Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seagull steals potato chips from shop!

A seagull has regularly been walking in to a Scottish store and stealing bags of potato chips. The bird just walks in the open door, hits a nearby shelf, and then heads back out to the street!

The employees have since nicknamed the seagull "Sam", who has become so popular with locals that they have started to pay for the bird to have its daily supply of crisps. Once outside, the seagull rips the bag open and shares the chips with other birds.


Friday, July 13, 2007

It’s a strange week ….

A couple of rare events happened this week:

i. A prospective customer who “disappears” for a few months suddenly contacted me to order my products. The last time I talked to him, he and his partners said that they were evaluating some other systems. After months of disappearing acts, I did not expect them to recontact me, let alone confirming their purchases.

ii. A friend’s friend contacted me to discuss about some collaboration projects. Apparently, this guy was looking for people to develop some systems. The odd part was, the last time we communicated was like more than half a year ago. Then he “disappeared”. And now to my surprise, he reappeared and contacted me directly.

iii. An ex-colleague who had lost contact with me for seven years suddenly approached me to talk about some project collaboration also. Apparently he had just setup a company and was looking to outsource most of his software development jobs. On top of that, he was also very interested in being a distributor for my products using his overseas distribution channels.

iv. One of my advertising medium company offered a complimentary advertisement placement (worth S$1500) to my company. I did not ask for that.

v. Bumped into my JC classmate who had lost contact for about eight years.

Other than the above-mentioned events, I had also received more sales and distribution enquiries than usual this week. It just feel so strange that all these happened within the same week.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

A small step forward

I received a cheque from a customer recently. The amount wasn’t huge, but to me it signified an important milestone.

Apparently, this customer X is the owner of a rather well-known company. Several weeks ago, I received an email from him requesting a trial version of my product. Normally, I would not give out trial version as I was quite paraniod about piracy and hacking. So I offered to go down to his office to give a live demo of my product. Upon reaching his office, I gave X a demo on my product’s functionalities and he was quite impressed. But X seemed to be a rather cautious person and requested that I tested my product with his company’s database. So he led me to his desk and I proceed to install the system onto his PC.

To my surprise, I saw a few of my competitors’ software on his desktop. Obviously, X had researched and tested quite a few of my competitors’ trial version before he came to me. This was rather uncommon to me because most of my customers would not do that much “homework”. So after the installation, X proceed to test out my product with his own database and much to my relief everything worked well. After the demo, I had a chat with X. Apparently X had previously bought a similar product from one of my competitor but only to find the product extremely buggy. I wasn’t surprised as this competitor’s product is the cheapest amongst all, and I myself had tested it before. Thus, this time round, X was more cautious and decided to test out a few similar products before making the decision to purchase.

A few weeks later, I received a purchase order from X. Though the revenue from this single deal wasn’t much, I viewed it as a significant victory because X had decided to purchase from my company after some detailed comparison among my competitors. It shows that our product is able to withstand competition from some of the bigger and older boys in the industry.

Sometimes, I feel like a toddler who is curiously and eagerly exploring the world. Every little step forward is a significant moment.

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