Friday, December 11, 2009

Last post of the year 2009

Hi everyone

will be off for 2 weeks holiday... so see you guys after xmas! ciao

take care

Monday, November 30, 2009

Introducing ... SugarButter

Despite a rather difficult economic environment right now, that, doesn't deter people to be a dreamchaser at all.

Probably, it's the difficulties in life which force people to venture into new things in order to make a few extra bucks.

Whatever it maybe, it is always interesting and exciting to see a new-borned baby. Well, in this case, it's a new business venture.

Introducing SugarButter, a wonderful boutique owned by 2 fantastic ladies in Ipoh. From what i've heard, this is what they always wanted to do for a long time. Not, entirely in the business to make money, (but of course, that would be nice if they can make loads of them) but, it's their mission, desire and passion, to share and to bring some fashion senses (albeit, an affordable one) to this small town of Ipoh.

Some says, clothes are everywhere, but it's very hard to find fashion.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, introducing SugarButter.

Congratulations buddies. You guys are bosses now. Now go make some money.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The End and The Beginning

In another week time, i can officially say Bye bye to my good old wild boyhood days, and say hello to manhood.

(well, not like i wasn't a Man before...just that now im least in the eye of the elders...well, whatever, you get the point)

First of all, sorry to you all ladies out there. Im no longer LEGALLY available. (read between the lines please...)

Second of all, sorry to all outstationers who has to take an extra day-off on monday just to get to our dinner... Very much appreciated. Hope that you guys will have loads of fun next Sunday. Also, beside providing a fantastic venue for the party, loads of booze will be served too, so make sure you guys are all drunk!

Thirdly, sorry to those who can't get to sit with whoever they like or those who will be going to sit with whoever they don't like. Sorry mate, allocation problem / mistake so nothing can be done, just bear with it! (or you can increase the ang pau money to $X,xxx,xxx.xx, then can even consider putting you up on VIP table)

It has been a super hectic month in preparation, so not going to write a long one now. Remember, if you love me as much as i love you, remember to give me a nice and big angpau yeah?

Ciao! See you at the party!

er...something like this... i think.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Approximately 2 weeks after i came back to Malaysia, i got myself a blackberry bold 9000.

If you have been following my blog, you would know how much the blackberry had tortured me when i was at my previous job.

But then i realised, despite being bugged 24/7 by job-related matters, blackberry can be real fun too. The best thing is that you can surf the web, check your emails and hook yourself up to facebook, twitter, msn, google chat etc etc 24/7. i.e. stay connected to the cyberworld, for leisure and for work.

i found it particularly useful because i can check my stock movements via blackberry since i have no bloomberg access anymore these days, and not to mention how useful and wonderful the blackberry messenger can be.

Similar to others, before i got myself a blackberry, i was struggled to choose between the blackberry or the iphone. Millions of people are debating everyday on which one is better (like xiaxue and kyspeaks from the blackberry camp, Timothy from the iphone camp...) but i chose the blackie (a.k.a blackberry) in the end because i have this "special connection" with blackberry. Well, i like the QWERTY keyboard and the professional looks of it.

It's inevitable that you can't hide away from staying in connection with the world constantly to keep yourself abreast of the fast-moving world. The era of Web 2.0 does make wonders.

Read a recent entry by Sheylara (which is essentially from Davienne...) on how social media helped her to find her missing dog and the interesting part two here. It's quite interesting to see how the world has become. Interesting.

Follow me on my twitter @kahseong if you like my craps :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Morning Jog

Woke up at 5 a.m. plus today. Mum dragged me out of bed to accompany her and dad for their daily morning walk / jog.

Since retirement, my dad and mum have been religiously jog around our neighbourhood every morning (even if they are down in KL) in order to keep fit. My dad always say to me "boy, you better join us, else i will be slimmer and better looking that you". man, that's pressurizing.

Imagine when you go out with your dad, and people thought he's your brother. Younger one somemore. Die.

Back to the early morning torture. Mum was saying it's good for me to join them since i have nothing better to do (like sleeping till noon is not a "better" thing to do).

On the day itself, my alarm went off at 5am, and it just went off without me noticing it. It's 5am for god sake. i used to sleep at 5am during my summer break back in school, and now you're asking me to wake up at 5am.

The only time during the last two years when i was awake at 5am was back in Hong Kong, in my office, working my a$$ off for almost 20hrs in a row.

And the last time i jogged at 5am (yes, i did it before), it was back in form 5 when i was preparing for my SPM. I woke up at 3am to study but couldn't concentrate, so i went to jog at 5am, but it didn't last long as the dogs in the neighbourhood weren't too friendly to me.

So, i woke up, put on my gear, and walked out with my mum. Gosh. it's pitch dark alright. But it's super cooling and nice. Never really thought malaysia has such nice fresh air.

To much of my surprise, this morning walk thingy is super huge in my neighbourhood. Basically all the aunties and uncles in the neighbourhood were out on the street. Some were leisurely strolling, some were busy chatting, some jogged at a pretty fast pace (like they are training for marathon or something).

I was like the only young bloke there. The youngest, in fact. Everytime we bumped into another aunties/uncles, they always say "oh, your son?" "look like his dad!" "So tall!"

I have lost count how many times i heard those lines in the morning. Guess that's the standard opening line ("SOL") for Aunty-Uncle-Conversation ("AUC"). (other SOL for AUC are like "have you eaten?" "nice weather!" etc etc)

Our "jog" lasted for about 30mins, before it rained heavily. Without any raincoat or umbrella with us, we have to let it stopped there. Mum and Dad's normal routine walk could last up to 1-2 hours. Pretty hardcore stuff it is.

When i reached home, i bumped into dad with his A-team (Mum belongs to B-team, aka the slower team and the team which do lesser laps). My dad and his "teammates" all had an umbrella with them, and they kept marching on.

Mum said "nothing can stop the A-team from doing their daily routine!"

When i grow up, i want to join the A-team too. Haha. But before that, let's hit the sack. :)

It was a beautiful morning though. Nice walk

Friday, October 30, 2009

life back at home

people always say that my gardening leave of 4 months is way too long.

why so? i asked. they would normally just say "i don't know, it just sound to long"

screw you. Like ZC rightly said so, if you can work like how i did for the past 2 years then you deserve this break. Darn right.

anyhow, long leave = no commitment to work = sleep in late and enjoy not doing anything but also = savings running low, then it will dries up sooner than you thought.

if you think landslide or tsunami is freaking fast and scary, wait till you see how fast my bank savings number drop. it's worse than the 32' Great Depression.

ok, so how's life back at home. in short. Great. as a matter of fact, i found back my life!

my phone hardly ring in a day when i was back in HK, now, it's functioning like how it used to be.

what else. not to mention those good food around and great lads to hang out with. nice.

'though it's only two years, but i see the vast changes in my mates. wow. finally boys have turned to men and all are buying / bought houses + cars + getting married. Nice.

and yeah. Entourage is freaking awesome. I know im late into the game, but it's never too late for any series ;)

2 years of lost time. that's the amount of time to be recovered by me. Hello Life ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bye Bye Hong Kong

2 years ago i wrote a similar entry on my other financial blog, the financialgeeks , marking the end of my old KL life and the beginning of a new phase of my life by moving to Hong Kong.

After 2 years of hard work in Hong Kong. I'm finally calling it a day and ready to move on;)

Good Bye Hong Kong. It was fun knowing you ;)

Till then, ciaos!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taxi Story

 Just realised that i have been taking alot of taxis in the last two years. Taxis in different countries.

The fun part about taking taxi is that you get to meet all sort of people. Here's a good blog about a professor-turned-taxi driver

food for thoughts...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Post Work Syndrome...

"Life without blackberry, 3 pounds lighter;
1 pound off my pocket, 2 pounds off my shoulder..."

Finally i can sleep until god knows when, and do whatever i want throughout the day withoutworrying about work all the time... 

On the downside, i have to be more thrifty now, as i am going to be unemployed for a long while...

Oh well. let's enjoy it while it last :)

next stop. Shenzen!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Passion for Tees

I always dream to have my own tees shop.

Why T-shirts? Well, not only it's comfy, but it's also a platform to express your opinions, voices and to display your art work.

A communication tool indeed.

Why so? if i designed a tee, saying "Make Love Not War" and you buy it and wear it. It means that you agree that "Make Love Not War" is the way to go, and that's your "voice" as well, right?

picture from shirtcity

Recently i have found this interesting Tee Shop in Japan called Graniph.

Their business model is very interesting. Graniph collects designs from designers located all around the world and they print the chosen designs on tees for sale. 

This is exactly what i have in mind all these while. This is very similar to the project that i have been working on for the past 3 years or so ...

If you have a passion in t-shirt designs, or in this business. Drop me a msg 
Let's talk business!

Run your own Airport!

Friday, August 21, 2009

MV of the Week

Proudly presents:

Mr. 【森林】MV

for more info about MR. Click Here.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time to play for your club!

Finally, the long wait is over.

English Premier League is back this weekend! woohoo

Prediction: Man Utd is going to win again, and again, this year. Mark my word. Haha

before that, let's have some warm up... ladies and gentlemen, hereby presenting

Play for your club! Enjoy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally ... it's Final.

Done. Letter handed in, and I'm (or will be, soooon) a free Man!

Bye bye Hong Kong. Hello Life ;)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My version of Holi-year

Who doesn't like travelling? i mean if you have enough $$$ and time permits, bet alot of us would like to hop on a plane / bus / train or a sampan to wherever you want to be straight away.

Wouldn't it be nice to be like a nomad, you know, travelling around freely across the grassland... or maybe like a ryonin back in Ancient Japan days, wandering across the whole country with a samurai sword...

been following Ringo's blog for a while. Not long ago, she has this piece of blog, titled "My Holiyear 2009", where basically she has been travelling (for work / leisure) abroad every single month so far in 2009. I know a lot of people will be admiring that, but then, as a matter of fact, it's rather tiring...

Anyhow, after went back to Malaysia to attend the wedding of the century in Malacca, in September / October, i will be having a mini-version of "Holi-year" of my own. Haha...

here it goes:

1) Within Hong Kong
2) Southern China - Shenzen most likely
3) Singapore! F1!
4) Osaka - Kyoto...maybe.

Will see ;) But one thing for sure is that after all these, i will be super broke.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My First 红馆 Experience

It has been almost 2 years in Hong Kong.

Finally, i get a chance to go to 红馆 for a concert.

Yup, I'm going for this

Ok. i know. it's more like a talk show rather than a concert, but what the heck. There's no way that i am going to miss this.

Jan Lamb 林海峰 is a popular DJ / Singer / Director in Hong Kong, especially well-known for his singing days during "SoftHard" time and starred in the whole series of McDonald's Ads.

Jan Lamb's talk show will be held at Hong Kong Coliseum from Sept 17 - 21 this year. If you have an AIG credit card then you can dial the number printed in the poster for early bird ticketing booking.

The 2009 talk show 《林海峰是但噏我願意》 is part 4 of the 是但噏 talk show series, after the successful inaugural 《林海峰是但噏發花癲》 in 2005, 《林海峰是但噏踎低噴飯》 in 2006 and 《林海峰是但噏求其大合唱Part 1、2》 in 2008.

Here are some warm-up clips for the big day.

林海峰 是但噏 我願意 - 婚禮進行曲片段 Part 1

林海峰 是但噏 我願意 - 婚禮進行曲片段 Part 2

see you there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


it was another monday, but this monday has a bigger monday blue than usual.

Because it's the first working day after my one-week long holiday cum the day after i regained soberness from attending the super great wedding over the weekend. The break was so great and it's so hard to drag myself back to reality.

then. something dramatic happened. Which, i will tell again at later date. basically, i have just broke away from the prison (well, literally not yet...but almost) by saying these lovely words

feel so good right now. Free like a bird.

to be continued...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

a fresh new start...

Listening to Janice's new album "Morning" right now, before the start of my lazy afternoon.
Janice is not a stranger to most of us, yet, the release of her first English Album does give me the feeling of "a fresh new start". Maybe for the past 1 year or so, whenever you mentioned Janice, it's always about her twin sister Gill, or about Janice's fallout with her manager Leon, or about her putting on more weights etc...

Hardly anything about music.

Guess if you put everything aside, just sit back and purely indulging yourself in her voice, you will find that, it doesn't really matter afterall.

Afterall, she has a good voice. Another nice soothing voice, just like Dessert here.

A fresh new start, for Janice, and for me, to get back to work after having a heavy lunch...

Bon appetite.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

There's this singer called 張懸...

i normally go to bed rather early during normal weekdays, partly i get tired easily after a whole day of hard work, and partly, your whole body+mind will feel so darn screwed the next day if you don't get enough sleep ... signs of aging i guess...

But usually it is a total different story on Friday and Saturday night. In fact, Friday night is my favourite session in the entire week. I just like the feeling of, "ah, weekend is finally coming and i can sleep in tomorrow morning..." Schweet. 

anyway, it's almost 4a.m. right now, so effectively it's no longer Friday night anymore. i have spent them away by watching numerous shows + clips on youtube the whole night. Not totally wasted though, as i stumbled upon this taiwanese singer, whom i think it's worthwhile to recommend to everyone who reads my blog here.

her name is 張懸, Deserts.

Here is one of her most popular song, "Baby"

and another one "Like"

She is one of the most popular Live House singer in Taipei right now, and she's popular for her lazy voice and the very soothing + non-commercialised songs of hers.

i hereby recommends these two songs to you, on this beautiful Saturday early morning...

Monday, June 22, 2009

This is a story of a cab driver

It was just a normal Monday morning. You know, those Monday morning with loads of Monday Blues in the air, as usual.

Still yet to recover from the weekend laziness and with summer approaching, I have decided to spend it like a real banker and took a cab to work.

Taking a cab in Hong Kong is quite challenging at times. Putting the craziness of Hong Kong traffics aside, you have loads of impatient and outspoken (some says 'rude') taxi drivers around. It's quite a traumatic experience for me to take cab to work as the distance between the place I live and the place I work is relatively, short. (a good 20 minutes walk to be exact)
And of course, working in central, a.k.a the business district of Hong Kong, you can imagine how bad the traffic will be during rush hour.

Usually, after I tell the driver where I want to go, the atmosphere will suddenly become eeriely silent… you can sense the unhappiness, disgruntlement and the swearing in the driver's mind (sometime you can hear them outloud too…). Throughout the whole journey, the cab driver will show how unhappy he is by driving like mad or just cursing along the way.

Once, a cab driver told me " you know, actually, we don't really like to go there at this hour. It's easy for you because you just hop off and go to work, but we will be stuck in a jam for like, 15-20 minutes?" I was like "oh, I see…" and kept quiet after that.

It's actually quite funny that I, as a passenger, supposingly the "customer", should be the one who's complaining about his/her services but in reality, I'm getting all sort of lectures. Guess the customer is always right doesn't really apply to cabbing.

Anyhow. Back to the normal Monday morning story.

I flagged down a cab, hopped on it. And then the nice old man greeted me "Good morning".
I was like, nice guy, well, not for long, bet he will be super pi$$ed after I told him where I am heading to.

"Central, please." I said. Then he replied "Ok!" with a happy tone.

After the first turning, he asked "So which way do you like to go? Up Hollywood road or the other side?"

Then I replied, and we started chatting. To my surprise, this cab driver's english is very good.

"Sir, I have to say that you speak pretty good English." I said.

"Me? Oh no. I stopped schooling since I was 11 or 12 years old. I could hardly write either Chinese or English, but I can recognise these words. That's Restaurant, that word is Old, that one means Tunnel, that one is Bridge and that one is Connaught Place." He said.

"Wow, that's impressive. I thought you came back from Canada or U.S., as your English is very good, and it doesn't have the typical Hong Kong slang in it!"

"Thanks for your compliment. My lawyer friend even once said that I speak better English than his staff! Haha, I bet that's definitely an overstatement. I was working at this garment factory as an apprentice after I left school when I was 11 or 12 years old. Then I went to night school for 2 hours per day after work at 6pm."

Then he continued, "work finished at 6pm, then I have to cook for all the seniors, and I will go to school at around 7pm after dinner was served. I usually went back at around 9pm to eat my dinner, then cleaned up the place, cleared out the rubbish etc.. When it's all done, usually it's about midnight already."

"Wow, then bet you don't have any time for revision or to do homework."

He said, "Ya, I don't. I told my teacher that I would never be able to do any homework so I got the exemption (how nice…I think). I still recall the only time I could do my revision was in the morning, before work started. I read my notes at the walkway most of the time. That's how I learned my English."

I said," That's very hardworking of you! It must be very tough to work whole day and to study at the same time!"

He smiled, then he continued,"When it comes to study, I will not be shy and I always asked all sort of questions. Throughout these years, I just keep on speaking my broken English to people, and I guess, that's how it got improved over the years."

When it's about to reach my office, he said "Two of my sons are University graduates. I'm so proud of them."

I gave him the money and said "Bet you are."

He smiled, gave me the change, and said to me, in English, "nice knowing you, have a nice day!"

Nice day indeed. Perfect way to start my day. Ganbatte yo!

Monday, June 15, 2009

小伙子的故事: 志愿篇

距离现今大约15年前, 在小伙子学校中每年惯例性得填的志愿栏中出现了突破性的新答案.


1) 医生
2) 老师
3) 律师

年复一年,从未更改.原因有二, 一是, 自己根本不知道要当啥, 二是,既然不知道要当啥,就写些老师父母们都爱听的职业吧.

因为年少的小伙子知道,若写下漫画家,摇滚乐团主唱或足球员,一定会被活生生宰死,或被叫到训导处"再教育". 纵然虚伪, 但你也应该认同,小孩子为了不被唸,就算得离家出走也会干.

在后来的后来, 小伙子在电视剧及周遭的影响之下, 突然找寻到了他的梦想.

那一年, 他13岁.

他知道, 若喜欢音乐,却去街头卖唱, 这并不是他的作风.
他知道, 若喜欢电影.然后跑去洛杉机念导演,这家里可负担不起.
所以, 他下定了决心, 得干一个既实际,又能实现理想的工作.


为何呢? 世人不懂得,会认为小伙子很市侩, 很现实,怎么看钱看的这么重?

不然. 小伙子也懂得, "人若没梦想,那么活着,与咸鱼有何分别" 但为了实现梦想, 人总不得脱离现实.

所以呢,在小伙子小小的心灵里,他知道,若要实现他本身的梦,他得先填饱自个及家人的肚皮. 人只要活着,吃饱了,才会有力气去追逐梦想.

所以,小伙子的目标是搞一门与自己兴趣有关联的生意. 这不仅仅能让他乐在其中,若能赚钱及能与三五知己一同创业,那,他想, 那成就感一定很棒吧. 好一个一石二鸟!

哪,搞什么生意呢? 小伙子并非生于大富之家,所以也没有家业可继.但, 小伙子觉得, 无论做什么都好,最好的生意是能造福人群的买卖.哪,做什么好呢?

那一年, 他13岁.

从那一年开始, 小伙子的志愿栏,开始有了变化,而志愿栏,对于他而言,也不再是那一种只为敷衍人们而写的东西.

那一栏, 写的是他的目标及梦想.

那一栏, 写着


Friday, June 12, 2009

小伙子的故事: 三国篇

若干年前,有一位小伙子,在看了"大时代"这部剧后, 就开始对股票产生了浓厚的兴趣.


他想.有一天, 我想成为在股市中呼风唤雨的家伙.多屌呵.

然后,他开始对商业/金融产生兴趣,同时,也开始留意有关商业/金融的书籍与电影.虽然当时他是一名理科生,但他却比较喜欢文科.从历史, 地理, 会计, 音乐等, 他都不愿错过. 或许在潜意识里, 他真正想做的是文人或艺术家, 而非工程师或大医生.

若这是三国时代,我想, 他会想当司马懿,多于当义气盖天的关羽,或刘备,或张飞.
小伙子喜欢的是司马懿的商道及手段. 他不厉害? 别人的江山都可弄到手,谈何容易呀?


一为, 大奸雄辩- 曹操.
小伙子觉得,曹操这人不会只将忠义挂在嘴边, 他奸的够干脆.
看似容易,但在那个年代,若我让你当曹操,我想,很多人都会疯掉. 在这点, 我认同小伙子的看法.
再说, 最有意思的还有这几点.

演义中说到曹操是"治世之能臣, 亂世之奸雄". 天啊,这多爽啊, 这说明, 无论如何, 曹操这辈子已肯定是一名响当当的大人物.

再说,纵贯天下, 又有谁能象他一样,说出"宁我负天下人,莫叫天下人负我"? 心中有想的, 我肯定, 到处皆是. 就算是最好的朋友, 虚伪的你我, 又怎可能说得出口?

还有还有, 无可置疑地是, 曹操一定是一个蛮有魅力的人. 不然为何他旗下名将如云? 纵然是奸臣, 但他肯定具有统一天下之才能.

二为, 诸葛亮.
别误会.蠢与苯可是有分别的. 人嘛, 一生下来,难免会有长短.
苯是情有可原, 因为有些人脑筋不怎么灵光,就如小伙子一样. 而且有些人可是苯的很可爱.
但蠢却是那种让人冒火,不爽,堵烂的不怎么灵光的行为及心态. 你想我举例? 翻开报纸,看看今天政治家说什么就知道了.

小伙子欣赏的是诸葛亮的智慧与沉静. 人说,聪明反被聪明误, 这些例子比比皆是. 但,能沉静地运用其智慧者却没那么多了.
诸葛亮精彩的一生,相信大家也都清楚了吧.所以, 笔者也无须再细作举例.

三为, 小霸王 - 孙策.
孙策在其父战亡后,忍辱负重,然后,借兵取江东,让孙家从新再抬头,何其痛快! 只因他命短,所以在三国里篇幅并不多.但, 你想想. 当时可说是人才辈出的年代,在芸芸人才中,孙策, 年纪轻轻, 就可带兵取江东,灭了几国,若非奇人,谈何容易?

世人说他是小霸王,可不见的全是贬义. 小霸王, 可说是因惧怕而起之名.

小伙子欣赏的是孙策.之才能,果敢及远见. 可惜他在三国的舞台早退场,不然,局面应该会更有意思.

三国时代,结束也有好长的一段日子了. 欣赏归欣赏, 小伙子最想做到, 就是集以上四人之长,摒四人之短,用之于事.然后在其梦想的商界,闯出一翻事业来…

<小伙子的故事: 续>

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Edison on CNN

The cofounder of CLOT is on CNN

Click here for the video

Monkey Majik

Monkey Majik, a band with two canadian + two japanese. Totally refreshing. check it out. you won't regret it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Have I Read Today chapter 1

"The only way to deliver to the people who are achieving is to not burden them with the people who are not achieving" - Good to Great, Jim Collins

From the same book, same chapter, it says the following:

"The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you've made a hiring mistake. The best people don't need to be managed. Guided, taught, led - yes. But not tightly managed. We've all experienced or observed the following scenario. We have a wrong person on the bus and we know it. Yet we wait, we delay, we try alternatives, we give a 3rd and 4th chance, we hope that the situation will improve, we invest time in trying to properly manage the person, we build little systems to compensate for his shortcomings, and so forth.

But the situation doesn't improve. When we go home, we find our energy diverted by thinking (or talking to our spouses) about the person. Worse, all the time and energy we spend on that one person siphons energy away from developing and working with all the right people. We continue to stumble along until the person leaves on his own (to our great sense of relief) or we finally act (also to our great sense of relief).

Meanwhile, our best people wonder, "What took you so long?"

So true.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life post crisis...

This is warzone Credit Crisis. Heads rolled and blood splattered.

Some were crying, some were asking why, some were packing and some were wandering between lost and joy

It was a mess. But sometimes, maybe it's better to leave than to stay. I think.

You gain some you lose some. You might lose the portion of unearned salaries, but you might gain some.

Time. Quality time. Relationships. Friends & Family. So much to gain, so little to lose ;)

Life post crisis. Life goes on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Excellent speech given by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple. Pretty inspiring ;)

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says
This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


thought of the day

global equit market totally crapped out, with Dows, S&P500, Nasdaq, FTSE, HSI, Nikkei all in red... apparently, the worst is yet to come for asia, so gotta sit tight and wait before adding new risk to the portfolio...

my target stocks are rising today... dang, was hoping that it would nicely fall to my target price today... guess i am just gotta be patient for now, hoping that the price will be attractive enough to give me a nice 'margin-of-safety'

Mr. Market, stop playing games on us! ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Puteri Gunung Ledang Musical

First saw back in 2006.

It's the first play i watched in Bahasa Melayu, and to be honest, was super impressed with the outstanding performance by the casts.

"Melaka, Singgahsana...." after 3 years i still can remember the song vividly.

and now, they are back. Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical Season III. Watch it if you haven't.

you will realise how pretty the language is ;)