Thursday, June 20, 2013

2013 Haze in comparison

This year's haze is definitely historical!

If you compare the picture from today with the normal state (roughly a year ago), the difference is astonishing!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mobile Urban Exploration : Furniture Mall Singapore (Surprising spoiler: It was boring)

Gotta buy cheap dining chairs and have fun in the process. 
Problem No. 1: When we moved from Tokyo we didn’t bring dining chairs. The main reason might be that we didn’t have them to begin with. One of the side effects of the space limitations of Tokyo.
But alas, they new ones had to be awesome! (And cheap...)

Problem No. 2: The having fun part. Usually, furniture shopping is quite some drag; slowly strolling from one shop to the next haggling for prices with sales rep’s having varying degrees of motivation to support, finding matching colors, measuring the comfortableness, and find a balance with the families opinion and the wallet.

I would wish there is something that could make this exercise more interesting.

So out of my boredom, I bootstrapped a quick ..behold! “quest for the coolest code”.

Oh mighty prince thee thy your task:

  1. Search for every QR-Code you can find. (The more hidden and difficult to access the better)
  2. The shittier the underlying asset (website, document, etc) the more points.
  3. To varying degrees add beer.

Since I there was no beer and I had to drive, I had to endure a mass exodus of braincells from the pointlessness of scanning QR-Codes.

In total: After running around for two (2 !!) hours. I found 5 QR Codes. 

None of them were awesome.

To summarize a.k.a The three graces.

Place 3:

This was actually quite aggressively marketed at several locations and brings you directly to a download landing page. It might be me, but seriously, do you really expect me to download the app because your “Best deals in your pocket” seems to be so  unbelievable enticing. In addition, judging from the location and outline of the offer it felt strongly like being courted by a dodgy pusher.

Place 2:

So the AOL keyword of this decade is the Facebook page. 

I get it. 

Having cancelled my Facebook account years ago (yes, I am that of a hipster), I will probably never experience the inherent satisfaction of “linking” a Sofa store. 

Of course, not having all of these great offers in my inbox would be massively great. No need to mention that the sale was more likely extended because the warehouse was still full with unsold stock. But that would just be an uneducated guess. 

Note to self: Refrain from guessing uneducated.

...and finally. It is time to crown the winner of the day. Cue, ahem, Qyu the drum-roll.

Place 1:

You are seriously linking to a PDF on mobile?!! What ? It might be too late to sound like a complete douche-bag, but this was something a little bit unexpected.

Of course, I had to open that link. Left disappointed.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Celebrating Diversity Day 2013

Tenqyu is celebrating Diversity Day today on June 11 2013

Here is to all the great explorers out there who don't care about which age, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, language or race you have.

Always remember: Tenqyu loves you!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Time to look back

It has been roughly 2 years that I have started to walk down this path towards owning and running my own shop.

Much has happened in these last two years. Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Death of a family member, rejections (many, many rejections) and finally moving several thousand kilometers.

Now as slowly all the pieces are coming together, it is time to halt for a second and take a look back.

Starting a business in Japan during a financial crisis as a foreigner is a stupid idea.

  1.  Japanese have a tendency to be risk-adverse. So in times of economic distress, a.k.a. the last  two decades, Japanese would on average take the path of least risk exposure. While this is annoying, it is understandable. 
  2.  If you are not coming from one of the big groups and you are not a kabushiki gaisha( 株式会社),  you are in for a hard time.
  3.  Everything is expensive in Tokyo. It is not as expensive as it used to be, but if for founders finding space, an accountant, a lawyer (you wanted to have that kabushiki gaisha thing...right), etc is a big initial investment. And in a lot of cases you yourself are not so sure if your idea actually works. Back to step 1.

Getting yourself out there is always a good idea. 

At any point in time try to re-validate your status during meetup’s or conferences and use every opportunity you can get to learn and broaden your horizon.

    General benefits :

  • Learn how your idea is perceived by other people.
  • Get new ideas about what your product could be
  • Different people have different backgrounds, therefore different ways to understand or use your product/service.

Meeting great people, potential partners or employees.

In case you are afraid of competitors stealing your idea, please note the following. If your idea is that great, many people had it before. The execution is what matter in the following dimensions.
    1.) Finding and building a great team (or, like in my case,  find great partners to work with)
    2.) Building a product that differentiates itself either through features or service level.


Make economically reasonable decisions to move ahead.    

Of course it is possible to jump on an idea, quit your day job, and  run with it. If you are the sole founder, you are (in my case 2 years) totally and absolutely alone with all your problems, your frustrations, your tight budgets, and your this-is-not-going-anywhere moments.

Therefore, there is no need to jump into the cold water
immediately. Run your idea as your personal project. Of course, this means your previously available “free time” is gone. But even with your own shop this would be the case.

Over the last two years, I have learned a lot about me, about sales, design, programming, and building your opportunities.

And for me this is what it was all about. 

But now is time for a Sunday BBQ.