My Founder Institute Experience

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Towards the end of 2013, I was accepted to the Founder Institute Winter 2013 Jakarta Semester program. To begin the program, we had 43 Founders which were accepted into the winter semester from 200+ applicants with only 9 remaining Founders to graduate; including myself as one of the Founders. The Founder Institute is a 4-month training program and idea incubation which started out in Silicon Valley, USA, where Founders are taught to develop their own business. To graduate, Founders must go through a rigorous process of completing assignments, pitching to mentors with passing scores while incorporating a company to establish a viable business .

What is the Founder Institute (www.fi.co)?

Taken directly from the Founder Institute website; The Founder Institute is the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, helping aspiring founders across the globe build enduring technology companies. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 35 countries, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 1,017 companies in 4.5 years. The company’s mission is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

After Graduating in the Jakarta Winter 2013 Semester, there a five important things that I learned in the program.

The five things are:

1. I learned the process on how to a establish a new business and incorporating a company. The steps and hands-on experiences lets me understand the main processes on how to effectively take an idea into creating a legal company. This is very important to understand when you start your own business.

2. By making it mandatory for Founders to pitch weekly to mentors lets me learn about mental toughness when others tell you that your idea sucks and will not work. Doing the load of assignments within a strict limited time-frame also allowed me to understand about some aspects of a startup-entrepreneur such as meeting deadlines and being laser focused to complete tasks. Also, failing and redo-ing many things from scratch while continuously going back to the drawing board to improve what we have done taught me the importance of resilience and perseverance.

3. I also learned that if we focus on small wins, this will lead us to progress forward to reach our goals. Many times we often only look at the big picture but forget about the steps to get there by focusing on accomplishing the little things first. This is key in starting your own business by completing the small steps or small wins to gradually move forward.

4. I learned that when you face any given situation with a closed mind, you tend to not listen and shut down your opportunities by not hearing what others have to say. Learning to listen, sorting out clutter and prioritizing was a key learning point for me. Throughout the program you will have lots of feedback and one of the key things is to choose feedback you want to use and prioritize your time on progressing forward.

5. I also learned that we should look at our ideas through the challenges aspect and all the things that can make our idea fail for us to learn about how to make it succeed. This is hard for a lot of Founders because they don’t want to be told of the challenges and no one wants to hear that their ideas really suck.

6. Lastly, the importance of the Mentor/Advisor was key in my learning process. I learned that to have a useful and helpful Mentor/Advisor can leverage you to learn things faster. Your Mentor/Advisor should not slow you down; these are signs that you need to find a new Mentor/Advisor. I learned that many successful entrepreneurs had great Mentors/Advisors that will not only tell them good things but will challenge your assumptions because they want you to succeed. I also learned from one of our Mentors, (Adrian Li, CEO of Qraved) that your Mentors/Advisors should be N.I.C.E :

N etwork (relevant Network)
I nvestment (open to Invest)
C redibility (Credibility)
E xperience (have Experiences)

In conclusion, I highly recommend for anyone to apply to the Founder Institute as you will learn something new despite of your current expertise and experiences. I came in into the program as an experienced corporate Manager with an MBA and learned many new things how to start my own business that I would’ve never learned on my own. I accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish since the beginning of the orientation assignment of the Founder Institute. Thanks for your time reading this post. Good luck!

“Live your life and learn everyday.”

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Sukses sebagai Manajer.

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Sebagai seorang Manajer, pernah nggak anda menghadapi situasi saat bawahan melakukan pekerjaan yang buruk, gagal atau bekerja tidak memenuhi standar? Jika ya, maka pertanyaan yang harus anda tanya pada diri anda sendiri sebagai Manajer adalah, “Apa yang telah saya lakukan sehingga bawahan saya gagal?.” Apakah anda yakin bawahan anda gagal karena mereka tidak bisa atau karena sistem yang anda terapkan sebagai Manajer cacat atau apakah tidak ada tindakan nyata dari anda untuk mengatur mereka agar sukses. Kalau seperti ini, lalu siapa yang akan bertanggung jawab terhadap kegagalan bawahan anda? Ya tentu saja anda sendiri, sebagai Manajer mereka.

Anda suka atau tidak, jika seorang pekerja melakukan pekerjaan di bawah standar, yang pertama kali ditanyakan adalah siapa sih atasannya kemudian sistem apa yang mereka terapkan sehingga jadinya gagal.

Kenapa dalam tim olah raga professional, orang pertama yang di’pecat’ jika tim-nya gagal adalah sang Kepala Pelatih dan bukan pemainnya?

Inilah yang menjadi fungsi serbabisa dari seorang Manajer dalam mengatur bidangnya dan semua manajer harus memahami hal ini. Ya memang ada beberapa manajer yang bilang akan selalu ada buah yang busuk dan perlu dipotong dahannya agar pohon tersebut bisa memberikan buah yang baik, agar tim lebih produktif dan maju, tapi ini lain topik dan akan dibahas di posting-an blog berikutnya.

Beberapa poin bagaimana anda bisa sukses sebagai manajer:

– Objektif manajer adalah membantu bawahannya untuk memberikan yang terbaik bagi organisasinya.

– Manajer ternyata tidak jauh berbeda dengan atlit. Manajer juga harus berlatih dan bekerja setiap hari untuk meningkatkan keahlian mereka. Jika jabatan anda adalah Manajer dan anda tetap berada di tempat yang sama, tidak ada perkembangan atau progres, takut mengambil resiko, maka akan ada sebuah daya lebih kuat mendorong anda keluar dari sistem tsb. Seperti bekerjanya dunia. Tidak bisa dijelaskan, dan terjadi secara natural. Dan jika anda mengandalkan “Saya menjaga posisi saya.” lalu tidak memberikan kontribusi, anda akan dikeluarkan dari sistem. Jadi berlatihlah setiap hari.

– Ini semua tentang proses me-review secara regular dan melakukan peningkatan. Jika tidak ada yang diukur, maka anda tidak akan bisa mengaturnya. Jika tidak bisa mengatur, maka anda bukanlah seorang Manajer.

– Ada bedanya ‘melempar’ pekerjaan ke bawahan anda dibandingkan dengan mendelegasikannya. Bedanya, ‘melempar’ pekerjaan misalnya “Saya mau kamu mengerjakan ini, mengerti? Ada yang ditanya? Saya perlu ini selesai jam 3 sore besok.” Kalau mendelegasikan artinya menjelaskan ke mereka kenapa anda ingin mereka mengerjakannya, menerima saran balik untuk bertukar pikiran, menyetujui waktu tenggat dari kedua belah pihak, memiliki sistem follow-up yang bisa dimonitor progresnya dan terapkan sistem rewards jika mampu. Anda sebagai Manajer harus mendelegasikan pekerjaan daripada ‘melempar’nya ke bawahan anda.

– Jika jabatan anda ada kata “Manajer” dengan beberapa bawahan untuk diatur, maka hal-hal berikut ini seharusnya anda lakukan:
a. Bekerja dengan tujuan,
b. Mengembangkan SDM,
c. Membangun sebuah tim,
d. Menentukan standar,
e. Menciptakan dan menjaga network (eksternal dan internal),
f. Berpikir secara strategi dan mengerti aspek-aspek ‘how-to’ untuk eksekusinya.

– Manajer yang hebat menggunakan Preparation-Do-Review untuk setiap aktivitas:
a. Mengejar tujuan dari manajemen,
b. Membuat progres mencapai target,
c. Mengembangkan SDM,
d. Menentukan standar kerja,
e. Memperkuat ikatan antar anggota tim,
f. Menjadi contoh sikap yang diinginkan.

– Manajer dibayar untuk memecahkan masalah, membuka jalan kalau mentok/ bottleneck, memberikan inspirasi, melatih dan membuat kontribusi yang besar dalam pertumbuhan dan peningkatan. Proses dasar dari pekerjaan anda adalah perencanaan, eksekusi, monitoring/mengontrol, evaluasi/mengukur hasilnya dan mengulangi proses tersebut kembali. Jika anda tidak melakukan satupun hal di atas berarti anda bukanlah manajer, anda hanya makan gaji buta yang diberikan perusahaan.

– Kunci dari Pemilik dan BOD adalah mengetahui bagaimana membuat semua manajer mereka paham apa yang harus dilakukan seorang manajer.

Bagaimana menurut anda? Apakah anda setuju?

Finding Peace of Mind

This is the first time I am sitting down, recording and working on a Rap-HipHop album. It won’t be a mixtape, not an EP, nor free singles for free download, or only featuring in someone else’s project, but working on a full blown LP aka “A Real Album”; It will consist of approx 15-16 tracks (songs) in the album.

Finding-Peace-of-Mind-E At the moment, the album will be called, ‘HerdiOflo – “Finding Peace of Mind.” I hope the title won’t change. But at the moment, it will be titled that. The album concept is quite simple, it speaks about how I’m trying to find Peace of Mind through my songs. How finding peace of mind is an inspiration to myself and hopefully inspiring to listeners. Finding your soul, your mind, your “in the zone” moments and your heart at peace with the world gives you comfort and confidence in how you move up in the world. I’m quite excited about it because it has been almost 15 years since I’ve gotten into this music and have actually never put out an LP album. Just looking forward to put something out. Will update you soon with a new video clip too droppin’. Cheers.

Innovation – Mandatory For Solving Future Problems?

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I’ve had a sudden interest in the word “Innovation” ever since I was accepted to currently attend Stanford University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Professional Certificate Program just a couple of months ago. I had applied to the program a while ago, filled out some forms, did a couple of tests, wrote a couple of essays and received the acceptance letter several weeks after applying. I was thrilled and excited to be part of a high-caliber university and began my journey to understand Innovation.

Throughout the past, I’ve never studied Innovation nor dug out its essence because I’ve always correlated the word Innovation with Invention. I thought they sounded similar so I figured they just meant the same. And you’ve guessed it, I was completely wrong as Innovation is completely different than Invention.

Below is the simple definition of the difference between Innovation and Invention:

Invention is the “creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time.” Thomas Edison was an inventor.

Innovation happens when someone “improves on or makes a significant contribution” to something that has already been invented. Steve Jobs was an innovator.

We can see that by improving something that has already been invented, Innovation drives the creation of new companies, new jobs, improves efficiency, effectiveness and improves the quality of products and services.

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Then I start thinking, how does this relate to your own current job and your ability to innovate within your own company. How will Innovation make an impact to your job and impact your company better. How are you going to find new improved ways of doing things. How will you improve going forward and turn that “status quo” statue into a living-breathing organism that will move, run, and decide. These are the things that Innovation can answer whether that be improving the many processes that exist within the company, the bravery to create significant change, to define precisely what the issues are instead of guessing based on no data and calling it concrete and lastly by moving forward as a growing company.

Below are some of the questions that can be answered through Innovation for your company.

1) How do you make your employees have the mindset of always “over-delivering” against their own compensation they are receiving.

2) How do you make your employees have a service mindset. Meaning servicing their own colleagues, servicing their team mates, servicing their clients. How do you make subordinates have the mindset of servicing their boss and bosses servicing their subordinates.

3) How do you make your company be a learning organization, where every single employee is truly motivated and hungry for an improved self and an improved way of doing things?

4) How do you implant the mindset to your employees that this company as if it is their own company. If they don’t do things right, the company will fall. How do you make your sales people think, “If I don’t sell this, my family won’t eat tonight.” How do you make your operational people think, “If I don’t improve this by doing it continually better, my family won’t eat tonight.” How do you make your Finance people say, If I don’t save this much money or advise my company on future financial decision making, my family won’t eat tonight.

5) How do you build solid communication amongst teams for effective productivity.

6) How do you retain the highest talent and remove those slowing down the company.

7) How can your decisions guard quality across the board and sustain it.

8) How can you make your company increase the bottom line.

9) How do you beat the competition.

10) How do you have long term die hard fans (customers) for your brand.

These are some of the questions that can drive Innovation in your company.

Careers That Don’t Require a University or College Degree

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When people think of careers, many say that to have a promising long-term career, you’ll need to start out with a 4-year college degree. This isn’t true at all. With the rise of the internet, free flow of information, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and many niche networks amongst community professionals, there are many options to choose a career without the need of a 4-year college degree. Some of the professions include the following:

• Salesman
• Designer
• Retail Clerk
• Firefighter
• Plumber / Electrician
• Internet Marketer
• Truck Driver / Company Driver

Salesman
One of the fastest growing careers for anyone without possessing a college degree is to enter the sales force of any company; that be either at a startup or an established company to become their salesman. A salesman will always be needed in all companies around the world that seeks income/revenue as part of their business model. Being a salesman can be rewarding, stressful and fun at the same time. There are many fancy names to describe the salesman out in the job market. Starting your career as a salesman can take you far places in your career if you stick at it and focus on results. Many of the greatest CEOs in the world started out as salesmen early on in their career.

Designer
If you’re into designing, love to draw, into art, fashion and decorating things, you don’t need a 4-year college degree to begin your career as a designer. You can start learning on your own through books, online, attending events, speak with people of experience and learn about the usage of software designs such as Photoshop, CorelDraw, etc and begin your career. Careers in designing are usually based on portfolios of your past work. You don’t need to get a college degree to begin starting to work on your portfolio. You can start for free to do work to build your portfolio for your future offers.

Retail Store Clerk
When you’re purchasing a chocolate bar at your local convenient store, you will always have someone greet you in the counter in front of the cashier to help you make a purchase on what it is you need to buy. This person will most likely manage the logistics, counter and shelf’ing of goods in a retail store. They will also help on the administration with the store. With this career, you don’t need a 4-year college degree to begin as a retail store clerk.

Firefighter
To be a firefighter, you don’t need to start with a 4-year degree to enter the profession. You will need to take some training courses that will enhance your skills and qualifications for you to move up the ranks. Experience is the number one aspect for you to succeed and reach far as a fire fighter. Start by taking fire fighting courses to begin your career. You don’t need a 4-year college degree to start.

Plumber / Electrician
To begin your career as a plumber / electrician you must love the work and to begin your career you certainly do not need a 4-year college degree to start. You can begin at anytime getting hands-on-experience around your own household. But I agree, to go far in your career, you’ll need to invest some training courses to enhance your qualifications and build a reputation of great work amongst customers and the people you’ll work with. You can start now and get your feet wet by on the job training or learning online to start beginning your career.

Internet Marketer
To begin your career as an internet marketer, the number one thing you’ll need to have access to is the internet. From there you can learn everything online and discuss with people who’ve done it. You can participate in community events and discuss in forums online to learn the skills you’ll need as an internet marketer. You can be of any age to begin your career as an internet marketer. You don’t need a 4-year college degree to begin your career in this field.

Truck Driver / Company Driver

To begin your career as a driver, the number thing you’ll need is a driver’s license, safety training certificate and experience. You don’t need a 4-year college degree to begin your career as a driver. One of the keys to success is to be able to work under a team and follow, listen to a set of instructions given of your duties. You can begin anytime as long as you have the skills to drive and passionate about your job. You can have a good long-term career as a driver without the need of a 4-year college degree.

In conclusion, careers don’t necessarily need to begin upon receiving a college degree. If you have the chance to get a college degree do grab it, but remember, when you don’t possess a college degree you can still start your career with any of those 7 options as your starting point to success. Keep learning, persevere and may success be with you.

Jakarta, Marathon city? Need Marathon Training Program.


Jakarta has become one of the fastest places in Indonesia for large corporate brands to sponsor marathon events to include different marathon lengths from the 5k, 10k, 15k, and 26k. This has created a buzz amongst many Jakartians, including the local and foreign community to attend these events. I had a discussion with one of my friends about the buzz and the new hobby for many Jakartians. This is a good trend to have as this promotes healthy living and creates a positive community bonding amongst people of all ages and ethnicity. This is all positive accept for one thing. Some get injured. Yes, some and close to many get injured in the long run, either pull/torn muscles, back pains, sprained joints, unfit bodies and lack of nutrition.

With those in mind, the marathon all of a sudden creates a negative affect to some people in Jakarta that have caught this buzz who have no idea of what the issues can become when simply running a marathon. For an example, their shoes must be right and its got to be a running shoe especially when you’re running on concrete roads, also importantly proper stretching is mandatory before conducting a run also with proper cooling down. Another one is the right amount of exercise prior to running a marathon and have the correct nutrition to eat as a vital part to be successful. It is not only about fitting in the crowd, being trendy with your accessories and looking cool amongst your friends, but it is about being able to run, be healthy without getting injured and being able to continue running for many years to come. The main point is to not get injured in the short term nor the long term. Not many people know that having the correct marathon training program will help you in the long run. You can increase your speed, stamina and strength, avoid injuries and dominate the marathon if you follow a set of instructions.

This is where the Marathon Training Program is needed. This Marathon Program is an easy to follow and fully outlined 16 Week Training Schedule. It explains every run, the secrets to avoiding injury, nutritional guidelines, and strength workouts to increase speed and stamina while still having the ability to have fun and enjoy your time.

Click Here! < You can find this useful Marathon Training Program and accomplish your mission of healthy, community involvement and happiness. Its time for Jakartians to understand how to run a marathon and to run a marathon correctly for the objective of a long-term healthy life! Have a good time and enjoy the training program.

Succeeding as a Manager

As a Manager, have you ever had a situation when your subordinate is doing an awful job, failing or not working to a certain standard?  Well if you have this situation, then one of the first questions you have to ask yourself as a Manager is, “What have I done or haven’t done to make my subordinate fail.” Are you sure that your subordinate has failed because of his/her incompetence or is it because the system that you’ve placed for your subordinate as their Manager is flawed or is it that you haven’t done anything concrete to manage him/her to succeed. And who is responsible for your subordinate’s failure? You, as their Manager.

You like it or not, if an employee is giving sub-standard work, the first person that many have to question is his/her boss and what systems they have placed for him/her to fail.

This is the reason of why in professional team sports, the first person to leave an organization for a slagging slumping team is the Head Coach and not the Players.  This is the overall function of a Manager for an organization and all managers need to understand this. Yes, some managers say that there are always bad apples to a team and one needs to cut those bad apples out to get the team more productive and moving forward, but that’s for another topic we can discuss on another blog post.

Here below are some points on how you can succeed as a manager:

– A Manager’s objective is to help subordinates have more of an impact to the organization.

-Managers are no different than athletes. Managers must practice everyday and work hard everyday to improve their game. If your job title has Manager on it and you stay on cruise control, stay stagnant with no improvement or no progression moving forward, the greater force will automatically push you out of the system more ways than you can think of. That’s just how the world works. It can’t be explained, it just happens naturally. And if you try to play the, “I’m keeping my position” game and not contributing genuinely, you’ll be deflected out of the system more ways than you can think of.  So work on your game daily. Literally, daily.

– Its all about consistently reviewing processes and improving moving forward. If you can’t measure it, then you’re not managing it. If you’re not managing it then you shouldn’t be called a Manager.

– There’s a difference between Dumping work to your subordinates and Delegating work to your subordinates. Here’s the difference. Dumping work means, you as a Manager just dump a load of work and say, “I want you to do this, you understand? Any questions? I need it by 3pm tomorrow”. Delegating work means, telling them the whole story of why you want them to do it, get feedback for a meeting of the minds, set mutually agreed upon – specific deadlines, have a follow-up system in place that lets you monitor progress and install to use a rewards system if capable. You as a Manager should be Delegating work instead of Dumping work to your subordinates.

–  If your job title has the word “Manager” in it with subordinates to manage, these are the things that you should be doing;

a. Working toward goals,
b. Developing people,
c. Building a team,
d. Reaffirm standards,
e. Creating and sustaining a network (externally & internally),
f.  Being strategic and understanding the ‘how-to’ aspect of execution

– Great managers use a Preparation-Do-Review to convert every activity into a means of the following:

a. Pursuing some management purpose,
b. To make progress towards a goal,
c. To develop someone,
d. To reaffirm work standards,
e. To strengthen bonds among members of their team,
f.  To model the behavior they want,

– Managers get paid to solve problems, loosen bottlenecks, inspire, coach and make a significant contribution to growth and improvement. A basic process flow of your work should be about planning, execution, monitoring/controlling, evaluating/measuring results and repeating the process all over again. If you’re not doing any of those four things you’re not really managing, you’re just wasting the owner’s money.

– The key for Owners and Directors is knowing how to make all their managers understand this point of view of being a Manager.

What do you think? Do you all agree?