Archive for May, 2007
|Starbucks One Utama||
Secret Recipe (can’t remember where tho)
I’m not sure when it started, but it is becoming a habit of mine recently to do my part-time work (ie building my web application) while sipping lattes or hot chocolates in coffee shops like Starbucks and Coffee Bean. Doing work at home makes me feel very lazy - it’s hard to be productive when your bed and TV are just a few steps away. But whenever I’m at a cafe, I find myself feeling more focused, relaxed, mentally conscious, creative and productive. So far I always leave knowing that I have done a lot of stuffs. At home, I find myself to be doing more readings and surfing around compared to doing the actual work that produces something. Even at this moment, I’m writing this very post in some cafe called The Black Canyon.
I’m not very sure what makes these places very comfortable to do work. Maybe its because of the people walking around and chatting which makes me feel energized and alive. It keeps me going. Or maybe because of the music they played which are relaxing and heightens up the mood. Maybe because of the caffeine from the lattes themselves which stops me from feeling sleepy. Or probably it’s the combination of all of them that keeps me coming back. I know, I know. These places are not cheap. A latte can cost you around 10 bucks each; and that’s only the small sized one, mind you. But in my opinion, if it can make me be productive, then it’s probably worth it anyway. Afterall, it beats paying for an actual office But of course it’s even better to bring along a companion or a teammate to boost up the productivity.
However, not everyone is comfortable doing work at cafes. In fact, some do the exact opposite -> reading and learning at cafes, getting their hands dirty at home. It doesn’t matter where you feel most productive both in development or learning, be it in a cafe, at home, in the library, in the office, at your friend’s aparment, it’s good to know where that place is and use it to your advantage. So go ahead and travel around, see which place gets you more work done.
Below are some the places I like to stick around:
- Starbucks KLCC, third floor, above Coffee Bean
- Starbucks One Utama, next to Nandos
- Coffee Bean in LCCT (It’s one of the places I liked most. Too bad it’s very far away)
- Starbucks Alamanda, Putrajaya
- Starbucks Jusco Cheras Selatan
- Craven Cafe, Ampang Petronas Superstation
- Starbucks Berjaya Timesquare, in front of the cinema (strategic while waiting for a show to start) and the one at ground floor (very cozy for discussions at the upper level)
- Burger King KLCC (they have a nice booth specifically for Internet surfers. Plus, since they allow refilling ur drinks as many times as you wish, you can be sure you won’t be thirsty hanging out over there for hours)
- Posted by Tengku Zahasman on May 23rd, 2007 filed in Thoughts, Entrepreneurship
- 1 Comment »
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Reading Mike Arrigton’s recent post at TechCrunch really caught my attention and sparked some thoughts:
“When I look back at the pictures from those early events, I remember good times, and no one was talking about twenty million dollar venture rounds or selling out for a cool $1.65 billion. Companies like Meebo and Sphere literally launched in my living room in front of a couple of hundred genuinely interested people…
It’s no longer about beautiful products and genius developers. It’s about the money and the status, and hot PR chicks and marketing departments.” - Mike Arrington
It’s true what he said. I’ve been hearing so much about new Internet startups seeking million bucks of venture rounds every month that I’m starting to get sick of it. Web 2.0 startups initially sparked off from tech enthusiasts and bright developers who believes in creating unique applications of their own that they love and hoped other people will love too. Money is not the first thing that comes into the picture. It’s the idea of making a difference that comes first - using Web technology as the backbone. Startups today seems to focus more on chasing the money, getting millions of capitals, and enhance their application with the intention of selling them off to some other giant companies like Yahoo, Google or eBay. This is what I don’t get. We don’t build applications to get capitals. We don’t build applications to sell them off. We build applications because we love it. If at a later time someone chips in offering a deal, then that’s something to be dealt later.
To me, real startup entrepreneurs are those who wishes to “marry” with their idea, developing the application till late at night with their small teams who also believes in what they are doing. Forget about capitals, they don’t mind starting off using their own money and credit cards, bootstrap all the way so that they could see their dream comes true. And they are the people who will cry if they had to sell their application to someone else. Isn’t it interesting to hear people create successful apps out of their garage or apartments? Meebo is an example. These are genuine entrepreneurs. “Profit” to them is the money that comes from the invention itself, not from those venturing rounds or hoping to be bought.
If only Malaysia could have our own Silicon Valley….Tags: internet startups Web 2.0 entrepreneur
I’m not saying that you need to develop creatively stunning design for your web app. I mean hey, look at MySpace… it was once regarded as the ugliest web app ever. But the amount of users they have scrolling over their ugly, full of ads website every single day is overwhelming. What I actually mean when I say “first impression” has nothing to do with beauty, but more towards the strategy that you use for your site’s look-and-feel. It’s the type of layout that you want to use, the fonts, where you place your login form, the logo, the theme colour, where to use Ajax or Flash, ads placement, user-friendliness, etc. Different types of web apps will have different style of interface and user-experience, because how your app should look and behave is largely dependent on what it is used for and the target users. ImageShack, an image hosting application have a minimalist design to impose the “easy & no hassle” look, while Netvibes has a more defined design to give the impression of “we have many features for your favorite feeds!”. Invest your time more on defining what’s the most effective design for your web app. For what is worth, simplicity and cleanliness always work in most apps so you can start off with that mindset. Even after you have launched your application, you can continually tweak your placements here and there to analyze the differences that it makes.
Talking about look-and-feel, I have just finished sketching the mock up design of one of my current web app project using Fireworks - my favorite graphics tool. I am not going to show you guys yet how it looks like but I will when I think its time to have them uploaded. Anyway, you can also adopt this practice when designing your app. Sketch your whole website in a graphics tool first because it is faster and it gives you an idea of how you your site will look like in the end. Only after you have satisfied with the mock up will you start coding the layout and placement on Dreamweaver (or any other softwares that you use).Tags: strategy web design