Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Looking Back 1: My Initial Voyage

When the decision was made on August 2003 to venture out, the first thing that struck my mind was: Find one or more business partners. I did not have the courage or know-hows to venture out alone then. I found my university coursemate KY, and after some lengthy persuasion he finally decided to join me. Then, we carried out several meetings outside our normal working hours to discuss what to do. Since we did not really have any great business ideas, I suggested that we shall take up projects part-time while still holding on to our full-time jobs. Any revenues that we earned shall be placed into a joint account. By the time this account accummulated enough capital, we most probably would also have a considerable customer base and we can venture out full-time.

At the first thought, this idea seems brilliant and risk-free. I have the technical know-hows while KY has the industrial contacts. However, after several months, we were unable to clinch any deals although we sent out proposals and tried to lower our price. I had even developed prototypes of systems that the customers required. After a while, KY seemed discouraged and lost the initial enthusiasm. Eventually, by the end of the year, KY was posted overseas by his company and our short partnership ended abruptly.

I figured that, this initial short voyage failed mainly because we did not have a clear direction and were rather half-hearted in the business. As we were both engineers, most of the time we were so tied up with our full-time jobs that we did not really have spare time to think about our business. And KY was actually rather afraid to take risk and preferred to be in his comfort zone. But I wasn’t prepared to give up just like that and went on to plan for my second voyage.

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