Software Development on Evolving Platforms CS3216.
Looking at this course name, it make me wonder it’s Software Development that I’m learn. It isn't the normally CS module that you would find in NUS, I definitely learn a lot more life skills and understand myself more throughout the whole module. The whole course in CS3216 taught more than just CS stuff; it’s related to business, personal networking and understands whom you are and what I want in my life.
Share your idea and ask for help if you need.
During the course of starting Voucherous, there are a lot of questions that needs to be answer and more often than not your network of contacts might help if you ask. In the midst of getting businesses on board to try our services, we need a draft of a legal contract from a lawyer. The first thought I had was to give NUS Enterprise Cluster a try, since they have an in-house lawyer and I'm part of NOC alumni. To keep story short, after meeting the Prof incharge I didn't even manage to get a contact to their lawyers or even a reply email -.-, but that doesn't mean that you should try. Thanks to Prof Ben, with his contacts we manage to have a lawyer to draft a contract on deferred payment.
The same lesson was taught to me a few months back when I'm still in a startup company. The founder of the company once told me "If you never ask, you would probability lose this only chance, and there nothing wrong with rejection." - Lesson learns don’t be afraid to ask help and don't be afraid of rejection.
Sharing you idea (even with stranger) could bring unexpected rewards. We manage to arrange a few meeting with some speakers from Prof Ben's class. Eg. Ash and Chewy. Met with Chewy over at Microsoft Headquarter in Singapore, through his guidance, he let us understand the market a lot better and even willing to hook us up with MSN.com.sg to help to promote voucherous if we go live. Chinese always had this concept of not sharing your ideas/skills with other people. Afraid that they might steal it, guess this proof you wrong on that.
Making choices. Be decisive.
(Although i still find myself wishy washy at times.) Knowing when to move on. The dateline was drawing close for our final project and we had yet come out with a first UI design. The first designer was great! But we had to move on because of the dateline drawing closer. With her current job commitment, it was hard for her to find free time to design the site. It was then to make a choice to look for another. It wasn’t an easy decision to just let go of someone who’s in the team. It wasn’t easy for me.
Understanding the market.
"Other people don't think like you", the quote from Chewy. Don’t assume you understand the market. While we start looking out for businesses to partner with us, we never thought that restaurants was one of the first priority list that we should look out first, after the first survey that was conducted with more than 200 people responded. Restaurants seem to be first obvious choices. Find means and way to understand the target market that you are targeting and do research on them!
Customer discovery was first taught by Steve Blank. Anyone whom is interested in starting a business should read this. http://steveblank.com/
Again, thank Prof Ben for all the hard work that you have put in. I was really hoping to understand you more on a personal level, hope it’s possible.