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Top 4 Lessons I Have Learnt from Silicon Valley

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Silicon Valley, the land of innovations – a mythical place where dreams and fortunes are forged (and broken at the same time) in the tech world. Dreamers, investors, even government leaders gather there in hope to capture the magical formula that has made miracles happen in this unparalleled tech and business hub. Today, Silicon Valley has expanded to encompass the entire San Francisco Bay Area and remains as a leading tech hub in the world, focusing on a strong start-up ecosystem. It is a dream place where every other start-up or innovator wants to be.

In 2014, almost two years ago, I had the privilege to visit this “legendary” place due to an entrepreneurship program from my tech start-up, as well as an invitation from friends in SV. After having stayed two weeks Silicon-Valley-style, we have visited several tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Evernote, Rocket Fuel, Oracle, Intel, Startup “Ecobator” NestGSV, Plug and Play Technology Center and even one of their hackathons at RocketSpace.

In this post, I will share what I have learnt and what I think can be useful to creating ecosystems around the world that want to be successful.

Make innovation a part of life

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All SV has done is to show the rest of the world that it keeps moving, and constantly bringing people and experience together to keep refueling its innovation. A simple walk through the halls of Google, Facebook or Evernote, reveals how tremendously these tech giants value an innovative atmosphere for their people. From the way they build their workplace to the way they work, constant creativity and outside-the-box thinking are part of their lifeblood.

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Companies in the Valley love to adopt new technologies and tools that encourage a new level of communication and collaboration. At the same time, it is a common practice in the Valley to conduct “hack days” or hackathon when the entire company comes together to form teams to generate new ideas and converting them into reality. These activities allow individuals a chance to get together, exchange thoughts and emulate each other, turning a concept into a viable business or product.

Every year, new ideas come out of SV that disrupt the industries – think of Uber, AirBnB or Netflix. Traditional businesses can learn a lot from this kind of innovations when not only they try to improve on an existing product category, but to return to the root problems and to come up with new innovative solutions that are relevant in today’s world.

Innovation is the difference between the company that stagnates, resulting in a slow death and the one that is propelled into new levels of profitability and relevance.

Create a positive work culture

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An arcade or a ping-pong room may not be common in a corporate company, but more and more companies around the world are learning from the Valley’s culture in creating a workplace where people want to come to work. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have work cultures and fantastic workspaces that billions of people over the world have dreamed of working in. They invested, not only in their people but also in creating an environment that is conducive to their devotion to innovation. In most the places I have visited in SV, they adopt an open-office culture where walls are almost non-existence. This kind of office layout, not only makes the office looks bigger but also encourages collaboration. And there are white boards and chairs around the office which allow people to discuss and pen down their thoughts as they walk from places to places.

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Providing onsite perks and gourmet-style meals pulls talents into these companies too, and at the same time, it makes people want to come, and to stay – often around the clock. It is no wonder that Millennials have ditched traditional corporate work culture to join start-ups or companies that are adopting this new style of work culture that promotes creativity and innovation.

Collaborate to accelerate

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Success in SV brings, even more, success – having built a reputation as an innovation hub, innovators from around the globe are attracted to this “holy” place. Attracting diverse talents from other areas helps foster a culture of innovation and to develop new ideas. Everyone talks about connecting the dots. But every individual has difference experience, networks and skill sets which can bring value to the table.

It is impressive how there is a clear common denominator in the success stories in SV, and that is sharing. Venture capitalists and investors often talk about how upon realizing that startups had an enormous potential for success and sharing of the opportunity they saw. Value has been created in a situation where everybody wins – leaving aside ego and selfish feelings to “keep the secret” about the next Instagram or Snapchat.

Maybe that is also why coming to SV can be a major game-changer for individuals: getting closer to new technologies, ideas, and cultures, they spark new thoughts about what is possible in their area of expertise.

By seeking out like-minded businesses and networks of individuals to partner with can lead to new ways of thinking and working while bringing the perks of a more diverse viewpoint. It can also lead to new collaborative ventures, or more productive working styles.

Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means corporations must embrace the benefits of cooperating with one another.

– Simon Mainwaring

Have the okay-to-fail-mentality

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SV’s mentality is clearly conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship, something that something we lack in corporate life. As we studied in schools, graduated from universities and started working in the corporate sectors, we have become too risk adverse.

When I first joined a start-up, the thing that I learnt is that 90% of startups fail. Despite this hard and bleak truth, why do innovators and entrepreneurs still want to embark on this journey?

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At least once in life, one is going to fail at something. Failing is a part of the game of life. Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg had not pulled through, persisted with his vision and launched Facebook from Harvard’s dormitory rooms. We will not have Facebook today. When looking at his success today, being the chairman, chief executive, and co-founder of the largest social networking website Facebook and having a net worth estimated to be US$51.2 billion, June 2016, one cannot imagine the amount of effort that is needed to build this empire.

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Failing is trying. Without trying, we will never have a chance to succeed. The quicker one can deal with failure; the quicker one is ready for success. Each failure is a building block and learning opportunity for success. Some people cannot deal with failure, so they never try anything. The result: nothing. Nothing can happen without action. Failure separates the weak from the strong. Some fail and they give up on their goals. While others fail to gain immense strength and experience. Life is all about action, and taking risks.

To finally succeed, after repeated failure is one of the best feelings in the world!

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Lazada Birthday Festival: Celebrating 6 with Great Deals and More!

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6 Lazada Birthday Festival

Lazada is taking this year’s Birthday Festival a level higher as they celebrate their 6th birthday in Singapore, starting 24 April, with discounts of up to 90% off with 600+ flash deals and up to $120 worth of vouchers.

Partnering with top brands like Clinique, Shiseido, Bose, Jaybird, Acer, Samsung, Crumpler, etc., Lazada is bringing exclusive deals on a wide range of products from skincare to electronics for you.

What’s more, you can further stretch your budget by using code (6LAZBDAY) and Citi Credit Card at checkout during 24-26 April from 9 am daily to get $12 off with minimum spend of $100.

If you are unsure what to buy and wish to be surprised, you may also try out Lazada’s Surprise Boxes ($29/$49) which they have worked with 74 different brands to bring you specially-curated boxes. These boxes comes in limited quantity and are up for grabs for a limited time only. They also contain goodies worth more than $100.

 

Who is Lazada?

Lazada is an online shopping & selling platform in Southeast Asia that features more than 2,500 brands, serving 560 million consumers across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet, the e-commerce company aims to establish an Amazon.com business model within the region. They aim to achieve this by taking advantage of the untapped online consumer market and Amazon’s weak presence here.

In recent years, Lazada has grown to be a force not to reckon with as they get acquired by China’s Alibaba in 2016 as Alibaba expands into Southeast Asia with a US$1 billion Lazada deal. Subsequently, Alibaba also boosted its stake to 83 percent in 2017 with an additional investment of US$1 billion. Then, further investment of extra US$2 billion and tapping a top executive (Ms. Lucy Peng) to run the business. This move strengthened Alibaba’s vision of taking on rivals such as tech giant Amazon in the region. The latest funding will double Alibaba’s total investment in Lazada at US$4 billion which it said will “accelerate the growth plans” and help further tie the Lazada business into Alibaba’s core e-commerce service.

Lazada and Razer also announced this month the launch of a new digital game store on the online shopping platform, offering consumers access to thousands of digital games as well as reward customers with every purchase.

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How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT

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Interact - Step by Step

The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.

There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.

According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.

In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!

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Business

Event Management Software Showdown: Cvent vs. Eventbrite vs. GEVME

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As an event organizer, there is a need to be good at juggling multiple tasks under the pressure of time, while ensuring that the event is planned and executed successfully. In many cases, such functions are carried out manually which impedes efficiency, accuracy, and tracking.

In recent years, there have been many event management software that has surfaced in the market, and many of them have had a growing footprint around the world. Not only that there are now more acceptance and users on-board of these software products, but there has also been an incredible competition in providing more functionalities to its users.

With this in mind, event management software is becoming a valuable tool for event organizers. These tools can be used in the management of academic and professional conferences, trade exhibitions, conventions and even smaller events. They can also help in the project management from the creation and development of events to streamlining the process of planning and coordinating which may include budgeting, scheduling, site selection, transportation, catering, marketing, etc.

Noting that every event management software is different and not a one size fits all, before committing to investing in one, it is vital to explore and compare a few popular event management software to find the best that suits your needs.

In this article, we are going to look at three event management software in the market – Cvent, Eventbrite, and GEVME.

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