Now

This page is inspired by the NOW Movement and is an experiment for me to bring “status updates” back into control. At the same time as I grow older and have more responsibilities, I am more conscious of how I want to prioritise my time and attention. Derek Sivers explains it well here.

April 07, 2021

…and just like that Q1 of 2021 is done. I am really excited for what’s in store for 2021, and a large part of that excitement is due to having clarity of thinking on what a portfolio driven career looks like, at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and venture:

– I continue to invest actively, playing my role as a venture partner at Next Billion VC, as well as in an individual capacity, in various early stage companies. The work of working closely with founders continue to energise me, as we see the next stage of growth in the digital economy in Southeast Asia.

– This is the big one: I am focused on starting a new seed VC. I am incredibly excited with the opportunities we are seeing in the region, and more importantly having the opportunity to partner with some really top notch investors in Southeast Asia. It’s exciting to think that I’m finally embarking on my own entrepreneurial journey. More to announce soon!

– Finally the theme of technology for me this year is figuring out how to leverage the availability of increasingly high quality no code / low code tools to run my life. I love wearing the product hat in thinking through some of the problems to be solved in my daily life straddling between my job as a father and a member of a household, and various commitments I have in a portfolio career. The developments in this area, and the maturity of tools like Zapier, Airtable etc are frankly exciting.

– Unfortunately Dads in Tech is taking a little of a backseat at the moment. In some sense I’d like to think that we are done with Season 1, and now I am looking at which direction Season 2 should take. Stay tuned to that as well.

Nov 23, 2020

In short, it’s been a rather rough 6 months, but at the same time there are a lot of positives as well, and serendipitous opportunities.

– I continue to play an active role in venture investing, both as a syndicate lead as well as a venture partner at Next Billion Ventures, a venture firm investing in global emerging markets. It’s been rather interesting to see how founders are reacting to opportunities in 2020, and it’s frankly rather inspiring.

– Started working with a few founders from Southeast Asia based growth stage tech companies, playing a board advisory role and in some cases rolling up my sleeves to execute, broadly, in two areas: market development and corporate development.

– Closer to home, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my 2 year old son. I didn’t think I would say this, but i love being a Dad 😊. It’s been a rather fulfilling journey watching Foolet grow from a baby to a toddler. One gripe i have is the relative lack of content for fathers in Asia, so to that end i am working on a project to scratch my own itch. Very early preview here (link). Just launched! Check it out here: https://dadsintech.substack.com

As we are headed toward the end of the year i am grappling with more existential issues. For one, how should i think about the next arc of my career and how would my forever job look like. Will be spending the remains of 2020 to figure things out.

May 25, 2020

Much has changed since the last status, and especially against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 crisis. The crisis has forced a lot of fault lines to appear, whether it’s at the scale of the entire human civilisation as well as down to us as individuals.

I’m currently under lockdown in Singapore with my family, for which I am grateful that we are safe, healthy and well provided for. The lockdown has also forced me to really look at my life in an honest way, and to re-visit some of the fundamental aspects of why’s in my life. Some of the why’s I am working on now are:

– the need and nature of innovation financing and venture investing in Southeast Asia.

– the role of technology affecting change in society, and my role in it.

– what it means to be an entrepreneur in the face of crisis, and how would the entrepreneurship and venture ecosystem evolve from here in Southeast Asia.

Feb 9, 2019

– Recently listened to an episode of Art of Manliness, where Cal Newport (of Deep Work fame) talked about the ideas behind digital minimalism, and social media vs the social web. Social media & screen time addiction is a topic that’s been weighing on my mind a lot lately, especially as i examine my own behaviour and try to model a positive behaviour for my very young son. I want to see if i can consciously disentangle myself from social media (primarily Facebook and Instagram) and observe what effects it will have on life, work and interactions with friends and family around me.

– As part of my work at SeedPlus, I’ve been spending time looking at how tech is impacting and re-organising real estate, insurance, human capital in Southeast Asia. Some of these topics directly relate to our portfolio companies that I spend time with, and others are potential new investment areas.

– Inspired by Angela Duckworth’s “Hard Thing Rule“, I am also planning to getting back to running and participate in a 21km half marathon end of the year. Before that though, I’ll need to fix the Os Trigonum in my right ankle (which means I’d need to reschedule my surgery, urgh).

– Still trying to find the will and the time to get SproutPod.tv off the ground.