowdevil。

在要创设Snowdevil时,托比斯研究了许多商业软件后都发现太贵,最惊讶的是即便到了2004年,市面上都还没有一个简易使用建网店的软件。

编程是他的强项,于是他使用开源编程语言Ruby on Rails建立Snowdevil,大概两个月半的时间,网站就顺利启用。

从卖滑雪板到卖软体

本来是卖滑雪板的网店,后来又怎么变成建电商网站呢?

托比斯在受访时曾透露,其实销售滑雪板的生意也经营得很不错,赚幅也相当高,投资很快也回本了。

托比斯也与友人斯科特莱柯(Scott Lake)一起合伙经营Snowdevil,他负责科技,斯科特则是CEO。身为科技人(IT guy)的托比斯,最热衷的事情就是一直研究如何让网店更美、更快、更好。

事情转折点就发生在当Snowdevil网站越来越好用,也越来越多人询问可否把Snowdevil网站软体授权使用,于是托比斯和斯科特就开始思考,到底要继续卖滑雪板还是卖网站软体?

答案很明显!在2005年夏天,托比斯好友丹尼尔魏南德(Daniel Weinand)也加入团队,Shopify正式诞生,公司名称取自“Shop + simplify”的缩写,想带出的意思就是用最简易便捷的方式设立网店。

靠岳父周转 发薪资

Shopify创始资金是源自跟亲朋好友筹资的20万美元,但初期发展并不顺利,很快就花光了这笔钱,还试过靠岳父的资金来发工资。

失败的原因是收费模式出问题,Shopify在每笔交易都收取手续费,这影响了商户把业绩冲高的意愿,因为卖越多被抽取的佣金将更高。恶性循环下,Shopify的收入成长非常缓慢。

就在托比斯与菲奥娜婚礼前一晚,Shopify把收费模式换成订阅式,托比斯说,也因为这个转换,使他在婚礼当晚非常忙碌,电话接不停。

到了2007年,Shopify终于迎来第一个春天!一位加拿大天使投资者注资25万美元,当时公司估值已经是300万美元。

有了这笔资金,Shopify开始设立自己的办公室,托比斯不再需要天天泡咖啡馆用免费wifi。公司也开始累积了商户数据,业务齿轮开始启动。

CEO离职迫使硅谷行

可是,此时担任总执行长的合伙人斯科特却要离开公司。这令托比斯感到非常担忧,因为他一直觉得自己是属于技术层面的,怕自己无法胜任CEO职务。

在听说风险投资注资后也会帮忙物色CEO后,2008年托比斯决定跑去硅谷碰运气,目的就是找资金、找CEO。

尽管是冲着去找风投,但有趣的是,托比斯连募资企划案都没有准备,因为在他的理想中只想组建约20人的高效团队,所以根本不需要筹太多钱。

于是,抵步后买了一部脚踏车,带着笔记本就去见投资人。

此趟硅谷行也算是有收获的,包括取得风投的投资意向书(term sheet),但倒是托比斯自己意识到不必太激进。在这段期间也渐渐转换角色当CEO。

然而人算不如天算,2008年下半年突如其来的次贷风暴,令全球陷入经济危机,之前投资意向书也不了了之了,公司又出现资金问题……。

失业军创业 开网店

可是谁也没料到,经济低迷使更多人失业,而这些失业军竟也因为找不到新工作而去创业,比起实体店需要更大成本,更多人倾向开网店,这却正正为Shopify打开商机之门,用户及订阅节节上升。

到了2009年,Shopify的现金周转终于不再绷紧,公司财务状况不再处于“天天忙着灭火”的状态,而且可以开始规划例如基建的长期投资。

在学习当CEO这件事情上,托比斯说,管人比管好电脑难太多,但也感激团队的给力及给予的耐心。而且托比斯认为,成为企业领导人压力也很大,自己所做的决定将会影响许多员工及家人的生计与未来。

到了2010年12月,Shopify获得A轮融资700万美元,公司估值也达到了2500万美元。2011年,Shopify获得B轮融资1500万美元,及2013年再以9亿美元公司估值,筹获1亿美元。

生活只需要一台笔电

在构思如何把业务做好时,托比斯的思想可以很复杂,但私底下他却是个生活简单的人,他形容基本上他的生活只需要一部笔记电脑就好。

从德国迁到加拿大的这些日子,托比斯在岳父母家共住了14年,之后才与妻子及三个孩子迁出組织小家庭。

托比斯也于2014年获得加拿大媒体《The Globe and Mail’s》评选为2014年年度最佳CEO。

截至2019年,Shopify共服务来自175个国家超过100万家电商,涉及成交额达到610亿美元,“隐形卖货机器”的江湖地位稳如泰山。

正如托比斯形容,如果您不是在阿马逊或者eBay网购,那您很可能刚刚光顾了一间用Shopify软体盖建的网店,只不过那里没有Shopify的标志而已,因为行事低调的Shopify,企业愿景就是“让商户看起来更棒”。

压倒eBay 股价5年飙75倍

但现今Shopify已经压倒eBay,成为二哥,并直挑亚马逊!

除了电商,Shopify也与面子书、Uber、推特、Pinterest甚至亚马逊有不同的业务合作项目。

电商网站业务已经打稳市场后,Shopify也不断升级,并且把平台开放给开发者,打造电商软件即服务 (SaaS) 平台;企业愿景也升级为“让所有人的交易更美好”。

随着平台规模的扩大,Shopify形成了无懈可击的护城河,令竞争对手更难以超越。

2015年5月,Shopify在纽约证券交易所上市,当时每股发售价是17美元,比起今年最高的1285美元,等于是5年内飙升了75倍!

2020年疫情爆发也加热网购交易量,使Shopify股价犹如“站在风口上的猪”般飞了起来,市值超过1400亿美元市值,占美国电商零售5.9%市占率。

两次危机变爆炸式成长

无论是2018年次贷危机,还是 2020年的疫情危机,都造就了Shopify两次爆炸式成长。

从当初原本只要20人高效团队,到后来扩展成为5000人的大公司。从当初未获工作准证,到后来成为加拿大的亿万富豪。

从只是想单纯卖滑雪板,到销售电商软体并形成生态圈;套一句老话,一切都是最好的安排。

如果说面子书改变了全球人类的社交形态,那么Shopify的阴错阳差,也为百花齐放的电商创造更多无限商机。

但是,在成为“风口下的猪”以前,都要时刻先把自己装备好,当机会来的时候才有条件“站在风口上”,进而把握机遇,把“危”转成“机”。

3大启示: 

  1. 专注极致:托比斯一直都以“IT Guy”做为经营自己及经营事业的核心理念,就算只是在盖一个卖滑雪板的网站,也不断改进做到最极致,从而也为自己打开了第二个商机。
  2. 自我突破:尽管只喜欢对着电脑、认为管人是很难的事,托比斯最后还是胜任了CEO的角色,调适自己来接下重任。
  3. 建生态圈:在稳定电商软体霸主地位后,Shopify把平台开放给开发者,打造电商软件即服务 (SaaS) 平台,加强业务竞争力。

A One-of-A Kind Liveable City Is Now in Malaysia. Where Is It?

Ever wonder why the core of a city is always known as the “heart” of the city? This is because the heart in our body functions as a focal region that gives life and growth to the areas surrounding it. The heart of the city is a technologically advanced location where information is exchanged daily, businesses flourish, social settings take place and where the best infrastructures are easily accessible. 

Gamuda Cove is designed in a way that allows residents to access healthcare centres, schools, offices, and other facilities all within 10 minutes. There are also walkways, bikeways, motorways, trams, and many more transportation amenities that connect homes to all the other areas in this smart sustainable city. When it comes to intercity traveling, Gamuda Cove is directly connected to the Elite Highway and access to Putrajaya will be connected via an upcoming direct flyover. 

Within the 1530-acre township of the Cove, lies the “Heart of Cove”, the busiest and most happening central hub of this liveable city. This 60-acre commercial area will be the connecting point of various districts and the entire residential estate of Gamuda Cove in the next 5 years. The “heart” was precisely planned and designed to create an environment where walkability, work, live, and play are not only accessible to each other but also able to form a dynamic relation that will encourage businesses and growth on all levels. From education to wellness, business settings to leisure and entertainment, Gamuda Cove has it all!

1. Contemporary Urban Lifestyle

The Cove will consist of a Wellness Park, Education Park, and  townsquare filled with cafes, restaurants, spas, and many more leisure and lifestyle vendors within the next 5 years.  There will also be a 60-acre pet-friendly Central Park that allows everyone to bring along their furry friends for a stroll. These facilities and development will in return cultivate the contemporary urban lifestyle which is also known as the “KL & PJ Lifestyle” to those residing inside and around Gamuda Cove. This is good news to those living within the radius of South Klang Valley as delicious food, beautiful parks, and fun entertainment will just be a heartbeat away!

2. Leisure & Entertainment

As Gamuda Cove is located next to wetlands and forest reserves, you can get close to nature at the Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands and Discovery Park. These parks are not only educational but also made for those who crave adventures and excitement. You can go on a safari tour, ride on a hot air balloon, participate in bird watching, and partake in many other interesting activities there. The SplashMania Water Theme Park on the other hand is a great place to drench the tropical heat away with your friends and family. After all of that fun and enjoyment, head over to the Leisure & Entertainment Park for a meal and relaxation, it’s that convenient!

Gamuda Cove’s Townsquare, which is made up of The Street, The Alley, The Plaza & Bond Avenue. Register here if you are interested to know more about Townsquare!

3. Live SMART With Technology

While connectivity is an important element in a community, the combination of technology and nature are equally essential in powering up the security, energy management, and sustainability of Gamuda Cove. The township is 5G ready and furnished with high speed internet while utilizing the enhanced SMART technology on all of its surveillance cameras and detection devices for crime prevention. When it comes to energy and waste management, Gamuda Cove implements solar systems to light up public spaces while food waste decompose stations and recycling stations are set up at residential areas. All of these features create a sustainable lifestyle and environment at Gamuda Cove.

4. Wellness & Community Engagement

Relaxation and living well has never been so easy with the community pocket parks and waterfronts at Gamuda Cove. Social integration and community engagement at this estate are well facilitated with scenic landscapes and greenery all around. The much anticipated pet-friendly park on a 5KM plot will be a favourable location for all who enjoy spending time with their pets and loved ones. The Cove will also have supporting facilities such as education institutions and health care centres within 10 minutes of wherever you are in Gamuda Cove.

5. A Nature Sanctuary

When you hear the name Gamuda Cove, you cannot help but to think of it as a nature sanctuary filled with a rich biodiversity and ecosystem. Due to its location between the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve and Paya Indah Wetlands, it was intuitive for Gamuda Cove to plan the township in a way that allows the land surrounding it to be at its most natural state. While the 60-acre Central Park is nestled in the middle of the township, to the south of Gamuda Cove is the waterway connecting the residential and commercial areas to the Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands.

The beautiful landscapes, developed infrastructures, and captivating nature of Gamuda Cove does not only contribute to the township’s aestheticism but also the liveability of the entire city. It is here at Gamuda Cove that you get to experience what it is like to live in a community that excels in all aspects of an advanced and refined township. This liveable city of Gamuda Cove will ensure that you live well, live connected, live smart, live green, and live vibrantly.

For more information about Gamuda Cove, visit the Gamuda Cove Experience Gallery or visit their official website here

洗碗工变外卖王 – 徐迅逆袭成功教会我们的事

“企动人心”

■YYC超越集团主席叶志超

每个故事都有大智慧,“企动人心”单元希望与更多企业家及管理者,分享触动人心、启发灵感及商机的故事。

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从洗碗工变亿万身家CEO?可能吗?

也许你会以为这是电影桥段,但这个励志故事正是DoorDash联合创始人徐迅(Tony Xu)的真人真事!

出生于中国南京,5岁随父母移民美国,随着DoorDash于2020年12月9日上市纽约证券交易所,市值超过500亿美元,个人身家估计达25亿美元。

DoorDash占了美国最大的外卖送餐市场。通过DoorDash送的外卖订单多达1亿宗,参与的餐馆多达20万家。逆袭成为美国外卖之王,徐迅的经历也被誉为华二代在美国的励志故事。

2013年,当年28岁的徐迅在史丹佛商学院修读工商管理硕士班,其中一项课堂项目就是思考一个具有热诚想要解决的问题,及想出解决方案,当时他想的就是如何协助当地餐馆配送外卖。

由于要设立自家的配送团队成本太高及低效率,大部份餐馆都没有接受外卖订单,使到外卖市场多由比萨及中餐所霸占。

徐迅与合伙人相信可以借助科技来连接食客与送餐员,任何想吃的美食都可以通过叫外卖送到府上。

课业进度慢两年

谈起儿时生活,徐迅说,1989年初到美国定居在伊利诺伊州中部小城市Champaign,最好笑的是老师和同学都无法念出他的名字。校长也告诉他,他的课业进度比其他人慢了两年。

为了恶补英语,他看了许多美国电视节目,最喜欢的节目就是演员东尼丹托(Tony Danza)演出的“谁是老板?”(Who’s the boss?)。于是在5岁那年,他叫父亲带自己去移民局,把名字正式改为Tony Xu。

徐迅的母亲到了美国,因为医疗执照不被承认,无法继续医生的职业,于是每天打三份工赚钱养家,及存钱攻读美国医学学位,希望可以在美国开诊所。

母亲一天打三份工的日子,一过就是12年,其中一份工就是在中餐馆,所以徐迅是和妈妈一起在餐馆靠洗碗赚钱。也因为从小混在餐馆里过日子,他对小企业有份特殊情意结,对餐馆运作不止熟悉,更深深理解他们的痛点。

比如餐馆业者希望如何让更多食客找到他们、食客从哪来、如何推广餐馆……还有最大的挑战就是基于成本效益考量而无法做到外卖配送的生意。

为了亲身体验及更了解配送业的详细操作,徐迅去了联邦快递(Fedex)及达美乐比萨饼(Domino’s Pizza)兼职当配送员。

网站推出45分钟即开单

单一餐馆不可能设立配送团队,但是却很需要外卖生意,看到这个市场缺口以后,徐迅在某个星期六就跟伙伙设立了一个非常简单的外卖点送网站PaloAltoDelivery.com,并且上载了8间餐馆的菜单,食客可以致电订餐。

奇迹就发生在网站推出后的第45分钟,电话响起要订泰国餐……第一单生意就这样做成了!

这对徐迅来说是一大震撼,因为这证明了他的点子是行得通、市场对食物配送服务有需求。

8间餐馆的菜单是用可移植文档格式(PDF)上载网站,最直接而简单不过,而且徐迅也没有与8间餐馆谈好什么合作,当接到订单后,徐迅就去餐馆下单叫外带,然后就把食物送给食客后收钱。

当时的生意量大概每天接5到10个订单,这样的模式大概维持了5个月。当同学们放假去玩了,徐迅还是继续送外卖。他是创办人,也是电话接线员,也是配送员,也就是俗称的“一脚踢”。

这段期间,PaloAltoDelivery.com网站的页面也在提升,比如菜单不再是PDF格式,食客可以直接在网页下单。

当然这样的经营模式并没有获利,反而还要贴钱!可是对徐迅来说,没钱赚没关系,最重要是一直都获得正面的评价跟肯定。

到了2013年3月,徐迅的团队获得种子基金Y Combinator 的12万美元注资,并在同年6月改名为DoorDash。到了次轮融资,DoorDash获得了200万美元。

“DoorDash”的名字是徐迅与女友取的,当初取名的原则就是容易拼写及发音,而且域名未被注册。最后他仅以9.95美元注册了域名,并且在之后推出应用程式(App)。

不只是食物配送公司

询及为何频频获得注资,徐迅说,因为DoorDash的理念是创造一门物流生意,而不只是一间食物配送公司而已。DoorDash的远景并不只是送餐,但是必须找一个切入点来开始,让点子落地变成事实,而且是变成一个具有商业价值的事实。

有了资金,徐迅与团队火力全开,从方方面面加强DoorDash,比如提升技术面、增聘人员、扩大销售及配送团队、砸钱宣传等等。

DoorDash的App分为3版本,即食客、餐馆业者及送餐员使用不同的App,营运收入源自食客的配送费及向餐馆业者抽取的佣金。

对于会否担心竞争问题,徐迅认为大家可以并存,就好像快递服务业在全美国有超过800位业者,依然可以百花齐放,反观在全美国只有5%餐馆有上线!

根据互联网资料,DoorDash在2018年12月已经超越Uber Eats,成位市场二哥,仅次于GrubHub。到了2019年3月,DoorDashs在按需送餐市场的总营业额比GrubHub高出27%;以消费者开销计算,DoorDash成为全美国最大的第三方送餐服务供应商。

DoorDash累计融资额达到7亿美元,投资者包括Y Combinator、Charles River Ventures、SV Angel、Khosla Ventures、Sequoia资本、软银、新加坡主权财富基金GIC及Kleiner Perkins。

从一脚踢变独角兽

DoorDash现今已是一家掌握数据的独角兽企业,从初创时的“一脚踢”,到了2018年初估值达的14亿美元,后来再于今年初涨到了150亿美元,估值在两年翻了10倍!

DoorDash于2020年12月9日上市纽约证券交易所,目前估值约为500亿美元。

除了徐迅,另外两位联合创始人是Andy Fang和Stanley Tang,后两者都是90后,三人皆分别持有公司5%股份。以500亿美元市值计算的话,每人个人身家达到约25亿美元。

徐迅形容自己是本着初心去经营,理念就是为了协助当小企业家,而不是一心冲着如何提高估值做独角兽。

但是,正如其他初创科技企业一样,估值超高但公司却没有获利。根据纽交所资料,DoorDash于2020年4月至6月季度是首次获利,主要受益于疫情下更多人在家点餐的新常态。

但在接下来的季度,DoorDash仍持续亏损中;从2013年设立以来,该公司未曾全年获利。

从2013年至2020年,短短7年就催生了一家估值500亿的独角兽企业,那下一个10年,DoorDash会成为下一个Netflix或者阿马逊 (Amazon)吗?

徐迅认为,DoorDash现今提供的是连接消费者及商家的最大基本设施,对许多小企业家来说,只要一个手机就可以通过这个平台获得客源做生意。

从零到服务渗透60%美国人口,DoorDash也扩大版图至澳洲及加拿大。

有趣的是,尽管已是身家亿万的CEO,但是徐迅还会参与送餐,这位美国外卖霸主,一方面彻底展现了新生代科技创业者的胆识,另一方面也秉持了他出身草根的个性,飞得再高,也不忘初衷。

徐迅教会我们的事: 

  1. 理念很重要:徐迅一开始就是本着如何协助及服务小企业家,扩大他们的生意量,所以会站在他们的角度去解决痛点。
  2. 定位很重要当看到餐馆的资源限制及市场有需求之间的缺口,徐迅通过科技创造平台,把公司定位在连接食客、配送员及餐馆的中介,从中抽取费用,并且掌握大数据。
  3. 格局很重要:徐迅要打造的是一门物流生意,而不只是一间食物配送公司而已,设定远大的格局,有助在做企业布局及决策的时候,更清楚未来发展方向,不把自己锁在窄小的思维上。
  4. 执行很重要:从草创时的简陋网页,到后来一直不断改进,及在各方面做到精专,才能把当初空想的点子变成事实、变成黄金。
  5. 初心很重要:出身草根,飞得再高,也不忘初衷;尽管已经亿万身家,但徐迅还是会亲自送餐,以便贴近底层,了解业务的每个细节。

Rider Falls Into Drain Trying to Cross ‘Bridge’

As reported by: Chin Ka Yee
Incident Date: 2:00 PM, Thursday, 24 December 2020
Location: Malim Jaya, Melaka

With more and more stories of people hitting potholes and getting seriously injured, or even worse, suffering life-ending injuries, this accident was also unfortunately in the same vein.

However, this accident was more to do with an unfortunate case of human-error rather than negligence by public officials.

As seen in the photos and video down below, this unfortunate rider was attempting to take a shortcut across the road by going over a ‘bridge’ that spanned across a drain.

The rider unfortunately lost his balance in the process and fell into the drain, he was then incapacitated and was not able to get himself out of the situation. The rider’s bike was also seen laying over his legs, which may have been why he was not able to get himself out. The full extent of his injuries are still unknown.

Thankfully, nearby citizens were able to come to his aid and call for help, local fire & rescue authorities and medics were seen in the area not long after. The traffic along the road was also being diverted to ensure that there was a sufficient amount of space for the rescue to be carried out.

However, complications arose when attempting to retrieve the rider, as the situation made it difficult to retrieve the rider in a safe and hasty way.

Subsequently, the rider was successfully retrieved and transported to a nearby hospital.

Many of us may be tempted to take shortcuts to our destination, but it’s important to ensure the pathways are safe to traverse, and always put your safety over saving a couple of minutes of travelling. We wish the rider a speedy recovery and for others to stay safe whilst on the road.

See anything interesting? Send us video clips or images of it and get paid up to RM500! Visit www.lokalwav.com to find out more.

I am Looi Choon Beng & This is How I Invest

I am Looi Choon Beng, I am…  

An individual with many hats. I am an employee but also one of the Co-Founders of CityFarm Malaysia. Life is about finding more of ourselves as we slowly wear more hats and pick up more passions on top of responsibilities. Recently, I also became a father, and a lifelong practitioner of value investing. It is not easy to juggle around so many roles, responsibilities, and passion. But all in all, what keeps me busy, is also that which grows me to who I am today.

Somewhere in the month of August 2019 me and my partner decided to start an investing-centric website called Kaya Plus. It was also a period that I knew I had to pick up investing to preserve and compound my wealth for my elderly days. Hence, we created a website to contribute our honest opinions, analysis and reviews!

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

Some people tend to link good investments back to monetary gain. But for me, it’s more about self-enrichment and the people I love and care for the most.

I consider knowledge and my family the best investments because the return I receive from them is not measurable in numbers, but in the sense of fulfillment and happiness. Knowledge and love are two things that are difficult to be destroyed,yet are able to grow and compound over time.

My worst investments would probably be property investment and cryptocurrency. I think most of us can relate to how our first property might not turn out to be the ideal end game in mind. Looking back, I would have opted to rent a whole unit rather than jumping straight into buying a property. Also, I have my fair share of losses when cryptocurrency was a hot thing back then. Due to the FOMO, I put in my hard earned money and it all crumbled when the euphoria died off. 

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first investment was with a Public Mutual fund. Back then, I did not have any knowledge yet to kickstart my own investing journey via the manual way. 

To be frank, the returns are decent, but nowhere great. I knew that if I wanted to achieve more, I might need to look into how to do it myself. That was what got me into investing.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Never invest something without considering opportunity cost. Opportunity cost here refers to time. Whatever you do or invest, you are already putting in time and effort the moment the decision is made. And time is the most precious thing that everyone in the world has in equal amounts. 

The gist here is to put effort into endeavors that can synergize with each other. Only then your actions or investments can tap and grow exponentially rather than just standalone.


4. What are you investing for?

I am someone who advocates the mentality of beginning with the end in mind. Maybe to echo back that time is so valuable that we should always ensure that we are committed to the end results, then only we start putting in the time and effort. 

But sometimes, we also have the tendency to delay things due to our nature. 

One good example that I think is effective in training up our goal setting is to run for a marathon. I have personally run a few, and it has helped shape my mentality and goal setting mechanism plus the focus. Plus, when you sign up and pay for the ticket, by hook or by crook, you will definitely put in the effort to train and finish the run. 

So how do I apply the concept to investing and growing new income streams? My financial goals are about building multiple “automated” income streams. I ensure that the effort spent will have a long tail effect, e.g. development of a financial course. And from there onwards, the business can continue to grow and morph with some system in place.

Ultimately, I do hope that the system can be replicated and managed by someone else. So the punchline is to create income generating systems that can be truly passive.


5. Choon Beng’s investment philosophy and approach

You are what you repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit. Many people want to achieve excellence but aren’t willing to put in the effort and sacrifice. All the great achievements all start out as tiny small good actions. When all of it snowballs and grows, only then we hit certain milestones and achievements. 

That quote also paints a scary outcome if we were to get caught in bad habits and traits. If you tend to waste money even in the small stuff, chances are it will grow onto you and you might get into a debt. So always build on the good habits and small good improvements. It all adds up and it can change how not only our mentality, but also how we see or view things.

Follow Choon Beng (Kaya Plus) – 
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About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

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Original article here

Plume of Black Smoke Seen Across KL


As reported by: Adammyrehab
Incident Date: 9:30 PM, Tuesday, 22 December 2020
Location: Wisma Trax, Chan Sow Lin Jalan 5

At approximately 9:30PM yesterday night (22/12/2020), a plume of black smoke could be seen over Kuala Lumpur.

It’s suspected that a fire broke out in the vicinity, as the plume of smoke continued for a short while.

The video was shot from the rooftop of Hallaway KL @ Wisma Trax, looking towards St.Regis.

It may have been a worrying sight for some people, as there have been more and more reports of fires occurring throughout the city, as not too long ago, a fire also broke out that destroyed 26 motorcycles in Desa Tun Razak.

These fires haven’t been limited to just random locations, as just last week, a fire broke out by The Mines Resort and Golf Club, in Seri Kembangan. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in the incident.

See anything interesting? Send us video clips or images of it and get paid up to RM500! Visit www.lokalwav.com to find out more.

一夜暴富?还是绝处逢生

“企动人心”

■YYC超越集团主席叶志超

每个故事都有大智慧,“企动人心”单元希望与更多企业家及管理者,分享触动人心、启发灵感及商机的故事。


Flickr和Slack创始人史都华

一夜暴富?还是绝处逢生?

大学时期本科修读哲学系,但他却靠写程式、设计网页赚外块;他对线上游戏充满热情,但两次创业都失败告终。有心栽花花不开,无心插柳却不止柳成荫,还长成一棵结了50亿美元果实的大树!

今天“企动人心”要分享的故事很戏剧化但却振奋人心,主人翁就是Slack 科技公司的创办人史都华.巴特菲尔德(Daniel Stewart Butterfield)。

史都华也是之前很有名的照片分享服务网站Flickr 的创办人,但很早之前已以3500万美元脱售给雅虎(Yahoo!)。

先谈Slack科技,旗下的产品Slack是一个供软体开发工程师使用的即时通讯管理工具,对不谙科技的人来说,怎么都看不出这么一个讯息管理工具,到底具有什么强大威力?

可是,就在2020年12月,Slack 科技接获了277亿美元的天价收购献议!

史都华创设线上游戏的两次宏图大计里,都不曾想过后来的成功和财富皆不是源自线上游戏的收入,但是两次都因为“意外收获”而突然发财!

哲学硕士爱线上游戏

1973年出身于加拿大一个小村的史都华,三岁家里才有水供、四岁才有电供。他从小就自学程式,在维多利亚大学就读时期便帮人设计网站赚取快,但当时他的志愿是成为一名哲学教授!

继1996年大学毕业后,他于1998年在英国Clare学院获得哲学硕士学位。但是这位“哲学系硕士” 后来发现,从事科技业的相关工作,生活好像比较稳定,于是也造就了他后来的人生际遇。

从“哲学教授”的美梦中醒来以后,史都华在2000年就和朋友创立Gradfinder;就在2000年科网泡沫爆发的前两周,他以3万5000美元把公司卖掉。当时他以为自己以低价卖掉“千万美元潜能”的大事业,后来科网危机发生后才庆幸公司卖出了,否则连一分钱都不值!

2002 年的夏季,史都华与两位友人在温哥华成立了一间叫Ludicorp的公司,主要就是开发一款大型多人在线角色扮演游戏(massively multiplayer online role-playing game,缩写MMORPG),取名Game Neverending,跟现今非常受欢迎的  “Minecraft”有点相似。

MMORPG 游戏为线上游戏的一种,是电子角色扮演游戏按电子游戏人数分类分别出来的一种网络游戏。在所有MMORPG中,玩家都可扮演一个或多个虚拟角色,并控制该角色在游戏中虚拟世界的活动与行为。

史都华对线上游戏有热诚,因为他觉得人们能够透过游戏,加强彼此互动。 可惜他们这款游戏并未成功……虽然有一班忠实粉丝,但却未获得更多广大玩家的喜爱,主要失败原因是当时整体环境的各种限制,包括电脑和显示卡不够强大、网速不快等。而且在2002年时,也没有人愿意投资在科技公司。

灵机一动变出财路

直到某一天凌晨5点多,身体不适的史都华躺在酒店房间时突然灵机一动,想起在游戏里有个让玩家收集和管理的“物品管理介面”,可以拆出来当成独立系统做其他用途。

于是,他带领团队把这个“物品管理介面”改成可让使用者上载及分享照片的Flickr。

Flickr的推出非常成功,引领了当时的Web 2.0 风潮,也引来许多投资者的兴趣。

到了2005年圣诞节,史都华也面临事业上一个重大选择,一就是接受风险投资的注资继续创新改革,把Flickr做大;又或者接受雅虎的献购,全盘出售。

史都华最后选择了以3500 万美元出售公司给雅虎,并且履行合约条件在雅虎工作3年,担任Flickr总经理,并于2008年7月才呈辞。(*Flickr后来又于2018 年被雅虎出售给SmugMug。)

回首在雅虎打工的3年半,史都华形容学习了很多,并且有机会接触更高层次执行长。离职后,他再度萌起再闯线上游戏的念头,打不死的精神决定再创业。

史都华在访问中被询及再闯线上游戏界,难道没有汲取前一次的失败经验吗?他说,当时他认为对比2000年的时候,互联网世界在2009年已经变得很不一样,比如更多人玩线上游戏、网速变快、电脑硬件价格更便宜了……他告诉自己:“这一次不会再失败了,所有条件都如此完美,我们一定要去做。”

线上游戏是命中克星?

因为有了Flickr的成功例子,获得媒体报导及曾登上杂志《NewsWeek》的封面,史都华很快获得1700万美元投资来成立第二间线上游戏公司Tiny Speck,主要产品是网页版的MMORPG,取名Glitch。

但是史都华也承认,Glitch是很不一样跟有点奇怪的线上游戏,很多玩家在玩了几分钟就觉得难玩而放弃,无法让玩家产生“粘度”。到了后期,史都华也开始怀疑自己。

他说,企业家一旦不再坚定不移相信自己的公司或产品可以做下去,那么接下去便会有越多越多事办不成。

当然,后来他还是再度失败了……或许“线上游戏”这一行本来就是史都华的命中克星?

到了 2012年12月,他终于决定跟全体员工宣布Glitch要结束了,他形容当时一开口就忍不住哭了起来,大家曾经一起背负的梦想终究还是梦碎了!

在结束公司营运后,他也架设了名为“聘雇天才 ”(Hire A Genius)的网站,协助遭资遣的员工找工作,也请媒体宣传这个网站,让想请人的公司来这里找人才。同时他也为这些员工写介绍信、修正履历,尽力帮助他们找到更好的工作。

决定要终止 Glitch时,公司银行户口尚有 550 万美元,史都华告诉投资者可以取回剩下的钱,这促使投资者更信任他,决定继续保留股份不取回资金。

转念,制造第二个绝处逢生

在这个整理结束Glitch过程中,史都华发现Glitch分布世界各地软体开发工程师使用的通讯工具有商机,就是这么一个转念,为他制造了第二个绝处逢生的机会!

这个工程师使用的通讯工具可以记载对话、共享档案、软体资料记录 (Log)等,史都华认为,虽然Glitch的游戏不成功,但却拥有很高效的作业系统。既然Glitch的工程师都有使用这个工具的需求,其他工程师也应该会喜欢使用啊!

原本单纯建立给内部工程师使用的即时通讯工具,史都华与其他3位联合创办人及尚留下的4位员工,在一周以内时间重新包装,对外推介新产品Slack(即Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge首个英文名母的缩写)。

Slack为 45 家机构提供测试使用,他们采用 Slack 后减少以 email 作为沟通平台,而且最方便的是成员的对话和共享档案都可被搜寻到,提高协作效率。

估值从零变亿

这个B2B、供工程师使用的即时通讯工具推出后,Slack用户人数迅速飙升。到了2014年2月,这个即时通讯工具以每周5%至10%速度成长,同年8月Slack的用户每日增加12万人,到了10月份总用户人数达120万人。在短短不到两年时间,公司估值从零升至12亿美元。

2015年12月,Slack获得创业投资注入3.4亿美元,每日活跃用户达到200万人。此后,Slack成为软件即服务 (SaaS)产业中成长速度最快的公司,定位为云端工作软体商。

该公司在2019年6月宣布首发股计划,挂牌当日开市价达38.50美元,市值达到214亿美元。

2020年12月,全球最大的客户关系管理(CRM)软体商Salesforce ,宣布以277亿美元收购Slack,藉此跃升为企业软体二哥,对决龙头微软。这个收购交易程序预计将在2021年7月完成。

公司估值爆增,获得高价收购,也许有人会形容史都华运气好、突然发财,又一夜暴富,但是事实真的如此简单吗?从史都华两度失败的故事中,我们更有所启发的是遇到绝路时的转变,以及一直都没有放弃的毅力与坚持。

3大启示: 

  1. 所谓的突然发财或者一夜暴富,背后的努力及付出都是漫长的;史都华在这两次失败中找到转型的方法,绝处逢生才让他名成利就。
  2. 对员工、对投资人有情有义,即使公司结业也良好处理被资遣的员工,以致后来史都华在创立Slack时都有很好的人脉网络。
  3. 把每个细节都做到最好,像Flickr和Slack,本来不是主轴,后来却成为拯救史都华的黄金。

I am MJ Tan and This is How I Invest

I am MJ Tan, I am
A 21st-century educator and trainer, I’ve been in the education industry for the past 15 years. A value investor, and nonetheless, a mom of my 11 months old daughter. I am a firm believer that financial education is essential for everyone, especially females, and it should be taught in school.

Sharing knowledge has always been in my blood, from classrooms to training rooms. This year, I’ve taken a step to share more via Value Investor Mom’s blog and social media.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment?

I would love to acknowledge that the best investment I have made is myself. During the early years of my career, I set aside education funds monthly. It was spent on books and courses, from personal development to business courses, and investing programs. These had expanded my perspectives of the real world and opportunities for growth. 

Financial wise, I would like to believe that my best investment is the stock portfolio I have created for my daughter (Note: CDS account registered with my name). In July 2020, a year after her portfolio had started, its return was at 11%. My husband and I agreed that most if not all of her monetary blessings (i.e. ang-paos) will go into her portfolio for its compounding growth. By the time our daughter is 18, there will be a decent fund either for her education or exploration of a business idea, if there is any.

My worst financial investment was on equity crowdfunding. Sadly, I made this mistake twice, one on a wellness chain and another on a private villa. I did not perform my due diligence before saying yes. Both invested capital is currently stuck, the recovery possibility is almost null. It was painful but great lessons to remember.

2. What was your first-ever investment? (and how did that go)

I made my first investment in 2012 with a capital of RM10,000 on a primary property (i.e. new development) in Subang. I received a RM14,000 cheque 6 months later from its rebate program. When I got the keys in 2016, I reinvested the RM14,000 in refurbishing the unit to increase its rental rate.

The unit has been rented out for the last 4 years, yielding about 5-6% rental yield per annum. Not the best investment return but I am thankful it is generating a positive cash flow.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)

Do not jump into an investment because everyone says yes to it.

My personal experience was an equity crowdfunding pitch invitation. I have no clue what equity crowdfunding was at that time. I was a naïve young lady who got sold with an optimistic projection with a “guaranteed” return per annum. What made it more convincing was the Tan Sri & Dato backing the project and investing in it. The FOMO bug bit me as people whom I thought had better financial sense went ahead with it. I was wrong, I was blinded by emotions and I trusted others rather than myself. I was not mindful of the herd mentality in the room.

Generally, it is hard to analyse private companies as their financial data is not publicly available. Not to mention most startups do not have any track record. It is tougher to justify the optimistic projections from the presentation without data. Statistically, only 20% of startups succeed in the first 3 years.

However, I am not implying that all public listed companies are great either. One fact is that there is more accessible data to look at before making any decisions.

Ultimately, always perform due diligence and exercise independent thinking before making any decision for any investments.

4. Your context for investing

These may not deem as great traits by many but I do believe in working hard and living below your means. Especially at the beginning of your working journey.

While passive income is great, active income is often underrated. Have a side hustle, work on weekends. I was tutoring young kids when I was in college, took up extra tuition classes after my day job, and made and sold crafts on weekends. It was the time traded for income in the early days that allowed me to size-up my savings for investments. But, there were opportunity costs, I didn’t get to enjoy a fun life like most of my peers had.

The early twenties are the best time to generate more active income when we have more energy and “time”. As a mom now, I would love to have 25 hours a day to catch an extra hour of sleep. 

As cliché as it sounds, I am investing for freedom.

Before I became a mom, I looked forward to the freedom of choice, joining companies that I want to bring value to, without worrying about the offered salary. Now as a mom, I look forward to more freedom of time so I can nurture my daughter.

My investment goals are a work-in-progress. While properties are one of the great assets, I started focusing on value investing 4 years ago. Investing in stocks is more flexible as compared to properties. With value investing, I can start with a fraction of what I invested with my properties. I can analyze the financial data and accumulate great companies one lot (i.e. 100 units of shares) at a time, one month at a time.


5. Your investment philosophy and approach

Start with an end in mind.

Figure out what and why we are investing for.

We could ask ourselves questions, journal them down. Have frequent discussions with your spouse or family members.

I was certain that the properties I bought were for investment purposes, not for own stay. The cash out funds will be for my retirement in the future, not as my child’s education fund.

Be open to learn, unlearn and relearn along the way.

There are many tools and methods to invest our money with. Read up, ask questions, and learn from quality mentors.

I once believed that stocks investing were extremely risky and it is only meant for accountants. That myth was busted after I learned about the fundamentals of value investing.

Have big goals, take small steps, and begin now.

Have a gauge on how much do we need for our retirement, may it be frugally or luxuriously. Then we work backwards, which may sound like starting to save up for investment capital. Take one step at a time.

I am on my journey to financial freedom still. From saving up capital, analysing companies, to investing in great businesses. One month at a time. 

Value Investor Mom wishes you great momentum. Let’s be financially free together.

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About “This is How I Invest” – As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

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Crash At Intersection Leaves Rider Unresponsive

As reported by: Adammyrehab
Incident Date: 11:00 AM, Thursday, 17 December 2020
Location: Sungai Petai, Alor Gajah

As seen in the video above, an accident occurred by an intersection in Sungai Petai, Alor Gajah. 2 vehicles were seen involved in the accident, 1 being a Proton Waja, and another being a motorcyclist.

The impact caused damage to the Waja’s side mirror, left-front headlamps and also cracked the front windshield of the vehicle.

The motorcycle was seen laid against its side, with debris from the crash being strewn all across the intersection.

Unfortunately, the motorcyclist was seen laying down in the middle of the intersection. He was unresponsive when bystanders approached him, the reporting party also noted that it seems like the motorcyclist may have sustained a broken leg.

A small pile-up of traffic started to happen soon after. Police also arrived on the scene a few minutes later to secure the scene and provide aid to the rider. As of now, there is no information on which party was at fault, it is suspected that someone may have ran a red light, which may have caused the accident in the first place.

We wish the victims a speedy recovery, and please abide by our road laws.

See anything interesting? Send us video clips or images of it and get paid up to RM500! Visit www.lokalwav.com to find out more.

The Glass, The Stone, The Steel: Ilham Tower’s Premium Fitted Workspaces

Designed by the acclaimed Foster + Partners, Ilham Tower is a spectacular 60 storey skyscraper, combining Grade A office suites,  a hotel, a public art gallery, gift shop and event spaces. Located at No 8, Jalan Binjai, the building projects a dramatic union of glass, steel, stone & greenery and  is equipped with fibre optic backbone, energy-saving light fittings, cluster lighting controls and indoor air quality CO2 sensors. 

1. A Workspace for All

Aside from offering card access and turnstile control security, Ilham Tower also provides executive restroom and shower facilities on every floor. With 600 parking bays allocated to office tenants at affordable monthly rates, 12 dedicated high-speed passenger lifts and 2 service lifts to office floors, you’ll definitely have that morning peace of mind upon arriving at the office.

2. The Glass, The Stone & The Steel

Inspired by the elements found in Ilham Tower, the fitted offices named The Glass, The Stone and The Steel are ready for immediate occupation without the hassle of setting up and configuring the furniture & fittings. The Glass located on Level 32 is designed with 1 room and 4 workstations, making this 322 square feet office suitable for groups of five and below.

The Stone on the other hand, has two types of offices that can accommodate 20-28 people. Located on Level 11, this 2,831 (Type A) and 3,046 (Type B) square feet office space comes with different sizes of meeting rooms, manager rooms and workstations. Both office types are equipped with a store room, a server room and a dry pantry.

For companies with more than 50 employees, The Steel is the better choice as the 6,450 square feet office consists of a 16-seat boardroom, two 6-seat meeting rooms, 15 rooms and 37 workstations. This Level 32 office space is also equipped with 2 store rooms, a server room and a dry pantry.

3. Accessibility & Art Gallery

This modern and prominent tower is just a two-minute walk away from the Ampang Park LRT, making this location accessible to all parts of the city. In addition to being an architectural masterpiece amongst the KL city skyline, there is also Ilham Gallery, a public art gallery that takes up 2 floors of  Ilham Tower and houses contemporary art from all over the world.

4. Hotel, Event Space & Ballroom

When it comes to relaxation, the Element Kuala Lumpur Hotel by Westin comes to mind. You will definitely enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline at the hotel’s lobby on the 40th floor. Its event space & ballroom are able to accommodate 150 & 300 people respectively, perfect for company dinners, functions, seminars, weddings and parties.

Ilham Tower’s facilities and amenities as well as its sustainability as a green building is what makes it an exemplary 21st century skyscraper. Not only does Ilham Tower provide some of the best features for workspaces but also combined relaxation, recreation, and accomodation all under one roof.  For enquiries on the fitted offices, please click here.